In today’s world where anyone can be a publisher, small businesses are finding that creating and curating content relevant to their target audience is an extremely effective way of generating inbound customer leads and building loyalty. The problem with everyone being a publisher is that there is just too much content on the web, and it is exploding at warp speed. Fortunately, there are a few tips you can apply to help you stand out from the crowd. For me, creating content is really about quality not the quantity of the information. It is not necessarily about finding but sorting information.
Top 8 tips on curating content for your small business:
1. Win your way into your customers heart one answer at a time
Write down the problems your customers face in your business niche. Start sourcing answers, solutions, templates and tools that you can share. You know better than anyone the problems your customers face. If you can create a list, this will help you source content that they will find valuable.
2. Listen to your thought leaders - use their ideas to jump start yours
Look up the thought leaders in your space and keep on top of their conversations. Who are the go to people you listen to, watch or read about. Create a RSS feed of your top thought leaders and use this as a jumping off point to create themes about areas your customers would want to hear about.
3. Use testimonials and feedback- it’s a great way to earn trust and credibility
Ask your customers and employees for feedback about your product or service and share the insights and what you’re going to do about the feedback. This is a simple tip and it creates some great testimonials that you can use on your website.
4. Generate original data - set your business apart
Create a survey for your niche and share the content. Using a form or survey tool like wufoo.com you can ask a couple of key questions and then create a report of aggregated results. You can see my example here: Small Business Marketing Survey. Doing a survey means you get rich data about your customers and readers and they too may get some interesting and actionable insights. It’s a win win.
5. Do a book review - create shortcuts your customers will appreciate
My podcast where I interview authors gives a shortcut to people before they invest the time to read a 300-400 word book. If you can summarise or recommend key books for your audience - this is a great form of curating content.
6. Variety is the spice of life - don’t bore your customers by limiting to written content
Look at multimedia insights and have a media library of resources. The form of content has changed. Don’t limit yourself to books or websites. Podcasts, slides, infographics, and webinars are all great resources that you can curate.
7. Create how-to videos and save time
Create a list of how-to videos, some you create and some curated. Any resource that saves time is useful and valued. How-to videos are easy to do with iPhone video recordings. Next time you have to give a complicated response maybe take a video and send it instead.
8. Make a podcast and interview experts
Interview the best minds in your field and make a podcast. Podcasts are such a great way to create a resource and today anyone with a smartphone and some simple software can podcast. Not only do they grow your network but it creates shareable audio and text.
Bonus point- protect your brand
My last bonus point is more about your brand. Protect it. Inject a bit of you when you write. Your humour, your language, your personality. After all, we are writing for each other and making a connection. This is a whole lot easier when we are ourselves
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