How do small businesses make great content?
Content is the vehicle that marketing uses to engage with consumers.
Hosted by Kevin Dieny
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[00:00:00] Kevin Dieny: Hi, welcome to the Close The Loop podcast. I’m your host, Kevin Dieny, and today we’re going to be talking about how businesses create great content. To help us dive into this awesome episode I have a former colleague of ours and close friend, her name is Cassie Ciopryna.
[00:00:17] Kevin Dieny: Cassie is the content manager at MaryRuth, which is a vitamin and supplement company and was previously the marketing content specialist here at CallSource for three years. So we know each other fairly well. Cassie has a BA in English and MFA in creative writing, and has been working in content marketing for over five years. So welcome Cassie.
[00:00:37] Cassie Ciopryna: Hi, happy to be here. Hey Kevin.
[00:00:39] Kevin Dieny: Yeah, this is great. We’ve been waiting to get you on here. And this is one of those topics I thought you’d be able to really help me out with, which is, you know, how small businesses can make great content. Which kind of puts us in the discussion about process, like how they actually make it.
[00:00:57] Kevin Dieny: Having the process is fine, but you want to make great content. So there’s, so those putting those things together is such a puzzle, is such a difficult thing. So why is that so difficult for companies to figure out?
[00:01:09] Cassie Ciopryna: Yeah, and I think even a step before that is, what I’ve seen in small businesses, is why should I even create content? What does that even mean? A lot of small businesses may think, you know, I’m just, I’m getting through my day to day. I’m just getting through each day.
[00:01:26] Cassie Ciopryna: And what is content going to do for me? I get referrals or, you know, basing some of their business on that. And content doesn’t always have a direct, like ROI that you can measure. Which I think is another barrier of why people may not think it’s important to focus on content.
[00:01:45] Cassie Ciopryna: But of course, I believe in content marketing and, uh, I highly believe that having a good content marketing strategy will help your business in the long run. It might be smaller, slower, incremental changes, but it’ll make your life easier in the long run. And it will hopefully help you acquire more customers.
[00:02:09] Kevin Dieny: That’s great, yeah, so, and you mentioned something really important that we probably should cover. Right? And lets really ground things. And that is what is content or maybe better, what are the different formats that content can take? What format does content take and what is it exactly?
[00:02:27] Cassie Ciopryna: Yeah, so obviously having a website that has content for you, I would hope by 2022, that any business has a website, at least. Like the most basic one that they could do. So having a website and having, at least a homepage that explains your business and about us page. That’s like very basic straight forward from there.
[00:02:49] Cassie Ciopryna: I always recommend that you have a blog and that might seem overwhelming to some people, but you don’t have to post on your blog, every day or have, you know, so much. Even if you’re posting at least once a month on a blog that you have some content on there, as well as having social media profiles. So you have to know your audience and your customer profile.
[00:03:17] Cassie Ciopryna: Who’s going to be using your company. And not just who’s historically been, but you have to also keep in mind, millennial age, Gen Z. If you’re, if you’re a plumber, you know, you could have 20 year olds that need your services. So you’re not just going to that one demographics. So where, where are your audiences online?
[00:03:41] Cassie Ciopryna: Like, are they on Facebook? Do you have a lot of people in that age range? I would say Facebook is a lot of, uh, 30 to 50 or 30 to 60, a little higher age range. Instagram, Tik Tok would be like the very new, which you don’t have to get started with that. That’s getting a little, but at least have like a Facebook and Instagram, maybe a Twitter and share on those as well to get people to follow you.
[00:04:10] Cassie Ciopryna: You can make Infographics or a YouTube. I always recommend if you make one piece of content, repurpose, repurpose, repurpose. So if you have a blog, make that into a video. Make that into a little infographic. Send that out in an email, um, yeah, I might be getting ahead of myself here with going into that.
[00:04:32] Kevin Dieny: No, it’s great the types of content vary, but with content you have to think about, okay, I’m making something. Yeah, there’s a purpose behind it. To me, everything that you make, you want to also be thinking, okay, well, I’m going to make this, but how am I going to promote this? I’m not just going to write this and save it as a word doc on my computer.
[00:04:51] Kevin Dieny: It’s gotta be written and then put out there somewhere like a website is one format, one place that a lot of content may go because you know, you think I’ll get a lot of people are going to go through there. Also, like you mentioned, there’s okay, there’s lots of different customers or consumers or patients or whatever it is that may be looking up their questions. Maybe looking up the types of services that they’ll find me.
[00:05:16] Kevin Dieny: So wherever they go, wherever they are, what kind of message or content basically are you going to make? So when you promote it, that’s almost to me as important as the creation of it, because you create it knowing, okay, going to want to diversify it in a multiple places. Or at least I’m going to be making this and I’m going to put it into this format.
[00:05:40] Kevin Dieny: Social media is what we’re talking about as like a promotional channel. Those are far and wide reaching, but there’s a lot of other types of promotional channels. So if you’re planning on, oh, if I’m going to make something consider, okay, I’m going to promote it as much as in as widespread as I can.
[00:05:54] Kevin Dieny: If that’s a local community event, a direct mailer I’m going to send out, on a website post, I’m going to put it in my Google My Business, I’m going to put it on social media. There’s a lot of places to put it. Which is another thing the business to figure out, right. Where are my consumers?
