Looking for Something?
Posts Tagged for

content marketing

Content Marketing in 2014: Trends You Need to Understand to be Successful

Author:

bigstock-new-year---next-and-previou-48446960 Last year around this time, I deemed 2013 the “year of content marketing” and I think I was right. Content marketing has existed for a lot longer than a year, but in 2013, this form of connecting with customers and promoting your business exploded. Today, it seems like every small business, large corporation, and even solo entrepreneur is talking about content strategy.

But the internet stands about as still as a troupe of river dancers. Let’s take a look at major trends in content marketing and what you need to know to succeed in 2014.

Trend #1: Mobile is where it’s at.

According to reports, 22% of the world’s population now owns a smartphone, up from just 5% in 2009. Of course, in many countries those rates are even higher; some companies even have an over 100% subscription rate, meaning that many people have more than one smart phone.

Admit it: you would break out in a cold sweat if you lost your phone. Actually, most of us would feel sick if we just forgot our phones at home. We live and die by our phones, sad as that may be.

So, if your content isn’t mobile-friendly, you’re missing out on a huge market. A huge, geeky, obsessed market. Do you have a responsive blog theme or a mobile website? What about an app? How do your readers interact with your content via their mobile devices?

Get ahead of the curve. Don’t just make your content mobile friendly. Customize it for the mobile audience to make the experience as good as possible for your mobile users. If you go above and beyond to provide a great user experience, you’ll outpace your competitors. The sad fact is, most content creators are still doing the bare minimum when it comes to creating mobile content.

Trend #2: Content curation is as important as content creation.

Over the past few months, one phrase has popped up on my radar more and more: Miley Cyrus

Just kidding. The phrase I’m really talking about is content curation.

No matter how big your content creation team, you can’t keep up with consumption. That’s where content curation comes in. Your audience doesn’t want to know you as just the person (or company) creating great content. They also want to know you as the person (or company) recommending great content.

If you’re afraid of promoting your “competitors,” you’re thinking about the situation incorrectly. When you share someone’s great content, you get some of the credit, even though you weren’t the creator. You build your brand as the expert in your niche/industry. You do have to be careful with what you promote (you don’t want to send customers away), but don’t be so scared that you only promote your own content. A true leader in content marketing curates as well as creates.

Trend #3: Having a Director of Content on your team is increasingly important.

As your business continues to create more and more content, it will become important to have someone on your team who will manage it all. Your Director of Content should have a diverse set of skills, in order to be able to both create content and come up with a strategy for your content that makes sense for your business goals. This person should also work closely with (if not oversee) your social media team and email marketing team, and they should have open lines of communication with all departments in your business. I recommend hiring someone with the ability to time travel if you can, but content marketing is a big, time-consuming job.

In 2014, I believe it will also become increasingly important to boost your Director of Content’s budget so they can pay for contributors and designers. I know a lot of businesses who aren’t spending much on content beyond their Director of Content’s salary. While there are sources of free content out there, the right Director of Content can stretch even a small budget to give you an amazing return.

Is your business too small for a Director of Content? Then you Director of Marketing better have a strong, strong grasp on content marketing.

Trend #4: Guest posting is bouncing back in new ways.

Over the last three years, guest posting went through some weird transitions. Three years ago, as a freelancer, I had clients knocking down my doors to pay me to publish guest posts on others’ sites on their behalf. Then, things changed. Too many low-quality writers inundated the blogosphere, and most bloggers couldn’t keep up with requests, most of which were for crap posts that didn’t add anything of value to the blog. On top of that, readers began to cry foul as some bloggers published more guest posts than posts of their own.

Many blogs locked down like Fort Knox, no longer accepting unsolicited guest posts. Some blogs decided not to accept guest posts at all. But in the last few months, I’ve seen a bit of a shift. Bloggers are not on guest post lock down like they have been in the past, but what they’re looking for is changing. It isn’t just about quality content anymore. It’s about filling a gap.

No blogger can be an expert on every topic in their niche. So, many bloggers are extremely receptive (and in some cases actively looking for) people who can write about topics where their own knowledge is weak. In my experiences, bloggers are even looking for monthly contributors, not just one-time guest posters.  If you want to make guest posting part of your content marketing strategy for 2014, start looking for those gaps and pitch bloggers on filling them.

