So you've got a spangly new website for your business and, even better, a presence on every social media platform in the known universe! You'll be StumblingUpon Reddits in no time and the orders will just fly in!! Except it's not going to be like that for a simple reason - presence is nothing when content is king.

A dormant website might look good but it won't increase sales. Unlike Kevin Costner, you can't just build it and they will come.

Instead, successful engagement is a delicate waltz.

It requires a detailed understanding of the benefits that your product or service delivers, the needs of your ideal customer and of the psychology that drives action.

Just being there is not enough.

I'm no scientist (us creatives are left-brain, man!) but a successful content strategy for your business looks like this:

Platform + Content + Delivery = Engagement

The resulting engagement encourages action and converts interest into sales.

For example:

Facebook + Client Testimonial + Mobile = Engagement

Simple! If only ...

Creating compelling content requires an investment in the most precious resource you have - time.

To be engaging, you have to make sure that you are sharing content that your ideal customer will find interesting.

As most web and social media content is trackable, there are observations to support what works best.

Did you know that:

  • Tweets shorter than 100 characters have a 17% higher engagement rate.
  • Facebook posts with 40 characters receive 86% more engagement than posts with more than 40 characters.
  • 94% of blog posts that are read have around 1,600 words and are under 6 minutes long to read.

Source: click here

Applying the science of creating content that sells takes time and, sometimes, money (Nestle spends $127,500 dollars A DAY on Facebook posts alone) but the return on investment can be huge.

It is worth working with a copywriter to create a content calendar that ensures you have sustainable content across all your platforms over a period of months.

If you have the capacity to create interesting content for your business, remember these key rules:

Know Your Audience

Ask some questions to create a picture of your ideal customer:

  1. How old are they?
  2. What's their gender?
  3. Where do they live?
  4. How much do they earn?
  5. What are their hopes and dreams?
  6. What are their biggest fears? What keeps them awake at 3 AM?
  7. What makes them happy?
  8. What frustrates them?

Keep Sharing!

Generally speaking, you should share at least 9 pieces of content per week (but at least 5 PER DAY is better!)

Obey The 80/20 Rule

Respect your audience and don't bombard them with the hard sell. As a general rule, 80% of your content is aimed at informing or entertaining with 20% reserved for direct sales promotion. The aim is to become a trusted source, not win annoying salesperson of the year.

Measure The Impact

Don't just fire and forget. How do you know that your words are hitting the target with your audience?

Firstly, ask them.

Every time you make a sale, ask how the customer found out about you. You will soon build up a picture of your most successful sales platforms.

This, in turn, will inform your strategy in the future.

Secondly, look at the data. Facebook, Google and Twitter make it easy to measure the reach and engagement of your content.

This is extremely informative, if used well.

Following these simple rules will help you create a winning content strategy for your business and make sure that you move the needle on the only metric that matters - sales.

Happy Writing!

Article by David Ferguson of Words Are Weapons Ltd.

NBSL LogoThis article is brought to you by NBSL's North East Business Support Fund which funds the costs of business improvement projects such as website development, marketing strategies, external consultancy – click here to find out more

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