[00:06:13] Kevin Dieny: To make great content, you have to understand your consumers really well. So do you have any tips for breaking that down? Like, okay, I kind of know who we typically sell to. I kind of know my typical, maybe my target audience, but to go from that, to making great content for them.
[00:06:29] Kevin Dieny: Do you have any tips for that?
[00:06:31] Cassie Ciopryna: Yeah, understanding who your customer base is, and who they really are not to you who you think they are. I would just hope that you have some data on every time you have someone. But if you could look into what types of people and where are they, online or offline if you’re doing traditional marketing.
[00:06:52] Cassie Ciopryna: Discovering what types of things would they be reading in their regular time outside of here, or if they are looking for my business, what would they be searching for? What’s their intent there? Again, I’ll just go back to a plumber example, if, if someone’s going to find you, what might they search for first? Am I, why is my toilet leaking?
[00:07:16] Cassie Ciopryna: Why is my sink dripping? These are bad. Like, nah, I mean, that’s what I would think. I don’t really know a lot about plumbing, so I kind of have to go to like a very high level of what your customers or patients would be searching for to even find you in the first place. Maybe even before they get to fully like meeting your services, you want them to find content that you’ve written that will help their intent, their search intent.
[00:07:48] Cassie Ciopryna: So like I said, having a blog article. First you’d want to think of what are the questions that you get already when people call in? Help yourself by making content out of that. So you’re not repeating the same things over and over. Or if you’re going to someone’s house and you have technicians going there, what questions are they getting?
[00:08:08] Cassie Ciopryna: Get that information from them. And that’s an easy way to start making some content for your blog, which then should help with some organic search terms, because those should be highly searchable things that they can come across you.
[00:08:22] Cassie Ciopryna: Even, like you said, sending something in direct mail. If you’re sending out coupons say and ValPack or something like that, how could you like tie some content into there? Or, you know, QR codes are a big thing now, like get them back to your website. Basically that’s just going to show that you’re a more reputable company.
[00:08:40] Cassie Ciopryna: You know what you’re talking about and people should want to use you because they already have a little bit of trust in you from the content.
[00:08:51] Kevin Dieny: The element of trust is huge. And so if we take that little step further, just so we can really break that down too. Is why does let’s say an article or a video or something that a business puts out there to help people with their problems or help people with an issue that they’re encountering, with the fear they have, with a doubt.
[00:09:14] Kevin Dieny: You know, wondering, why should I use a company? Why do I need help with this? Or do I even have a problem with this? Okay, I’m aware I have a problem, but I don’t know what the solutions are. And I know that there’s I have, I know that plumbers exists. I know I have a leaky pipe, so which plumber am I going to use and what criteria should I use to make those choices?
[00:09:32] Kevin Dieny: How does content help with trusting a business?
[00:09:37] Cassie Ciopryna: Yeah, well, I’d say if you’re putting out quality content, that’s answering the questions that your consumers may have about a service that you provide, then you’re already one foot in the door getting them one foot in the door, by showing like, hey, you have this problem. Look, I’m helping you for free messaging to content marketing should be like free, accessible content for people to see that you’re providing.
[00:10:08] Cassie Ciopryna: So you’re already giving them a little something. So then hopefully they’ll give you something. If you have, you know, all these blog articles or YouTube videos or social posts, helping, giving tips for them to do things on their own. When they really have a problem, that’s a little further than that, they’re going to be like, oh, I saw this article by so-and-so and you know, they helped me out.
[00:10:29] Cassie Ciopryna: So they’ll probably, it just makes you feel like you, you know, that brand a little bit. Kind of helps you stay top of mind. And it’s not just in the sea of everyone else. You’re going to have competition out there that does the same thing as you. So what are you going to give to get people to want to go with your business?
[00:10:51] Kevin Dieny: Yeah, that’s a really interesting point too. In the sea of your let’s say your industry, your company locally, let’s, let’s say you’re a local company. There’s a geographic line around some area that you typically serve. So in that range, there are probably competitors. I mean, if you’re a monopoly.
[00:11:08] Kevin Dieny: Fantastic. So you’re a business in that range. You have some competitors. So are they doing content? Where are they doing it? How are they doing it? You can possibly one up there, you know the quality of what they’re doing. A lot of times I look at it like, instead of trying to make a better video than they did. I look at it like, is the video really answering the question, delivering the value.
[00:11:32] Kevin Dieny: And the by value I mean, like there’s someone who watches this, getting out of it, what they need. I think it’s almost better competitively, competitive content wise, to try to compete on quality, like deliver something that’s a better value, more relevant, more specific. You may say, okay. I’ve, I’ve jotted down all the questions customers have and it’s like 25 for 30 or something.
[00:11:57] Kevin Dieny: I would almost go, okay, well, are they specific enough? Let’s say the question of like, do plumbers fix leaky pipes and be like, obviously yes, but you may be like, okay, well let’s, let’s take that a step further and go do plumbers fix leaky pipes for residential or for homes or, you know, 24 7 or in the middle of the night. There might be other angles to it that make it more specific.
