The Resilient Retail Game Plan Episode 197

Social Media Content Creation Secrets with Char Dixon

Podcast show notes

Social Media Content Creation for Retailers with Char Dixon from Loudmouth Content

Creating content for our businesses, love it or hate it, it is part of the everyday life of a small business owner. But how do you do it in a way that doesn’t suck all of the joy and fun out of the process? 

In this episode, I’m joined by Char Dixon. Char is the founder of Loudmouth Content. She also has a really in-depth background in the retail industry and a whole host of knowledge about what it takes to market and promote your product business in a way that feels joyful, fun, and without the overwhelm. 

This episode has a lot of actionable tips for your business so let’s dive in.

[00:00] Social Media Content Creation Secrets for Retailers with Char Dixon from Loudmouth Content

[01:50] Welcome Char Dixion of Loudmouth Content

[04:48]  How do you think people should be optimizing it or making the most out their content to make sure it’s pulling its weight?

[08:10] How do we make our own headlines?

[10:36] How can you use content to move people through the sales process?

[13:02] What type of digital content fits each phase of the buyer’s journey?

[15:29] How do you create content that builds community and connection?

[21:21] Tips for streamlining content creation for small businesses.

[24:50] How do you measure the success of your content? 

[27:32] Where to find out more about Char Dixon at Loudmouth Content

Want to learn more about content creation? Check out these other episodes.

169: Strategic Content Production And Youtube With Matthew Hughes

170: All Things TikTok With Penny Walker

Catch up on some business reading –  This Is Marketing: You Can’t Be Seen Until You Learn to See by Seth Godin

About the featured guest

Char Dixon

Loudmouth Content
I’m a London-based content coach for small business owners like you. I’ve spent the last 18 years heading up marketing teams and creating engaging, exciting and industry-disrupting content for big brands like Simple, Dove, Lynx, Dune London, New Look, Waitrose, No7 + Boots. Now I’m bottling all that insight, knowledge and experience to show you how to create content easily, quickly and enjoyable, to help your small business fly.

Interested in being a guest or sponsor of The Resilient Retail Game Plan?

Drop us an email to let us know why you think you’d be a great fit for our audience of small businesses and independent retail brands

Social Media Content Creation Secrets with Char Dixon from Loudmouth Content

Catherine Erdly: Creating content for our businesses, love it or hate it, it is part of the everyday life of a small business owner. But how do you do it in a way that doesn’t suck all of the joy and fun out of the process? 

Hi, I’m Catherine Erdly. I’m your host today and I’m also the founder of the Resilient Retail Club, which is my membership group and mastermind for product businesses.

You can find out more at resilientretailclub. com and also sign up for a chat with me about my next round of my mastermind, which will be kicking off In June today. 

I’m joined by Char Dixon. Char is the founder of Loudmouth Content. She also has a really in depth background in the retail industry and a whole host of knowledge about what it takes to market and promote your product business in a way that feels joyful, fun, and without the overwhelm.

Welcome to the Resilient Retail Game Plan, a podcast for anyone wanting to start, grow or scale a profitable creative product business with me, Catherine Erdly. The Resilient Retail Game Plan is a podcast dedicated to one thing, breaking down the concepts and tools that I’ve gathered from 20 years in the retail industry and showing you how you can use them in your business. This is the real nuts and bolts of running a successful product business, broken down in an easy, accessible way. This is not a podcast about learning how to make your business look good. It’s the tools and techniques that will make you and your business feel good.

Confidently plan, launch and manage your products and feel in control of your sales numbers and cashflow to help you build a resilient retail business.

Welcome Char Dixion of Loudmouth Content

Catherine Erdly: Char, thank you so much for joining me on the podcast today. Do you want to kick us off by introducing yourself and your business?

Char Dixon: Yeah, absolutely. Thanks for having me. So I worked in retail for the past 19 years. I started off in the creative marketing team at New Look as a newbie and worked my way up in like marketing roles, marketing manager at brands like Crew Clothing, Joy, Waitrose. And then I became head of marketing at June, the shoe and bag brand.

