When thinking about the content creator or the small business owner who is doing the reading, instead of avoiding stupidity, how about “Keep it Simple Smart” instead? Small business decisions are often made by owners, and owners can’t afford to get too deep into any single aspect of running the business. They don’t have the time to become detailed experts in payroll practices or bookkeeping because they have to keep an eye on the whole business. But avoid thinking that small business owners don’t have the capacity to understand the complexities of a particular business issue. After all, owners have to understand their particular industry with enough depth to stay competitive. Good business solution content directed to small businesses has to respect the intelligence of the decision maker and present information clearly and concisely … in other words, keep it simple and keep it smart. Here are some tips on how to achieve this combination.
Use Defined Terms
All industries have their own vocabulary, and acronyms are inevitable. Not every reader is going to know what an acronym stands for, but spelling out the full term the first time it is used in a piece of content allows the reader to understand what follows. This practice doesn’t have to be limited to acronyms. A short definition of an industry concept like onboarding will make an article that relies on this term much easier to read.
Don’t get bogged down in the details: hyperlink instead
When writing content that includes technical terms that are well known in your industry, but may not be as accessible to a busy small business decision maker, create a hyperlink to the explanation. Successful content marketing includes a full range of written pieces. A critical, useful piece, written as informative content, is a glossary of terms. For example, in the human resources sector, there are a dizzying number of federal laws known by their acronyms. A hyperlink to an article explaining the difference between the OWPBPA and the ADEA in a blog post on recent developments allows the content to flow while offering the reader the chance to get more information if wanted.
Have a “conversation” with your buyer persona
When constructing a buyer persona for small business decision makers, it’s important to understand his or her level of understanding of your industry. Customer interviews are a primary source of information to construct the buyer persona. Be certain to include some questions about the buyer’s knowledge and interest in information on your industry. But take the “conversation” a step further. Talk to someone who has never bought your product. Find out what assumptions you are making about common knowledge. Identifying this potential buyer may take a little more effort – using a poll of visitors at your website is one way. Publications focusing on small business and entrepreneurs are another source. Lastly, drilling down in forums for small business owners will reveal the level of question that you need to answer with your content.
Small business buyers are generally focused on three issues: cost, functionality and flexibility. These three priorities should be addressed in content. But to make a successful connection with the small business reader, Keep It Simple Smart.