[00:12:22] Kevin Dieny: So if your competitors, okay, I got these 10 answers and learned like, ranking really well for them, or that seems to be working out well for them. And it’s really a competition for you. I might be like, hmm, how could we one up that content. So do you have any other ideas for that?
[00:12:39] Cassie Ciopryna: Yeah, and like I said, quality is really important because I’ve seen, especially with certain SEO agencies, SEO fundamentals, no search engine optimization. Which is pretty much what makes Google like you and show your website to people searching. But I I’ve definitely seen some tactics where people are just figuring out okay.
[00:13:04] Cassie Ciopryna: Let’s make the title of this blog or this video about this, but then they kind of skirt around really answering that. So I think it’s important if you’re going to be putting out content that you actually make sure you’re answering the questions that your title says, it’s going to be. Yeah, don’t make your title like four ways to fix a broken pipe.
[00:13:26] Cassie Ciopryna: And then you’re just kind of saying like, you have to call me. You want to actually give them some real tips, and like, if those don’t work, then, you know, call us. Or if you want a professional to do it, if you’re too scared to do it yourself, unless you’re a little soft CTA in there, but we can, we can get to the CTAs later.
[00:13:44] Cassie Ciopryna: But yeah, having quality content, is definitely important. First of all, and to differentiate it from your competitors, like you said, going that one step further, if you add on to that, keyword search. Now you’re saying like for residential areas or for businesses, you might have less people searching.
[00:14:05] Cassie Ciopryna: Those terms are less people interested in, in that, but you’re going to have higher quality of people that are reading that and interested in that. So once you have your like, bigger pieces kind of done this when you want to start narrowing down even further or within an article or within a video, get the high level and then drill down each time to also hit those people that are searching for a very specific problem.
[00:14:36] Kevin Dieny: Yeah, yeah, and another thing you mentioned earlier was why businesses see it as difficult to make all this content? And you gave a fantastic, response to that about, okay, it’s hard to track the ROI on it. So, um, I’m going to ask you about this. So how can businesses get better at tracking the ROI of their content? Because they’re going to want to justify it.
[00:15:02] Kevin Dieny: Right. Like it might be difficult to be like, okay, I put out a piece of content, I get 20 or 50 more, a thousand more visitors. Okay, but, how should businesses be approaching it? Before the start making content, even it is a consideration, right? If it’s keeping them from making it, then it’s very likely that they’re going to want to be like, okay, do I have to buy some fancy mega a tool out there to, you know, track my content?
[00:15:29] Kevin Dieny: Or are there ways a business can have some idea of how their content is performing?
[00:15:36] Cassie Ciopryna: Yeah, well, I would default back to you for a lot of these haha or a hit a list over here. But, so Kevin put together all my reports for me at CallSource. But definitely if you have a website, I’m assuming you have Google analytics. There is a lot of free training in Google Analytics out there.
[00:15:55] Cassie Ciopryna: If you could take the time or someone on your team can take the time to do like the most basic ones. Like seeing how are customers coming into your website. So if you start making blog articles, you can start seeing, are they finding your website through those blogs or are they you know, finding you from searching plumbers near me. And they go to your website and you see where the jumping around on their website. Are they going to some of those pieces of content?
[00:16:19] Cassie Ciopryna: And then what happens after that? Are they dropping off? Are they, clicking on, are they filling out the form for information? Are they calling you, if you have call tracking numbers on certain pages on there? Are they calling from that number that, you know, they found you through there? If you’re sending something out like a direct mail piece, again, if you have a specific phone number on there that you could attribute back to that, uh, that could help.
[00:16:48] Cassie Ciopryna: I mean, even, even though it’s a little more traditional advertising, you could say like having content on your work trucks or having a billboard or having certain pieces over there, you could provide more than simply here’s, $50 off your first appointment with us. That ad you could have something knowledgeable for them in there too.
[00:17:12] Kevin Dieny: Yeah, yeah, I know it was a little bit of a technical question, but I want us, I was really curious how you would answer because you know, tracking is important, at least knowing, okay, how many people have seen this? Because let’s say you spend tons of money making a piece of content and you don’t promote it properly.
[00:17:32] Kevin Dieny: Then in some essence, it’s like, okay, well, if only five people, or maybe only internal people saw this thing. That it’s like a man there’s a big swing and a miss to me. So, and then if you do have something many that tons of people saw, just like you mentioned. Okay, well, how did they see that? Traffic brought them there or what format, what channel, what is it about that that drove so many to it?
[00:17:56] Kevin Dieny: And then, the lifetime of the content is also maybe a possible consideration if you’re like, okay, I’m going to slap this on, my car, my truck, my billboard, whatever. And it’s going to be on there for, you know, 10 months let’s say or years then, you know, in that span of time, that’s a long time to, to get the return.
[00:18:18] Kevin Dieny: You can track the return on all this stuff. Like you mentioned, there’s tracking numbers, there’s QR codes, which provide tracking. There’s website analytics, Google Analytics is free and yeah, there’s a little bit of a learning curve, but you could probably Google, okay, how to track, you know, content on my website and there’s answers for that.
[00:18:36] Kevin Dieny: And it’s actually not too complicated and you can get some basic reports going. Now, how you turn that into ROI, right? Between content and ROI is a conversion to me. It’s like always in there. So like you mentioned, okay, if they fill out a form, they call, they chat, they visit a site and they have some interaction with you or they go to a place.
