Small Business Content Marketing Guide – The Who, What, When, Where, Why and How Guide for Small Business Owners.
Small Business Content Marketing Guide
Traditional marketing is becoming less and less effective by the minute; as a forward-thinking business owner there has to be a better way.
Small Business Content Marketing Guide
Content Marketing – Who, What, When, Where and Why
This Small Business Content Marketing Guide is designed for small business owners that need to increase their “digital footprint”.
What is Content Marketing?
The Content Marketing Institute defines Content Marketing as;
A strategic marketing approach focused on creating and distributing valuable, relevant, and consistent content to attract and retain a clearly defined audience — and, ultimately, to drive profitable customer action.
More directly, it is a type of marketing that involves the creation and sharing of online material (such as images, videos, blogs, and social media posts) that does not explicitly promote a brand but is intended to stimulate interest in its products or services.
Frequency can vary based on your type of business, but for most businesses, 1-2 quality content posts a week is a good start, and then you can adjust as needed from there.
Here is where most businesses slip up. When you engage in a content marketing strategy, the sole object is to drive traffic to your website, either from search return pages on Google and Bing, or social media. But here in the US, over 60% of business blogs are set up wrong. Far more than half of all company blogs/news/update pages don’t benefit your company at all when it comes to SEO. Standard SEO best practice is to have a blog located in a subdirectory on your domain.
Content Marketing vastly magnifies your social media presence. But is also greatly enhances your digital footprint on Google. Again, when it’s set up properly, each post needs to have a specific URL that can be indexed by the Google Bots, allowing the post to show in Google Search Returns, independent of your main webpage listing. Plus, when it’s set up the right way, when potential customers click on a social media post or a search return query, it directs to the post page on your site, with the full menu up top so they can explore further, of even click the contact page to call.
The problem is that it’s easier for your web developers to just install the blog on a subdomain. There is a myth that a subdomain will work just as well as a subdirectory. Evidence proves the disastrous results of this myth. We strongly recommend that you work to put your blog into a subdirectory of your main domain.
Small Business Content Marketing Guide – Web It 101
The Small Business Content Marketing Guide – “How”
Keyword Research and Planning
How can you best determine what to talk about? What keywords should you go after? You can start by diving into the Google Keyword Planner. If you don’t have a Google Adwords account (Pay per Click Ads at the top and bottom of the organic search returns), you can simply look at the bottom of the search result page, and you’ll see a list of popular searches related to what you just typed in. You can start there for free.
One basic problem with content marketing is most businesses see it as something to do when you have the time. And worse, many small businesses will try it for a week or two expecting the phone to ring off the hook, and when it doesn’t they stop.
This is not a TV or Radio Campaign! Content Marketing is something you do and never stop. Why? Let’s ask you this…
Ever pull up a business Facebook page and see the last post was in 2014? Would you think this is an “active” business or has it closed up shop? Also, Google favors “active” websites over “static” sites in search returns. In other words, if everything was on equal digital footing between you and a competitor – and your competitor frequently updates their website (blog) and you don’t, they would appear above you in a search return.
Image Manipulation and Creation
It’s helpful to own a copy of Photoshop (and have a working knowledge of image manipulation). If not, there are alternatives. Also keep in mind it’s important to at least have your business logo on images. And please don’t use the file name that is spit out by your camera or phone. When you upload the image, change the file name, alt info, title, caption and description to match the targeted keyword.
Ever do a Google image search? If you typed in “blue suede shoes” you typically don’t see red shoes in the image search returns. Google leans on those 5 image attributes much the same way they use over 200 variables to determine web results. And speaking of SEO…
Search Engine Optimization
SEO and Content Marketing are linked together the much the same way as a hamburger and fries or peanut butter and jelly. Now this makes sense as we are talking about the value of an effective content marketing strategy as it relates to Google search returns. You can see our SEO Guide for more details,but also keep in mind, effective SEO also includes social media. What good is it to post to Facebook for instance, and not have a click on the image lead directly to you website? That’s also SEO. Because like it or not, Facebook is also a second-tier search engine, much the same as Twitter, You Tube and other social sites.
Let’s move beyond Facebook likes for a moment. It’s important to know how many clicks came to your website, not only from social media, but also the Google Search Return Pages (SERP). After all, you’d want to know what’s working (and what landed with a thud) right? That involves tracking. Here at Web It 101 we can tell you how many clicks on your post, where that visit came from (locality), the website they were last on (was it Google or Facebook), was it Chrome on a laptop or Android on a phone and much more.
This allows you to expand on what is working and improve on what didn’t. Without it, you are flying blind.
Again, there are two paths for your Content Marketing efforts.
Google SERP and Social Media.
So ask yourself this. Let’s assume you have a business presence on the Grand-Daddy of social media – Facebook. If you put an image on Facebook, there are two things that can happen when I click on it.
- I can click on the image and it opens up allowing me to save it
- I can click on the image and go directly to your website.
Which of these is more valuable to your business?
Social Media Creation / Management
You don’t have to go far to see Facebook business pages with blurry feature images or bad profile images, trying to fit too much into that little space. And many have incomplete listings or an ineffective presence. Sometime it makes sense to make a more effective social media page, whether it’s Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter or any other SM site.
We can help you.
Unlike many “marketing” companies that have Good, Better and Best pricing platforms, here at Web It 101, we know every business is different, even in the very same industry segment. We customize every digital marketing program to the specific needs of your business.
For instance, your website may need serious updating. You must keep in mind the ultimate goal is to drive traffic to your website and as such, it absolutely needs to be both mobile and user friendly.
For example, we have a security company in Tampa who is on PAGE 1 when you search for “Event Security in Tampa”. And that is how you get the stadium security for the SEC football game in January and the big ESPN private party before the championship game, as well as a contract for stadium security for the Yankees spring training in Tampa. And that is just one of dozens of page 1 search returns for various search keywords in a major metro market for that particular client.
Just imagine for a moment what we could do for your content marketing.