Blogging and writing well on social media, making videos and maybe podcasting is not just for companies with a fat budget. Here's a ninja method for getting better at content fast.
Creating your own content has become standard in many companies' marketing. Every day, millions of stories are told through text, images, video and audio - on companies' own sites and customer magazines, on podcast platforms, on YouTube channels and other social media.
Let's take some buzzwords first. Content marketing isn't just for big business. What are the strengths of content marketing for you?
Now you also want to start making Facebook posts, posting on LinkedIn and making good Instagram stories.
This blog post is long, but by the time you get through it, you'll know more about content selling methods. You can go from zero to pretty good in a month, and if you're already doing content, I think you'll be even better.
One in three Swedes apparently spends more than 20 minutes a day on the toilet, according to a survey.
That's why you can also add 20 minutes - but only three mornings a week.
Do you want to write like the Swedish Tax Agency does in its mailings? Or do you love the appeal of Oatly's advertising? Check out some sites from companies and organisations that you have contact with and see how others do it. What do you like?
And think about it: how do you talk to your customers in meetings and emails? Dare to trust that your own friendly tone will also work when you write blog posts, Facebook posts, LinkedIn posts or texts for Instagram posts.
The first week is uphill. Once you get through it, all subsequent weeks are easier and look the same. But let's take it one step at a time.
This happens in week 1:
Morning 1. Make a quick strategy.
Morning 2. Make your first content.
Morning 3. Measure and evaluate. Do more.
List who you want to reach, 5 minutes
Think about the target group. Do you want to talk to existing customers, those who don't buy from you yet, reach people you can recruit, journalists, local decision-makers and politicians who influence your business? Maybe all of them?
First, make a list of the groups you want to reach. Then prioritise them in a list - most important at the top and then in descending order. Draw a line after the third target group.
Select channel, 5 minutes
Start from your target list and choose where you want to be active. Your own blog with posts spread on social media, or is it enough to write posts directly on Facebook, Instagram, Linkedin etc?
The most important thing is to dare to choose channels . You'll never be able to be good everywhere and you need to keep track of all your accounts.
You will probably work mostly with text, photo and video. Then it's often ambitious enough to publish articles and posts on LinkedIn and try to reach as many of your target audience as possible on Facebook and Instagram.
Your choice of channel depends entirely on who you want to reach. Need to reach young people? Maybe you should consider trying Tiktok and Snapchat. Want to stand out to new employees? LinkedIn might be a good option. Want to discuss society and nutrition policy? Twitter may be an option.
Write down which channels you have chosen and which social media accounts your company should have (and register them if you haven't done so).
Develop main message, 10 minutes
Time for the hard part. Start from your list of target audiences. Think only about the three groups you listed above the bar, the ones that are most important to reach.
Think about and write down 2-3 key messages.
These will be the basis for what you do next.
"The local interior design store."
"The pizzeria with better ingredients."
"The carpenter who listens a bit more to the customer's needs."
"The fourth-generation electrical retailer."
"The IT service that creates a better working environment."
Note. Your messages must be true. If you're not local, you won't be local just by telling it. If you don't have an open, humorous culture in your company, you shouldn't have it as a message. It would create problems for you later.
The first day is over and you should have written down three target audiences, listed one or a few channels where you will publish your content and developed your key messages. This is your plan.
Doesn't it feel perfect?
Never mind. You'll come back to the pitch again.
Develop your plan and check your 2-3 key messages. Choose one of them and create your first content. It could be a Facebook post, a blog post, a text for LinkedIn, a photo with short text for Instagram or a video. It's guided by your plan.
What could it be? Here are some examples:
- Introducing an employee and what he/she is working on at the moment
- The story of meeting a customer and solving a problem for him/her
- The snapshot of something unexpected in or near your shop - what is happening in particular right now?
- The description of something that happened to your business in the recent past and what you learned from it.
You can of course also tell us about sales, trade fairs, new products...
Performance anxiety? It doesn't have to be complicated. Check out the example from Massive Entertainment.
Inspiration perhaps? See for example what they do here:
These points are like a little checklist for you when developing content:
- Avoid skimmed milk! What stands out about your products, your background, your employees, your company's history? Bring it out. - Think about what readers/viewers get off on. Are they going to be excited, informed, moved, hungry by your content?
- Facts and factual arguments are great (this speaker's specs...) - but it's emotion and human connection that makes content winning (the hairs on the back of my neck stand up just 10 seconds into my favorite song...).
- Be very clear and direct! Write short and make short videos. The people you want to reach are inundated with content.
- Be generous! Offer your own mistakes and lessons learned.
- Never badmouth competitors - instead, praise them when they do something you think is good.
- Never lie! If you are quoting facts and figures - make sure they are true.
- Irony and humour are difficult.
2. Quick test
Get help and beta test your content. Your daughter is probably better at social media videos than you are. Your colleague or neighbour or friend likes you, and therefore they are moderately critical.
Ask 1-2 people to look at your content and tell you honestly what they think. Be quiet and listen to what they say. And be prepared to change accordingly.
Don't censor yourself. Trust that you have thought well, written and photographed well and that your quick test has helped you.
A little checklist before you press the button:
- Your post rhymes with one of your main messages, doesn't it?
- Surely your audience is informed or entertained by your content?
- Can you write shorter and simpler?
- Could the photo and video be prettier?
Then press the button. Now you're doing content marketing.
Week 1 is over. Congratulate yourself. The hardest week is over. You've published twice and probably gotten some reactions to what you did. Take a few days off from content work!
From week 2, each day is the same. Your routine should be as simple as possible to follow. You still spend 20 minutes three days a week.
Check your latest content. Did you write well? Was the photo/video good enough? Reflect on what you can do better.
How many people did your social media content reach? Likes and comments?
(As a business owner, chances are you love numbers and after a few weeks will want to measure how your content is reaching people. After a while, you'll also want to try marketing your posts. This is a professional role in itself, so I won't go into the technical procedures and workflow in more depth here. Good and affordable help is available.)
Develop your plan - now it's your blanket. Think of 2-3 new content ideas based on your main messages. Produce one (1) post just like you usually do and publish it. Quick test it on someone nearby if you like.
... to look at your plan again and think:
Does this mean that content agencies and social media consultants are not needed?
No, not at all.
Once you've been running your own content marketing for a while, it might be a good idea to ask an agency or consultant to analyse what you've done. This will give you new ideas and inspiration for content that will add even more value to your business.
Mattias Bergman is co-founder of Commercial Content, a specialist content agency. It produces content in various forms that changes companies' self-image, increases employee engagement and makes recruitment more effective. Read more at Commercial Content website