When running a small business there is a lot of competition. How do potential customers find you on the web? To assert your business as an industry leader, you need to be the guru of crisp, crisp content.

So what is content? Content is a message transmitted in different forms of communication. The content appears in the form of articles, videos, and blogs intended to engage and educate your customers and attract new business.

For small business owners who are new to creating great content, here are some starting points.

• Research

Read books and publications about your industry. Research your competitors’ websites and find holes in their content. Find out what they are not telling your customers. Don’t just sell to your customers. Recognize what their needs are and provide solutions to their problems. Ask probing questions. Give them information about why they are paying too much for certain products.

• Headlines that take away caution

Technology has made us all attention deficit. When people go online, they usually just scan websites. You have seconds to get and keep their attention on your website. The headline must be avant-garde and honest. For example, I wrote an article on how to build an authentic personal brand. Instead of a long headline, I simply asked, “Are you real or fake?” in my headline I intended to hit a nerve in my reader, and it worked.

• Conferences and Networking Events

Reading books and publications is a great start, but you should attend events hosted by people in your industry with decades of experience. If you’re in business, you’ll still be a student. These events are useful because you will be able to meet customers, but you will also be able to generate ideas for videos and articles for your website.

• Social media platforms

Social media is an ultimate way to reach millions of people in the most cost-effective way. Using social media can be helpful if you are strategic in your approach. Join online communities in your industry. Select two strong social media platforms and learn how to use them. If you have too many platforms, it becomes difficult to maintain a dialogue with readers. Test products and give away to your customers. Engage with your customers by asking them what content they want to see.

• Audio and video content

Audio content is in the form of radio and podcasting. By using tools like SoundCloud, you can create your podcast. It’s a more intimate way to communicate on a small platform. You can also invite guests to your podcast. Video is a way to reach more people and show your face. One popular video platform is YouTube. The downside to video is that you’ll open yourself up to positive and negative feedback, whether it’s warranted or not.

Please note that the content needs to be updated regularly. As your business and industry change, there will always be new topics to write about. If you’re passionate about your business, do whatever it takes to stay ahead of today.

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