[00:19:00] Kevin Dieny: All those things are the conversion point and you could say, okay, I know those came from content. And then once I have them, you know, as a conversion, now I could see that they bought something from me. And then you have that picture and it’s so awesome. And then you can go, okay, if I can get ROI on my content and I have these questions, then I’m ready to start making this stuff.
[00:19:21] Kevin Dieny: So a question I think I’ve heard a lot is look, we’re a small company, I’m the owner and there’s not a lot of us. How on earth are we going to make the volume of content that we would like to make? How, how is that going to work?
[00:19:37] Kevin Dieny: Like they look at it, like, I’m just, I’m the only one that’s going to write this. Or I’m the only one that’s going to create this. I don’t know if I can ask my other employees. I don’t know, if I should go outside my company to ask people to write. How do small companies get the content made?
[00:19:54] Cassie Ciopryna: Yeah, so once a company kind of realizes or accepts like, okay, content is going to help me and is willing to start producing content then yeah. That’s definitely another barrier, uh, of entry is people being like, I don’t know how to do that. Or, you know, I’m not a great writer, so I can’t write a blog post or this or that.
[00:20:17] Cassie Ciopryna: And look, some people aren’t. And that’s okay. You don’t have to have, if you only have a few people there, you don’t have to have the perfect, you know, grammatically correct, everything is by the book blog. If it’s like a personal voice and they know that could be to your benefit also, it’s like, wow, the owner of this company is writing this on here and helping out.
[00:20:43] Cassie Ciopryna: If there’s only a few of you, I would say put time into your schedule. Block some time out, even if it’s once a week or once every other week, like, okay, the end of the day on Friday, two hours, I’m going to, I’m going to start figuring out, like, what are those questions from customers? And write some answers to that. Even if it’s, you’d make an FAQ page on your website, that’s going to help people.
[00:21:07] Cassie Ciopryna: If you absolutely don’t want to do that, make videos then. Have your tech at the, on a call, like walk through something they’re doing. And make a YouTube video that you can then share. You could just do smaller little if a blog post seems like very overwhelming, just start making your social media and write little posts twice a week or once a week.
[00:21:30] Cassie Ciopryna: Some kind of like regular schedule of sharing. If you find out maybe there’s someone on your team who does like writing or does have some ideas outside of what you would think that could help you out, that you may have never considered as that person. There’s, that’s all free.
[00:21:47] Cassie Ciopryna: Obviously, if you’re using people internally, if you absolutely, do not see a way of making any sort of content internally. There is websites that you could hire people for fairly cheap, like fiverr.com, there’s writer access. I know you can get freelance writers on there, but it doesn’t.
[00:22:06] Cassie Ciopryna: If you search through so many websites and you could, you can get a good piece of content, have a whole outline of what you want from a blog or, or from social media posts written for you for fairly cheap.
[00:22:17] Kevin Dieny: Yeah, I really like all that. I am always an advocate of, look, you have people that work for you and your company. Maybe put up the suggestion or make it a requirement that you’d like everyone to write an article once per quarter, or something. Depending on what the role is and stuff and, and give them, pose them the question, right?
[00:22:38] Kevin Dieny: If you’re a dentist, pose them a question like, why do you think people are afraid of coming to the dentist? Why is it important to go to the dentist? Or give them the list of questions that you have figured out, I think, or ask them, what have you heard? What are the main questions you hear?
[00:22:53] Kevin Dieny: Okay, good, come up with five, write about one. I think using your internal resources is I would go to almost primarily first. After that got to know there’s other resources, like you’ve mentioned out there and if you don’t mind, I mean, you have a pretty good story about evolving roles.
[00:23:12] Kevin Dieny: Maybe you could share how you went from one role to now entering into the content world, for us?
[00:23:19] Cassie Ciopryna: Yeah, so, I mean, I might be different cause I was like trying to get there, but hey, maybe you’re maybe somebody having your front desk, this is the same thing. They really want to write and they want to do, if you have a good self-starter sort of person working for you, that’s the best. Yeah, i, uh, so I started at CallSource in customer care.
[00:23:38] Cassie Ciopryna: I moved out to California, I was like, I need a job. I was in customer care, but I had my English degree in creative writing. So I knew that’s what I ultimately wanted to do. Once I was a account manager, business advisor, I just started creating some content on my LinkedIn, that I thought would be helpful for some of our customers.
[00:24:00] Cassie Ciopryna: If you start getting questions enough in a certain position, like I said, it’s to your benefit to make content for that. Do you want to keep reiterating the same thing over and over? Why not just write it down and then you have a document that you could share with people or like read off of it’s going to make your life easier.
[00:24:17] Cassie Ciopryna: It’s going to be beneficial for, the customer as well. So I started creating some of those documents when I was a business advisor. This was before our CallSource even really had a marketing team. If you’re a small business, you probably don’t have a marketing team. So you have to just be your own little marketing team.
[00:24:35] Cassie Ciopryna: As I started writing those, and we had marketing, I wiggled my way into our marketing team at CallSource. So, that’s how I got in there. And maybe you have someone on your team like that, that you’re not, you don’t even know they have these, uh, skills that you could be utilizing.
