June 21, 2017
It’s the great equalizer. Content, that is. It’s what allows a tiny company to stretch its muscles and gain market share. Of course, this only happens if the content strategies are carefully planned and executed. And a tiny company with a tiny budget and no content marketer faces some challenges. But, it is doable. Here are three strategies to begin with.
Begin with a Killer Website
Nothing happens until that website is built. There are some amazing DIY options for themes. It will be important to pick a theme, colors, etc. that “fit” your company and its product/service.
Content on your site should point to the value you bring to your target market. It should also tell your story in a very personal way so that visitors come to know you as a person, not just a company.
Using as many visuals as possible on your site will also attract attention. You can feature products and services, of course, but also feature yourself, your small team, your pet(s), along with any community outreach/charitable work you may do.
Don’t discount videos – especially the explainer and “how to” types if they are appropriate for your company. These are draws and, if done well, will lengthen the time a visitor remains on your site.
Dollar Shave Club began as a tiny company. For $2,500, it created an explainer video that focused on its value to customers, and it did so in a hilarious fashion. The video went viral, and the company was “on the map.”
A Business Blog is a Must
Blogging increases your business visibility and the chances that your brand will be spread. With every piece of content you write and post on your blog, you can do the following:
• Drive people to that content from your social media channels;
• Support comments and feedback and engage in conversations with readers/viewers;
• Encourage and ask for sharing;
• Take advantage of the opportunity to promote gated content or a subscription, thus getting email addresses;
• Improve chances for a better ranking with the right keywords and high-value content.
When setting up your blog, here are some things to think about:
Before you write word one, make certain that you have a fully developed customer persona. Only then can you create content that your target audience sees as valuable – content that solves problems for them. This is not to say that all content has to be serious. Change it up by writing a humorous post or one that features a customer or a team member.
Make sure that you have visuals in your content. Anytime words can be replaced by visuals, do it.
Use a strong keyword or two in each post, and put that main keyword in the title and meta-description too.
Be regular with your posting – readers will leave if they come and only find what they read last week.
Remember a blog is for the purpose of educating or entertaining and developing relationships with potential customers. Don’t use your blog to sell.
Spend lots of time on developing headlines and titles for your content. These are as important as the content itself and must grab readers’ attention immediately. There are lots of headline generator tools – use them for ideas.
Format and reading level are important. Break up all of your text into bite-sized pieces with subheadings and bullets; never write anything beyond a 7th-grade reading level. Be casual and conversational.
If you struggle with topics, check out your competitors’ blogs – both big and small. Find out what is popular, read their posts and improve on them. Another option is to check out the best writing websites for copywriting services. Many online writing services have departments of creatives, and the cost is certainly a lot less than hiring a full-time content writer.
Be Selective with Social Media
The “big boys” are all over social media because they can afford to be. They have staffs of content marketers to maintain their platforms with great content on a daily basis. A tiny company, however, has to be selective, not because there is any cost, but because there is a big-time commitment. Here is the strategy for social media:
• Do the research and find out where your target audience demographic hangs out. And it’s not just a question of where it is also a question of when.
• Choose the two most popular social media platforms (Facebook will probably be one, no matter the demographic) and set yourself up there.
• You will want to begin posting on a regular basis. Be aware that this can eat up time. You have to come up with creative ideas, headlines, and links back to your website; you have to fashion your posts based on the platform. You may want a theme, which is usual on channels like Instagram; you may want to focus on visuals and videos, with short amounts of text.
• Again, don’t sell. Certainly, you can advertise discounts or specials, but remember that social media is meant to be “social.” Post a joke or inspirational quote of the day – people will return for these and share them.
• Consider incorporating humor – memes, for example. Publish surveys and quizzes so that visitors can interact with your content and share it with their tribes.
• Social media is a great place to establish relationships and grow a following. Use a social mention tool so that you are alerted anytime your brand is mentioned. You will want to engage and respond.
When Nathan Chan launched Foundry Magazine, he was a tiny business. He decided to focus on Instagram and a single theme – inspirational quotes with amazing high-quality photos – fashioned especially for new, young entrepreneurs. He posted all day long at first. He also used other Instagram features to drive followers to his site, to provide subscription deals to his online magazine. He provided incentives for readers to share his posts, and much more. The end result was that he went from 0 to 10,000 followers in just a few months.
Time and Commitment
There is no doubt that a content marketing strategy is a major undertaking. Tiny companies are trying to focus on their businesses and their bottom lines. The thing to understand, however, is that content is one of the most important marketing tools that a tiny business has and, even better, it is low in cost. Bottom lines can be seriously impacted by a good content strategy.
Nelma Lumme is freelance blogger and writer for Essay Guard from Chicago, IL. Her hobbies are cinema, jogging and blogging about business, writing, self-improvement and psychology.