Tag Archives: Small Business

Simple content marketing for a small business

simple-content-marketing-for-small-businessContent marketing isn’t just for big businesses having deep pockets. In fact, small businesses are in a better position to leverage content marketing due to the flexibility and abundance of creativity small business owners enjoy compared to highly bureaucratic and red-tape-tangled big businesses.

Yes, it takes efforts. I’m not saying content marketing is a quick-reward tactic. It’s a mistake to call it a tactic, it’s a prolonged strategy with long lasting results. You have to build it brick by brick. You will even have to pay content writers and content creators if you cannot create content on your own. It’s just like any other business asset that requires investment and effort.

Need to know what’s content marketing? You may like to read What is content marketing? Explained in detail.

Why a small business should embrace content marketing?

Here are some reasons why content marketing benefits your small business:

  • Conventional advertising is expensive and unscientific
  • PPC (pay-per-click) campaigns can totally blow up your budget
  • Content marketing makes people trust you
  • Content marketing helps you build your own media platform
  • Content marketing increases your visibility on search engines as well as social networking websites
  • You don’t have to pay for every click
  • The visibility that you create with content marketing is long-lasting
  • Once you have created a presence for yourself through content marketing, you no longer have to depend on search engines
  • Frankly, there is no other way, whether you realize it now, or later

Simple content marketing for a small business

The entry barrier to content marketing is very low. It is not as formidable as it may initially seem. In fact, you can formulate a content marketing strategy right now and start implementing it within the next one hour (first complete reading this). Here are a few simple things you can do to start your own content marketing campaign for your small business:

  1. Define your purpose: Content marketing is very precise and it is advisable that you clearly define your purpose right in the beginning of launching your content marketing strategy.What do you intend to achieve with content marketing?

    Of course, every business wants to get more customers and clients and this goes without saying, but what should be your key performance indicators (KPIs)? Are you looking for brand visibility on social networking websites like LinkedIn, Twitter, Instagram and Facebook? Do you want more subscribers for your business newsletter? Do you want more customers (duh!)? Read 12 most important KPIs of content marketing.

  2. Do keyword research: Keyword research is not as simple as it may seem in the beginning. You have to think how your typical customer or client would think when he or she needs to find your business. Don’t assume what keywords and search terms they should be using. There are many good keywords tools available (you can begin with this Google keyword tool).Keyword research isn’t just for better search engine rankings, it also helps you keep yourself focused and create the most appropriate content using the most appropriate language that your prospective customers and clients use. Keyword research gives you a direction.
  3. Create content topics: These are the blog posts and webpages that you are going to write or create content for. Remember that you need to create your topics keeping in mind what sort of traffic you want to get to your website or blog.If I want to get more clients for my content writing and content marketing services I write content that shows how much I know as well as how interested I am in getting your business.

    If you provide a consulting service than you want to tell people how much you know and how you help your clients. If you sell a product you would like to describe what are the benefits of those products in every possible way.

  4. Set up a domain account in Google Analytics and Google’s Webmasters Tools: These will help you monitor what sort of traffic your content is attracting. You will have to combine both of them to get a better insight.These tools will tell you what keywords people use to find your content. They will also tell you from where you get your traffic the most. Here is a good blog post on how to use Google Search Analytics to enhance your content marketing. If you find it difficult to understand, stay tuned, one of these days I will create a simplified version of how to use these tools to improve your content marketing efforts.
  5. Start publishing blog posts: Publishing blog posts is the easiest form of content marketing. Although, I repeatedly say that simply publishing blog posts on your blog isn’t exactly content marketing, it is your base. Without having quality content, there is nothing to market. So, everything starts with quality content that you publish under your domain name. Publish posts based on the topics you have created, based on the keywords you have researched.
  6. Use social channels to share your content: If you have a LinkedIn account (better for B2B businesses) start sharing the links of the blog posts you have started publishing. Use Twitter, use Facebook, use whatever social networking channel you prefer and where you would like to build your audience. This will bring visibility to your newly-created content.
  7. Monitor performance using Google Analytics and Google’s Webmasters Tools: You will need to be patient. These tools won’t get data initially. Google won’t even index your new content in the beginning if your domain is new. It may take a couple of months before you begin to see some data in Google Analytics and Google’s Webmasters Tools. Be persistent without worrying – every small business or big business goes through this process.
  8. Curate content from other sources: You don’t always have to create content from scratch. Awesome content is being created every minute on other websites and blogs. You can curate content from these sources from time to time and share it on your social networking timelines. You can also create smaller blog posts with your unique point of view with the help of curated content. Read Can you use content curation as a viable content marketing tool?
  9. Repurpose your popular content: If you observe that particular blog posts are getting more attention you can re-purpose their content. You can pick up the main points and create slides and then share the slides on a platform like Slideshare.com. If your blog post contains data, you can create an infographic and share it again on social networking platforms. If possible, you can create a small YouTube video, upload it on YouTube, and then share it again. There are many ways you can re-purpose your existing content. You may like to read How to repurpose old content.

