My work puts me in contact with small business owners and solopreneurs on a regular basis. The vast majority of them wear many hats, one of the most important being sales and marketing. Too many of them are overwhelmed when it comes to digital marketing. Creating a comprehensive digital marketing plan for your small business is necessary, but it doesn’t have to be overwhelming. You can take one step at a time. My best advice for small business on small budgets is to do two things: create a targeted Facebook advertising campaign, and get blogging.
I am not a Facebook advertising specialist, but I know one of the very best out there and can refer you. I am a content marketing specialist, which means I know how to set up a blog and make it thrive. If you’re just getting started, here are the steps you need to take:
- Make sure they can find it. People will not search around for your blog. They are not dying to read it, at least not when you first start out. Make it easy to find on your site.
- Have a sign-up form for your blog. If you’re writing good stuff, your readers will want to come back. Make that easy for them to do by creating a very visible sign-up form or pop-up.
- Don’t make it tough to read. Light gray, tiny font may be all the rage with trendy web designers, but it’s ridiculously difficult to read. You have seconds to capture your reader’s attention. Don’t make them work extra hard to consume your content.
- Create a cohesive strategy. Like any marketing campaign or device, you need a strategy for how your blog will work. What does your monthly and yearly calendar look like? What are the best days to blog, and what key events should you touch on during the year?
- Yes, you can do this. One of the most common comments I hear from those considering a blog is “I don’t know what to write about.” The answer is simple: write posts on the things your customers want to know about. If you’re in a tourist area, write about local events. If your business is service-oriented, write informational or instructional posts. And keep notes when ideas pop into your head. You have more inspiration than you think you do.
- Do it regularly. The key issue many businesses struggle with regarding their blog is sticking with it. If you seriously intend on using your blog to market your brand, you must be disciplined enough to write regularly, and that means once a week, minimum.
- Write at least 300 words. Many content marketers will tell you to write 1200 words or more, but you don’t need to write that many words. You’re likely not trying to take over the internet. Rather, you are trying to build your own audience. Anything less than 300 words won’t rank with Google. In most cases, anything too much longer won’t be read by your busy customers.
- Pay attention to what they like. Once you get some content out there you can keep an eye on what your readers are responding to. Installing Google Analytics helps you track what gets the most visits on your site. You can refine your content based on reader response.
- Encourage people to share. You’re writing to raise brand awareness. It’s great that you have a reader, but make sure you encourage them to spread the word too. I like share buttons and the top and bottom of posts so that readers don’t have to search for them.
One of my clients has written every single day for over six years. Every. Single. Day. His posts often are around 300 words, and over the past 6 years, he’s built an email list of over 64,000 people. Because he is consistent, and because he publishes really good stuff, he has been able to use content marketing to explode his business. That sort of success is entirely possible for you, too. All you need is discipline and a strategy.
If you have any questions or would like guidance, email me.