And I was there for four years. And after that, I want to take a little bit of a more creative sidestep into copywriting because that was also one of my bigger passions. So I moved to creative agencies, worked on brands like Simple and Dove, and then became lead copywriter at Expedia.

But then I’ve discovered this small business world and. I had such a passion for small businesses and I really believe they’re the future. And it was at that point that I was just like, I can really help here because I see the overwhelm. I see how much people struggle with content, even someone who comes from it from, you know, that’s my background.

I see how overwhelming it can be. And I knew that I could help small business owners to get more of a handle on that and to enjoy it as well as use things like Instagram as like a serious sales and marketing channel for their business. And aside from that, I also help people with their copywriting as well.

That’s me and my business in a nutshell and how I got to here.

Catherine Erdly: Amazing. And your business is called Loudmouth Content, which I think is a great name, but what was your thinking behind the name?

Char Dixon: So yeah, it was all about really getting people seen and getting people heard. And I think small businesses, struggle, I think, It’s hard on things like Instagram to get seen and get heard. There’s an imbalance for sure between, big brands and small brands and breaking through those barriers.

So it’s really my job and my why and my everything to get small businesses seen and heard. And it was, you know, making their voice heard is essentially what, built into that name.

Catherine Erdly: Love it. Fantastic. And how long have you been helping small businesses?

Char Dixon: Probably about probably a couple of years now. But as very much like a side hustle and then becoming a main focus of mine. So it’s built in the background and and every time I’ve worked with different clients, I’ve just been like, yes, there’s definitely something here and there’s so much that I can bring to this.

So it’s yeah, developed over time.

Catherine Erdly: Yeah. Amazing. Well, I love it. So it’s so great to have you on here because you’re coming from that real depth of knowledge of what it takes to get a big brand out the sort of brand messaging and get that content out there and make it work for a brand. But equally then with the small business passion.

So I feel like it’s gonna be a great chat. Can’t wait to dive in. So let’s start talking about content then. 

 How do you think people should be optimizing it or making the most out their content to make sure it’s pulling its weight?

Catherine Erdly: So obviously for everyone who’s online, he’s using social media to sell, then content is absolutely crucial when it comes to their marketing, but how do you think people should be optimizing it or making the most out their content to make sure it’s pulling its weight?

Char Dixon: Yeah, absolutely. So every piece of copy, every piece of content that we have has a job to do. So whether that’s a product description or your about us page on your website or your Instagram bio, each of those things has a different job and we need to be sure that we’re coming at it from a strategic point of view.

Product descriptions, for example, are we giving customers all the feels and all the information they need to make a sale? Is my Instagram bio created in such a way so that people, when they land on it, are going to want to follow or buy and going to want to stick around and, be with our brand. We need to be creating buzz through our content. So making our own headlines. So we’re not waiting around for like Valentine’s day to crop up or Black Friday or for a new product launch. To talk about our products and businesses, we need to be creating our own headlines with our content.

And we can do that through various campaigns or, on our day to day content. We need to be unapologetic about shouting about our businesses because let’s face it. No one else is going to do it for us. We need to show up regularly and repeat our messages, our values, our beliefs. I think small business owners often feels like they’re boring people by repeating the same message.

Or, they don’t have anything new to talk about. We know from the data that we see on Instagram, for example, your content is shown to such a tiny proportion of your, even your audience, let alone, beyond that, we need to be repeating those messages and actually, coming from big brand corporate world, when they run campaigns, they do it from a playbook, which means that they specifically repeat messages time and time again, because that is what builds recognition . And that’s when people start to remember, and that’s when people start to take action. And we know people need to see messages many times before they even think about taking any action. It’s just how, consumer psychology works. So making sure that we are really strategic about how we’re using our words and our content so that it is doing a job and pulling its weight for our business.

Catherine Erdly: Yeah, that’s such a great point. I often say that to people like Nike don’t go, do you know, do you think we said just do it, you know, too many times now everyone’s bored of hearing it, Coca Cola do we need the Coca Cola Santa, I don’t know, it’s just that these things that we accept it from these big businesses that they absolutely hammer the same message over and over again, but then for small businesses.

