“Produce great stuff, and your customers will come to you. Produce great stuff, and your customers will share your story for you. More than ever before: Content is king! Content rules!”
One of our values here at Lightspan is to learn all the time. We take this very seriously. In order to teach and be the best we can be, we need to learn.
We all know that content is king, but how do you do it right? We’ve summarized our favorite nuggets from the book that we think every business should apply everyday: Telling your company’s story, getting started with creating content and with a great content mix, how to properly use visual content and how to repurpose the content you already have.
How to Tell Your Company’s Story: Eight Questions to Get You Started
So how do you get started? Tell your story in an interesting way and make people relate to you, your business and the employees that make it up. Easy right? Not necessarily. A lot of companies and brands find this step to be the most challenging. Here are eight questions to help you think about your business differently and tell your story in a unique way.
- What is unique about your business?
- What is interesting about how your business was founded? About your founder?
- What problem is your company trying to solve?
- What inspired your business?
- What “AHA” moments has your company had?
- How has your business evolved?
- What’s an unobvious way to tell your story?
- What do you consider normal and boring that other folks would think is cool?
A 12-Point Content Rules Checklist
After you’ve defined how to tell your company’s story, you’re ready to create content for your website, blog, social media posts and other content channels. But before you dive in, make sure that you’re on the right track by going through this checklist. If you answer “no” to any of these, go back to the drawing board. Publishing useless content is a waste of time for everyone, so make your content count!
☐ Have you embraced the notion that publishing is a fundamental shift in how to market your business—but nonetheless an exciting opportunity?
☐ Do you know what keeps your customers up at night?
☐ Are you creating with a distinct voice and an unmistakable point of view?
☐ Are you showcasing how your product lives in the world, and how people actually use it?
☐ Do you occasionally surprise or awe?
☐ Are you sparking interaction and a community campfire?
☐ Are you giving your content roots and wings?
☐ Does your content have at least one trigger to action?
☐ Are you reimagining what you create?
☐ Can you measure the effectiveness of your content?
☐ Can prospects easily find, access and share your content?
☐ Are you prepared for doing something—or at least one thing—really, really well?
Did you answer yes to all of the above? Great! Now it’s time to create a mix of ideas and topics!
The Makeup of Great Content Mix
Most people don’t want to eat the same meals every day. They want to mix it up—sometimes yes, I do want my dessert before dinner! Make sure that the content that you are publishing has a great mix. If it helps, think about it like food.
- Raisin Bran: Useful, everyday posts
- Spinach: Healthy, thoughtful posts
- Roasts: Big hearty projects
- Tabasco: Articles that start fires and controversy
- Chocolate Cake: The sweet stuff
- [Lightspan addition] Too Pretty To Eat: Written content is great, but sometimes you just want to look at something pretty! Visuals, visuals, visuals!
Don’t forget about the visuals! Each of your written posts should have a visual. Written content is great, but visuals adds an entirely new dimension to written products. Some even prefer to have written content included in their visuals, alas infographics! Here’s why we love visuals:
- Photos add visual interest to your marketing mix.
- “Photography allows you to put a face to your business.”
- The main photo-sharing social networks include: Flickr, Facebook, Instagram and Pinterest
- Tagging photos categorizes and makes photos searchable.
- You don’t need expensive cameras, but having at least one high-quality camera will encourage you to take photos more often.
- Make the investment and hire professionals for certain occasions, such as special events and for professional headshots.
“Instead of a ‘one-and done’ approach, treat anything you develop as pieces of a larger whole.”
- Create small, digestible chunks of content.
- Use social media as a source of content.
- Bundle content into a larger, more comprehensive packages.
- Tell stories and give examples.
- Record presentations, speeches, how-tos and even interviews to use as new content or additional information.
- Curate content by pulling together multiple sources and adding to it.
Don’t just sit there and nod your head, do something about it! Create a content schedule, decide what you want to talk about and when! Organize your thoughts and start creating your content with purpose.
Again, I (and all of Team Lightspan) highly recommend reading “Content Rules” for an in-depth look at all things content-related. This is just scratching the surface of the knowledge that awaiting you! I’d love to hear your feedback about this post. Do these tips help you?