Navigating a Content Hiatus:
Communication Success Strategies for Small Business Owners
Within the ever-shifting tides of digital marketing, having a consistent online presence is paramount.
Small business owners often find themselves in a dilemma when faced with the prospect of not being able to post on their social media, blogs, or other online platforms for a week or more.
While maintaining a regular content schedule is undoubtedly essential for audience engagement, there are times when life throws curveballs that require us to step back temporarily.
This article explores some ideas and solutions for small business owners to gracefully handle such situations while keeping their audience informed and engaged.
Have A Plan For Content Hiatus:
While it's impossible to predict every unexpected situation that might disrupt your content creation, having a basic content calendar can help you plan ahead.
As much as possible, you should have a minimum of one to two weeks' worth of material that you can schedule to be published on your website or social media sites.
For example, this article was written and uploaded fourteen days before it was published on our website. Because the article is not "live" yet, we have to wait until a few days before the posts can be scheduled to appear on our Facebook Page and our LinkedIn Page.
Having articles and other content created beforehand ensures that your online presence remains consistent even when you can't actively participate.
Open communication with your audience is vital. Instead of disappearing without a trace, consider informing your followers about the upcoming hiatus.
Here are some examples of phrases you can use as starters for your own situation:
- "Dear followers, I want to let you know that I'll be away for the next week and won't be posting new content during this time."
- "Life has thrown me a curveball, and I need to take a short break from creating content to stay focussed on my customers. I'll be back soon!"
- "While we are still here working with our customers, due to a family emergency, we won't be able to post for a little while. Thank you for being so understanding."
Don't be shy in admitting there's a problem, but you don't need to go into great detail, either. It's preferable that you don't.
Repurpose Existing Content:
During your content hiatus, you can recycle and repost some of your most popular or evergreen content. What is "evergreen content," you may ask? Click this link for our article, "Going Beyond The Definition: What Is Evergreen Content, And Why Is It Important?"
Not only does this keep your audience engaged, but it also reintroduces older content to newer followers who might have missed it the first time.
We have used this strategy a few times in 2023 and found it very successful in reaching people who missed it the first time.
Note: Make sure to read through the information you plan to reshare and check for relevancy and accuracy.
Share User-Generated Content:
Encourage your customers to share their experiences with your staff, products or services.
Reposting user-generated content fills the gap, showcases your satisfied customers and builds trust with new and existing customers.
Collaborate with Others:
Consider collaborating with other businesses in your field or a relevant company.
For example, a pet food store might ask a local groomer to write an article on how to maintain your pet's appearance between grooming sessions.
Guest posts or takeovers can be a great way to keep your audience engaged and provide fresh content without much additional effort.
Use Stories and Highlights:
Platforms like Instagram and Facebook offer features where you can create and manage content to remain visible for an extended period.
Use these features to keep your audience engaged with stories, tips, or behind-the-scenes content.
Maintain Engagement through Engagement:
Stay active in the comments section. Always reply to comments, answer questions and stay engaged with your audience.
Doing this keeps the conversation alive and maintains your presence, even when you're not posting new content.
Automate Simple Updates:
Consider using automation tools to share simple updates or reminders.
For instance, you can schedule automated posts to share quotes, trivia, or tips related to your niche.
While keeping your audience informed and engaged is crucial, remember to prioritize your own well-being.
A short hiatus can offer you the time to recharge, reflect and return with renewed creativity and energy.
If you are not well, you need to take care of that before you can run your business, even more so before you engage in marketing initiaves.
Learn and Adapt:
Lastly, use this hiatus as an opportunity to learn. Analyze what works and what doesn't in your content strategy.
This downtime can be an excellent period for reflection and planning for future content.
Taking a break from posting content for a week or more is a reality many small business owners face.
By planning ahead, communicating transparently and creatively managing your online presence, you can navigate these challenges while maintaining your audience's trust and engagement.
Remember, your audience values authenticity and understanding, so keep them informed and return with even better content when you're ready.
Photo provided by Nathan Cowley through Pexels.