Sometimes it pays to be small, especially when it comes to creating successful and engaging content.
As Content Science Founder Colleen Jones notes in her newest title, The Content Advantage (Clout 2.0): The Science of Succeeding at Digital Business through Effective Content, there are several unexpected advantages small businesses have throughout the content creation process.
With operations, small businesses can have a big advantage. Often, small businesses can get to level 3 or 4 much more quickly than a big business because they have less bureaucracy to overcome and more control over the entire customer experience.
For example, the Rack Athletic Performance Center in Atlanta, Ga. has solved the problem of sourcing content in several creative ways, such as forming a reward system where the Rack coaches earn the opportunity to contribute articles to a Knowledge Center. Content is something coaches get to do, not something they have to do.
These articles profile the Rack customers as they achieve goals and overcome challenges. This approach also encourages customers to take photos and videos of themselves in action and post them to social media, where the Rack can repost them. The Rack also automated a set of emails for new customers that orient them to the Rack and connect them to more useful content.
These approaches were implemented and optimized over the course of a few months. A larger company would take at least a year to do something comparable.
As a small business, you might be tempted to think that you can’t compete when it comes to producing memorable content, especially against large competitors. The truth is, big organizations have a lot to coordinate before the can even create content, much less publish it.
Making a simple editorial decision might take three weeks for them and one day for you. Large companies are often slow and sprawling in their approach to content. If you can be nimble and focus on your niche, you will have a significant advantage over any competitor.
For example, the spinning class studio Burn models the potential for content in a digital business. Customers go to the Burn website to buy a package of classes or subscribe. They register for a class and select the exact seat they want. Upon arrival at the studio, check-in is completed at a kiosk. During the class, the bike collects all of my performance data, such as revolutions per minute, estimated calories burned, power output, and more. That data can be displayed on a digital sign at the front of the classroom to see how riders compare to the rest of the class.
As a small business, you have the unique opportunity to deliver a stellar content-rich digital experience that many large companies cannot. In fact, small businesses can use content as a big advantage in the digital business age.
This is a key point because your customers’ expectations for content are high and becoming higher. As a small business, you have a unique opportunity to meet – and exceed – these expectations, surpassing your larger competitors in the process.
Again, the spinning cycle Burn is the perfect example of this. The ease of registering, choosing one’s preferred bike, the mining of performance data – this is all well and good. Impressive, even.
But what really stands out about Burn is this: After a rider’s first class, they’ll receive an amazing email within two minutes, congratulating them and summarizing their performance, including rank, calories, power output, and more. This single-location spinning studio delivers a stellar content-rich digital experience that many large companies cannot.
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