As a small business owners, one of the biggest challenges is having time for it all. When it comes to your online marketing efforts, the latest trend is content marketing, and for good reason – it works. Content marketing is essentially giving away content like blog posts, videos, and ebooks in an effort to drive them toward an action (typically buying something from you).
So, for example, if you own a web hosting company, you might publish blog posts every week that teach people web design skills or if you own a bakery, you might give away a very short cookbook with some recipes at-home bakers can try.
Content marketing definitely takes time, though, simply because you have to actually create that content. You can pay a freelancer to do this, but if you’re a small business owner on a shoestring budget, you might not have money for a quality product. Even so, to get the best content, you have to spend time managing the project.
So what’s the key to actually making content marketing easier? Use the resources you already have.
When you’re creating content for marketing purposes, you can repurpose the resources you already have as a small business owner. Don’t make the mistake of thinking you have nothing to offer. Here are some of the things most small businesses have:
- Employees who are super knowledgeable and able to write or speak on camera about topics in your industry
- A bank of questions your customers ask you often that could each be turned into their own blog posts (or videos or even sections of an ebook)
- “Insider” resources relating to your product/service (for example, recipes from your restaurant)
- A network of industry contacts who would love to be interviewed
You can also consider creating content in ways that allow you to present something super valuable to your audience without spending as much time. Consider…
- Attending conferences, writing down speaker quotes, and compiling a list of advice
- Creating resource lists linking to everyone writing/talking about a specific topic (like we do for Brilliant Bloggers)
- Asking a question via social media and publishing everyone’s answers
Additionally, you can take content you’ve created and use it as a starting point to get even more use out of it. For example:
- A single, long blog post can become a multi-part series if broken down into sections
- A series of blog posts can become a short ebook without much additional work or a longer email if you write more content
- A video or podcast can become written content if you include a transcription
The key is to work smarter, not harder! If you’re short on time, you need to throw your attention into the most important tasks to make your small business run, so this might mean that you “never get around” to the content marketing thing, since it seems like such a daunting task. With the right approach to it, however, you can at least start to put out great free content to attract a larger audience to your business. You’d be amazed at the amount of content you can produce even with a limited number of hours to allocate to this process.
If you’re a business owner interested in learning more about content marketing, social media, and online marketing, definite check out our BusinessNext conference, presented in conjunction with NMX (formerly BlogWorld). BusinessNext will feature three days of speakers teaching you how to take your business’ online presence to the next level.