Let’s take a look at some awesomely successful content marketing campaigns from the past couple years:
- Red Bull sent a man into outer space.
- Coca-Cola had a social media team working 24 hours per day during the World Cup.
- American Express got Coldplay, The Killers, and many other pop stars to give them a hand.
Internet marketers talk about these content marketing campaigns all the time.
Inspiring, no doubt, but wait a minute! Here’s the problem: they have marketing budgets many times the size of your business!
So what can you actually apply from their campaigns?
You have to bootstrap everything in your business’s early days. And even if you’re not in the early years of your business, you still have to use every dollar wisely.
Here’s how you do that with content (without sacrificing quality)
1) Use at Least 2 Blog Posts Per Month
This is well within the time/financial budget of your SMB. It’s just frequent enough to keep Google spidering your website, and also to keep your customer’s interest.
If you want to be more regular and get a little more traction with Google and your customers, aim for 4.
To become the local thought leader, do 8 or more per month.
400-500 words per post is enough. Just make sure they’re interesting and helpful to your customers.
2) Add Social Media
You don’t need to be overly fancy with social media to get results from it. For most businesses, your time’s best spent on Twitter, Facebook, and Pinterest (for visual products).
Aim for 5-7 posts per week per profile. You can even post the exact same thing to each one.
Remember, 80% of your posts should be educational/helpful and NOT about your business. 20% should discuss your business or be special offers, deals, or sales.
If you go above that ratio, you look overly self-promotional, which loses you followers and sales.
Respond to every comment as quickly as possible. If someone complains, resolve the issue in private, and discuss the outcome in public so other visitors see you make service your priority
3) Steal from Your Competitors
Okay, so I exaggerated a little…you won’t actually be stealing!
But rather than spending hours, weeks, and months figuring out what works, research your competitors instead.
For example, find a business that does the exact same thing you do, but has a blog with social shares and active social media profiles. Go to the blog posts with the most social shares, and write the same idea yourself.
But of course take your own perspective on it! Otherwise, you are plagiarizing, and your visitors have no reason to go to your blog if you write the same thing everyone else does.
Examine their social media profiles. See which posts get the most likes, comments, and shares.
What seems to be their overall strategy?
One of the greatest benefits of the internet is that you can do free, in-depth marketing research that used to cost thousands and millions of dollars decades ago.
Can’t find a competitor with an active blog and social media profiles? Looks like it’s your turn to become the local market leader.
Content Marketing on a Budget? Pffff…No Problem!
Online marketing gives you a ridiculously high ROI compared to what you used years ago – The Yellow Pages, radio, television, billboards, your local phone book, and anything else you can name.
For small businesses, it really is a great way to compete with the big guys.
And if you’re a very small business with just an employee or two and maybe a contractor, this SEO strategy gets you through.