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In a recent post I talked about how to drive traffic to your blog. It’s all very well deciding that you want to use social media to help promote your business, and in fact you might even have a pretty good idea as to why you should, and what channels you need to explore, but at some point you’ll need to think about content too.

If you follow good marketing practice answering the following questions will be a great place to start:

1) Who am I talking to – who is your customer, what do they look like, where do they live, what do they do?

2) Where are they? And how can I engage with them? What channels would be the most effective and what type of content do they prefer to consume? Video? Podcasts? Articles?

3) What do I want them to do / learn / experience about my brand? Whats the point of your activity? Signing them up for something? Getting buy in for something? For you to be taught by them so you can help them better?

4) Why should they? What will they get out of the experience?

Getting that little lot right will set you off in the correct direction. What media you’ll need to use, and what form your content will need to take.

But now you’ll have to produce that content. And its an enormous ask for some people to go from whatever it is they do every day, to becoming an author or a videographer or a journalist, or whatever it is they will need to be in order to make this all work.

A number of people have spoken to me lately about how I ‘do it’. Where do I get the time and even the inspiration for the posts I write. Time I can’t help you with, but here are some ideas for inspiration, and even an idea of what you can do if you’re a completely hopeless case and can’t do it yourself.

Overcoming ‘writers block’

This one is easy for me, I have so much to say for myself, I’ve never been short of a word or two! But I do understand some people can struggle to come up with the idea in the first place. ‘What do you write about?’ is one of the most common questions I hear. So what about….

Your own business and life lessons: What do you know? How did you learn it? Everyone has beliefs, and there are often stories that go with those beliefs. Tell us about them!

How can you solve your clients problems? Much better than talking about your business, talk about how you can fix things. And how you did previously. What did it look like? What did the client say about it?

Whats everyone else talking about? What are the hot topics in your industry? Perform a Google News search on your industry and find out. If you’ve any level of experience and competency, you’ll have an opinion I want to hear.

What do the people who work with or for you need to know? Teach them. Tell them stories about how you learned those lessons, or why its important that they learn them for themselves.

What SHOULD everyone in your industry be talking about? Go nuts! This is the chance to set the agenda

Content Curation

So easy it will feel like cheating. Simply share other people’s content. The stuff that amazes and inspires you. Become a filter for your followers. I spend time each day checking my favourite blogs, Twitter Facebook and various other news channels, so there are tons of great things I get to see. And sharing those things with my community is a matter of a few clicks. In fact, this approach will actually help shape your community and its composition. You are what you share and the content you share, its quality and relevance will attract the people it appeals too. Poor content will drive people away, great content will bring them in.

Outsource it

It seems like anything can be outsourced these days, and I came across a company the other day that will even write and supply bespoke articles to you for your blogs and Twitter feeds etc. They are called M2 Bespoke and for an average cost of about £400 a month they’ll do all this (Following copy supplied by Ben Hollom of M2)

M2 Bespoke supply Custom News feeds which deliver fresh news articles every day, covering topics that are relevant to your website and written specifically for you with unique content (Critical for SEO).
At a typical cost of around £20 per story this service will save you both time and money, enhancing your website and feeding Social Media activities at no extra cost. It can be hard to feed Social Media on a daily basis while insuring that content is both unique and thought-provoking. A custom news feed can provide industry news and reports with little or no effort required on your part, once the initial brief and topics have been defined.

Key benefits:
• Be seen as a credible authority and ‘voice’ within your industry
• Increase the time visitors spend on your site and encourage them to visit more often
• Assist SEO
• Provide engaging content for your social media activity, drawing visitors to your website
Frequently refreshing content:
On November 3, 2011 Google implemented its latest update to the Caffeine algorithm appropriately named ‘The Google Freshness Update’. This update to the search algorithm focuses on rewarding websites that offer fresh content. Our service allows you to update your website on a daily basis with relevant, topical content.
Unique Content:
Google highly ranks unique, well written and relevant content  but  producing it is easier said than done.
Keywords & Search Phrases:
All articles contain appropriate use of target search terms without appearing to be over optimised or detracting from the article by artificial use.

If you’d like to talk to M2 direct, you’ll find them here. I also have a presentation from them I’d be happy to send to anyone interested with more info. Please note, I have no commercial relationship with these guys, nor can I vouch for their ability to deliver. But I must say, it looks a great service.

So that it. What are your tips? How do you find inspiration? Where do you go for great content that you could share with all of us? As ever, I’d love to hear from you. Tweet me on @radiojaja or email me direct on [email protected] Even better, leave a comment below, and everyone can join in.