[00:24:55] Cassie Ciopryna: And if they have a little downtime now and then to work on some extra things, maybe even, like you said, it might be hard to like force people to do stuff and be like, Hey, if someone gives us, we’ll have a raffle or you get a little $50 bonus gift card for doing this or figure out ways to incentivize people to want to help you create some content.
[00:25:17] Cassie Ciopryna: And I also want to mention it’s a different type of content, but don’t, don’t sleep on user generated content as well. Your customers are going to give you some of the best quotes and some of the best content that you’re going to want to use. Testimonials, make sure you have a Yelp page, make sure you have whatever review platform is known in your industry.
[00:25:42] Cassie Ciopryna: Like Angie’s lists for certain people, but taking information from there and weaving that into your content as well. It’s just further social proof that, you know, your company knows what you’re talking about and your customers trust you as well.
[00:25:57] Kevin Dieny: Yeah, the user generated content mentioned is really key. I, gosh, that can be such a hard one to figure out. But when you can figure out the ask, I think. And you figure out, okay, when am I going to ask, how am I going to ask? If you have those things figured out, then you can get the user-generated, getting someone to leave a review for you is fantastic.
[00:26:18] Kevin Dieny: It’s a big deal to be able to get a fairly strong stream of incoming reviews coming in. You can incentivize it and be like, hey everyone, you know, whoever gets the most reviews at this period of time, we’ve, we’ve done this too.
[00:26:33] Kevin Dieny: What tends to happen is it falls off when the contest isn’t running. So it’s like, okay, well, how do we get this process so that it’s sustained and it’s going, cause user generated content, like you mentioned is fantastic.
[00:26:45] Cassie Ciopryna: Yeah, I mean, if you have like an office that people are coming into having a little thing in there, like I said, you can incentivize, customers or patients to leave a review. Of course you cannot. It’s not like legal to say, give me a five-star review. And then you get this gift card. You could only ask for their opinion, whatever that opinion may be, uh, or like said a proactive way.
[00:27:07] Cassie Ciopryna: If you have texts going out to a house that they have on their card, like leave me a review and you could have contests, or it could always be something like that. I think it’s easier to be ongoing. Every review you get you get point towards this, or you get a gift card here always.
[00:27:25] Cassie Ciopryna: And on your website, of course, just having on there, places for people to leave reviews, I think is you just want to be, it sounds bad to say be in people’s faces, but you’re not in their face so much because people go all over the place.
[00:27:38] Cassie Ciopryna: The more that they see you, if they see something on your website and they may see it when they search on Google and then they see it, on Facebook. Then you just stay in people’s minds more, especially when we are delivering content that they enjoy that they’re learning something from.
[00:27:53] Cassie Ciopryna: So getting those reviews, there’s a lot of organic ways to get them. You just have to put in that little, little bit of effort.
[00:28:04] Kevin Dieny: Let’s say we’ve checked off, like, I look at it like, okay, there’s content. And when users generate the content for you, that might be like the dream scenario. That to me would be like, ultimately, like if they are willing to like, make a video for you, write an article for you, share their experience.
[00:28:20] Kevin Dieny: And just talk about what they experienced to help other people make that decision. That’s huge. And on the, the least. Let’s say the least valuable to me is just the company brand talking about itself. Like to me, that’s, that’s fine, but it’s not nearly as powerful, I think, or as valuable or as interesting to people who are online who are, you know, everyone’s researching everything.
[00:28:44] Kevin Dieny: So the best kinds of content to me are closer to user-generated. But there is in-between stuff. And like you mentioned, like the owner of the company. The doctor who runs the clinic or who works there. Doctors in the industry or someone of renowned kind of like influencers, right. There is influencer in some industries, in some industries, it gets a little foggy.
[00:29:07] Kevin Dieny: Like what the heck would an influencer be in the plumbing space, but there are, there are home service influencers. They look at people and go, oh yeah, I would trust that if they told me things. So there are, there might be opportunities to tap into influencers.
[00:29:23] Kevin Dieny: It’s not exactly like you go out and you shop for people to influence. So I’d say it’s a little difficult to find an influencer to be like, oh yeah, I love this brand or this company or this service and this, I always go to them, especially when you’re a local small business.
[00:29:40] Kevin Dieny: But you as the owner might be seen as like the influencer, because you started this business. You stand behind it. So maybe you’re a pretty good influencer of it, but do you have any ideas or, tips or anything in that influencer category? Cause I’d say it’s still better than the brand itself talking and it’s, but it’s not quite as good as the consumer, end of the day.
[00:30:01] Cassie Ciopryna: Hmm, well, one of the things you said too, that’s super important to point out is don’t just talk about yourself. That’s not good content marketing. You don’t want to say here’s my company, and this is like, you know, you want to show me what you do and what sets you apart? What are your unique value propositions?
[00:30:18] Cassie Ciopryna: But ultimately it has to be like people, people don’t care about what you do. People care about how are you going to help them with their need. So that’s what you need to show in your content. That’s why you’re not saying, you know, five reasons why XYZ company is the best plumber to have. Who’s going to want to read that? They want to see five ways, to, help fix your toilet.