Trend #5: The best content is entertaining, not just educational.

In past, we’ve drawn lines in the sand. This content was entertaining. That content was educational. Increasingly, though, I think readers are demanding both.

Entertaining doesn’t mean your blog has to be ha-ha, laugh-out-loud funny, but it does mean that you have to have a little special sauce spread on your posts. Maybe you add some personal stories to help people understand a point. Maybe you improve your writing to add some clever phrases. Maybe it means that you aren’t afraid to be a little goofy sometimes.

I used to say “it depends on your niche” but I don’t think that’s the case any longer. I think your educational posts have to have a little pizazz. Boring content just isn’t cutting it anymore.

So there you have it, my top five trends for content marketing in 2014. What trends do you see for content marketing this year?

Image Credit: Bigstock

Influencer Driven Content Marketing: Lee Odden Explains this Powerful Tool for Businesses

Author:

lee odden Last year, you couldn’t walk ten steps down the hall of any business conference without hearing the words content marketing. Bloggers have been doing it for years, but the idea of content marketing and how it can help your business has been thrust into the spotlight.

More recently, however, the mummers I hear center around a different buzz word: influencers. Influencers aren’t the people in your industry who start trends or break new ground. They’re the people in your industry who spread the trends and report the news. They turn a kernel of an idea into something everyone is talking about. So, business owners are starting to realize the advantages of connecting with influencers and turning them into brand advocates.

But what happens when the worlds of content marketing and influencer marketing meet? As Lee Odden suggests, the result is something even more powerful. In a post on his TopRank blog, Lee writes,

“Influencer driven content marketing is one of the best examples of how digital marketing and public relations are converging. The integration of messaging, content, social media and engagement right along with performance measurement and business outcomes should be the focus of any business that wants to differentiate and grow.”

Working with influencers not separately, but as part of your content strategy, means doing more than just connecting with the right people so they talk about your business. It means integrating them into your plan for spreading educational, inspirational, and entertaining content. Influencers don’t even need to mention your brand to have a serious effect on your bottom line.

Let’s go over three steps to get started with influencer drive content marketing:

  • Step One: Identify the influencers.

These are NOT necessarily the people with the most social followers. Quality is more important. How likely are those followers to do what the influencer says? I know people on Twitter with millions of followers who don’t have the influence that someone with ten thousand has.

In addition, someone who has a ton of influence may not be right for your specific needs. How likely is the audience to be looking for the kind of content you have to share? The more targeted the audience, the better.

  • Step Two: Determine the type of content you can create.

Every influencer will be different, and your budget also plays a factor here. One of the best options is to have an influencer create content for you in the form of blog posts and videos, but the bigger the influencer, the bigger your budget needs to be (unless you have something else to trade, like free service/products, a large audience, etc.).

You can also look at ways to create content that puts more of the work on YOU. Interviews, for example, are an awesome way to have an influencer create content for your brand without you needing a huge budget. You can also quote them in your blog posts (like I’m doing in this post for example) or do case studies. Most influencers will share content where they are featured.

Lastly, you can also create content that answers questions an influencer poses online. In this case, you’re targeting that influencer, but in an indirect way. This is the easiest option, but also has the lowest potential of an influencer sharing your content.

  • Step Three: Reach out to the influencer and begin building that relationship.

When you publish a post that features someone or answers a question, let the influencer know. One of the biggest mistakes I see people making (and a mistake I’ve made in the past) is creating awesome content, but being too humble or shy to reach out to the people who should be spreading this content. Don’t spam people with links, but let them know when you’ve published something of value to their audience, especially when it features them.

Also important: if you’re paying for an influencer to create content for you, make sure you discuss promotion as well. If a large parenting blogger writes about your brand of cereal but doesn’t tweet the link or pin an enticing image, that post might go unnoticed. Always set clear expectations not just for the content creation, but also for the promotion of the content.

Don’t Forget About Our Giveaway!

