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Content Marketing and drawing on notebook with glowing light bulbs

How are you taking care of your content needs?   

Do you have a content marketing plan in place?

Modern business runs on content. Without it, you’ve got no publicity for your products or services. And without publicity, you’ve got no sales. To avoid shooting yourself in the proverbial foot, business leaders must prioritize having a content strategy in place, including an acute understanding of how, when and where the content will be produced. Here’s how to get started. 

Content 101

First off, what do we mean when we say content? Well, content is merely a shorthand for any piece of media that helps promote your business or position your brand. It can have many uses, from intangibles like raising awareness to concrete actions like driving conversions. Your content can take on many forms – including blogs, social media posts, infographics, eBooks, videos, search engine ads and much, much more. 

Establish your business objectives

You should never create content haphazardly or just for the sake of it. Instead, connect it to clear, specific and concrete business objectives. Anything less is just a waste of time and money, and let’s be honest, no small business owner has an excess of either!

Think strategically about channels and audience 

Once you have your business objectives fleshed out, you need to think about your audience and channels. Ask yourself how your target audience gets the information it needs? Where do they spend their time? The days of customers coming to you are long gone. You must bring your content to them. 

Next, determine what type of content you are going to create. Remember, not every asset will work well with every channel! For instance, putting together and sharing a long-form, all-text post is not a good idea on Facebook, which favors smaller amounts of text paired with engaging media assets like photos and especially videos. Similarly, it can be tempting to jam your corporate newsletter with everything and anything your firm is doing, but resist that temptation. Focus instead on who the actual audience is and tailor your messaging accordingly. If you operate B2C, your newsletter should focus on customer tips, educational resources and content that drives an emotional response. Conversely, if you do B2B marketing, you should feature items like industry news, technical information about your products and services and content that drives a logical response. 

Gather your resources

Now for the fun part: It’s time to write. Of course, this can pose significant logistical challenges. You must ask yourself the question of whether you have the external expertise already in house or if you need to obtain outside support. 

Remember, it’s not enough to have someone who can write but can’t wrap their mind around your company or industry. Similarly, having the best subject matter expert in the world won’t help you much if they can’t put pen to paper and express themselves clearly. You need both, and luckily there are a lot of options for businesses to explore. We live in a world of flexible work and side hustles; there are a ton of highly skilled freelance writers out there if you know where to look. 

Here are a few things to consider if you choose to look outside your firm for writing support: 

1. Go to where the talent is: Seek out sites dedicated to freelance work, such as Upwork and Freelance Writing

2. Do your due diligence by looking at their portfolio: A good and experienced writer will have samples of their work readily available for interested prospects. 

3. Look for past experience that overlaps with your business: Keep in mind that it doesn’t need to be an identical match; but something in the same ballpark will help the writer get up to speed faster.

4. Ask for referrals or ask them to produce a paid test piece: It is perfectly appropriate to want to look before you leap. But remember, time is money, and if you want a writer to do a trial run, it needs to be paid. 

Final thoughts: 

Never discount the power and value of effective content in helping promote your business and increase your revenues. Remember the adage: “If a tree falls in the forest and nobody is around, does it still make a sound?” Well, the same holds true for your company. You can have a fantastic business model and an unbeatable team in place, but if nobody knows about it, it’s like it doesn’t exist. Adhering to these best practices can help you build out an effective content strategy and start producing assets to build better customer relationships and drive more sales. 

Want to take things further? Learn about building a content calendar to further enhance your marketing strategy!

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This blog contains general information only, not intended to be relied upon as, nor a substitute for, specific professional advice. We accept no responsibility for loss occasioned to any purpose acting on or refraining from action as a result of any material on this blog.

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