Three cheap and easy ways SMEs can create content

Content is king! Creating and circulating valuable content can bring enormous benefits. 

But what if your business isn’t newsworthy? You don’t have a natural news cycle, and you’re struggling to find content. We all know content has to be valuable, engaging and relevant. Sometimes, that’s not easy.

Then there’s budget. Superbrands have the funds to create dedicated content. For example, Bunnings shares how-to videos on its website that help customers tackle DIY with confidence. Nestlé celebrates baking by sharing tips and recipes on its dedicated site, Baker’s Corner.

Without much news, and a limited budget, it’s easy to see why SMEs think content marketing is just for the big brands.

However, SMEs can enjoy terrific success with content marketing. If your competitors are already active in content marketing you need to catch up, fast. If they are not? Get in ahead of them!

Here’s three quick and easy ways to create content when you’re a bit slow on news.

1) Surveys

Flick through your local paper and see how many stories come from surveys and research. If you have access to an email marketing list, you can create a survey using a free website like Survey Monkey.  Do not make the mistake of asking for feedback about your business—this survey should be solely about customer opinions. Offer a reward to encourage responses. It’s important not to sway consumers towards a particular answer, so keep it balanced.

When it comes to themes, make it relevant to your customer, but keep some sort of logical link to your brand. A hairdresser could ask which celebrity has the best haircut. A bookmaker could investigate which financial tasks are most frustrating. A seller of homemade toys could ask parents where they get the best advice.

Once you have your survey results, you have news. Share it on your site, create infographics, chat on your podcast, tweet it and issue a press release.  If you have funds, invest in more methodical research for more credibility. Conduct the same survey in a year and you’ll have the added benefit of measuring changing trends and opinions.   Over time, your survey could become a valuable piece of intellectual property.

2) News commentary

You may not have your own news but you certainly have opinions about the news. Every so often your industry will generate media attention for some reason. Perhaps you work in employee motivation and a big court case is underway. Tell your audience where the employer went wrong. Perhaps you have attended a high scale conference or industry event. Tweet through the sessions  and follow up with a blog sharing some backstage gossip. Comment on an industry opinion piece and share your own views. Use key events in the calendar such as budget time, end of financial year, Mother’s Day or the footy finals. There’s always something in the news you can leverage, if you approach it creatively.

3) Lists

  • The top mistakes your clients make
  • Five things new graduates should know about your industry
  • Three things we can learn from Bitcoin/Star Wars/Apple/Margaret Thatcher
  • Top celebrity hairstyles customers want this winter
  • Ten lessons you’ve learned the hard way
  • Five questions your customers most frequently ask

Share your expertise and don’t fret about giving free advice. You’ll be recognised as a leader and an expert, and improve your SEO too.

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