I’m featuring Lee today not only because his advice is super smart, but also because we recently announced that he’ll be presenting a keynote at NMX 2014 in Las Vegas this coming January. If you missed the keynoter announcement, check it out for more information about all five of the keynote speakers we announced.

To celebrate, we’re giving away previous sessions from all of our keynoters. Yes, they are completely free! Get access here before time runs out!

5 Mistakes Your Small Business is Making on Twitter

Author:

business on twitter

As a small business owner, it can be challenge to keep up with best social practices. One of the most common questions I’m asked is, “What am I doing wrong?” If you’re not seeing the results you think you should from Twitter, here are a few mistakes you might be making:

Mistake #1: Broadcasting Without Interacting

The entire point of social media is to promote your business, right? Well, yes…but in a social way. It’s about more than just broadcasting. Sure, you can send out tweets that include links to your website or blog, but you also want to interact with your followers. Jump into relevant conversations. Be helpful when someone asks a question. Follow others in your industry and those who are potential customers. If you aren’t using the “@” reply function often, that’s something that needs to change. Southwest Airlines is a great example of a company doing this right. They are constantly retweeting and replying to their customers.

Mistake #2: Blurring the Lines Between Personality and Personal

When using social, I think it’s great for the personality of your company to shine through. You aren’t just a giant logo. There are real people behind your social account. But there’s a difference between showing your personality and getting personal. If you’re a business or brand on Twitter, you don’t need to tweet out pictures of your meal or rants about your flight being delayed. Save that for your personal account. Keep your Twitter interactions relevant to your business. Bill Gerth (and Frank Eliason before him) for Comcast does a great job at this at @comcastcares. Talenti Gelato (who we profiled here) and GrubHub are also awesome at letting their personality shine through while still making it about their respective businesses.

Mistake #3: Going on Hiatus

If you can’t commit to tweeting daily, get off of Twitter. No, really. It looks bad if someone asks a question on Twitter and you don’t reply quickly. An abandoned Twitter account is worse than having no Twitter account at all.

Mistake #4: Promotional Updates

Promotional updates are okay. After all, you’re using social media to promote your business. However, if you’re only promoting yourself, your tweets can get old quickly. A really great option is to start a blog and also promote your links to education or entertaining topics. If you run a lawn care company, don’t tweet yet again that you’re available for landscaping. Tweet a link to your post on the “10 Best Celebrity Yards” or “How to Get Rid of Summer Garden Pests.” Get people reading on your site through content marketing and then sell them on your products or services once they’re a fan.

Mistake #5: Not Following Relevant Hashtags

Lastly, are you following hashtags in your industry? Hashtags (using the # symbol before a word or phrase) allow you to see what people are saying about a specific topic. Following these hashtags allows you to identify problems, jump into conversations, and find new followers (and potential customers). Always be listening to what your target market is saying.

What’s the biggest mistake you see businesses making on Twitter? Leave a comment!

What Happens to Your Traffic when You Stop Writing at Your Blog?

Author:

I taught a Marketing with Social Media MBA course at a fully accredited university in Silicon Valley earlier this year. The class ran from Feb 9 – April 28. There were 73 students enrolled. Just over 50 survived to the end.

During the last day of class I asked my students, “How many of you have been angry at me some time during the past 11 weeks?”

They all raised their hands. Some raised both hands and waved them violently. Thank goodness there were no single digit waves … I think. But it was clear the students had had enough of blogging no matter what I called it – marketing with social media, content marketing, inbound marketing, whatever. They were done.

Indeed I was curious to know what would happen to the traffic to their sites when they stopped writing.

Now I know.

Take a look.

Aggregate After

This screen shot reflects the aggregate traffic to all the students’ sites.

It is clearly visible that the traffic is increasing overall.

Increasing?! When most of them had stopped writing?! And all of them are writing less!

Indeed. The traffic continues to grow.

And be sure to take note where the traffic is coming from. Organic traffic is far outperforming the biggest social network on the planet.

Case Study – Info-Nepal

A look at one of the student’s stats is particularly enlightening. Her site is dedicated to Nepal. It would be a great complement to a travel agent site dedicated to Nepal as a destination.

Not a couple of days AFTER the class was finished, look what happened.

