Tag: Business

Content Marketing for Small Businesses

Content marketing is the white-hot marketing space right now.  Every marketer is working on content strategy and trying to figure out how to leverage the power of content to engage with consumers.  For small businesses, this new world of content marketing provides a massive opportunity by leveling the playing field to an extent and creating an environment where a savvy small firm can gain disproportionate levels of exposure.

The big question is how can a small business best jump into the content marketing game and be successful with limited resources?

Know your people

At the core of a good content marketing program is a clear understanding of your target audiences.  Don’t try to create content for everyone, identify your top two or three buyer types and focus on providing the most relevant content you can for those audiences.

Tell a great story

Based on insight about each of your target buyers, create stories that appeal not just to the functional needs those buyers might have, but also to the underlying emotional needs.  For example, new parents aren’t just looking for a stroller with the right bells and whistles; they have underlying desires and emotions around safety, comfort and quality.  Spend a little extra time trying to understand what your customers want and need at a deeper level.

Use the best tool for the job

When you know your audience and have a strong story your next challenge is determining which content types are best to tell that particular story.  It may be that a series of videos is the best way to communicate or it may be your customers want documentation and more technical detail.  This is also an opportunity to test different approaches to see what works best.  Keep it simple but recognize even a great story executed the wrong way will have a reduced impact.

Keep it fresh

For a small business there is always a challenge creating a steady stream of new content.  No matter how often you create new content make sure that what you have out there is refreshed and current.  Materials that reference old product versions or dates need to be updated.  Consumers want to feel like they are getting the most recent information they can.

Don’t overwhelm

More is not always better.  In fact, there is a growing frame of mind in the marketing world that some of the previous ideas about content and frequency and volume have created too much noise. Increasingly marketers are focusing more on quality than quantity.  Provide relevant, interesting content less often and consumers may be more likely to engage.

Creating and distributing content is easier than ever before so for a small business there has never been a better time to roll up your sleeves, create some content and engage new customers

Written by: Chris Ross

WordPress For Your Company Website

Are you still deciding what software to use to build your new company website? Still think that WordPress is just for publishing blogs? WordPress powers about 20 percent of all websites on the Internet, but you might be surprised to find that less than half of those are actually “just blogs.” The majority of websites powered by WordPress are actually sites using WordPress for full content management, not just for news updates. Here are some of the many reasons we recommend using WordPress for your company website.

It’s a publishing platform.

WordPress isn’t just designed for publishing posts, it also provides all of that power behind WYSWYG content editing, preview, categories, tags, password protection, and revisions in pages as well. It’s designed to manage any kind of content, not just posts.

For company websites, we suggest opening your “Reading” settings and switching to a static front page for a fully customized landing page, and if you’re not quite ready to also provide a “News” or “Blog” section on your website, you can even leave posts unassigned (to any page) to simply disable them altogether.

It’s secure and easy to update.

When a vulnerability is found within WordPress, it’s handled professionally and promptly fixed. That fix is automatically applied to your website over encrypted lines, so you can relax on vacation knowing your website is in good hands. Additionally, WordPress provides incredibly simple one-click updates to new versions of the software, and any installed plugins or themes.

Anyone in the company can manage content.

By default, WordPress comes with flexible admin, editor, and author roles that make it easy to progressively train new employees on how to write new content, and manage existing pages and posts in a professional manner. It’s possible to configure a full content review process that ensures nothing is published without proper authorization. The administration panel is also so easy to use, that bringing new employees on board and up to speed is trivial.

It’s highly extendable and customizable.

It doesn’t matter what industry you’re in, there’s a WordPress theme out there somewhere that was designed specifically with you in mind. We recommend checking out some of the professionally designed and well supported themes from the Mojo Marketplace, but there are also thousands of free themes on WordPress.org (many of them still useful for small business).

WordPress is optimized for search engines straight out of the gate, but it’s still possible to extend that functionality even further with various plugins when you require more critical control over those features for your company website. Plugins already exist for other functionality you might also need including social media integration, selling products, building an online community, adding site analytics, event registration and tracking, and just about anything else you can think of. Best of all, most of it is free.

When you grow, it grows with you.

WordPress is well known for its ability to scale up to even the kind of traffic that even sites like The New York Times, and CNN handle. It doesn’t matter how big your company grows, you’ll have the comfort of knowing that you will never need to figure out how to move to another piece of expensive software.

Hopefully this post has answered questions you may have about whether or not WordPress is the right platform for your site. Check back regularly  for inside tips on WordPress and if you have any questions, let us know in the comments below or give us a call!

5 Quick Tips to Improve Your Business Writing Skills

You might not consider yourself a Chetan Bhagat or Dan Brown, but with all those blog posts, websites, calls to action, and social media updates, you’re writing a lot.

Direct, snappy, clear-eyed prose transforms ordinary websites into ones that sing. It makes tweets instantly quotable. It gives your readers a reason to smile! So, how do you get better?

Write often: This is a gimme, right? But even if you’re not working on a novel, finish something small every day and you’ll get better fast.

Make ‘em think: A small nugget of something valuable trumps paragraphs of gibberish. Your goal? Short, sweet, and informative.

Aim for consistency: If you’re active on Twitter one week and silent the next, customers don’t know what to expect. Become a familiar (perfectly spelled) face.

Find a good reader: Even the most successful authors have editors. Ask a literary friend to give their honest advice: Was that tweet funny? Could this blog post be better?

Look for inspiration: To learn more about process, check out Stephen King’s On Writing. But don’t let reading replace actual writing. Put down the book (or tablet) and pick up the pen(or keyboard)

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