Maybe it’s because, I do wonder sometimes it’s because often we are the face of our brands or it’s a very personal brand. And when you’re a person talking to another person, you’re conscious of the fact that you don’t want to just keep telling somebody the same story over and over again, because that would make you a bit odd and boring, but we forget that yes, we may be the face of our brand. We may be personal, but equally so that we have, this is a business and we have a message and the marketing message needs to be consistent. 

How do we make our own headlines?

Catherine Erdly: I loved what you said there about making your own headlines. Could you give us a couple of examples?

So if someone’s listening and thinking, okay, that sounds great. How do I make my own headline?

Char Dixon: so for example, if you’re thinking like, I’ve got nothing to create content on today I don’t have anything new dropping. There’s no like major retail event going on. For example, if one of your values is sustainability, you could create a campaign and have sustainability week, every post, every piece of content, everything you talk about that week, you’re going to hype up about sustainability.

You’re going to talk about how it comes through in your products, in your packaging, how you believe in that, why you believe in that. give us, facts around the industry. You could run a whole campaign. And by campaign, I mean, just everything that you talk about that week is devoted to this one subject.

And you could run a whole campaign about sustainability. What that does is create buzz because you’ve knocked people out of the, what they normally expect from you. They’re scrolling. And it creates buzz. It also lets you go deeper into certain areas of your business. So it means that, often our content, we keep it quite top layer, top level.

But when we go deeper into the subject, people are then just Oh, wow. They’ve actually put so much thought and care and attention to, not just the products, but the packaging, maybe your actual studio is all plastic free, all of these things that. build into the value of your business.

And when we show all these little, inside scoops on our business like that, every time we do that, it adds value to the customer. Suddenly they’re just like, this is the kind of business that I want to b uy into this is the kind of product that I value in my life at my home.

So you can create your own headlines in that way. And it can be anything, it could be like, we’re going to go all out on blue. It could be, you know, absolutely anything, whatever resonates most with you, your business, something that’s going on at the minute, you can create campaigns out of nothing and everything.

Catherine Erdly: Yeah. Yeah. Yeah. I often think people forget about their best sellers as well. Like people think you might do my new product launch or my seasonal collections, but actually having a week where all you do is talk about your bestselling item and how amazing it is and how you came up with a concept and why people love it, and all the great feedback you’ve had that is, it’s just as valid because actually.

It’s more likely people are going to buy it because it’s already a bestseller. So why not shout about it? Yeah. 

How can you use content to move people through the sales process?

Catherine Erdly: So let’s talk a little bit more about the kind of buyer journey, if you like. So obviously the goal for People, especially on social media, is they want to get those people who are scrolling, as you talked about, the kind of casual observer, if you like, or the casual, the person who just comes across you and you want to turn them into buyers, actual cold hard cash.

Often people get really tripped up on how to actually use the content to move people through that process. So can you give us some tips on thinking about that strategically?

Char Dixon: Absolutely. It’s really interesting because we all kind of know like a shop situation cause we’ve all been in them and stuff. But when we think of digital, we feel like it has to be different and actually the principles are exactly the same, whether we’re in a bricks and mortar store or if we’re online.

So for example, if we go to like a shop situation, you wouldn’t open your door of your shop to someone that’s never been in before. for us to shoe in their face and say, this one’s 69 pounds. You know, We would open the door. We would welcome them in. If they didn’t know about our business, we would tell them a little bit about it.

We would maybe then show them around the collection. We’d maybe ask them, is there something specific they’re shopping for? And then, you know, we’d start to get to know them a little bit. If they bought with us before they came back in, we’d be like, Oh, you love this last time.

Maybe you would like this, this time we’ve got some new things in that we think you’d love. So we can do exactly the same in our content by making sure that we have something for all of those phases and all of those different customers. If we are closing the loop and we have content for each of those phases and customers, we will keep them in our world, in our business.

And they will go through that process of having enough information and all the feels and all of that good stuff to take them from understanding who we are as a business, what we stand for, what we care about, what we sell, why, and then going into the finer details of the products then, doing that all again.

So by having content that speaks to all of those different things, that’s how we make sure that we keep people in our loop and they don’t fall out of that loop. But yeah, essentially the principles are exactly the same. As if it were in a physical shop scenario.

