Small Business Basics: Social Media and Content Marketing: Your Digital Marketing Punch

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typewriter photoPictures of food, gardens, babies, cats, dogs, cool quotes.
What do all these things have in common?
They are the different and sometimes unrelated pieces of information that sum up what content marketing can be. As much as they all seem unique and personal, it’s quite possible to weave these kinds of fun elements together in your business marketing plan. The trouble sometimes, though is mapping out a strategy that can, (1) help you actually build interest from your audience, and, (2) create fans of your brand.

Digitally Yours

Just like a signature, your content, whether in your social media posts, or in your newsletter, has the ability to bring forth your voice, personality and passion for who you are and what you do, an in this case, to an online world. The more unique and authentic, the more believable, and yes, sustainable, it becomes, especially in a sea of overselling and pushy-pushy content.

So how is it more sustainable?
Because it’s REAL.
And people want real. There’s already enough fake out there, and remember the old sales phrase: “People want to do business with people they like”? It rings true to this very day.

Creating content that is real and even useful, makes it far easier for you to maintain it over time, while in the very same breath, gives a real feel to your brand.

Carving out the time for content that you’ll put on your social media channels and even your e-newsletter becomes less an exercise in “OMG, what should I write about” and more about “What fun messaging can I share today?” Well, provided you’re keeping an editorial calendar.

Social Messaging Funsies

Ready to make your social media fun? Okay, so “fun” might not sound believable, so bear with me while I dig a little deeper for this big reveal.

Have you noticed how easy it is to share a fun video of a baby goat horsing around or an inspirational quote, or a great picture of something neat happening? It’s because deep down, it’s much easier to share this kind of content; we’re fired up about it, and want others to be, too. Yes, you can be excited about your brand and what you sell, but the art in social is in tempering that exuberance so people aren’t turned off, because really, people don’t like to be “sold” – but they do like to be helped.

And that’s where the fun comes in.
What if you could get people to enjoy your content?
What if you have them share your content?
What if you are solving instead of selling.
Imagine removing the “Buy our stuff” and replacing it with, “Here are some ideas to {improve, remove, remedy, etc., etc.}” and actually have a reader tune in, rather than bounce away. While you’re still able to sell your stuff, you’re also helping the customer.
That help is truly what they want.

By creating content that is fun, useful, enjoyable, or even thought-provoking, you get a chance to do a few things you might not otherwise:

  • Show your enthusiasm and passion, without coming off “salesy”
  • Demonstrate knowledge and expertise, without appearing desperate
  • Illustrate a desire to genuinely help, rather than self-serve
  • Give your brand an actual personality, so people begin to really like and appreciate it

And here’s the punch part…

Using Your Voice

It’s likely you have competition and having that, it’s a mixed bag; they either inspire you to keep on your toes, so you bust your tail trying to keep up with them, or…they can make you fearful, because they always seem so ‘together’, you feel like there’s no way to catch up.

Like all things, the truth is somewhere in between.

In competition, there are what are called “differentiators”. Many small businesses will never identify this for themselves, so they’re constantly stuck in a troubling cycle of self-doubt, trying every trick in the book to be or appear like the other guy.
They may even copy the other guy.
Not you, though. You are an original.

You are going to embrace and roll out your voice, your ideas and your take on things.
And you’re going to be a resource for your customers, using your original ideas and ways to present them.

So what does that look like?
It actually resembles customer service.

Rather than trying to boil the ocean and claim world dominance and be everywhere your competition is, your challenge will be to hone in on the very thing that differentiates you from your competition, and ride that wave.

Ask the Three W’s:

  • Who are my best type of customers and how do I serve them best?
  • What is the absolute perfect demographic I’m wanting to reach? And finally…
  • Where is the most likely place they will spend any social media or reading time?

Once you know these things, you can concentrate your messaging efforts, bearing in mind email marketing and your blog will still be perfect places to house useful, relevant content and solutions for your customers.

Here’s what your content will look like:

  • Your content will have a heart
  • Content messaging will be put out at least daily (if possible), so your audience gets excited to read your stuff and follows along with you
  • Highlight that awesome difference as what really makes your business a gem your customers need
  • Spend your effort setting yourself apart from your competition and the rest of the crowd by doing what others won’t
  • By making offers that are easy for your customers to use

How will you do this with content, you ask?
By mixing your messaging and appealing to the sensibility of your customers!
By solving instead of selling.
By sharing some fun stuff along the way.
By taking a genuine interest in serving customers.
By connecting in a way that lets your customers know they also have a friend in you.

In some ways, it’s simply a return to the old days of communication, before the digital era was even around. Think you can do it? We really believe you can!