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How Small Businesses Can Create Content that Captivates Customers

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March 20,2013

By Dan Janal, Small Business PR Expert

It’s no secret that there has been a change in the way that audiences respond to traditional advertising today.

Everyone is bombarded with ads everywhere they go, in every thing they read and every site they browse. Estimates abound that the average consumer sees more than 10,000 marketing messages a day! Not surprisingly, with an overabundance of advertisements, few messages stick.

In light of this advertising overload, smart marketers realized the quickest way to a prospect’s purse is to provide interesting news and information, which the Internet marketing community conveniently calls “content.”

Content can be a quickly written blog post about new happenings at the company, a thoughtful commentary on current business trends or a 30-second video recorded with a mobile phone that shows the step-by-step instructions for performing a needed task like fixing your garage door opener. Content can even be something you read on the Internet like an interesting article or cartoon or video that you send to your followers.

It’s so easy to create content and to share content! But are you sure your prospects and customers want to see the content you’ve created? Small businesses have wasted lots of time, money and effort creating and distributing content their customers don’t care about.

How do you know what they will like and what they won’t like? Fortunately, the answer is very easy: Ask them. Use surveys, email and the phone to reach out to your clients and find out what they want to receive from you.

Here are a few tips to help you create great surveys that will help you create great content.

Start by asking a very open-ended question like, “What information would you like to see from us?”

Then ask specific questions with multiple-choice answers like:

  • Would you like to receive articles about how to do a task better? Yes or No.
  • Would you like to receive coupons for our services? Yes or No.
  • Would you like to be made aware of our sales? Yes or No.
  • Would you like to read funny stories or cartoons about our profession? Yes or No.


You can also ask them how they want to receive your information, such as an email, a blog, a video or social media. You could also ask them how often they want to be contacted (i.e. daily, weekly, monthly, etc.)

Another good way to find out what your customers need is to ask your sales staff and your customer support staff to tell you what problems or concerns they hear from customers. Then you can create content that shows how to solve that problem.

Finding out what your clients want to know about isn’t hard. You simply have to ask.

Dan Janal, author of "Reporters Are Looking for YOU!" helps small businesses get publicity so they can sell more products. My clients get terrific results from my coaching, consulting, done-for-you services and do-it-yourself tools. For info, go to


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