Monday, 18 August 2014

Partner Post: Content Marketing Tips for the Small Business Owner

Marketing has changed and evolved over the last decade, even for the small business owner. While advertisements might have been the best method for garnering new business in the past, content really is the present and the future for the average small business.

However, many small business owners don’t really understand the best ways to employ content on their website, blog or even their social media pages. If you know you fall into that group you’re not alone. Use these tips to help you get the most out of the content you create and post.

Photo courtesy of Flickr.com

Use Your Calendar
As a business owner, you already use a calendar to keep track of everything that you do, from meetings to payments to simply scheduling deliveries and pickups. However, many business owners simply don’t create a calendar when it comes to the content that they’re going to create and post.

A content calendar is something you need to employ. If you’re like many small business owners, your number one complaint about content marketing is that it takes too much time. By creating a calendar in advance, you’ll always be ahead of the curve, and adding your 'content due' dates to the Insightly calendar is a snap.

If creating content is difficult for you and you don’t want to use an outside source or writer, you need to make sure that you’re at least a handful of posts ahead at all times. That way if you miss a self-imposed deadline or get behind, you’ll still have content to post when readers and customers expect it.

Posting your content at regular intervals, whether that’s every day or once per week on Friday, is essential for loyal readership.

Consider Trending Topics
Generating ideas for your content can be difficult, especially if you work in a business that doesn’t seem to lend itself to content marketing. However, there are ways to find topics for posts, even if they aren’t directly related to your business, at least at first glance.

One of those ways is a process commonly referred to as ‘newsjacking.’ Simply put, ‘newsjacking’ is the process of finding a trending topic in the news or on social media sites and gearing it toward what your business does.

Even commenting on news topics in your area or region can help generate content and stay on the radar for people interested in your business. You may not be able to have every post directly related to your business, but you can include your company name and get people reading, which will expose them to your business and your other pieces of content on your blog or website.

Surveys are More Effective than You Think
When most of us think about consumer surveys we think about annoying phone calls that always seem to start right about the time we sit down for dinner. However, when it comes to the internet, consumer surveys aren’t as maligned and are considerably more effective than you might think.

Creating a simple survey can also help you understand how your customer base feels about a certain topic, which can help you create content in the future for other posts.

When it comes to creating effective surveys, it’s best to keep them short and sweet and ask the most important questions first. A progress bar can also help keep individuals being surveyed from starting and not finishing.

Summary
The content you create is becoming more and more important each day, and if you want to succeed and grow as a small business, you’re going to need to employ it effectively. These basic tips can help get you started, but as usual, quality content is the most important factor.

Follow these tips and give your readers and customers something they’ll appreciate and be able to use in their daily lives and you will have created a successful marketing campaign, all without spending an arm and a leg on advertisements.  Do you have any tips of your own to suggest?

About the Author:  Owen Andrew is a journalist and tech enthusiast who enjoys his morning black coffee while attempting the crossword puzzle. He has written for numerous publications, both in print and web format. As of late, he’s enjoyed researching and writing on all-things eCommerce and entrepreneurship. We hope that you enjoy this article and find it useful.

1 comment:

  1. I couldn't agree more with you on this topic. As they say, content is king and it's becoming more important for small businesses to create relevant content in order to create awareness and attract new customers. When I started my coffee business, I created a media calendar to keep me sane in navigating all the social media outlets. It helped me for a few weeks, but I noticed that there were themes/hashtags like #tbt #ff where my calendar didn't fit in, so I stopped using it. I'm hoping Insightly will help me with the calendar, but I have a few questions that I hope you can shed some light into. 1) What tools/apps do you recommend for small businesses to help them streamline content publishing on multiple social media outlets? 2) What themes/hashtags do you recommend using in order to attract a larger audience? Which ones do you feel are more effective in social media? Thank you for your article. @cafevidita

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