Creating content takes planning, routine, and plenty of ideas. But for a small business with a solo marketing manager or owner-director writing about the business, it’s hard to find time because you’ve got many other responsibilities. And it takes time to shape raw ideas into compelling content. So, how do you plan your marketing and allocate enough time to serve up consistent content? And why is consistency so important to attract new customers?
For me there are three reasons why consistency is important:
1. Extend your brand identity
2. Build trust in your expertise
3. Prove your reliability
Your brand identity shines when creating content consistent with your values
Having a strong, consistent brand identity helps to build trust with potential customers and people are more likely to buy from businesses they trust. It’s so important to reflect your business values in your marketing messages, because people are instinctive – they know when the two don’t match. Sharing the same message consistently helps to build confidence. Your style of language, brand colours and logo on your marketing materials all help people recognise and believe in your service – as long as you can demonstrate the return, of course. With consistent words and actions, you reinforce that you will meet their expectations.
Your expertise stands out when sharing it to help others
Building trust is about serving customers’ needs with your expertise, but also continuing to develop it. Sometimes businesses are afraid to admit their people are still learning; some shy away from promoting themselves as experts. The truth is, every area of knowledge is growing exponentially – it’s impossible for anyone to know everything. But your loyal customers need reassurance that you’re keeping your knowledge up to date. If you’re solving a problem for them, they don’t want to find out later (or worse, from your competitor) that your methods are outdated. They’ll only see you are learning when you share fresh information from your field. To help my clients boost their website traffic by sharing case studies, I’m researching more on key words, search engine optimisation and creating cornerstone content. My theory is, with so much content already out there, yours has to become a well-structured jigsaw puzzle – all linking back to one big picture of how you help customers!
Prove your reliability
For attracting new audiences and retaining loyal customers, consistency is key across all areas of your business. A good reputation depends on delivering excellent service and business systems like paying invoices on time, and regularly listening to employee or supplier feedback. Consistency in your marketing reminds people you are reliable. When you use consistent messages, your ideal tribe are more likely to hear or see them through the busy ‘noise’ of life. Repetition is positive, when you link the messages to the pain points which are most relevant for your audience. However, even as a copywriter, I’ve found it really tough to write about my own business to keep my marketing flowing. The solution to help me run a monthly blog was to brainstorm it with Kimba Digital and plan the first set of blogs in one session. And for my clients I do the same – we plan 3 months ahead for creating content, which links into the themes covered in their customer case studies. It still takes time to get content produced and agreed…
Planning to achieve consistency – how do you prioritise your time?
For most businesses, client work comes first, and marketing comes second. Until you hit a quiet patch. Then your focus switches back to sales and marketing with fresh energy to reach new audiences. Of course, this doesn’t allow for the time-delay in getting your message out there and the lag before people begin to respond. By planning in a weekly slot for your marketing, it becomes possible to run a consistent set of core activities. These must focus on growing your database of enquiries and following up with them. As a default, you’ll need to allocate at least three hours per week – two hours for creating or approving content and one for monitoring the results. For your social media, you’ll need daily routines, to reply and engage with your connections. If you outsource copywriting and marketing, you’ll still need a minimum of one day a month (in weekly chunks or as a single focus day) to set the direction, approve the content, and evaluate the results.
And if you’d like to include customer success stories in your content marketing plans, but you haven’t had time, this is exactly where I can help. I always create a case study blueprint before calling your clients for their honest feedback – to ensure the story will reflect your brand and meet your marketing goals. Case studies are a fantastic way to share your good news and results. And your customers’ insights provide a foundation for creating content which will help you engage new audiences and grow. To find out more, contact me or book in a free consultation.