Catherine Erdly: So make sure that you’ve got the content that talks about you as a brand, talks about what you do, talks about your beliefs, your values. 

What type of digital content fits each phase of the buyer’s journey?

Catherine Erdly: Do you suggest that people almost work out a percentage that they should have of each type or is it about making sure that you’ve got a mix and you’re not just always using the same sort of, understanding what, what phase this content addresses, is that useful as well?

Char Dixon: Yeah. So essentially you want to make sure that you’ve got some content that brings new people in, which tends to be reels. So saying, my reels are going to be the thing that is going to bring people into my business.

Focusing on that, focusing that piece of content. So that is about bringing people in and you focus that content to be as such.

So what’s going to get people’s attention. What’s going to bring them into the business. 

If we’re talking about in jokes that they don’t get yet, it’s not gonna work. We need to wait until they’re into our business, for example, in our stories, because we know that the people hanging out in our stories are our most loyal fans.

That’s when we can start having in jokes and, conversations and chats and all that good stuff. That is where we build those connections, develop those, communities. Reels, where we’re going to be out trying to get new customers and not the place to do that kind of content. 

So we need to look at within our content, which bit are we going to have for getting new people and then, your CTA, for example, becomes follow me CTA.

We want to get those people in. Once they’re in, we can then start to connect, build community, have conversations with them. So now we need to tailor our content more towards that. What do they now need? They want to know more about the business, our values, what we’re all about. And then obviously they want to see more detail of the product. We want to talk about all those gorgeous, you know, the feels of our product and what that really is, for us in terms of feelings and impact on our life. But we also want to go into the detail as well. They want to see it up close, especially in a digital space where we can’t pick it up and have a look and, have a feel and all that, all those lovely things that we can do in a physical shop.

Making sure that we’ve got all of that information as well, that we’ve gone really into the detail. So maybe it’s a carousel. It takes one product and shows every single little angle of it up close. So we feel like we’re almost in that shop holding it and having a look at it. So making sure that when we create each piece of content, we should know what job it’s setting out to do because no one piece of content will do it all.

Catherine Erdly: That’s such a good point. 

How do you create content that builds community and connection?

Catherine Erdly: So you mentioned the community and I’d like to drill into that a little bit more. So what are some of the ways that people can use their content to create that connection? You talked about the importance of it, but how do you actually go about creating content that creates community and connection?

Char Dixon: Yeah. So essentially we want to put our community, our people, our followers, at the heart of everything. So what do they genuinely need help with? What do they want to see more of? How can you genuinely make their home or their day or their lives better? So we need to think about going beyond selling products, beyond features and functionality, and we need to think about more about creating a lifestyle around those products that people want to buy into.

We don’t buy products for. Products themselves. So for example, like I don’t buy a candle because I want a glass jar of wax I want to buy a candle because it means I can shut the bathroom door away from the kids for half an hour I can have some me time. I can you know, my house can smell like a spa give me all of those good feelings If I buy like a planner, for example, it’s because I want to make some I want to take away the chaos that is my life and get some organization in there so it’s really about tapping into that and bringing people into that world.

So, you know, How can you help people be more organized? How can you, offer so much more in your content than here’s my planner, but rather Here’s how to be more organized in your life. Here’s how to have a routine So you can have a little bit more calm how you know, what are those other areas around your product that you can really tap into in your content. 

Going back to the candle example, could you have like moments of self care where you encourage people who are scrolling by to just stop pause for five minutes and just sit, just sit and, not be rushing around just for five minutes, everyone in the world can spare five minutes.

So it’s, how do you connect with your audience on that kind of basis? And how do you add real genuine value to them by creating content that Imagine if your product’s right at the heart of it and you’re building this world around it And that’s what you want to bring people into with your content

Catherine Erdly: Yeah, that’s such a great point to, so building the lifestyle that they can buy into. So just out of curiosity, there’s somewhere like June, shoe and bag brand. So that is the same process I imagine a big business, like that’s doing, they’re thinking about who is the June customer, what is their, what is buying shoes or bags from June saying about them, their lives.

How can you then it show that lifestyle is that the kind of thought process from a bigger retail perspective?

