Let’s face it—after your content marketer has written the obligatory article explaining how the business was started, the article on the biography of the founder, and the article detailing benefits of the company’s services, if he or she has a hard time coming up with thought-provoking content—blog posts, videos, and social media campaigns with clever verbiage and interesting details, chances are your business sucks. Now, why does your business suck? It doesn't have to be the product at all. It's probably the implementation of the idea.
But it could also be that your product sucks.
For example, let’s say you started a company that sold one thing: a bag you put over shoes. That's all you did. If it was raining, a customer could put your bag over their shoes and carry their shoes in their hands, in your shoe bag, so they don't get wet. To be fair, let’s say it was a nice bag, had a cool design, but, maybe your product is bordering on "gag gift" status. It was only something a customer would buy for someone for their birthday or Christmas when they had no idea what to get them, and, most likely, it was regifted later.
I could also totally be wrong. Maybe some people would love this shoe bag. Maybe they'd get good use out of it. Even still, how many articles can a content marketer write about a shoe bag? How can they scale that idea into articles that people would want to read, like, "Top 5 Uses of Your Shoe Bag You Never Thought About" or "How a Shoe Bag Saved My Family from Financial Ruin.” At that point, if your company doesn’t have any social responsibility campaigns, which can also be great sources of content, because, even if the well is dry about the product itself, a content marketer can focus on the topics related to whatever cause the company advocates. Otherwise, there isn’t too many categories to engage with. It's a shoe bag. What else is there to say?
Other times it's not the product. It's the implementation of the company's ethos and marketing approach. There are ways to scale into related content that can be fun and benefit the company. For example, a cupcake company can publish articles on new recipes. A solar energy startup can write about elementary school children doing experiments on solar. If the company is dynamic, and truly has a captivating story (this typically comes from dynamic and captivating founders), then these content avenues will develop themselves naturally. The content creators will almost never think to themselves, "Geez, what can I write about now?" In fact, the question is more like, "Which of these ideas are we running with this week?" And usually the content strategy is planned out months in advance.
This is not to say that your business sucks if you cannot consistently produce engaging content. Some small businesses—exterminators, plumbers, mechanical engineering firms perhaps, potentially don't have to focus on content strategy. If you're already an established local business with a huge following, why should you direct capital towards your SEO?
But, in general, in terms of small business content marketing strategy, the truth is: the business matters. The business's story, where it came from, where it is, and who the founders are. If this doesn't paint a clear picture for an audience, maybe some things in the core need to be reconsidered.