Tag: Content

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

How To Distribute Your Online Content

Forget paper ads and billboards, these days companies are connecting with their customers by creating interesting, informative, and useful content that shows consumers how their product can improve their lives. But once you produce this great content, how do you get it out there so people can see it?

Since you most likely don’t have the luxury of a massive advertising budget to spread your message you’ll need to decide which methods you can afford to help you reach people, tell your story, and grow your business. Fortunately, many of the most effective tools are inexpensive and easy to use.

Here are ten of the best distribution and marketing tools for your online content:

Buzzsumo

Are you looking for a way to come up with fresh new content while keeping an eye on what the competition is doing? Buzzsumo is a handy search tool that allows you to track and analyze the most frequently shared content across all social networking sites for any topic. In addition, it ranks and monitors the most influential creators of content. It also gives you the ability to identify who has linked to or shared your content.

Outbrain

Having high-quality content is great—but only if you’re attracting enough readers. Otherwise, you’re wasting one of your most precious marketing commodities. That’s where  Outbrain enters the picture. Outbrain allows you to place your best content on third-party sites that draw major traffic (think CNN).

This platform classifies your material as “sponsored content” and employs an algorithm that targets specific readers who are likely to be interested in your content to help get it in front of larger audiences. This tool charges a fee on every click it produces, but the potential for exponentially higher exposure may make this a welcome trade-off.

Mailchimp

If you’re looking to create powerful newsletters with minimal effort, Mailchimp is perhaps the best choice available. You don’t have to be a web developer to create great-looking pages.

Digital newsletter marketing has been around for a while, but the power and accessibility of services such as Mailchimp have breathed new life into the form. If implemented correctly, a good newsletter can build loyalty and a sense of anticipation among your readers—two very good things if you’re trying to cultivate long-term business.

Buffer

The number of important social media platforms reached double digits a while ago, and new contenders seem to crop up on a daily basis. If you’re trying to get your best content out via a variety of platforms, coordinating and scheduling can be practically a full-time job.

That’s the value of Buffer. It allows you to schedule and publish content for multiple social media platforms from one location. Just create a set of posts and Buffer will send them out throughout the day. This ensures that your content distribution is handled reliably and efficiently.

Facebook

Everyone knows that Facebook is critical to any content marketing approach. The sheer size and reach of the platform makes engagement a necessity. In fact, a survey of marketing executives byAdvertising Age found that 85 percent routinely use Facebook as part of their strategy.

There is plenty of evidence that this is a sound tactic, especially with the use of promoted or boosted posts to increase likes, shares, new fans, and engagements. Just be sure you’re targeting the right audience with your posts.

Click to Tweet

Organic sharing and promotion is the holy grail of marketing, and that’s where a tool like Click to Tweet is useful. It allows you to easily create a tweetable link so you can highlight compelling information within your content (like statistics or surprising information). It provides readers with multiple access points within one piece of content that encourage readers to share simply by “clicking to tweet.”

SEMrush

Curious how your content marketing efforts are stacking up against the competition? Wondering which keywords are driving traffic to their sites? SEMrush allows you to simply type in your competitor’s website and find out the top ten keywords that are generating visits to their site. If your traffic isn’t where it needs to be, this information is an extremely useful comparison point. It’s simple, but illuminating.

AddThis

If you want people to share your content, you need to make the process as easy and streamlined as possible. AddThis lets users share your content without leaving your page. This platform facilitates the easy installation of sharing buttons and icons, as well as provides in-depth analytics to help you understand user activity and drive more viral traffic to your site. This can significantly lower your bounce rate—while boosting your number of shares, likes, tweets, pins, etc.

Storify

What if you could create stories out of popular posts on social media? Storify allows you to gather a collection of interesting tweets or posts and compile them into a larger piece of content for your own use.

Aside from the obvious content creation benefits, Storify is a great way to keep your finger on the pulse of social media. Used correctly, this service can provide you with a steady stream of content ideas and keep you tapped into the social zeitgeist.

SimpleReach

SimpleReach provides real-time feedback, insight, and data about what’s popular in the social realm to help marketers quickly identify trending topics and drive ROI. This tool highlights the right content for the right audiences across social networks such as Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn, and ensures you don’t miss any opportunities for content sharing. Best of all, SimpleReach archives historical social data, making it a treasure trove for analytically-inclined marketers and publishers.

Content marketing has never been more popular, and it’s expected to keep growing—which means it’s vital for your company to stay ahead of the competition. By investing in simple, easy-to-use, and inexpensive online marketing and distribution tools, you put your business in an excellent position to do exactly that.

Written by: Andrew Brown

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