Online Content GardenBusinesses are built on word of mouth, but in our current social media-driven age, businesses must take a very different approach to gaining a good reputation and building up a brand identity. Today, up-and-coming companies rely on dynamic online content and social media to generate the kind of buzz that means big things for business. In a time when just one tweet or video going “viral” can result in your message reaching hundreds of thousands of readers, building word of mouth is more important than ever. At the same time, we’re also surrounded by a sea of social media “noise” that can make getting your message to your customer base harder than ever before. So, what’s the answer for a business trying to make their name in our social media age?

Well, we’re all writers here at KCWMS, which means that we like metaphors. If you’ll permit us, we’ll engage in an extended one: Think of your online presence as a garden.

Like a garden, your online presence should be planted diversely. You need a website, preferably one that’s mobile-friendly, blogs, social media, and possibly even some more exotic flora such as YouTube videos, infographics, and case studies.

If you want your garden to grow, you have to water it regularly. Think about the last time you went off on a business trip and didn’t have anyone water your houseplants. Chances are you came home to some very withered and ragged-looking hyacinths. The same is true of your blogs and your social media presence. The only way to keep your online garden vibrant and thriving is by “watering” it regularly with fresh, dynamic, and engaging content.

On the other hand, if you over-water your plants, they’ll die for a different reason. Overwatering your online garden comes down to pushing your message too hard, without adding anything new or exciting. Nobody wants to read a blog or follow a Facebook account that’s nothing but sales pitches day in and day out. The key is bringing your followers fresh, interesting content that provides immediate value to them.

Just as you do when you’re tending a real garden, you also have to take the weather into account online. As Google rolls out new updates to its algorithms, and new and different platforms appear to compete for shares of the social media landscape, you have to know the right times to plant, and when to cover your crops for a frost. Keeping your finger on the pulse of what’s happening online, and knowing how to adapt your content marketing plans to take into account changes in technology or new social trends, can be the difference between a garden that flourishes and one that doesn’t produce.

It’s easy enough to get followers on Facebook, Google+ or Twitter. But while seeing a big number next to “followers” might make you feel good, it isn’t enough to really create the kind of word of mouth that will help your business thrive. To do that, you need to create engaging, original content that gets people talking about you, that draws in new readers, and that keeps people coming back.

Tending your online garden can be a lot of work, but just like a real garden, it isn’t something that you have to do alone. At KCWMS, we’ve helped a lot of businesses find the right voice and the right content to grow their online garden into something special, and we can help you, too.

by Orrin S.