Just last week, we led a fantastic activity at the Blogging For Business seminar, which was aimed at helping marketing people and business owners understand what they should be writing about on their blogs.

At this seminar, we insisted on the importance of fresh, unique and regularly delivered web content with local business owners and marketing people.

Fair enough, I understand your concern there. Writing isn’t easy, even for someone who, like myself, does it for a living. Still, that doesn’t mean you should give up, give in, and lie down. No way.

So, here are 5 Web Content Ideas for Businesses and article ideas which businesses in Malta could try.

1 – Make an offer

Let’s be honest, your followers and clients will like you a whole lot more if you can help them snag a bargain or save money. Personally, I’d rank special offers as number 1 in the list of things you should be offering to your followers or Facebook ‘likers’. Everyone likes a bargain, and you most likely are going to spend money advertising the special offer or sale anyway, so why not go an extra half mile, write a short article, snap a couple of photos and provide actual examples of savings your clients can make, then share it out on Facebook?

Tip – Do you have regularly scheduled special offers? Schedule them for the same day, same time, each week and people will start to expect them.

So, Web Content Idea for Businesses #1 is to make an offer.

Scheduler in Facebook

The Scheduler in Facebook; easy to use and very efficient!

Extra Tip – Do you run a restaurant or an eatery of some description? Share your lunch specials at around 11AM. Hungry, bored people in offices everywhere will flock to your doors if you share pictures of freshly made, appetizing food, trust me!

 

2 – Show off your people

“This is Nancy. She’s our longest serving employee here at XYZ Clothes Shop, and she’s helped to outfit everyone from an elderly gentleman yesterday to George Clooney when he was last in Malta. If a tie to go with your shirt is what you’re after, Nancy is the one to ask!”

I’m going to be blunt here; people don’t care about your business. On an elemental level, people only care about other people (and how much they can save).

Create a connection with people using your own people and you will be able to use this evolutionary trait of humans to your own benefit. After all, you know this yourself, the biggest asset in your company is most likely the human resources you have.

mark-debono-bio-image

I’m the face of this business, but all the players show their face too. Partly because they’re better looking than I am, partly because our greatest strength is who we are.

Web Content Idea for Businesses #2 – Show off your staff!

3 – Ask questions

People love to feel like they’re being listened to. This is why they answer surveys and give their opinions (sometimes even when they’re not asked to).

Your business would benefit from asking questions in two ways. Firstly it would benefit from the increased engagement it would garner, and secondly, you are likely to get some sort of precious insight which you otherwise might not have unearthed.

What kind of questions should you ask?

Start from the simple, for example, “On Saturday we’re open from 0700 until 1300. Would you prefer it if we opened at 0800 and stayed open till 1500 instead?“.

Or else, ask people open ended questions, for example, what keeps you coming back to this Facebook page or website? Tally up the most common answers, and you know what kind of things you have to keep on saying to keep your audience.

Ask your Facebook followers questions like this one, which gave an answer we needed!

Ask your Facebook followers questions like this one, which gave an answer we needed!

Web Content Idea for Businesses #3 – Ask people questions!

4 – Show me your product

Ok, this one is hard if you don’t sell a physical product (but you can still do it; more on that later). But, if you sell a physical product, something I can touch and feel, I want to see it before I step out of the house, into the car, drive to your shop and then take a look at it.

That said, if you are going to show me your product, here’s a tip for you.

Don’t use the catalogue photo. I can tell that it’s a professional photo. You don’t need a hugely expensive camera to take a good photo of the new dresses, bottles of wine, dishes etc that you just got in stock; just use your iPhone and make sure you have enough light. Once again, humanise your message. Why do you think we mannequins were invented, and similarly, why do people model clothes for online clothes shops instead of just laying t-shirts flat on a table and taking photos of them?

A picture a friend of mine share a few days ago on Facebook, showing off his company's leatherwork. Incidentally, if quality leather work is what you want, I can personally vouch for these guys!

A picture a friend of mine share a few days ago on Facebook, showing off his company’s high quality, locally handmade leatherwork. Incidentally, if quality leather work is what you want, I can personally vouch for these guys!

What if you don’t sell a product as such but sell your expertise?

In that case, one good way to sell yourself is to show off customer testimonials. A business I am intimately acquainted with had great success sharing a screenshot of an SMS a grateful customer sent them by way of thanks for their professional service. This demonstrates that you’re not full of it and that you’re genuine. Of course, ask for permission before doing any of this (and make sure to leave out any confidential details).

So, Web Content Idea for Businesses #4 – Show off your product (and if you don’t have one, use testimonials)!

5 – Get into the community

You’re a local business so your local community is your mainstay. Ingratiate yourself with them. Make friends. You probably already sponsor the parish priest’s magazine and the local council. What’s stopping you from donating to a local charity, for example?

Better still, be aware of activities happening around your locality, and get involved. It doesn’t matter what or how, just try to be more than a bystander. Here’s an idea.

Say a bike marathon or fun run is happening in your village. Set up a stand offering free water and lemonade (even if someone is already doing it). Make sure that there are at least two of you. One of you is in charge of taking photos and posting them on your site or Facebook wall, the other of handing out free refreshments. Do you think that if you go to this effort, which for you is not such a huge deal, you won’t get a tonne of goodwill from the community? Think again.

Web Content Idea for Businesses #5 – Get out there and into your community!

 

Now, you don’t HAVE TO write an article on your blog for each or indeed any of these local business article ideas, but remember, content on Facebook doesn’t actually belong to you, and it doesn’t help your website rank any better, so if you wanted my help, I’d say “Put the article on your site or blog, and then share it across the social networks (and email it to your contacts too).

And if you’re looking for help getting professional content written, look no further than us.

 

Mark Debono

Author Mark Debono

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