Like many other small business owners, I’ve recently been reading Michael E. Gerber’s The E Myth Revisited. I’m halfway through the book and it’s proving to be full of insight for a small business such as mine.
A section of the book, Working On Your Business, Not In it outlines some rules to follow in order to grow. These rules are great for identifying how to develop your business based on a Franchise model, but I’ve found the rules can also be applied to a Content Marketing program.
Your content marketing efforts, through a blog, YouTube channel or other platform must provide consistent value. I’ve blogged about what types of content you should be offering. Essentially it must be of value to your target customers. Insights, information and answers to their questions provide value to current and potential customers, but can also serve a function for employees and suppliers. Employees benefit from having an online reference from which to discuss and learn more about their workplace and the industry. A robust content strategy can also demonstrate to suppliers that you are using their products and services appropriately.
Your content marketing strategy should be able to be enacted by anyone! Of course I’m biased and believe you should outsource or co-source, using a communicationss professional to plan, implement and measure content programs, however once a content calendar and strategy is in place, writing a simple blog post, uploading images to Instagram or recording a clip to publish on YouTube doesn’t require much more than access to the appropriate tools (and time).
Ensure your content marketing maintains its style. For a blog, use the same fonts, use the same sized headings. Essentially, all the little things to ensure that your content maintains its order and “look and feel”. Make use of key words and categories to ensure particular topics and posts can be found easily.
You might not need an Operations Manual for your content, however establishing a content calendar that identifies the “what” and the “when” is essential. Following a plan will ensure that your content is timely and strategic and makes creating content much easier. Documenting your plan will help you stick to it.
This is essential. If you’re blogging, do so regularly. Weekly, fortnightly, monthly posts – it doesn’t matter which, as long as you publish regularly. This is essential for loyal followers who are keen to receive your new insights so they aren’t left wondering what’s happened to your content. I always mention to new and potential clients that a content or social media platform that has been ignored, or shows that the most recent post was from two years ago, reflects poorly on your organisation. I often suggest that its better not to blog if you’re unsure if you will be able to contribute to it regularly.
Similar to point 3, ensuring that your content maintains its style, language, and contributes to your brand is essential. If you blog about the finance industry, don’t decide one day to share your latest success in the kitchen after watching MasterChef. This will ensure you are offering true value and keep readers interested.