After class

I wrote to her, “Very sudden and very nice jump in your traffic! What’s going on?”

Her reply:

“Yeah it all started about 3 weeks ago. All of a sudden I am getting a lot of traffic. It increased from 40-50 per day to almost 300 per day. I am excited. I need to write more frequently. Thanks for keeping and eye on it.

In other words, she did nothing special. Just plugging away, and even writing less than during the class.
We can see where her traffic is coming from.

Lesson Learned

The crystal clear message: Creating good content results in good residual traffic, sometimes known as the long tail.
When traffic is purchased (think adwords) or pushed via social networks and social bookmarking sites (think referral traffic from other sites) traffic will come as long as it is pushed, driven. But when the buying and pushing stops, so does the traffic.  Not so with good content that is on topic and created at the home site. It’s the content that keeps on giving, um, pulling.
Content marketing is inbound marketing. And it can’t be beat long term.
What is your experience with creating content compared to buying traffic by hook or by crook? Got case study? Wanna share? Feel free to read the students’ firsthand experiences at BillBelew.com. And by all means, reach out to me if I can help you see similar results at your site(s). See you in the comments.

The Single Most Important Step to Getting Good Conversion from your Visitors

Author:

I have for the past couple of months been posting here about an ongoing MBA class on content marketing called Marketing with Social Media. The class is being taught by me, Bill Belew, at a university in San Jose (Yes, I know the way).

I don’t know of anybody who has been able to gather a lot (73 MBA students) of bloggers and put them in a controlled setting (controlled inasmuch as they do what I tell them to, which they don’t always) in an academic environment. The students pass or fail based on whether they do the work or not. It is an international university and many of the students’ immigration status is dependent on their final grade. In other words, they are motivated. If they fail, they literally get deported.

The class is a marketing class. The end result of the blogging, aka content marketing, aka inbound marketing is not just traffic. It’s conversions. Business. Clients. Paying customers or in some cases, leads are just enough.

conversion The Single Most Important Step to Getting Good Conversion From Your Visitors

Not the only step mind you. But the most important step.

By chance–I didn’t plan it this way–this past week I attended a Conversion Conference in San Francisco, right up the street from me. We get a lot of that sort of thing in my area. Search Engine Marketing, adTech and and and …

The Conversion Conference was all about, well, converting visitors to web sites to paying customers. Analyzing the people who show up at your site and how they got there from whence they came (I am reading a book that currently has me in the middle ages) and turning them into buyers. Finding the leak in the funnel. That sort of thing.

Before I tell you the first let me tell you the second most important thing I took away from the Conversion Conference: Most, can you say nearly all, marketers, market analysts don’t know what they are talking about.

One of the keynote speakers quite aggressively asked all the attendees by show of hands to answer three marketing questions. Is A better than B, type questions. Out of the 200+ people in the room, only 6, count ’em, got all three questions right. And, I was one of the 6! So, make that 5!

These are the, um, marketing analyst experts! And they barely get 1 or 2 out of 3 options right. Whoa!

But that’s not the most important.

First you have to get people to your web site in the first place. And get the right people to your web site. Driving traffic is no good. That equals pushing people to a site whether they might want to go there or not.

A good site pulls people in. In Europe it is called pull marketing versus push marketing. And pull wins hands down.

Social networking is push marketing.

Sites built on solid search engine  optimization principles is pull marketing. Search engine optimized is content that is appealing to real people (first) and search engines (second) but definitely to both.

My students have been working the SEO principles of good titling, images, captions and descriptions, plus linking and so on.

After 8 weeks, three of them are already over 10,000 page views! And the top 10 students are averaging over 5,000 page views … that have been generated by pull marketing. Guess who gets to stay in the US!

So, tell me … which converts better for you, people you asked to come to your site, people who have been sent to your site by hook or by crook or people who have come looking and found that you have what they want?

I know the answer. Do you?

5 Beginner Steps to Creating a Blog that You Can Monetize

Author:

Last week, I wrote Follow 50+ MBA-level Case Studies in Content and Inbound Marketing about a 48-hour class that is happening at a university in Silicon Valley.