[00:30:46] Cassie Ciopryna: I can’t, I just keep going with the plumbing thing, but they want to see how you help them. How are your services something that’s going to benefit make their life easier? That’s all they’re looking for. They’re not looking for information about you. And some brands try to be like very brand centric about themselves.
[00:31:03] Cassie Ciopryna: And you need to, if you’re just talk in ‘you’ not in ‘I’ if you see that you’re writing and you have an email or you have a blog post saying, we, we, we, we do this. We could help that. We’re so great. You’ve got to switch those around to you. Like you have this need and we can help you fix it. But ultimately you should always make sure you’re like talking to the consumer, not talking about yourself.
[00:31:32] Cassie Ciopryna: So that is something that some people do incorrectly. So when you said that, um, that’s definitely one. I forget what your second question was now.
[00:31:42] Cassie Ciopryna: Yes, influencers. Yeah, like you said, you don’t have to have an outside influencer, your owner or someone on your team could be your little influencer. If you’re someone that has this knowledge and you have X amount of years experience. You know what you’re talking about.
[00:31:59] Cassie Ciopryna: You are an influencer, they should trust you. Especially if you are providing content that shows you’re trustworthy and that you do know what you’re talking about. Then someone might start following you, maybe.
[00:32:10] Cassie Ciopryna: Yeah, maybe even for your socials, you have a specific person that, that gives out little personal touch signs off, or, you know, like, oh, Hey, it’s Bob here, owner at XYZ Plumbing. And here’s your Monday tip. There you go. Now they’re looking out for Bob’s Monday, tip Facebook. You could even join, if you’re very local, facebook groups that, people are in.
[00:32:36] Cassie Ciopryna: That you could organically, not like salesy things promote super promotional, but you could post some of your, share some of your blogs in there, some of your videos in there. For the community, or figure out like what is on the community.
[00:32:49] Cassie Ciopryna: Next door is like a cool app. You can post little things on there. And if you’re just sharing for the sake of sharing information with people, and then they’re going to find. If you’re sharing, just so that you could make that sale, but that’s going to come across. So you want to really just provide that value.
[00:33:07] Cassie Ciopryna: And is there someone, is there someone in your community, that, people do pay attention to and listened to, then maybe how could you get a collaboration with that? Maybe you can get a guest post on your blog from them. Or just a quick little interview that you could share.
[00:33:24] Cassie Ciopryna: Maybe it’s even just a person that, you know, if you know your audience really well. Like I said, we think we talked about things. They’re like, what I listened to, what do they read? Who’s following you. If you have social and then who are they following? There’s so many, like mommy, influencer blogs, you know, they’d have stuff around the home.
[00:33:43] Cassie Ciopryna: Maybe someone like that, even saying we used this company, we loved them, that’s enough. Or like they did this for us. They look at this article, they shared. That’s an influencer. Doesn’t have to be, people hear influencers and they think of celebrities or super famous. Like a local person as your influencer is probably going to work better for your small business, because it’s more like locally trusted in the community.
[00:34:11] Kevin Dieny: When you’ve got your sources figured out, like, okay, I’m going to create this and you have the question figured it out. And you’ll have the idea of how you’re going to report on it, figured it out. Then it gets to that point where it’s like, okay, well now we’re going to create this, someone’s going to write this or whatever, but how do I make it better?
[00:34:26] Kevin Dieny: How do I make it as great as it could possibly be? And there’s there’s components of, I think virtually almost every piece of content. And that is, there’s almost always like a punchline, headline, question. There’s, there’s almost something that leads there’s sometimes like a visual there’s sometimes like a video.
[00:34:43] Kevin Dieny: There’s something, you know, of showy, contextual-ness. Then there was almost always like the body of it, right? The meat of it, the answer, the response, the whatever it is. So if there’s like these three components, let’s say we just make it very simple.
[00:35:00] Kevin Dieny: Right, but if we break it, if we have those three pieces, how does a business go? Okay, now I have my process in mind, how do we make the best content possible?
[00:35:10] Cassie Ciopryna: Yeah, so I would just suggest start with a blog. Make a blog post, except have your 20 questions that you know people are asking written down and. Have break those out until you make little, like here’s a centralized, like a little web, here’s like a main question. And then what are some questions that would come off of that question that are related. In build your blog, like around this little content web?
[00:35:36] Cassie Ciopryna: And you could even, there’s like free websites, I think, to make little webs like that too. So say if you’re doing, like, why is my toilet leaking? Here’s your blog article. Why is my toilet leaking? What’s all the questions that can come out of that. Make sure you write all those down. So why is my toilet leaking?
[00:35:51] Cassie Ciopryna: That’s going to be your title. Maybe put that into Google, look at page one, click on every single article on page one and see what is their title and what are all their little subheaders in there. And write them down for every article. Of course, what’s in the number one spot. You want to make sure you’re answering all the questions they are. But then you also want to go further and add even more.
[00:36:12] Cassie Ciopryna: What are all the other articles asking or talking about as well, so that you could have like a mega piece here. That’s talking about every possible scenario. And also the, if you’re Googling just like other questions people ask about that, that’s a really great part to utilize.