Char Dixon: Yeah you know with the bigger retail perspective again, it’s yeah, it’s exactly that it’s showing people How these products fit within their lives, how they’re going to feel going to, a wedding as a guest and having that confidence to feel good, showing how these pieces can make you feel essentially tapping into the emotional side.

Essentially you’re part of a tribe. It’s saying, this is what I like to do. This is how I spend my time. This is how I want to express myself in the world. And yeah, it would be exactly the same for, big retailers like that, as it would be for small ones and actually showing like user generated content.

So showing people using your products is a great way to show people in that community and enjoying that community and showing that you could have, be a part of that too. That’s also another really great way that, big brands and small brands can tap into that community feel as well, having that user generated content.

Catherine Erdly: Oh yeah. That’s such a good point. I love the book. It’s been years since I read it, but Seth Godin’s This is Marketing and he talks about people like us do things like this. 

Do you think it, I suppose it doesn’t always have to be aspirational, right? Cause sometimes when you think about buying into a lifestyle, we think about, I mean, I know that’s how luxury operates, right? They always want to show this lifestyle that you could be part of and you’re buying into that aspiration, but let’s suppose it could be more of a connection based on shared values.

Char Dixon: 100%! And I think there’s been a massive shift in recent years away from this flawless overproduced look in terms. And I think the big brands have actually had a bit of a wake up call because, they’ve gone from this switch where everything is, Photoshop to perfection. And actually people don’t really want that.

They want the realness that comes, you know, through these small brands, for example, who are showing their vulnerable side and showing the highs, the lows, everything actually people want that people I think are wising up to the fact that everything’s been airbrushed and it’s not real and it’s not reality.

And I think people actually want to see themselves in user generated content. And there’s certainly been a shift in that direction, way to late, from the big brands, the small brands are doing this. They’ve always been doing this is, showing how their brand and products sit in the real world how it’s being used by real women with real bodies, with real things to say.

And I think That is something, that the small businesses win out on every single time and people definitely want that vulnerability. And I think, that vulnerability really is what builds connection. It’s what people really buy into and want to see that. So I don’t think we need to strive for perfection.

I think we need to strive for being real and authentic in our content, because that is what is gonna help you connect with your audience the most.

Catherine Erdly: Okay. 

Tips for streamlining content creation for small businesses.

Catherine Erdly: So let’s talk a little bit about content creation then, because obviously all small business owners are busy wearing multiple hats and it can feel really overwhelming to actually think about taking the time to create content. So what are some of your tips for streamlining the process or managing the juggle?

Char Dixon: it’s a lot. It’s a lot for sure. And I think, from how I try to keep things with my clients is just keep it super simple. Each week, for example, say, I’m going to do three posts, for example, a reel, a carousel, a grid post. Do the same every week, make it a routine, create in a series so that each time the format’s the same, you know where are you going to put your texts?

You know What color the text is going to be having those almost a style guide. In certain formats that you use suddenly takes out all of that headspace, all of that thinking, like we shouldn’t be creating posts from scratch. We shouldn’t be thinking like well, what’s this one going to look like? What’s it going to, you know, what’s the focus going to be? What’s the style going to be? 

We need to make it simpler at every step using templates where we have text. Again, so we’re just replacing the text rather than designing from scratch every time. 

Thinking about low maintenance formats like, yeah, it’s lovely to do day in the life, with a voiceover and all these different things, but that takes time if you don’t have the time, or if you find content overwhelming, stick to formats that are much more simple.

So whether that’s a time lapse of you working, you know, creating your products. Or, you know, simple, a simple video of you, creating products or working or what have you. Even organizing your studio space, whatever it is, and having text over the top. Having simple formats like that, that you can literally, repeat time and time again.

It’s good for you because you know where you’re at, you know what you’re going, you know, half the battle is What’s this even going to look like you get quicker and it becomes easier with practice, which is, always great. And also, we, again, going back to this point that we think we’re boring our audience, but actually people love familiarity.

They love that, if you think of like big shows that we see on TV this morning or whatever, they don’t change the format every day. But they don’t change the format because it would just be unmanageable. We need to think about how we keep the format, the structure, the same, but change the content within it. And having a process.