These are a few simple ways a small business can use content marketing. As I mentioned in the beginning, just like any other business activity, it takes effort, consistency, a bit of creativity, and persistence. It’s not a shortcut. It’s an alternative, a way better alternative to conventional advertising and promotion. Revisit the above point: Why a small business should embrace content marketing.

Why a blog is important for your small business

Business blogging

Do you publish a small business blog? As a small business if you don’t have a blog you are losing out on many aspects of online marketing, SEO and social engagement.

Having a small business blog has many advantages. Small businesses normally don’t have big marketing budgets and they have to depend on individual effort in order to survive and thrive. Blogging kills multiple birds (I don’t endorse killing of birds for entertainment and leisure purposes, in fact I loathe such acts) with a single stone. Once you have set up a small business blog and accumulated some high-quality blog posts

  • Your website begins to rank higher on various search engines
  • Search engines index and rank greater number of pages and blog posts from your website
  • Your overall keyword density improves
  • You have useful content to share on your social media and social networking profiles
  • Your followers and friends get more opportunities to promote your links as you publish fresh content regularly
  • You establish yourself as an authority due to the expertise you constantly share through your small business blog
  • Search engines and social media websites begin to regard you as an authority and hence attach more importance to your content
  • You engage your visitors in meaningful conversations and hence improve your recognition and identity and consequently, strengthen your brand

Having a small business blog is easy

You can either set up a business blog under your existing domain name (something like //yourwebsite.com/blog) or you can have a separate domain name for your blog and put your main website link there. Although there are many free blog hosting services that you can use; I recommend using WordPress for your small business blog because it gives you full control over your blog in terms of layout and content. Besides, you can freely download it and install it on your server. This is more important especially now when online services are randomly shut down by even reputed companies like Google..

Provided you already have a website and you want to host a small business blog under your existing domain name, it doesn’t cost you much. You can either do it on your own, or you can hire somebody who is comfortable installing WordPress blogs. The benefit of hiring someone experienced is that within a couple of hours you are ready to go.

Maintaining a small business blog demands some time and investment

Of course as a business tool a small business blog cannot be 100% free. Either you yourself will have to create content or you’ll need to hire a content writer for that. Initially, in the fit of enthusiasm you can create a few well-written blog posts but eventually you will need to look out for an experienced content writer who can take over your blog and make sure it always has fresh, relevant and useful content.

Rather than quantity focus on quality

For your small business blog it is very important you don’t get swayed by the keyword hoopla and focus on the broad quality of your content. Getting 100s of keyword-centric blog posts may get you lots of traffic, but if that traffic doesn’t convert into business, you are simply wasting your money and effort. Instead, invest on high-quality content that not only ranks higher on search engines and performs better on social media and social networking websites, but also improves your conversion rate.

Besides, these days you can be penalized by search engines like Google for over-using your keywords. So use your keywords whenever they are necessary and don’t needlessly stuff them. Even your content writer must know that. Sometimes people indulge in keyword stuffing unknowingly and if your content writer is doing that, you will need to remind him or her not to do it.

Does having a small business blog actually help you?

It depends on what you’re looking for. If you think your small business blog will immediately increase your business, it may not happen. It is a publishing platform. It helps you build a communication tool that can help you in whichever way you want. There is traffic, and then there is targeted traffic. Targeted traffic to your small business blog will always have a greater conversion rate compared to non-targeted traffic.

The success of your small business blog also hinges upon your clarity of purpose. Do you want to build an audience that will eventually turn into your customers, or do you want to straightaway sell your products and services via your blog posts? To be frank, whether it makes sense or not, on the Internet people are turned off if you are directly trying to sell them. Of course everybody understands that eventually you need to make a living, and nobody resents that. But if you are providing quality content, just provide quality content through your small business blog. Don’t try to trick people into buying your product or service just because they have come to your blog to read your blog posts.

Yes, your small business blog can increase your business. Use it to increase the level of credibility. Use it to develop a strong readership base. Encourage people to subscribe to your e-mail updates and try to engage them as much as possible. Remember that it is the level of engagement and recognition that will eventually encourages them to do business with you, and this you can be easily achieve by publishing a regular small business blog.