[00:36:30] Cassie Ciopryna: But even just using the other questions, people ask, just have like every variation of that in your blog. And then you could, you could break out into smaller pieces from this one piece. And repurpose just some of those little sections and you know how people read. You don’t want to have a big chunk, just like one long paragraph.
[00:36:53] Cassie Ciopryna: No, one’s going to want to read that. So, know I think if you read an article, I mean, even in journalism, newspapers, I think they’re set their paragraphs could be only two sentences long before you have a line break in the next paragraph. So try to play with that. Use your headers for each question, like question, answer, question, answer.
[00:37:12] Cassie Ciopryna: And they’re also going to like that in Google too. So when they’re, you know, figuring out if you have a good article and that’s how you might get some of those like top search parts or like the small snippets that shows just one little part there that you’re answering really well.
[00:37:28] Cassie Ciopryna: Also forums like Quora or, I mean, if you go on Reddit, if people are asking questions, answering in there could also help or be good research for you to see what other questions people might be asking that you should include.
[00:37:42] Cassie Ciopryna: And in that blog article. So even if you have, if you make this one big, do one a month or one every other month, like on a certain topic, then you have, you should have enough content you can pull from there for all of your. Social media posts or making a video on something, or you could use, um, or some tools like Canva.
[00:38:03] Cassie Ciopryna: If you want to make a small little infographic that you don’t have to be a graphic designer to figure out, cause I’m not a graphic designer, I’ve done little things on there. I’m like, I’ll write the words and give it to someone else to make it look pretty. There’s ways that you can figure out to make other little stuff make, if you want.
[00:38:18] Cassie Ciopryna: If you have an Instagram. Pull a quote out and make that a little image for your Instagram to share, or Facebook. And then people liked that little quote and now they want to click in and read more. Making that larger piece on a specific topic that really just dives as deep as it can into that topic is going to help you give you more content to then reuse from there.
[00:38:41] Cassie Ciopryna: You don’t need to feel like you need to create a whole new piece of content, every single week or every single time that you’re sharing something.
[00:38:51] Kevin Dieny: So let’s say the business loves this idea. And they want to start making content, but let’s say they’re not the smallest type of business. Let’s say that they’re considering, I’m thinking I’ll just, I will hire a content manager to oversee content.
[00:39:07] Kevin Dieny: So if you could, since you’ve exhibited this role. What are some things, some very important things, a business owner should contemplate before they hire? And what type of content managers should they be looking for? Like what aspects of that do you think would help a business achieve its goals of, not just content, but of growing their business with content?
[00:39:33] Cassie Ciopryna: That’s a good question, but yeah, if you’re like willing to dedicate time to content and we want to make a plan and you want to hire someone to do that. You should at least have an idea of what kind of content do you think you need?
[00:39:48] Cassie Ciopryna: Do you have any content to begin with, to work off of, or no, like an audit of what do you even have that’s possibly considered content? Do you have a website? Do you have these social media profiles that you’ll be sharing content on? Do you have people to share something in print?
[00:40:05] Cassie Ciopryna: What you already have, it might be nothing. And then what do you want to have? So do you want a blog that’s going to gain readers. Are you going to be using paid ads to get those. Or are you just trying to do everything organically and figure out like, what’s your end goal. And you can’t say, you know, in three months I want to have X more customers from having this content.
[00:40:30] Cassie Ciopryna: That’s not really a realistic goal. Break it down and say, we’re gonna, you know, we’re going to write one blog per week on getting through these 25 questions that we have. So over the course of the first two quarters, we’re going to have. Blogs to answer all of these main questions.
[00:40:47] Cassie Ciopryna: We’ve got a lot. And from there, you want to make sure that we start internally leaking, linking to your different blogs. You want to be having a plan to share them and your content manager should be able to handle all that for you. They have to get to know your business, get to know your customers and see what are they interested in?
[00:41:07] Cassie Ciopryna: What kind of content are they going to actually find beneficial? And. How are they going to perform and making those different types of content, right? Because not, everyone’s going to want to read a blog article. So if you’re only doing blog articles, that’s good. It’s a good start. But then from there, how are you going to share that in different ways?
[00:41:29] Cassie Ciopryna: And I would recommend if you’re starting off with content, you want to get more of that evergreen content, which is. You know, content that could be used at any time of year. So that like, if like why is my toilet leaking. Versus after you have some of those basic evergreen content in place, then you can go off with more seasonality, like why to protect your roof every spring, why to get your roof cleaned every spring.
[00:41:57] Cassie Ciopryna: Someone might be searching in a specific point in time. So kind of outlining those. Here’s the basic content needs we have. The questions that we need to answer that our customers care about. And then breaking out from there, like even more, uh, specific topics that are going to help your business. Help your customers, potential customers, and help people find you and how to share those so that people are finding you.
[00:42:27] Kevin Dieny: Wow, that’s some really great ideas. I think it would be really helpful for businesses to have someone like that instead of having to do it all themselves. I think it helps to have someone who’s responsible for that and for the business to be able to look at that as like, okay, this could really, you know, overwhelm the ROI of what it costs to just get started with this.
[00:42:46] Kevin Dieny: I’ll do a quick summary about some of the stuff. And then if there’s anything I missed, you can, that’d be great if you could like chime in on there. So, I look at it like this, first of all, a business is not going to sustain and survive if they’re only advertising to get everything they do.
