With so much content being produced right now, it’s important to keep in mind some best practices to ensure your content cuts through the noise and reaches your target audience. Here are a few tips you can implement today that will have a lasting impact on your content efforts.
- Always. Be. Helpful. This is by far the most important advice I have right now, especially during the pandemic. The purpose of anything that you write should be to help someone with a challenge or problem. Overtly promoting yourself is not the goal. Always think show versus tell. In order to do this, you need to put yourself in the shoes of your client. If you really consider their perspective, challenges and goals, and you will create useful, actionable content, not noise. Let this guide your entire content strategy.
- Use “earned media” whenever you can. If you have PR professionals to help you facilitate relationships with reporters, take advantage of that (always be responsive). If you’ve been quoted in publication, tell your network about it on LinkedIn and via branded email blast (to a targeted list).
- Make sure every piece of content you post serves an overall strategy. Your communications should consistently express your core message and value proposition. It goes without saying that you should always put your clients first and find ways to be helpful to them in your content. Also always think show versus tell with everything you create.
- Email is still a great way to communicate. Many people prefer to receive email communications, and it’s a direct way to reach your target audience. It’s still a simple and clean way to communicate, since it doesn’t involve social networks, Google searches or advertisements. Consider how you could use it. Maybe a monthly email update on client alerts and blog posts along with industry news and case studies.
- Be brief. Long-form articles are great to delve into a complex subject, but people don’t usually have time to read an in-depth article, or they lose attention after awhile. If you actually want your audience to read your content, especially now as we rely more on our mobile devices to consume content, keep each article/email/post on the short side between 500 and 800 words, create compelling subject lines and get to the point within the first paragraph.
- Use analytics to see what’s working well and what’s not and use that intelligence to create more of what does and less of what doesn’t.
- Find inspiration from your competitors, the Big Five accounting firms, leading corporations and financial services firms.
- Invest in a content syndicator, such JD Supra. Why? Because tools like this help you amplify your content, cast a wider net with your content reach by putting your alerts, blog posts, videos and podcasts directly into the hands of the right people.
- Use hashtags and more importantly, the right hashtags, with every social media post, especially on LinkedIn — you can find the right hashtags by typing in terms into the main search bar with the # symbol preceding it, and use online tools such as Ritetag and Hashtagifyme.
- Reuse and repurpose. Make your content work harder and smarter for you by repurposing and updating your content into: blogs, videos, podcasts, case studies, multiple social media posts, company history/milestones, collages, lists, webinars, CLE programs, email blasts, daily digests, newsletters.
You can also:
- Post the same content to multiple LinkedIn groups
- Update past articles and repost them
- Post past articles on LinkedIn Publisher (if you originally wrote the article for a third-party publication, make sure you have permission to do this)
- Find inspiration from your competitors by following their social media accounts and subscribing to their blogs and client alert lists by practice and industry
These tips enable you to take past content and make it new again with less time and effort, while being budget conscious — all it takes is a little creativity. The most important question you should ask yourself right now is: how can we support our clients and our profession during this time? Let that guide your content strategy and everything else you do.