Four lessons about creating content

by Carl Natale on April 26, 2011

Content Rules

C.C. Chapman and Ann Handley have must-follow advice for creating content for your business.

There are a few more points from Friday’s Social Media Breakfast that are worth recapping.

Create content that solves problems

This is something that has been said here before. When I say to write instruction manuals for your customers, I’m parroting C.C. Chapman’s advice to “Solve, share but not shill.”

It’s about knowing what questions your customers will ask and posting those answers in blogs, videos, tweets and articles.

How to balance storytelling and problem solving

When Sea Bags creates videos about the sails that makes their bags, how does that solve a problem? Are customers asking about the secret lives of sails? Not exactly.

But that doesn’t mean it’s not a great idea. So it’s worth doing. But how much is too much? C.C. says it’s about balance.

It’s a good question that I can’t answer. It’s a balance that depends on so many factors such as:

  • Your charisma
  • What motivates your market
  • How well you communicate
  • How interesting are your conversations

So it’s important to mix it up and see how your customers react.

How to make contests successful

C.C. has some useful ideas for contests:

  • Easy to enter
  • Easy to share entries with friends
  • Ask for feedback
  • Have fun

Facebook is great for contests because it’s easy to share participation. Especially if you require people to comment to enter. Because that entry shows up as activity on their friends’ walls.

But this is a bit tricky since contests sometimes attract just contestants. These are people who just want to win something and don’t convert to being customers.

Remove the barriers in the way of social media

Technology has made it incredibly easy and inexpensive to capture content. Yes, it takes time. But a savvy evaluation of your market will tell you where you can find your most profitable audience.

You can do this without violating any marketing department dictates. Educate everyone who is going to be responsible for conversations.

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