Why you must learn how to create your own business content yourself
If ever you search online for things like ‘learn how to create your own business content’ you’ll quickly see that there are a lot of people out there who are willing to do it for you.
Whether it’s an agency, a copywriter, or even a freelance journalist (or ex-journalist) all will make a persuasive case on the lines of:
- You don’t have time to create your own business content
- You don’t know what to write about
- You don’t know how to write/film/record etc
In the case of the journalist, or ex-journalist, I would also add – 4. You don’t know what makes a good story
There will also be a compelling argument along the lines of ‘we’ll take care of it, freeing you up to do what you best’ (I’m pretty familiar with that one as I’ve used it myself).
But – though it might be counter intuitive of me to say it – I think that’s wrong
No-one knows your business as well as you
The truth is that the best person to tell your story – is you.
And there are plenty of tools available which not only allow you to write your own content, but also to film it, record it. share it, and measure it etc etc.
The reason for that is that you and your team live and breathe your business, you know exactly what it is about and crucially what questions and objections your customers and prospects present you with (that’s crucial as I shall explain later).
What you may not know is how to make sense of that in a way that engages them.
If you can create your own business content yourself, then do it yourself…but..
At the start up stage it may be a matter of necessity too, as you simply don’t have the resources to pay someone to create your content for you.
But even if you are an established business, the truth is that if you and your teams are in a position to create your content yourself, then you must learn how to create it yourself.
Your biggest hurdle will be finding the time and getting your staff on board, and you (and most importantly of all your staff) have to really commit to it. You may also not be comfortable with the technical aspects of things like recording and editing videos etc.
Creating your own content is about growing your business
Because what we are talking about here is not firing off one-off stories, press releases or blog posts. No, that’s tactical.
What we’re talking about here is strategy and about integrating content into your business. Critically it’s about using it to support your sales and customer teams (ie the people on the front line of your business). Content is not someone else’s job – it’s everybody’s job, or at least it will be soon. To do it well you are going to have to find content champions within all corners of your business, or invest in bringing them in.
Think back to when you started your business
When you first started your business, there is a good chance that you did everything yourself (it’s a well-worn cliché of start up life that you are CEO, head of sales and marketing, and chief washer upper all in one).
But then as you grew you took people on to do some of the tasks for you – either by recruiting staff or outsourcing some of the work.
Yet as you grow again, you may well seek to bring some of these things – for example finance, or marketing, may be even HR or legal in-house.
Something similar is happening with content.
Big companies already know this and often as not they have created their own in-house content teams.
A quick search while I write this (July 26 2019) for ‘head of content’ jobs on the TotalJobs website alone shows there are 1730 available positions, and 789 content editor positions, 603 content writer jobs and eight content strategist jobs. On LinkedIn search for ‘head of content’ and it pulls up 3761 roles. I suspect those numbers are only going to get bigger in the years to come.
When it comes to creating business content search has changed everything
And that is because the way we buy goods and services has been revolutionised . Nowadays we research our purchases first, which means we need as much relevant and objective information as possible before we make our decision to buy.
In essence we do our homework first.
That is a point well made in the book “They Ask You Answer” by Marcus Sheridan.
Content people love this book – and it’s easy to see why because he talks about how deploying content saved his business from near certain collapse.
His was a journey borne of necessity – but in doing so he has become an evangelist for ‘Inbound Marketing’ creating content to both attract and crucially educate prospects and buyers, which in turn has made them more likely to buy.
The benefit of this is to both qualify leads and shorten the sales cycle – which in turn means you have a greater chance of conversion – therefore saving you time, and with it both saving and making more money.
Many people seize on the fact that his formula is based on creating copious amounts of content based on answering as accurately and honestly as you can every possible customer question and query including price – a subject he says you should tackle head on.
It is not a quick fix for any business
But it is also only half of the story. As he points out, the second equally important bit is that he measures the impact of his content and in so doing can put a monetary value on how much business it has generated.
We are all publishers now
He is also a great advocate of ‘insourcing‘ content by which he means using your own staff to generate and produce your own content.
That final bit is often lost among people who have read the book, but it is critical if you are going to use content as one of the pillars for growing your business.
And he is not the only one saying it – the small business guru John Jantsch in his book Duct Tape Marketing, makes very much the same argument, namely that in today’s business world we are all publishers now.
None of that means you will never again use freelancer copywriters, bloggers and videographers in your business. It’s just that you need to understand why you are using them and how they fit into your content strategy and overall business goals.
You also need to think about whether they are a staging post as you build your business, and eventually look to bring these things in-house, or a key part of how you want to run your business (after all many businesses are perfectly happy to keep things lean and only use outside experts as and when they need them).
There is no right answer, only what works for your business.
But there is knowing how you get there, and working out for yourself a content strategy that can help you achieve your business goals and the growth you are looking for.
If you are reading this, then it sounds like you are embarking on that journey. Why not let me know how you are getting on?
If you found this post useful, then please share it below with a business who it could also help. For a no obligation chat about how to create content champions in your business call me on 07708 855 486, or email firstname.lastname@example.org.