Many of the best things in life come in pairs, whether it’s Batman and Robin, butter and toast, or what we’re going to discuss today: content and marketing. When it comes to having an online presence for your business, the key to staying relevant and attracting new potential clientele lies in content creation.
But what IS content creation, especially when related to a business? I’m sure you’ve seen the surge of people calling themselves “content creators” online: people creating memes, YouTube videos, and other content for a variety of social media platforms. Your business, however, is probably not looking to attract an arbitrary following so much as a following of people and businesses that care about your product or services, the information you have to share, or your industry in general. We’re here today to talk about the best ways to jump-start your online content in 2020, and how to continue establishing your brand online.
Content Creation for Small Businesses
Business content creation is the act of creating content to share on your website and/or on social media networks with the prospect of attracting your target audience. There are several traditional methods of content creation that we’re sure you’re already familiar with, including creating web pages, blog posts, and putting pictures online. The question then becomes, how do you take these traditional forms of content and turn them into followers, conversions, and eventually calls, sales, and more business.
Determining where to post the content you create is equally important to the content itself, and varies based on the industry you’re in. If you have a business based in creativity, you would benefit from putting your brand on Instagram and/or Twitter. If you’re working in people’s homes, your brand might be best served on Facebook and on some of the locally-based social networks (Manta, Houzz, Yelp). One thing is for certain though: every business needs a place on the internet to post content and find a following.
The (Current) Universal Truth: Video
Regardless of the network(s) you determine work best for your business, there is one truth that has proven itself time and time again. And this truth is that video content performs best across almost every single network. A Hubspot study found that 100 million hours of video content are watched on Facebook every day. Just let that sink in for a minute: 100 million hours. That’s roughly 4 million days of video watched every single day—11,000 years. On Facebook, you see a 150% increase in engagement on posts with videos. Twitter is very similar, boasting a 220 times increase in video views. And as I’m sure you’ve guessed already, Instagram shows very similar trends, with an 80% increase in video engagement in 2019.
And since we’re talking video-based content, let’s not forget about everybody’s favorite video hosting, Google-owned website, YouTube. If you’re creating content for any social network, you should probably put it on your YouTube channel in some capacity as well. YouTube is the world’s second-largest search engine (and directly tied to Google), so the content gets a longer life span and the ability to continue to share it when appropriate for the future.
Basically, if you’re a business in 2020, the best marketing you can do for your business is creating video content. This doesn’t mean you should only have video content, but coupled with good SEO, your weekly or bi-weekly blog posts, and regular social media content—videos are sure to keep your marketing at the cutting edge and leaving you one step about the competition. An important note to remember about all of your content: remember to include a call-to-action or something that compels those who consume your content to interact.
How Often Should Content Be Produced?
Producing content should be a daily endeavor, but while you’re getting started, you can stretch that to at least once weekly. While you’re producing your own content once a week, you can also take some time to curate content from other authorities in the industry that you feel are appropriate for your audience, in the form of sharing or retweeting a post, or linking to their website and crediting them for the work. Offering the best information to your audience builds a level of trust that can continue building your marketing funnel and turn to conversions and more sales.
There are so many ways to integrate your content into your standard marketing, with a common way being by seasons. Christmas is a great time to talk about the best deals on products; some industries switch mindsets based on the seasonal weather, and more. We recommend that you have a calendar and make an outline of an entire month, so you’re prepared, and so you have a place to drop content ideas as you come across them.
How Is Your Content Performing?
So you’re producing some new, amazing video content. You’re curating other qualified content, posting your normal text posts, images, and generally having a presence online. How do you take those posts and look at the data behind them and see what has been actionable, and what hasn’t?
For social media, this is relatively easy. You should have a business account on the social networks you’re using, because business accounts allow you direct access to the analytics behind your posts. Using these analytics, you can see how each individual post performs, as well as how your account is performing on a macro scale.
For your website-based content creation, there are a plethora of tools that you can use to track how each individual page is performing (remember, blog posts are technically pages in most cases). The major tool that we recommend is Google Analytics, as you can track each page’s visit, read-time, and bounce rate, as well as where the reader came from on the internet, and a slough of other stats. This allows you to see which of your funnels are performing the best and how the traffic to your website is generated.
We’re on the verge of marketing and content creation becoming the same thing. Long gone are the days of just getting in front of people as a form of marketing, and 2020 is going to be no exception. Producing content that shows off your brand’s personality, that informs and helps your audience, and that shows that you are the authority in your industry is infinitely more important than just advertising your products or services.
You spend your time building your business, ensuring that your products or services are the best of the best, and ensuring the job is done right. But you also need to be spending your time continuing to work on your business, gathering videos and images. Once you’re on that path, spend time with your local internet marketing department to turn those raw images and videos into quality content to ensure your presence online is supplementing your quality of work and time spent.