In the first week, my students wrote a combined 750-ish posts of varying length and purpose – daily posts, guest posts, link bait posts. At Top 10 Content Marketing Sites in the Social Media MBA course I listed up the best performers. You’re welcome to take a look to see just how many unique visitors, total visitors and page views that much effort can produce in sites that are starting from zero.

In this post I want to articulate the 5 first steps my students and I had to take BEFORE they could think about making money with content marketing and the challenges I faced to get them there and how I, ahem, overcame those challenges just to get the students online and writing.

Step One: Get a Domain Name and Hosting

More than 2 weeks out my trusty TA (teacher’s assistant) and I started sending emails to the whole class via the school’s learning management system. No response. What do you do when you can’t get a response and the only way to contact the students is email? You spam them until they figure out they had better do something.

About half of the 60+ students showed up with a domain name and hosting.

Another one fourth showed up thinking, “What’s the difference between having a domain and hosting? Aren’t they the same?

And still others said, “You emailed us? When? You want us to do what?”

There was no easy answer. My trusty assistant, Kevin, came to class and they drove him ragged getting everyone a domain and hosting. It wasn’t pretty. But over the course of the first 2 days and 16 hours of in-class time and a ton of emails, we got everyone in the class online with a domain, hosting and WordPress installed.

If any reader here has a better solution to this problem…by all means let me know.

Step Two: Get the Right Plugins and Set Up the Back End

With a group of students who don’t even know what WordPress is, much less a plugin, there was no easy answer to this either. Throwing something up on the giant screen and having everyone follow along just wouldn’t work. Besides I had to spend a LOT of time on Steps 3-5 and couldn’t afford the time.

I nearly killed my local and overseas staff. They were spending about 1-2 hours per site setting the permalink structure I like, getting the right plugins in place – SEO, sitemap, etc. Creating webmaster accounts for each and installing Google Analytics so we can track the results. 60+ websites at various stages of coming online x 2 hours each = a LOT of time.

Again, I knew of no simple way to do this other than throw food under the door to keep my staff happy, or at least well fed, while they brought all the sites to an equal footing. Suggestions?

Step Three: Decide What to Write About

Unlike the first two steps,  at this point I finally had everyone on the same page, in the same room, doing the same thing. I could get all 60+ students to look up and follow along.

I had all students create a tagline. My specific instructions were for them to tell me what they were going to write about in 10 words (not a magic number, but definitely less than 12) or less what they planned to write about. They were NOT to use adjectives, adverbs, prepositions, conjunctions or articles. They were to come up with 3 different iterations and show them to five other classmates for feedback and pick the best one. Focus for a site from the get go is critical

Other instructions:

  • Write about something you are interested in
  • Write about something you can create an interest in
  • Write about something you have a lot to say about.

In my world, if a blogger doesn’t have a 1,000 things to say about their topic they will have a hard time making money with their site.

Step Four: Use SEO to Ensure Posts are Found

What is SEO anyway? Search Engine Optimization. But what is that?

I define Search Engine Optimization as content that appeals to real people (first) and to search engines (second). But it must appeal to both.

If a blogger only considers readers they might get read but only by the people the blogger tells to go their directly. They will not be found as well by search engines. If the blogger considers only the search engines they are likely to come up with stuff that is just unreadable. There is an ideal balance for the content. Ideal balance = optimization.

I have learned that there are some 220+ parameters that can go into an ideal post/page. I have also learned that pages can be overly optimized. But what I find of particular value is that I have also learned that there are about 20 ‘things’ you can do to a blog post that will get you 90-95% of the results you want. I will write about them in a future post.

If you can’t wait, you can buy the book – Marketing with Social Media. It’s the text book, first draft, that I wrote for this course.

Step Five: – Make a Plan and Work the Plan

For every hour of classroom work, I can require 2 hours of work outside of the class.  I am requiring my students to write 600-750 words DAILY. How hard can that be? They are permitted to adapt to their own style.

Some like to write multiple short posts.

Some like to write one long post each day.

Some like to do a combination.

It doesn’t matter to me.

Additionally, the students are required to guest post weekly at my home site about their progress (you can read their posts at Bill Belew Guest Writer AND guest post at one classmate’s web site that is relevant. Lots of link love happening that will only get better and of more value as the sites mature = get more content. Lastly, they are required to write one relatively higher quality post – link bait style.

