Conversations: Megan Edwards, mWords

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mWord’s Expert Content Marketer and Trainer Megan Edwards emphasises the value of content marketing for businesses to connect with their customers.

Tell us about mWords.

mWords is a boutique content marketing business that assists corporates and SMEs to develop strategic and tailored content marketing strategies to build awareness, generate leads and position themselves as industry experts. There are two key arms to the business: 1) content creation & distribution, and 2) content and social media training.

Our services are designed to help business owners and professionals build an empathetic relationship with their customers through solution-focused content that bridges the gap between what the business sells and what their customer wants or needs.

Our training empowers business owners and professionals with the strategic knowledge and skills they need to design and implement an effective content marketing or social media strategy to build their personal or company brand.

How can time or resource-poor start-ups or SME business owners fit content marketing in their day’s routine?
Effective content marketing is all about planning. A content calendar is one of the best planning tools a business of any size can use to take control and be strategic about content marketing. A calendar can be established by investing a few hours once a month in identifying key messages, areas of expertise and topics you want to promote, then composing a series of posts for each.

To further streamline your content marketing, invest in a scheduling tool such as Buffer or Hootsuite. These allow you to not only upload your posts in advance across all platforms but also provide insights and analytics to help you determine the best answers for what, where and when to post.

What was the biggest challenge you faced in the formative years of your business and how did you overcome it?
There are two key challenges which were present when I first began, and which I still face today: competition and customer perception.

I have overcome heavy competition by refining my focus to specialise in HR & Recruitment and Property & Real Estate; sectors where I spent the most time during my corporate days and in which I have the greatest depth and breadth of knowledge.

Customer perception of the value of content marketing is an ongoing challenge. Though the market has a greater broad appreciation of its value these days, there is still a perception that since a) writing is a skill we all possess, and b) most aspects of social media are free to use, it should be cheap and easy.

I have found the best way to overcome this is by educating my customers about the ‘value adds’ that enrich the process and elevate it from just content generation to strategic content marketing. My writing skill draws on marketing expertise as well as creativity and language. I also explain the additional steps I take to support the actual writing, such as researching the market, defining the buyer’s persona and performance analytics.

With a gradual increase in content skimming and reduced attention spans, it is worth investing time to create long-form content such as blogs?
Long form content is still worthwhile if it focuses on providing information and education. Before writing anything, put your idea to the “So what?” test: what will your target audience think after reading it? Will it make them feel any different? Make their lives better? Inspire them to action? If the answer is no, you need a new idea!

When creating long form content, it’s also important to consider how your audience will consume it. Sometimes a lengthy content piece is more impactful and more likely to be read when broken down into several smaller pieces. Simple formatting like bullet points, tables and visuals can all help to convey your message more efficiently.

What advice would you give to someone aspiring to become an entrepreneur?
•    Understand that everyone is an expert in something, but rarely an expert in everything. You don’t have to know everything to be of value to someone.
•    Be willing to try something several times before you decide it doesn’t work. Sometimes repetition is key.
•    Don’t be too proud to accept help when it’s offered or ask for advice.
•    Build your knowledge in a range of areas, not just those directly related to your business. This will give you a broader, richer reference base and the ability to communicate effectively with a wider range of people.

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