Content is key to a business’ success online. Frequently changing, engaging content not only adds value to your website for your visitors but a dynamic site will always be favoured by search engines.
The goal is always to persuade visitors onto your site, but more importantly to convert those visitors into clients or customers. Engaging content can bolster your reputation and increase a potential customers’ trust in your brand, and ultimately leads to increasing conversion rates.
Many websites remain static for years, and it may be difficult to justify the expense to pay an agency to produce, upload and distribute content for a business. But if you’re considering handling the process in-house, knowing where to start, knowing what constitutes valuable content, knowing where to source it and knowing how to then distribute it can also be daunting.
The truth is businesses have been producing content potential customers are likely to find both relevant and interesting for years - they just haven’t realised how it may be leveraged online.
I’m going to take a look at some of the content you’ve probably already produced offline, consider some of the activities your company already undertakes which have the opportunity to yield valuable content and also look at how all this content may be housed online.
Re-purposing Old Content…
Whether sent by email or on good old paper, content from previous newsletters, with a few tweaks, is likely to still be relevant today and suitable for distributing online. Future newsletter content should find a place on your site within a news or articles section.
Corporate videos or photos
Presentations made at seminars or industry events are often great additions to a website or can add value to your brand when uploaded to online content sharing sites like scribd.
Case Studies & Collateral
You may have case studies or pieces of research that have formed part of your printed marketing collateral or have had internal purposes. Consider how they may have value on your website or distributed off-site.
Leverage Existing Activities…
Also consider existing activities that may also have the potential to spawn relevant content.
If you sponsor a charity tell everyone about it with an article on your website. If you’re raising some money or doing some work in your community shout about it and keep your visitors up to date with it all.
Chances are you know exactly what’s going on the industry in which you work and the markets in which you operate. Have a dedicated news section on your site and, in addition to adding your new newsletter content, regularly add some industry commentary.
Heavier weight content such as technical or business benefit white papers can be leveraged further to build contact databases by requesting an email address prior to providing access to the resource. Well written white papers not only reach your target market, they may also have the ability to influence them.
Trade Shows & Seminars
If you attend a trade show or conference make an effort to do some ‘live blogging’ – that is use your company blog as a platform to report and comment on what is happening.
Think about your staff
It’s likely that there are some amazingly talented people sat nearby with some expert subject knowledge. Utilise skill sets and get staff involved in all your content generation activities. If you have subject experts have them writing the occasional article for your website or guest blog posts for other sites.
Where am I going to put all this content?
Start with your company’s website. A company blog is a great place to present and archive content. WordPress can seamlessly integrate with your existing site and provide all the functionality you could need. In addition to a blog, try to incorporate a news section and article or video archive.
There is also a wealth of opportunities to expose your content to an even wider audience by distributing online. Videos can be posted to You Tube, slideshows to scribd, photos to flickr, good article and news content to free article sites.
While I’m not suggesting that content creation and distribution strategies should be central to all your employees daily schedules, consideration of how you can increase your interaction with potential customers online by providing them with engaging content both on and off your website should certainly be given some thought, especially if you don’t want those potential customers drifting off to your competitors site where they do.
There are just two things I would suggest bearing in mind. The first is to not duplicate your content all over the internet; it will only devalue it. The second, more importantly, is to carefully consider what content you do place online – one way or another it is likely to be there for a long time.
image credit: http://www.flickr.com/photos/nightthree