Ongoing:

All 5 of these steps were done in the first 2 days of class, each a full 9-hour day, counting lunch. The students are off and writing at this point. Some get it, some don’t. Every educator knows that just because you tell somebody something, it doesn’t mean they learned it.

In the meantime, in about 10 weeks, this class will wrap up with some 15-20,000 posts being written over a large variety of niches and at various paces and different lengths and with different intensity and interlinking. How cool is that?

What do you think I can learn from this?
What would you like to learn?

What you can do:

Step 1 – Subscribe to the Bill Belew.com/blog to get more immediate updates from me at my home site. You will also be able to read the inbound and content marketing student experiences first hand

Step 2 -Subscribe to this NMX blog to get updates when they come out here.

Thanks for reading.

Marcus Sheridan talks about Content Marketing

Author:

One of my favorite people in the social media space right now is Marcus Sheridan of The Sales Lion. He’s reinvented his life–thanks to content marketing–and is an insightful blogger and enthusiastic podcaster.

In this exclusive NMX video interview, Marcus talks about the value of your business providing content, how to translate your social media efforts into sales, the value of listening and answering questions, how numbers can be deceiving, and growing your audience by introducing a different medium.

Want to learn more about using social media for your business? Join us at BusinessNext Social in Las Vegas this month.

32 Brilliant Bloggers Talk About Small Business Blogging

Author:

Brilliant Bloggers is a bi-weekly series here at NMX where we look at the best posts from around the web, all surrounding a specific topic. Every other week, we’ll feature a brilliant blogger, along with a huge list of more resources where you can learn about the topic. You can see more Brilliant Blogger posts or learn how to submit your link for an upcoming edition here.

This Week’s Topic: Small Business Blogging

A blog can be an extremely powerful tool for some business owners. But, of course, there are a lot of stumbling blocks. How do I find the time? What do I write about? How do I promote my posts?

Today, our Brilliant Bloggers list answers these questions and more. We’ve collected over 30 posts that can help you start a small business blog or boost sales using the one you already have.

And don’t forget our can’t-miss business sessions at BusinessNext, presented by NMX. This show features experts in the business, blogging, and marketing worlds to help you learn about taking your business blog and other online efforts to the next level. Register now!

Brilliant Blogger of the Week:

The Value of Small Business Blogging: 3 Key Questions & Answers by Lee Odden

I could point to any number of posts about small business blogging on TopRank from Lee Odden, but I like this one the best because it addresses why exactly small businesses should be blogging in the first place. When I talk to small business owners, the biggest stumbling block is getting them to believe they need a blog. Sometimes, a blog might not make sense, but in most cases having a blog can really boost your business. In this post, Lee talks about the benefits of having a blog for your small business, and if you’re hungry for even more, he links to a video at the end where he talks to Frank J. Kenny more about small business blogging.

Did you know Lee will also be speaking at BusinessNext, being presented at NMX 2013 in Las Vegas? You don’t want to miss him and Amy Porterfield speaking in the session “Companies That Hit The Bullseye With Their Social Campaigns.” Grab a full access pass today to get access to this BusinessNext session!

Even More Brilliant Advice:

