How to create content people want to share

On Wednesday 21st September the St Neots Business Network welcomed Carys Dayne. Carys has 16 years experience working in broadcasting as a TV, Radio Presenter, and Voice Over Artist. More recently Carys launched Specky & Ginge, an online marketing agency.

Carys treated us to an engaging presentation on content marketing: ‘How to Create content people want to share’. We gained invaluable insight into:

  • The formula to creating engaging content for our business;
  • what to post, when to post;
  • the one thing your content must always have;
  • other types of content to use and where to find them;
  • what makes your audience share;
  • the power of the hashtag.

Carys describes what she does really as storytelling which helps drive the visibility and awareness of the brand she is working on. After all content is really just information which needs to be crafted into something that engages the audience and builds a two-way relationship.

So when creating content we need to think of it really as a conversation and in so doing make it smart, fun, relevant, engaging and, therefore, shareable.

We heard that content needs to follow some simple rules: reflect the brand, be relevant to the audience, be promoted across multiple channels and be findable (is that a word?).

Carys went on to give some guidance when creating content:

  • Be Accountable: we all need to take responsibility for our content and should spend an hour a day on it and social media. Having a content calendar can help keep the focus and direction as well as maintain a level of consistency reflective of your brand voice.
  • Your Audience is everything: know the channel you are on so you are matching up content with audience.
  • Have killer headlines: grabbing the audience’s attention is vital but equally important is making the body of the content easily digestible (try breaking up text, use easy fonts, pictures etc)
  • What to talk about: use 80/20 rule where 20% is selling and other 80% is: adding value; solving a (audience) problem; sharing curated content with your opinion/commentary; news or stories about your business.
  • Break it down: what is topical, how are people feeling on a certain day e.g most suffer from monday-itis so they need uplifting, people are more receptive to sales content on a Tuesday and Wednesday and Friday people are thinking of the weekend and so it is the day for a bit of fun.
  • And it is not about you: leave the ego at door and humanise your content.

And remember people buy from people not a brand, so try and show your personality to build relationships

Returning to the question about what to talk about Carys shared some tips on this:

  • Get topical: e.g. google the news in your area and share/comment on it
  • Ask a question: e.g. ask what people think about your new brand colours or logo
  • Give Direction: always direct your audience to what you want them to do whether that is visit the website, watch a video, answers a survey or something else
  • Show, don’t tell: use vide and visuals with descriptive words

And most important have a clear Call to Action (CTA) on everything e.g. call, e-mail, make a booking, free material download, or just please share.

Towards the end we covered the power of the hashtag (#) which is there to ultimately help you be found and define what do you want to be found for? So for us to benefit from this we need to be as specific as possible, not use the brand name as people may not know what you are called and concentrate on keywords. Hashtags should be kept short, not overused, not be on everything all of the time, and caps can help stand out.

The talk finished with a note on ROI and how increasingly important it is to know what impact the content is having. We were directed to consider a few platforms (Buffer, Hootsuite, Klout) to help measure our ROI.

In the Q&A that followed one of the questions was about timing i.e. when to post content. We were advised to use common sense as there are no hard and fast rules. We should think about the audience and what they may be doing at different times of the day so for example: 6am to 8:50 (work day starts); lunch time crowd (11:55-1.05pm); evening 4:30 – 6:30 (clock watch before home time); night the 8-11pm (relaxing after the kids have done to bed).

And don’t be afraid to post the same content on a different day at a differ time!

Carys left us with an amusing take on the future of communication in this video:

Thank you to Carys and everyone who attended. For more information on content marketing please don’t hesitate to contact Carys.

Our next networking event is on the 19th October when we will be joined by Sam Taylor (@idodigitalstuff) who will be talking about ‘De-mystifying local SEO an beating the competition, locally’.

The St Neots Business Network meets on the 3rd Wednesday of every month at The Workstation in St Neots from 6 to 8 pm.

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