As small business owners ourselves, the leadership team at 1sixty8 media understands how a day can get away from you. We also understand that having a to-do list and deadlines can sometimes be overwhelming. For these reasons, we decided to take ideas pooled from many of our clients, as well as our team, to give you ideas for making your content submissions easier and more effective.
Don’t Rush the Submissions
First and foremost, don’t rush the submission forms. Our team uses the information you send us to create unique, custom content geared specifically to the needs and services of your store. You don’t have to write a book, and what you write doesn’t have to be grammatically correct. Focus on bullet points and pertinent information that would be helpful to tell the story you want to be conveyed to the reader.
Give Us Accurate Part Numbers
While 1sixty8 is a firm believer in branding your business, the reality is that people search for particular items online. If someone searches for an XYZ-123 and you give us a part number of XVA-123, your info won’t be found in a search. For that reason, give us accurate part numbers.
Be Sure to Add Pertinent Information to the Notes
When making your submission, be sure to mention any particular aspect of an install to be highlighted, or let us to know what items are your “go-to.” That way, we can include these important details when we are writing a topical article.
You Can Always Ask for an Interview
Mini builds give you the option for a phone interview for $25 and a full build has one included in the price, but did you know that you can do an interview for any piece of content? If you submit a product spotlight or an article and would like an interview, just note it on your submission and we will be glad to do that for you. An interview runs $25. If you have us produce content for you and want to make completely sure that our writer understands your goals, an interview may be a great idea.
Give Us Good Pictures
If you want to do a quick post, mini build, or full build and the pictures aren’t very good, scrap it. Bad pictures cast your company in a bad light, so let us know and we can move to another idea for that month. Some of our clients have asked the customer to come back in so they could get more or better images. It might even be worthwhile to consider offering the client a gift card to a restaurant as a thank you for bringing the vehicle back to more photos.
You also can go to our post with tips for taking better photos.
Work Ahead of the Cycle
One of the biggest pain points I hear when talking to a client is frustration in coming up with good content for quick posts and both types of builds. I can’t stress enough the importance of building a library of pictures that you can access for future work. When I am working on content for Westminster Speed & Sound, on any given day, I have 20–30 vehicles that could be mini build/full builds and 15–20 vehicles that are good for quick posts. All I have to do is budget the time to write them up, since the pictures are ready and waiting for me.
My company is always harvesting pictures. It has become a way of life because we know how important they are to the success of our company.
Create a Climate in Your Company for Getting Great Pictures
Let’s be honest: Some people take great pictures, some take lousy pictures and some take average pictures. We have found that an average picture-taker can be improved but someone who takes lousy pictures is probably a lost cause. If that is you, find a different person and assign them with getting images for you. Many successful clients assign taking photos to the installer, and some task a particular person with the job and then have the owner or manager be the backup on that person’s time off.
I have also found that small gifts or rewards can be all the difference in getting better images shot. Other clients have had to lay down the law to get good images taken since the employees didn’t understand their importance. At the end of the day, you are in charge, so do whatever has to be done to make it happen.
Consider Doing Extra Articles Even When You’re Busy
If a month comes along where you are unusually busy and are finding it harder to submit content, simply start a Basecamp discussion with your project manager. Chances are they can give you topical article ideas so you can simply fill out an article submission and check the box, “I authorize 1sixty8 to write the content without any information from me.” Many times, we know the topic and your store so well that we can handle all of it for you.
Don’t Wait till the Last Minute
Right after your content meeting, you will get a Basecamp review outlining the content we will produce for you over the next two to three months. If you have a little time, why not knock out a few of them right now? That will get you ahead of the curve. I also suggest submitting one or two pieces of content every other day over a couple of weeks, instead of trying to do them all at once. That might lighten your load.
In the end, know that the whole team at 1sixty8 has your back. We are here to help you grow your online presence and build your brand. If you need something, just ask – we have you covered.