When you are running a small business, content marketing can be your absolute best friend. In many industries, few if any of your competitors will be doing content marketing well, and claiming that space can make your business the one to catch.
But if you want to be successful with content marketing, you need to both create great content, and promote great content. So how do you promote content without breaking your small business marketing budget? These tips will help you get started.
Keep an eye on the competition
While they shouldn’t be your primary focus, keep an eye on what your competition is doing. What social media channels do they use? How effectively are they using them? Can you take what they’re doing and improve on it?
One way to create content is to comment on happenings in your industry. If your competition posts a blog that suggests one way of doing things, consider pointing out the benefits of the opposite point of view, or expanding on the points they make.
Not only does this create content for you, but it makes you look like a team player in the industry, which is great. If your value proposition is really and truly unique, then you aren’t inherently threatened by them, anyway.
For your content marketing strategy to be successful, it needs to be organized. This can mean different things for different companies, but in general, you want to know three things:
- What the topic will be
- When it will be published
- And, if you have multiple writers on staff, who will be writing it.
When you plan these things out ahead of time, you will have plenty of time to do drafts and revisions, while still making sure that the content is published on a regular schedule. Regular is important; your clients will plan to check your website when they know an update is coming. Make sure and have it ready for them.
Organizing your promotion is just as simple. Using tools like Hootsuite, you can organize tweets, Facebook posts, and other content promotion ahead of time, making sure that reminders go out for the morning coffee and after-dinner crowd, for example.
Break away from text only
Content has always been an important part of SEO and link building, given the history of keywords, search engines, and other factors. That said, video, pictures, and graphics are now an integral part of our reading, especially online. From reaction gifs to entire Youtube reaction videos, there’s a place for the visual in content.
Many companies have built a successful presence with videos offering in depth demonstrations of products, showcasing new items, and comparing one product with another. The most successful example of this concept may be Goulet Pens.
It’s a good idea, however, to make sure that all of your visual content is accessible. Closed captioning or subtitling videos, using alt text for images, and generally making sure that screen readers can use your website easily are all key to making sure that the disabled population can use your system easily.
Almost 300 million people around the world are blind or visually impaired, and that’s before we talk about people with conditions like autism or sensory processing disorder, which can make visual processing difficult.
Work with influencers
Who, in your industry, do people look to when they want information about a new product or item? In the book world, for example, blogs, Twitter, and Tumblr, are absolutely the places where people go to find out about new books. Publishers, agents, and writers are all encouraged to have active profiles in these areas. An author that wants to get reviews for their new book courts book bloggers in their genre to get reviews.
Every industry has influencers, those who have a high trust relationship with their audience. Their audience will often take the influencer’s advice, buying a product or investing in a decision because the influencer suggested it.
As an entrepreneur, working with influencers can help your product or service become successful. Find the influencers in your industry by being active in social media, and pitch the influencers just as seriously as you would any investor.
Engage in organic conversations
Social media is the name of the game when you’re looking to promote any product or service right now. To do so, you need to have a following on your social media platform. How do you build that platform? You need to put in more than you expect to take out.
What does that mean? You need to tweet, or post, or share more than just items about your particular product. You also should offer interesting content, retweet or reshare those who talk about your product, and engage with customers in public spaces. Always remember that you are acting as the public face of your company when you do so. The Internet is forever, and nothing is ever really deleted, especially now when every device has the ability to take a screenshot.
Small businesses face unique challenges when it comes to promoting their material. They often have smaller budgets, smaller niches, and smaller platforms. They can’t afford to spend millions of dollars on banner ads and print campaigns.
But the good news is that they don’t need to. For better or worse, the Internet has equalized many of the issues that made marketing frustrating for small publications. While bidding for keywords can be tricky and expensive, quality shines over quantity on social media, blogs, and in many other venues.
By investing time and effort into content marketing and content promotion, small businesses can increase their market share and make themselves more competitive with the bigger players in their industries. They can create a niche that is targeted towards a very specific customer market, and ensure that they dominate that arena.
What low-cost content promotion strategies have you found to be effective for small businesses?