Many of you SME owners will know what I mean when I say ‘SMEs struggle to regularly produce the right content’. I have known people who write 400-500 words per day but that’s a huge ask for any busy CEO – one piece a week is great, but even one or two pieces a month is better than nothing. But looking at many news/blog/insights pages, no posts since October after a little purple patch is incredibly common – and why is that? There are lots of reasons – nobody responsible for it, you kept putting off the brainstorming meetings, one person was trying to do too much, the inspiration and ideas dried up after the first few, you’re trying to produce great historical work, all of the above. Doing this for many clients at a time, we know it’s difficult! We thought it might help to share some tips on how to improve.
- Brainstorm and create a ‘things we know about’ spreadsheet. Have categories and think laterally. Yes you know about what your business does, but you might also know about having fun in the office, team nights out, festivals, cycling, skiing – in fact, anything you all do together as a team and hobbies of your people. You know about running a business, which leads into funding, tax & cash flow, hiring and firing. You know about your city, conferences and so on. all of that stuff is worth writing about. And spend time thinking about your customers – both by their role in their businesses and in each of the industries you target. It’s advisable to develop buyer personas as it will help structure your thinking.
- Channels – focus on two or three channels. For business to business, we recommend LinkedIn and maybe Twitter/Instagram/Facebook. LinkedIn for business development, the others for recruitment and showing your business’s personality.
- Brainstorm again and write a publishing calendar. Drop ‘big things happening this year’ into it – that could be everything from events in your industry (whether you’re attending or not) to government announcements to peak trading periods in the industries you’re targeting. Then, come up with ideas for posts you’ll write throughout the year. Some will be set-piece posts like tips, case studies, lists, interviews, others will be based on what’s happening when it comes to writing time. Mix your media too – short and long-form written pieces are great, but richer media like videos, even if it’s short videos of you speaking, will increase engagement.
- Don’t do it all yourself. Find experts within your company and allocate them the job of producing some of the content.
- And some simple advice: Don’t over-complicate it and don’t be a perfectionist – it doesn’t have to be perfect all the time, just good. And when writing, just write. Edit later and don’t worry about getting it right the first time because it’ll bog you down.
Once you’ve done a couple of brainstorms and have a list, you’ll find it far easier.