Let’s face it: in the 2020s everyone is a content producer. From your kindergarten niece all the way up to Google’s parent company, Alphabet.
That’s just the way the world is, as we move more and more online. Especially after Covid lockdowns restricted face-to-face interaction, connecting with customers online became vitally important. Companies that adapted by shifting as much of their business online as possible were able to ride through. Others were not so lucky.
Whatever it is that you do, there’s a guaranteed surplus of fodder you can use for online marketing. All it takes is a little persistence, dedication, and wordwork.
What follows is a brief rundown of how to approach being a brand-voice storyteller & content producer.
What types of content do you need?
What type of content you can produce is unique to your brand and voice. Whatever you can do to educate, build trust, and form connections with your audience, the more engagement you’ll get and the more you’ll grow.
Remember you’re reaching out to a diverse array of people—even if they all fit into your Ideal Customer Avatar profile. Some of them are visually inclined. Some of them prefer reading. Others look at nothing but videos. To maximize success, best practice is to put out a mix of content types all relevant to your business.
Common types of content
Video (and transcript)
Podcast (and transcript)
Pro tip: Any visual or audio content you put on your website is another opportunity for SEO—include keywords in transcripts, captions, blurbs, meta description, etc.
3 tiers of online presence
How much of your energy you put into your online marketing is determined by factors like budget, time, type of product/service, privacy concerns, and so forth. But every business needs some online presence. Even if it’s just a landing page for an email list.
In keeping with the customer’s journey theme, let’s call the 3 tiers of online presence scout, guide, and pioneer. Each level is organized around a content strategy—the goals and expectations you have for your online marketing.
In marketing, as with most things in life, you get out what you put in. Not everyone needs a big flourishing website sending thousands of daily visitors into their conversion funnels. But whatever your goals are determines your strategy.
Website: Most of their marketing is done by word of mouth so their online presence is more of a homebase than anything more complex. Introduces the business and brand, points to social media, and leads to a single CTA.
Content: Periodic, maybe monthly blog posts for a moderate social media audience. SEO ranking doesn’t matter as much, as long as it’s there. This level of webmarketing can be managed as a one-person operation.
Website: Complete map of webpages with options targeting multiple Ideal Customer Avatars. Shows and explains different parts of the business, introduces the humans involved, and offers a detailed sales element.
Content: Consistent blog posts for an active social media following. Strong crosslink interplay and evergreen keyword content for SEO ranking. Maybe mixed media dabbling in scripted videos, reviews, customer spotlights, etc.
Website: Active and functional, and central to operations. Think e-commerce and the like. Includes pillar pages to categories of cornerstone content, and detailed product/service descriptions. Collects emails for a growing list.
Content: Putting out weekly blog posts and other mixed content for engaging a bustling social media. Maintains a regular email newsletter full of value. Generally requires teamwork/outsourcing to execute this level of online marketing.
What should I write about for my website?
Every industry is packed with insider stories, fascinating processes, and interesting information that people would love to read about, as they decide whether or not to invest in your value.
And anyway what people are most interested in is human stories. Experiences that reflect their own or excite their imagination. Backgrounds that led people to particular positions. Details of lives changed for the better after using your product/service.
A business blog isn’t a diary or a journal. It’s a flow of relevant information leading people toward your pool of value. It’s part of a storytelling strategy that tells the tale of a better life. Think about the people you’ve helped. The lives you’ve changed. The techniques you’ve mastered...
That’s what you should write about for your website.
How often should I publish blog posts?
How often you publish content depends on your strategy. How much traffic do you need? How much education do you have to share? How much time you got for writing?
Some small businesses outsource part of their content to professional copywriters but also write some of their own. That can help stretch a budget, but can also result in inconsistencies in voice and schedule.
To answer the question: Ideally you’d publish a new blog post every 1-2 weeks. Publishing monthly starts to stretch your connections thin, and also doesn’t do much to boost your web traffic. Beyond that you’re not really publishing consistent content. Which means you won’t get much return or growth.
The sweet spot is every 5-10 days. That lets you keep a steady buzz of activity between social media and your website, while staying on your audience’s radar as a valuable source.
When will my SEO kick in?
Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is an ongoing process. The internet is a constant flood of content and words that Google’s algorithm organizes according to relevance, engagement, organization, reliability, backlinks & crosslinks, and myriad other parameters that no one actually knows.
The most important element of SEO though, is readability. Your content has to be engaging and compelling enough to keep people motivated and clicking through. You accomplish that with storytelling.
Ready to skip ahead a few steps? Check out these GoogleDocs copywriting templates.