  1. 3 Tips for Starting a Small Business Blog by Collis Ta’eed (@collis)
  2. 5 Benefits of Small Business Blogging by bMighty2 (@bmighty2)
  3. 5 Costly Mistakes Small Business Blogs Cannot Afford by Prasanna Bidkar (@prasannabidkar)
  4. 5 Keys to Successful Small Business Blogging by Ty Kiisel (@tykiisel)
  5. 5 Small Business Business Blogging Tips by Jase Group (@JASEGroup)
  6. 5 Things To Do Before You Launch Your [Small Business] Blog by Sarah Von Bargen (@yesandyes)
  7. 5 Ways To Build A Better Business Through Blogging by Lisa Barone (@lisabarone)
  8. 6 Reasons Every Small Business Should Be Blogging… Are You Missing the Boat? by Jonah Lopin (@JonahLopin)
  9. 6 Tips for Customizing Your Small Business Blog by Ben Parr (@benparr)
  10. 7 Blogging Mistakes That Small Businesses Make by Lou Dubois (@lou_dubois)
  11. 7 Ways to Amplify Your Small Business Blog by Monica Romeri
  12. 8 Tips for Keeping your Business Blog Current by Caron Beesley (@caronbeesley)
  13. 9 Hard-Hitting Content Strategies for Small Business Blogging by Neil Patel (@neilpatel)
  14. 9 Tips for Creating More Small Business Blogging Ideas by Mark Hayward (@mark_hayward)
  15. Best 4 Blogging Tips for Small Business Owners by Lynn Brown (@learnit2earnit)
  16. Blog Management for Small Businesses: The Ultimate Guide by Heather Rast (@heatherrast)
  17. Content Strategies for Small Business Blogs by Aylin Poulton
  18. Going Local with Your Small Business Blogging by Ashley Neal (@smallbizatlanta)
  19. How to Blog Effectively to Market Your Small Business by Shashi Bellamkonda (@ShashiB)
  20. How To Make Your Business Blog Informative by Amie Marse (@Content_Money)
  21. How to Start a Small Business Blog the Right Way by Marion Jacobson (@searchqueen)
  22. Six Reasons Why Small Businesses Should Blog Now by Women’s Leadership Exchange (@WLExchange)
  23. Small Business Blogs: Is Blogging Worth it for Small Businesses? by Emily Bennington (@EmilyBennington)
  24. Small Business Blogging Tips: How to create compelling posts by Chris Wallace
  25. Small Business Blogging Tips for Beginners by Danielle Rodabaugh (@DaRodabaugh)
  26. Top 10 Small Business Blogging Mistakes to Avoid in 2013 by Linda Dessau (@lindadessau)
  27. Why a Small Business Blog Is Your Most Valuable Marketing Asset by Lynnette Fusilier (@pearlgirl)
  28. Why Every Small Business Needs a WordPress Blog for Their Social Media Strategy by Jeannette Paladino (@jepaladino)
  29. Why You should Blog for Your Small Business by Lance Sonka (@lancesonka)

Did I miss your post or a post by someone you know about small business? Unintentional! Help me out by leaving a comment below with the link.

Next Brilliant Blogger Topic: NMX/BusinessNext 2013!

Our next edition of Brilliant Bloggers in January will feature all of the awesome, recap posts about NMX 2013! Good or bad, we love hearing your thoughts on the show. Want to be included on this round-up list? You have to attend NMX and/or BusinessNext 2013! Check out our live event site to learn how to register or upgrade to an all-access pass.

I’d love to include a link to your post in our next installment– and if you head to the Brilliant Bloggers Schedule, you can see even more upcoming posts (and contact info for sending your links!). We all have something to learn from one another, so please don’t be shy! Head to the schedule today to learn how to submit your post so I won’t miss it.

The Ultimate Key to Easier Content Marketing for Small Business Owners

Author:

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.

Blogs Used More By B2B for Content Marketing Purposes in 2011

Author:
b2b-content-marketing-tactics-use-2011

A recent study by MarketingProfs titled “B2B Content Marketing: 2012 Benchmarks, Budgets & Trends” shows blogs are on the rise as a viable source for content marketing purposes.

In 2010, only 51% of B2B surveyed said they used blogs for this purpose. It rose 27% to 65% in 2011. Using blogs as a content marketing tactic comes in behind articles (79%) and social media (74%).

Sources which fell in usage, include print magazines and print newsletters.

As far as social media goes, Twitter is the number one way B2Bs choose to distribute content at 74%. This is a 35% rise from last year’s 55%. The next most popular way to distribute content was LinkedIn at 71%, followed by Facebook at 70%.

Another interesting tidbit of information that came out of the study, is although B2B use social media as a tactic for content marketing, only about half of the respondents think it’s effective.

Learn About NMX

NEW TWITTER HASHTAG: #NMX

Recent Comments

Follow Us on Twitter

Subscribe to Blog via Email

Enter your email address to subscribe to this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email. (Please Confirm Your Subscription by Visiting Your Inbox)

Categories

Archives