The “tips” booklet.
Companies would pay a lot of money for writers to pour through their past articles and ferret out tip-worthy content. These tips were typically turned into a softcover booklet (like “101 Pet Care Tips.” Or “50 Ways to Stage Your Home,”) that sold at trade shows, given away as prospect “leave-behinds,” or marketed as a free gift.
Tip booklets were extremely popular. Readers loved them. Companies loved them – they made great giveaways, and they could be very profitable. Plus, they were (fairly) easy to write.
I realized that there were so many businesses that didn’t post on social media because they didn’t know what to write. At the same time, these companies are leaving money on the table – Google’s brave new “Search Plus” world shows that posting on social networks is more important than ever.
If this sounds like you, it’s time to go old school – and wow ’em with your expert tips. Here’s how you can leverage this technique and make it work for you:
1. Write a bunch of tips that relate to your product or service. Don’t worry about writing something as long as a blog post – you’ll want to look at posts that weigh in at 140 characters or less. If you want to play with Google+, you’ll have more of a character count…but thinking short and sweet can make the tips creation process go faster.
For example, a vet could create tips like:
- Cat health tips
- Dog health tips
- Facts about dogs/cats
- How to introduce a new pet into the home
- How to handle a pet with separation anxiety
- When to vaccinate your pet.
2. Comb through old marketing materials and pull out anything that you could massage into a tip. Be sure to check out:
- Past newsletters (print and online)
- Past direct mail pieces
- Old blog posts or articles
You can also get ideas for new tips by reading trade magazines, your local newspaper – even listening to the radio. Once you’re in the tip-writing zone, you’ll be amazed how easy they are to brainstorm and write.
3. Next, figure out a daily tips “editorial calendar.” For instance, a vet could segment his tweets/Google+ posts like this:
Monday: Tip/fact about dogs
Tuesday: Tip/fact about cats
Wednesday: Pet health tip
Thursday: Answer a reader question (this is great for reader engagement.)
Friday: Post an article and share why your readers should read it.
Or, maybe you’re a personal (or virtual) assistant. An editorial calendar may look like this:
Monday: How to save time on X.
Tuesday: How to organize your office
Wednesday: How to save time on common tasks
Thursday: Easy computer tips and tricks
Friday: Answer a reader question
See how easy it is?
Of course, you can (and should) share more posts – the vet may share a cute picture of one of his furry patients. Or the virtual assistant could post more than one tip a day. But this “old-school” strategy makes sure that you’re doing something – and giving your readers useful information that they’ll want to read (and share.)
Photo thanks to laffy4k