The 7 Biggest Content Creation Problems for Small Business (and how to fix them)
You hear it everyday ringing through the streets, the cry raised by the internet marketing community to make more, better content. Article upon article promising you more traffic, more business, more viral sharing, all which can be yours if you simply rack your brains and write something interesting that has to do with your business. That’s all well and good, when it works out. The truth about content creation is that it’s hard, and getting people to read the words that you spend so much time writing is not as simple as just posting it and then watching the “likes” pour in. There are many barriers that exist for small business owners, blocking them from fully taking advantage of a content marketing strategy. Out of these, here are the top seven biggest reasons why small businesses fall flat on content creation.
They don’t have time. This is probably the first response you’re going to get from most business owners when you ask them what goes wrong in their process. You can’t promote content that doesn’t exist, and yes, it takes time to create something that isn’t simply filler, the spark notes version of which could be read on a fortune cookie slip. Business owners who want to have the benefit of a content marketing strategy need to actually make the time to do it themselves, or hire a writer to create it for them, it’s that simple.
They don’t know what to write about. Putting the pen to the proverbial paper can be very tough, especially for small business owners in industries that are relatively cut and dry. If you legitimately can’t think of anything to write about, take a step back and see what your competitors have put out there. If you think what they’ve done makes sense, then consider that an example on which to improve. If you think it’s boring and it stinks, then consider what you would change in order to make it better, then go do it.
They don’t feel comfortable with their writer’s voice. This can be solved one of two ways. Either practice, and read blog posts that you personally like for some insight on how to compose one of your own, or suck it up and hire a professional writer. Either way, this barrier is for the most part strictly mental.
Their content will sound like everybody else’s. Well, this is only true if you write like everyone else. The well trodden territory of small business blogging is still not so well trodden that there are no more ways to create original material. The mistake that small business owners make when they set out to create content is modeling their posts on examples they find, and then never changing things up once they are comfortable with what they have created. If you’re afraid you will fall into the trap of churning out uninteresting or repetitive material, then try keeping an idea log with you in order to capture the good ideas you have during the day that you would otherwise forget.
They don’t think anyone will read what they write. This might actually be the case when you first set out to create content, but if you don’t ever put out a line, you’re not going to catch any fish. In order to get people to take a look at your work, share it on social media, recommend it to friends and colleagues, and promote it through newsletters. If you are creating interesting materials, over time your readership will grow.
They don’t have a website to post it on. Well for one thing, not having a website as a small business owner is a big issue in this day and age. Creating a website is actually relatively simple, and tools exist for those who are html illiterate that can allow them to put a site together without possessing any actual coding knowledge. If you really don’t want to put together a website for whatever reason (seriously, you should) then you can still use a blogging platform like Blogger, Tumblr or WordPress to put your content out there and increase the avenues through which potential clients are able to find you.
They don’t see any value in creating content. The real value of content creation goes beyond the creation of revenues (which it should also do, if done right). Putting out content is a way to allow your clients to get closer to your brand, building trust and giving them a sense of where your values lie. Ideally, your content should come across an an extra service that you provide for your customers. Putting out content also creates a sense of presence for your brand that should be cultivated and maintained. Additionally, the value of your content grows overtime, as it becomes seasoned with age in SEO terms and the body of work you have put out increases.
Content really can be a game changer for small businesses, but half measures towards the goal of creating something great will not get you any closer to your goals. If you want to boost your business with a content strategy, then you must fully commit to producing the best material that you can.
Photo Credit to 10ch on Flickr