[00:43:06] Kevin Dieny: I think they’ve got to have some organic. They’ve got to have word of mouth. They’ve got to be able to grow their business without spending money on every single thing they get. And to, to get to that point, I think even the smallest business needs to be considering, how am I going to be putting out some content?
[00:43:24] Kevin Dieny: That delivers value, that answers the questions, that provides solutions. That, that puts me as a source of trust in my consumer, my market, my customers, my patients that I’m going after. And I think that that is initially where it starts, then it’s like, okay, what, like you mentioned, Cassie, what do I have? What assets do I have already?
[00:43:46] Kevin Dieny: Okay, what do I, what kinds of things do I need? How big is that gap? You know, to start out with, to get the evergreen, to get the foundations out there for the main questions. The main stuff that you want to go on to tackle. The main value you want to provide. And then it’s okay, I need to track this.
[00:44:04] Kevin Dieny: I need to make sure that if I’m going to spend this money, if I’m gonna spend money, promoting it, spend money to create it, I’m going to get some return. So then, you know, I need to learn a little bit of Google Analytics. I need to make sure that my web profiles, social profiles are in place. I think that’s a consideration.
[00:44:20] Kevin Dieny: And then finally, okay. Now, should I hire someone? Which is, I think why I, it was a good thing that we talked about that. Okay, no, then I’m going to do it. Okay, who’s going to make this content with me, me, my team, my company. I got to pull resources from everywhere I can if I’m don’t have a person dedicated to this. And when it comes to making the content itself, great.
[00:44:42] Kevin Dieny: I think you really highlighted some great things. Think about the customer, put it in your voice. Consider that the question and what you know about them and what value you can provide them helps to make that content. And as you get better at making that content. Meaning as you make more and more of it, you might learn some content works better than others.
[00:45:02] Kevin Dieny: Some, some things that are working better than others. Here’s, what’s working, you know, in the top Google results, like you said, here’s the things they’re tackling. And at the end of the day, I think that all sets you up for producing great content. Even when you don’t have the fast resources or maybe even the proper processes of refining content, it gives you a really good headstart.
[00:45:25] Cassie Ciopryna: Yeah, no, I think that’s great. And as you’re saying that I was thinking too even though content marketing is not about selling. You also should still take advantage of when you are writing this blog article, make sure to like promote yourself a little bit at the end and show, you know, why are you a leader in this and why do, why do you know what you’re talking about?
[00:45:45] Cassie Ciopryna: I own this business and look, we can help you do this too.
[00:45:48] Kevin Dieny: The CTA, yeah.
[00:45:50] Cassie Ciopryna: Yes, yeah. You do need those CTAs. I don’t know if your business is utilizing email. I would recommend that as well. If you are a business that needs repeat customers, I’m sure you’re gonna have lulls, certain seasonalities that are as busy as others.
[00:46:05] Cassie Ciopryna: So maybe you use that time to create your content when you know, you’re going to be crazy. And you’re trying to get people in. If it’s again, roofing for like five reasons that. Hire someone to clean your gutters. Every winter and you’re emailing it out, people might be, oh, maybe I should just schedule an appointment and get my gutters cleaned.
[00:46:27] Cassie Ciopryna: And the more that you’re talking to your customer base, the more again, they’re going to remember you when it does come time that they have that need. And have a little, yeah, soft CTA at the end of your blogs for your contact page or lead them to a different blog. Internal linking of if they’re curious of that.
[00:46:45] Cassie Ciopryna: Oh, now here, let’s find more over here. So take advantage of, of those still without being, you know, only about trying to get them to use your service.
[00:46:57] Kevin Dieny: Yeah, no, that’s really great. I totally had skipped over the CTA, but the call to action enables that conversion point to leap from content into revenue tracking. So that’s a big deal and we didn’t want to miss that. There’s a lot in this topic. It’s a deep topic to get into it, but I think we covered a lot of like the basics that a business, especially a smaller business might want to get started with.
[00:47:19] Kevin Dieny: Let’s say, there are additional questions. People who are maybe like, you know what I ha I was thinking about this the whole time. How can people reach out to you Cassie? How can they find out more about you or connect with you or what you do or anything like that?
[00:47:33] Cassie Ciopryna: Yeah, anyone could find me on LinkedIn, Cassie Ciopryna. My LinkedIn is, uh, you could search me on there. I have my contact information or even if you want to reach me on my work email address.
[00:47:47] Cassie Ciopryna: My LinkedIn is is CC I O P R Y N A. And you can reach me or message me on LinkedIn. Connect with me on there. Email me. Happy to help.
[00:47:58] Kevin Dieny: That’s awesome. Thank you so much, Cassie, for coming on and diving into this topic. We’ll have to do it again.
[00:48:04] Cassie Ciopryna: Yes, I know exactly. If we got questions, I’d be happy. Cause I know certain things go all over the place.
[00:48:10] Kevin Dieny: So, yeah. Thank you everyone for listening and chiming into this, uh, wonderful episode on how small businesses make great content. So hope to catch you again later. Thank you.
[00:48:18] Cassie Ciopryna: Thanks.