And I think, you know, we, I doubtedly. People have a process for their invoices. They have a process for, when they receive an order, how they might package it up and send it out, stop taking all these different things. You’ll have a process, but how many people have a content process that they follow every time? A lot of people, start from scratch every time. If you have a simple process that you finish, follow every time. You’ve suddenly taken out so much of the headspace, the guesswork, the energy, the time, and you’re now in such a better position to stick to what you’re going to commit to in terms of your content.

Catherine Erdly: That’s such great advice. Thank you so much. Yeah, absolutely. So just basically reduce the headspace.

Keep it simple. Don’t overcomplicate it. Have a rinse and repeat formula so that you can go from there. Love it. 

How do you measure the success of your content? 

Catherine Erdly: So last question then is if you’re doing that and you’re, you’ve got your formats and you’ve gotten yourself into a routine process, how do you actually measure the success of content?

What are some of the key metrics people can look at to make sure that it’s not just the vanity metrics that they’re mapping, but just, what are some of the ways that you would encourage people to assess their formats? Cause presumably at some point you want to just check these formats are working and maybe tweak them if they’re not.

Char Dixon: And I would suggest doing this on a monthly basis, sit down with a cup of tea. You only need to take, 15 minutes out of your day, but it’s so important. I know it can seem daunting but all you need to do is go in, look at the content that you’ve shared over the past month, have a look at the metrics, the likes, the shares, the save, the follows. can you see any trends between those posts, the ones that have performed best, the ones that maybe haven’t. And when we’re looking at that, have a look at what was the topics we were talking about? Is there any commonalities between the themes that we were talking about? What about the length of your, Posts with length of your reels.

What was it? You know having your voice in them Did it not have your voice in it? Did it show your face? Did it not show your face? You will start to see trends In your posts what is doing better and then we can double down on what’s working and maybe Sack off the stuff that’s not doing so well. Give it chance to to, to flourish.

If it’s something you’ve just started doing, there is no point, going on and on with a series that we know isn’t maybe landing as we want it to. Looking at those results once a month. Having a look at, another really good one is having a look at profile visits versus follows.

So if you go onto a post and it’s got 20 profile visits and no follows. That is generally telling you that your bio needs a bit of an update because they’re coming to you from a post or your posts and your profile don’t match. So you probably need to do a little bit of a refresh on your profile, which we all need to do from time to time.

It’s just general maintenance. But that one can be a really good indicator that People are not finding what they expect or it’s a little bit lacking or they can’t binge it. We want people to look at your grid and just totally see what everything’s all about so that they can then just go through and have a bit of a session on your grid.

So that’s a really good one, but yeah, having a look at what’s working, what’s not, and use that data to then Go into the following month and use that to plan your next month’s content.

Catherine Erdly: Fantastic. Thank you so much, Shard. It’s been such a fantastic conversation. I know it’s going to be so useful for people listening. 

Where to find out more about Char Dixon at Loudmouth Content

Catherine Erdly: So do you want to wrap up by telling us where we can find out more about you?

Char Dixon: so I’m mostly on Instagram at loudmouth content and You can come and check out all I’ve got loads of tips on content there. You can DM me we can chat I also run power hours. So if you want to get your content working harder you want instagram to be a better sales and marketing channel for you We can absolutely thrash out a strategy for you If you want to look at emails we can do that too Or if you just want me to do it for You can come and get some copywriting done by me as well But yeah, if you head over to instagram at loudmouth content and we can go from there

Catherine Erdly: Thanks so much for listening in. Why don’t you head over to Resilient Retail Club on Instagram? Let me know what you thought about today’s episode and why not share a photo of where you’re tuning in from. I always love to see those when I’m tagged in them. Also, I want to say a huge thank you because I recently discovered that this podcast is in the top 2 percent of podcasts globally, which is an incredible idea and just makes me so grateful to everyone who listens. So thank you so much. Don’t forget if you subscribe or follow the podcast, then you’ll be the first to know about each new episode that comes out on a Thursday morning. And of course, if you have a moment to rate and review the podcast, it makes a huge difference in terms of getting out there in front of more people.

Thank you so much for listening and I’ll see you next week. 

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