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by Harry Gardiner on 19th February 2014
A lot of small businesses, when it comes to creating creative content, feel like they’re limited by their budget. In reality, you shouldn’t really see your budget as a limit. Instead, see it as a challenge. How can you, as a small business, get the most out of your content with the funds available? Even if you’re a tiny business with the most miniscule of funds, you can still create outstanding content for relatively cheap.
‘How?’ I hear you ask. Let’s have a look. You can start by getting topical. If your business can latch onto topical news stories or things that are currently popular on the net, it’s a great way to promote your brand. Obviously, there are some limitations with this as in don’t try to shoehorn your brand into stuff that doesn’t really match it. If you can find a creative way to connect those, that’s brilliant. But if not, you can almost come off as if you’re trying too hard. Also, remember to be respectful. You don’t want to upset anyone. So if you think that your brand’s message can be misconstrued in any way when it’s attached to this message, when it’s attached to this news, don’t go there.
Another way to do it is to get visual. By using visuals in your content, you can actually make it much more interesting. There are hundreds of reasons to use visuals within your posts and your content. Not just because, as Zabisco say, 40% of people prefer visual content. The success of sites like BuzzFeed and Us Vs Th3m show you how brilliant visual content can be. So what are you waiting for? Get snapping your products. Get videoing people enjoying your services and post them online.
Another way to get very creative is to use emotional content. Now emotions can do funny things to people. If you can create content that stirs up feelings, whether that’s feelings of passion, of joy, even of anger sometimes, that’s a great way to make a conduit into getting people to act. Perfume ads use it when they show images of luxurious people. They induce feelings of envy and want. On the other spectrum, charity ads use pictures of ill children to induce feelings of sympathy and sadness. If you can create content that makes these feelings, maybe not as strong as both spectrums, but even smaller feelings on the spectrum, it’s a great way of getting people to act and invest more in your brand.
Another great way is to crowd source your content. If you’re wondering what it is you’ve got out there and what works best for your audience, just ask them. They’re an amazing resource right at your fingertips. It’s a great way of finding out who your brand advocates are and what people actually want to see. There’s no point in creating tons and tons of content that your audience isn’t actually going to be interested in. So if you get out there and talk to your audience and actually ask what’s going on. Ask them to input ideas or ask them to submit content. It’s a great way to get people involved.
Another way, and a fantastic example, is to repackage content and repurpose it. I’m not just talking about reposting old blog posts over and over again. No one wants to see that. I’m talking about taking content that’s still relevant and repurposing it into a new form, breathing life back into it. For example, if you have a blog post on guest posting that was relevant a few months ago, it’s still relevant today. Repurpose that, repackage it up. Turn it into an infographic or a Slide Share and you’ve instantly got another shareable piece of content.
So, what kinds of content can you use that’s quite creative? For a start, you can access infographics. Now these are great pieces of shareable content that are easily accessible to everyone and a great way to present information. But a lot of brands don’t tend to use these because they look at them and think they’re expensive or a waste of money. In actual fact, they’re incredibly shareable and not as expensive as you first might think. There are plenty of designers out there who are looking to get a big break and will do work for relatively inexpensive amounts, that are still producing great work. Search out there and find someone you trust and someone you think can represent your brand properly to create your infographic.
Another great way of sharing content is a presentation. If you’ve got that infographic now, you want to get the most value out of it. Why not chop it up into slides and make a great presentation out of it? It’s a great way to highlight the best information and it means you’re reusing and repurposing content over and over. Of course it doesn’t have to be repurposed content that goes into these presentations. You can also create brand new fresh ones and repurpose old blog posts and put them in there as well. The possibilities are endless.
Of course, you could always create videos like this one but if you’re slightly camera shy or don’t have the equipment, why not turn them into animations? There are loads of places out there that will animate your content for you and create really in-depth accessible animations for relatively cheap.
If you prefer, you can always do something like giveaways. It’s a great way to interact with your audience and to build up a better relationship and everyone likes receiving free things. If you want to bring a lot of attention to a certain product, why not give one away free? That will get people talking about it and start the ball rolling.
If giveaways aren’t really your thing or you don’t have anything to give away, why not sponsor something? Sponsoring either a local team or even a national, if you can get that far, would be fantastic. It will also get you involved with your local community if you do opt to sponsor a local sports team or anything like that. This is a great way to build up brand trust and build up your reputation as a fantastic small business.
Another fantastic way to interact with your audience is to send email newsletters every month. Just a little update and reminder of what’s going on at your business and what the kind of content is you’ve been producing. It’s a great way to get people interacting with your brand and to remind them that you’re still there.
Finally, of course, this should all be tied up by social media. Everything you want your brand to say and every value you want your brand to represent should be shown on your social media platforms. Think of social media as a second voice. It’s a great way to interact with your audience, to improve customer relations and to advertise new products. If you can access social media profiles and humanise your brand through creatively interacting with your audience, then you’re already two steps ahead of making creative content. There are some fantastic brands out there which would otherwise be quite dull, who are doing great things on social media such as just replying to people’s tweets in an inventive way. This gets them noticed by others and of course starts the ball rolling.
Hopefully these tips have been helpful, but for more advice and more information on creative content and SEO, be sure to click the links at the end of this video.