A note from Randy –
Connecting with current and potential customers through social media is an essential aspect for building relationships if you are a solopreneur, entrepreneur, or large organization. Here’s a guest post from Kieran Flanagan that shows you how to create great content. Make sure to pick up the new book she has co-authored with Dan Gregory.
Four Tips to Create Better Content
Social media creates a marvelous opportunity to connect with our customers but it can also cause an enormous burden of what to say to them. It’s like having to go to a party every night and be interesting and engaging, you feel the pressure. Here are a few tips to make being interesting online easier.
Know what you are really selling.
Most people know their product or service well but do not know what they are really selling. They do not understand the emotional exchange taking place.
We were working with a business that sold allergy free foods and their content was pretty much showcasing their favourite products. After digging into their business it became clear that they sold more treat foods than anything else. Why? What they were really selling wasn’t food; it was ‘fitting in.’
Moms were buying products to help their kids have as normal a childhood as possible. Now instead of product reviews the content is about how to give kids with allergies as normal a life as possible and advice for parents who have just discovered a food allergy in their kids and are panicking.
Knowing the emotional exchange you are engaged in allows for richer and more meaningful content.
- Know what they are buying beyond the product or service
- Know why what you do matters to them
- Create content that goes beyond talking about what the product you sell
Know the problem you are solving
Have you ever sat down to come up with an idea you came up empty? It is all too common an experience, as many people do not realize that generating ideas requires purpose and boundaries.
We heard a young band interviewed about their huge hit that had been featured in a major motion picture. When asked how they came up with the idea for the song they explained they wanted to get a song into a big movie to reach as large an audience as possible. So they set out to create the most romantic love song in the entire world.
They wrote to a brief and you should create your content to one too.
It makes it easier. Creativity in the business sense is agile thinking and problem solving. If you are going to problem solve then you need a problem to solve! Yet so many people miss this key step and try and just try to create great content. Creative people have a mantra; give me the freedom of a tight brief. As people who are paid to generate ideas they know coming up with ideas is actually really hard when you are not specific.
- Put some parameters around your thinking
- Solve a problem versus try and create great content
- Do a volume of ideas not just one idea
Know you’re customer so well it is almost creepy
It is so easy to be obsessed with what we do, what our business and products do think they are creating content to sell people their stuff and tell them what they want them to know. Content marketing is a little less barbaric than that. It is a relationship where you don’t try to get to home base on your first meeting. You take flowers, you seem interested in them, you have a conversation, you flatter them, you get to know them and then you might close the deal.
If you want to create great content then you need to know who you are creating it for and what matters to them.
Get to know your customer beyond the obvious. Be able to talk for hours about them.
- Create content for them not you
- Stop talking all about you, no one likes that
- Make your content as useful as you can
- Give them something they will value
Great content is ultimately about creating something people want and want to engage with. The best content has a generosity to it, it comes from businesses thinking about the people it is for even more than what they so desperately want to tell or sell them. So if you want to make your content great repeatedly, remember you are not just creating content you are building relationships.
Kieran Flanagan is a behavioral researchers and strategist, specializing in behaviors and belief systems–what drives, motivates and influences us. She and her partner Dan Gregory have won business awards around the world for Innovation, Creativity and ROI working with such organizations as Coca-Cola, Unilever, News Corp and the United Nations in Singapore. They are passionate advocates for the commercial power of creativity and a return to more human engagement, cultures and leadership. Published by WILEY, Kieran and Dan’s new book Selfish, Scared & Stupid is available in paperback RRP $22.95 from www.selfishscaredandstupid.com.