I recently received a crumpled up piece of A4 paper through my letter box from a gentleman (who we shall call ‘Paul’ for anonymity reasons) who claims to be able to help me with my ‘computing needs’. No details other than his first name and his mobile number. Paul might be a computer whizz who will not only be able to crack to the enigma code, but would also be able to talk me through the perils of Office 365 – but his note didn’t exactly inspire me!

Less isn’t always more

In 2015, there are so many cost effective ways for anyone in business to showcase their skills and engage their audiences – online and off. Perhaps ‘Paul’ was going for a ‘less is more’ approach and deliberately trying to keep things simple and approachable, but he certainly didn’t do enough to spur me on to do anything. Recent research by BuzzFeed shows that long form content (more than 3,000 words) consistently performs well.

Give a little, get a lot

Consumers now expect ‘something for nothing’ in the form of useful advice. For small business owners like ‘Paul’ perhaps this seems like business suicide – but that’s shortsighted. As a computing expert, he’ll have lots of ‘nuggets’ of knowledge to share which will hit on a problem his potential customers are facing, without giving away everything about how they can fix it themselves. His ‘minimalist’ approach showed not only a lack of effort but a lack of understanding of his audience.

Including sector specific jargon is sometimes necessary to show that you know your stuff, but you don’t want to confuse your customer and scare them away with long words that don’t understand. It’s vital to tailor your content so that you are speaking in their language if you want to build up relationships and encourage them to trust you.

Consistency is king

Who knows, Paul may be a ‘social media guru’ and be engaging with his customers online but he’s falling at the last hurdle by producing low quality printed materials – but I highly doubt it. It’s likely that his sloppy leaflet drop is where his marketing efforts begin and end. Creating a consistent tone of voice across all channels for your business is crucial if you want your customers to understand how you can add value. You also need to keep front of mind with them over a sustained period of time to become memorable and gain their trust. A leaflet drop is a lot of effort for something that is likely to end up in the bin, never to be retrieved but a useful ‘how to’ blog can be used again and again in a whole range of different formats.

Not sure where to start? Don’t worry, we can help! Creating content that reflects who you really are and what you have to offer is actually incredibly difficult and sometimes requires an outside perspective. Let us get to know you and we’ll make sure that your target customers want to do the same.