viewing contentContent marketing is viewed as one of the most important tools in creating and maintaining a relationship with your customers and prospects.  Key to effective content marketing is the regular creation of content. With all you need to do as a small business owner, how are you to create the blogs, videos, and other material required?

Outsourcing content creation to someone who can work with you to regularly create content and integrate it into your selling process can be a good solution.

As a content creator, here are a couple of tips that will help make the process more successful.

First, make sure that you and the content creator understand how the piece is going to be used.  An effective blog or video can be deployed over a number of different social media tools and integrated into your selling process.  It is best to outline your implementation strategy prior to production.

This is especially important with video.  Often, viewers put videos either in the context of a 60-second commercial or an extended story.  But, if your piece is being used as part of the selling process, it could be more complex / technical.  The context will be provided as part of the selling effort. Alternatively, the piece could just be an example of your expertise and be part of a series or playlist. Rather than telling the story, it is just answering questions.  If you are unsure of how a YouTube video is being used, look at it in the context of the channel.

A blog post may be viewed as overly familiar for a reader looking for a press release.  If the content is to be embedded in a website, ask for a link to the page where it will be used.  For a newsletter, focus on the first paragraph.  If the beginning does not get the reader’s attention, they will not read the rest.

If you are engaging a creative person for the first time, try to supply 3 or 4 examples of content that you like.  Your examples will not be limiting, however, they will supply some context as to what you like and don’t like.

Once a concept is produced, be specific with your feedback.

Avoid these kinds of comments…

  • “I don’t like it.” When probed for specificity, the response was “I just don’t like it.” (What? The story line? Color scheme? Length? Transitions?)
  • “Where did these pictures come from?” or “Did anyone proofread this? (Seems like you are attacking, and will put the content developer on the defensive.)

For example, if you were the producer of this Cialis video,  how would you react to the comment, “So, what’s up with the two people in the two bathtubs?”

Instead, it will be more effective to start with what you liked about the piece.  People like to hear something positive before a negative.  It also shows that you read / watched the entire piece.  (This is really important.)

Point out specific instances where you feel it is not effective or would like changes made.  If there are errors in spelling or syntax, copy and paste them into your note. I spent hours trying to find errors in a piece that was critiqued with the “proofread” comment, only to discover that he was referring to someone else’s article that was linked, as opposed to the one I did.

Lastly, ask your content creator how they recommend judging the success of the content that they are producing.  An effective piece should be able to increase traffic to your website.  The impact of a prudently deployed video ought to be able to be measured in decreased number of sales calls.

Content is most effective when there is plan to integrate it into your marketing and selling efforts.  If you are not sure how to deploy your content, stop. Unused videos are like those 5,000 brochures that are still sitting in the closet – costing thousands of dollars and gathering dust!

The magic of the Internet is that most content can be easily modified.

What is an example of a great piece of feedback that you have received?