By Steve Lazuka, Zerys for Agencies
Content marketing can be easier than it looks. Take the ubiquitous company blog, for example.
Many business leaders dread writing business blog content. Why? Well, there's a laundry list of problems involved with creating blog content, right? Who has the time? Who has the skill? And, perhaps most problematic of all--where does one come up with good content that people actually want to read on a regular basis?
One solution is to turn to expert, outside writers. Great. You've addressed the first two big issues. But you still have to come up with ideas. Content. The good news is that once you know where to look, blog content is just about everywhere.
Instead of looking for "blog content," look for content that you are already creating that might be of interest to customers or prospects. Here are a few ideas to get you started:
- Topics covered in internal training. The information that your team needs to sell your products is good information for the customers that use them.
- New product launch memos. What could be better than using your blog to discuss what you're most excited about?
- Email newsletter articles. Articles that you send out via email can be easily re-purposed for the web as business blog content.
- Recent presentations and speeches. If you're talking to the public and sharing good information with them, you're also writing content for your blog. As with other media, you may just need to tweak it a bit to tailor it for the format.
Your Customers Do
Almost every customer interaction is also a potential source for business blog content. Here are a few topics that you can take right from your customers:
- New ways that customers are using your products.
- Case studies of how your company helped a customer save money, do more, or do anything else successful.
- Testimonials or comments from customers (especially positive ones!).
- Profiles of customers that benefit from what you offer.
Bear in mind, also, that blogging is a social medium. Involving your customers in your business blog content might increase the chances that they engage with it and, even better, that they bring other people to engage with it.
Your Marketers Do
Many companies have files and files filled with marketing copy. Much of that copy can be easily turned into business blog content with just a little bit of editing and creativity. Something as simple as your company's history can turn into a great story to share.
Furthermore, your marketing team probably already includes skilled writers that can handle creating content for you. If they don't have the subject matter expertise that your business needs, they can conduct interviews with members of your staff and use them as the basis of creating content.
Marketers have an additional advantage. They should know what your customers and prospects want to see. With that knowledge and with their ability to do deep analysis of your based of prospects, they can be invaluable resources in helping you develop blog content.
Hired Writers Do, Too
While you're probably creating a good base of business blog content, you can also turn to outside writers to help fill in the gaps. Outside writers bring a different perspective. They also can create content very quickly and they can usually do it at a very reasonable price, especially when you compare what they charge to the value of your time. The more that an outsider writes, the more time that you have to work on other projects.
There are two key factors when you are looking for an outside writer for business blog content. The first is that they should be skilled at writing blog posts. Blog posts are different from white papers, video scripts or marketing copy. They need to be informative but light, and they have to be broken-up well for easy on-screen reading. The other important factor is that they be a content expert. While you can hire writers that can do a quick search through Wikipedia and come up with a few hundred words, they won't be able to create the kind of insider content that you would and that your prospects want to read. Investing in a good writer that knows his or her stuff will pay off in the long run.
Content marketing isn't just a buzzword. It's a strategy that works. Building compelling business blog content is a key to a successful and ongoing campaign. That content is just about everywhere once you start looking in the right places and, if it isn't, the writing community is here to help you, too.
Steve Lazuka is the founder of Interact Media, creators of the Zerys Content Marketplace and Zerys for Agencies content marketing platforms. Follow Steve @SteveLazuka
Zerys is a powerful content project management tool and writer marketplace that makes it simple to manage any content project from start (strategy planning) to finish (auto-publishing). Zerys for Agencies is a custom, private-labeled solution that allows agencies to manage all their clients’ content projects from one, simple dashboard. Zerys was founded in 2008, and is now used by thousands of businesses and hundreds of marketing agencies.
Looking for broad online syndication of your content? iReach from PR Newswire can help. Click here to find out more.