Thank you Richard Gere in Runaway Bride for that concept. Writing, in all its varieties, is essentially art. Word art, that is. As a lover of the printed word (and the paper it’s printed on) I’m mesmerized by the concept of the digital word and the potential reach it has. The fact is, the growth of information is outpacing our human abilities to sift and absorb all the available content. As marketers, we are challenged with getting through that sifter and coming up with absorbable content. But how can we do both of that and be relevant?
If you struggle with creating new content, here are a few pointers to ponder.
1 – Plan Your Message
Most coaches, schools and militant strategists will tell you that the most successful campaigns resulted from the best laid plans. Take some time and layout a communication message. We call ours the “Anchor Timeline” and it runs out 4 weeks in advance. For each week come up with a unique topic. This week, we are talking about content creation and next week is SEO. The anchor is the heavy piece of information posted each week (like this article) and is supported by all the other online activities (like tweets and posts). Most definitely plan your anchor message diligently, then frame your supporting daily subjects.
2 – Brainstorm, brainstorm and brainstorm some more
For each weekly topic, brainstorm supporting ideas and resources. They don’t have to be original – just relevant. Write your ideas on paper – there is an incredible power behind the written word – even if it is just chicken scratch. When you run out of ideas to write down, call your customers and brainstorm with them about how they view your company’s value. When you’re done with them, call your vendors and ask them the same thing. You just might be pleasantly surprised with the ideas they come up with!
4 – Variety is the spice of life
To engage and pull in your audience, your content should cover a variety of topics. We call ours the “Content Matrix” and it purposefully keeps our posts in check. For every five posts, we want each one in turn to be, in essence:
- Guidance / How To
- Engaging – Joke, Poll, Question, or something else downright silly
- Community related
- Call to Action
Notice how only one in the five above was a call to action? If every post was about selling YOUR product or service, you will create deaf ears and lose credibility with your audience. This is a major mistake that many first time business bloggers make. Exercise caution when you close the gap on the 1:5 model.
3 – Be You
Above anything else – be you. Be transparent and be you. This is especially important if you are a service company. People don’t buy from a computer or a brand name – they buy because they know, like and trust you. So, let your audience get to know you so they can buy from you.
4 – Have Fun!
More than anything, have fun with the process! Fun is engaging – and out of all that “funness” will come creativity and more ideas. In fact, when the brain is relaxed or otherwise engaged, it is capable of running at top speeds! Maybe that’s why I’m so inspired while watching a movie or playing golf. As great ideas are sparked, or something silly a co-worker just did happens – don’t wait! Jump right into the conversation and put it out there. Don’t underestimate people – people love personality and can sniff out when something is lacking or smells canned.
Journalism may be literature in a hurry, but blogging doesn’t have to be faster. It can be just as thought out, prepared for and effective. If you keep the end game in sight, blogging can be a lot of fun!