Your Web Content Represents Your Business Brand
The first post in this series, Set Web Content Boundaries & Free Yourself, grew out of my work with clients around the concerns and discomfort many small business owners feel when faced with the need to use social networks and social media for business. Since the lines between personal and public keep blurring, it’s not uncommon for entrepreneurs and small business owners to feel overwhelmed. Structured exercises will make it easier to:
- Identify your target audience on the Web
- Create content that they will value
- Define the subjects and topics that you’re comfortable addressing
- Stay focused on your purpose for using a given web property
- Increase your confidence with social media and social networking
4 Ways to Map Your Web Content Boundaries for Business, the second post in the series, demonstrates different methods that you can use to map your own business web content boundaries. Drawing on social science, we explored:
- differences between an internal or external focus
- the power of shifting perspectives and standpoints
- starting a mind map with the big questions, and
- tapping our creativity and having some fun with drawing.
Moving from Content Boundaries to Web Content Strategy Phase 4
If you’re an entrepreneur or small business owner, mapping your personal web content boundaries gives you a head start on your business web content strategy. Since you’ve already given a good deal of thought to your target audiences, useful web properties, and their business purpose, it’s not difficult to adapt the process to meet other business’ needs as well.
Whether you’re writing your own website content, blogging or using other social media and social networking sites to grow your business, a content strategy will improve your results. When it comes to strategy, I prefer to work with a mind map so that I can position issues and topics in relation to one another and the project as a whole. You can also visualize your strategy using Post-it notes, free-form drawings, or any other method that you prefer.
Visioning Your Business Web Content Strategy
Developing a vision of what you want your business to be on the Web takes work, but it’s worth the effort. Taking action to bring that vision into reality starts with your content strategy.
Begin by mapping or outlining your:
- business goals
- ideal clients / customers
- existing web presence (if any).
Next, expand your focus and consider what you learned when mapping your web content boundaries in Phases 1-3.
Identify and map out your:
- target audience groups
- goals for the Web
- business brand story.
Once you have some clarity about your business and your business on the Web, use your map to guide you and capture the results in narrative form. Just sit down and write it out. Write about how you understand it all from your perspective—write in first person. You’re not writing for public consumption, you’re using the writing process to bring it all back to you and develop your personal standpoint.
Your business knowledge and your experience developing your own personal web content boundaries will serve you well when it’s time to envision a content strategy for your business.
Developing a Web Content Strategy that Works for Your Business Phase 5
When I talk to entrepreneurs and small business owners about creating a web content strategy, I like to keep things simple. Your web content strategy will help you reach your goals as long as you remember that whatever sort of business web content you create, in the end it is for:
- your audiences—so give the people what they want
- your business—to help you look good on the Web
- search engines—so that people can find your content and connect with your business.
When you want to create powerful web content for a website, social networks, or social media, it’s important to remember these 3 key characteristics as well. Powerful web content:
- is user friendly
- leverages the power of story
- takes advantage of SEO.
There’s no doubt that the Web can help you grow your business as long as you recognize that your web content is what people will respond to most of all. The days of talking about ‘brand’ in terms of logos and advertising have faded away. On the Web people judge your business brand by what you do, say, and share—on your business website and on other web properties. Have a strategy and make it count.