Generating Content

Take up real estate on the web. This is your number one goal. It is simple but time consuming, and the rewards are permanent.

Your web presence must be like a table with many legs. Your website needs to be the table top, and each leg is another source of web content that you must create to hold your table up. Another way to think of it is if your website is your business location, you need to build roads that lead to it from every direction. Content generation builds those roads.

What kind of content?
Testimonials and Reviews
If you have not already done so, register your business with map services like Google Places, and Yahoo Local. Bing and other search engines have maps that allow you to claim your address/location as the business owner and make sure your information is correct. All of these services allow users to place reviews or testimonials of the businesses that are listed on their search maps. Do what ever it takes to get positive reviews from your customers on those maps.

Pinterest
The latest craze is an online pin-board pinterest.com. This website allows members to “pin” their favorite website content and share it with their followers. Here you have to think visual. What visual images best describe your business? If you provide products, creating images of how your product is used in real life is a good start. Get creative and show your product being used in other ways too. Pinterest is mostly used by women who share tips, diy projects, stunning vacation spots, great hair ideas, gardening tips, and much more. If you think outside the box, you can create images to pin that people will pass along to their followers, increasing your brand exposure.

If you’re a service oriented business, how can you capture your service in an image… or what kind of images do your target market pin up?

Facebook
Almost everyone is on facebook, truly, when you look at statistics, the vast majority of adults who use the internet use facebook. Your business needs to have an account on facebook, and you need to have a personal account on facebook. Don’t be afraid of the people from high school who never used to talk to you now becoming your friend; you control who you’re friends with… Facebook is a must for a number of reasons. The first is that the numbers dictate it. You need to be where your customers are. You can generate immense content and conversations on Facebook that you can’t otherwise do on your website. You can generate traffic to your website as well.

What should you put on Facebook?
Photos: take photos of people doing their jobs. Take photos of people you help. Take photos of before and after. Take photos of employees doing outstanding work. Take photos of your product in action. Take photos of your product being used by local celebrities. Meme your product, service, or company president. Keep it interesting, positive, and helpful.

Video: use video to instruct, to inform, to entertain, and to get word out about your product, service, accomplishments, etc. Videos that are less than a minute in length about you or your product may get watched. Or the first 30 seconds of your 5 minute video may get watched, but that doesn’t mean don’t make a long video.

Written Word: Everything you post needs a description, but more than that, Facebook’s status update is a place for real conversations with your customers. You must be talking with friends and fans. When someone writes on their status that they need a good dry-cleaner, recommend one. You now have put your name in front of someone who may think of you first when they or someone they know needs the product or service you provide. The written word on Facebook is not a place to spam people with “buy my latest…” advertisements for your product should not be the only thing you write about. People will unsubscribe from you if that’s all they see.

Twitter
Twitter is another social media tool to use for generating content. Create a free account, follow people/businesses in your area, ask them to follow you back (usually they will without asking), and start tweeting. Here again, like any social media, its not a place to solely post commercials for your product. Post tweets that are helpful, relevant to your industry and customers, and keep it simple. Twitter is highly searched, and Google will index relevant twitter content. Take a few minutes to learn the Twitter lingo and use the # and @ shorthand symbols to help index your content.

YouTube/Vimeo (other video sharing sites)
Intimidated by video editing software? Find a way to get over it or get through it with help, because YouTube can be your best friend. We are a visual society and more people will click on a news story with a short video than read a written article. And we’re not talking about funny puppies or cute kitties either. People want to see things, want to hear things, and if you can think of how to capitalize on your customers need for the visual, video sharing sites become limitless.

Blogging
Having your own blog and writing on a regular basis is one of the best ways to generate content. You can be current and relevant, useful and informative, and dominate your area of expertise. Take up valuable real estate on the web by generating plenty of good content on your blog. Another thing to do is to comment on other blogs. Find blogs that are relevant to your product or service, add valuable commentary to blog articles that you find, and even establish a relationship with that particular blogger. There may be opportunities for you to be a guest blogger for them some time. Including a link to your website is a benefit of commenting and guest submission to other blogs.

Summary
In conclusion, if you’re wondering why we are advocating content generation through all these different websites, it is because the more places you post your name, the more people you have a chance to connect with. The more people you connect with, the more likely you are to increase your customer base. These sites are free to use, free to upload to. But please take the time to plan a strategy and get expert help if you don’t have the time to become an expert yourself. Suite 171 can help you plan, help you implement the plan, and keep you on track with your strategy. Call us today!