Content Marketing Ideas for Small Biz

In Part 1 of my Small Biz Tips – Digital: A Big Boost for Small Biz – I discussed the way that small businesses and independent shops could use content marketing & social media to meet the challenges of today’s consumer-centric marketplace. My intention was to put content marketing in a context non-marketers could understand and to explain social media’s role in the content marketing landscape. I hope I succeeded.

It was, by necessity and design, very broad so by this time you’re probably wondering how can you make content marketing work for your business specifically?

cont_book

We’ve discussed already how content marketing can take a lot of different forms:  buying or gift guides, news round ups, FAQs, articles, lists, infographics, videos, etc.  The form or forms you choose will depend on a number of things unique to your situation: time, resources, product or service offering, budget, skill set.

I’ve kept these ideas pretty broad and pretty basic to make the budget and skill set threshold as low as possible but don’t assume that being less costly or less complicated means these are less viable or useful. Digital really leveled the marketing playing field when it comes to cost and the tools available for creating and managing it require less technical skills than ever. Can you spend a lot of money on marketing get stuck in to the back end of building a website by hand? Sure, knock yourself out. The difference now is – you don’t have to.

So, now you know what content marketing is and what types of things fall under that umbrella – what happens next?

Next is the best part – you create your content! These are just ideas to inspire you, get you thinking and maybe show you that you have a lot more “content waiting to happen” around you then you think.  Continue reading “Content Marketing Ideas for Small Biz”

Digital: A Big Boost for Small Biz

With technology giving people unprecedented information and choice regarding products or services, customers are now firmly in a position of power in their relationship with retailers, service providers and brands.

This means you have to work harder than ever to meet – and wherever possible exceed – customer expectations. Digital marketing can help you meet this challenge. It boosts customer acquisition and loyalty; raises word of mouth and expands the relationship between shopper and seller.

custo_serv

When we say “digital marketing” – what are we talking about?

I’m so glad you asked. Welcome to Small Biz Tips (Part 1 of 2) where I intend to fully ignore buzzwords and jargon (much of it means very little anyway) and break this down into broad categories and terms everyone can understand.

Continue reading “Digital: A Big Boost for Small Biz”

Considering the Culinary in Coventry

My most recent piece – 15 Things You Need To Eat In Coventry Right Now – is now live on Buzzfeed and boy was I ever hungry working on that. There’s some awesome stuff happening on the Coventry dining scene.

buzzfeed_grab

I also noticed something while putting it together. The restaurants, cafes and coffee shops of Coventry are really doing right by diners with special diets. Obviously you’d expect a vegetarian or vegan restaurant to cater to their target demographics special diet. But what really struck me was so many mainstream restaurants – including quite a few that didn’t make it into my piece -had vegan menus, gluten-free menus, etc. Not just a couple of suitable items but full on menus with starters, entries and puddings. Maybe it’s happening more and more across the country but it’s the first time I’d come across so many in one town or city.

I’d definitely be up for exploring this further – seeing if it is, in fact, getting to be more common across the country. Or if it isn’t – what places seem to be leading the way (or riding the wave).

Autumnal Authorial Update

The temps are dropping, articles are going up and ebooks are on the way. It’s been a busy few weeks in my corner of the writing world.

knife&forkAnother Banburyshire Info restaurant review published – this one for Knife & Fork, my first experience with pop-up restaurants and I’ll be honest, I had very little idea what to expect. I knew it wouldn’t be like dining in a regular restaurant – set menu, for one thing. In short, I loved it – the food and the unique dining experience. Will definitely do it again and keen to seek out others. Have you been to a pop-up or home hosted restaurant? What did you think?

Finished editing another ebook for Modern Parlance Press for one of my favourite writers- a sci-fi short story collection (coming out soon – more to follow as soon as I can on this). As noted by the author, the single author short story collection isn’t as commonly seen these days. Oh there are some but many fewer than when I was young. I had tons of them growing up – almost all mysteries. There’s something deliciously bite-sized about a well-constructed short story.

BI_logoWrote a series of featured articles for Banburyshire Info on organic cosmetics. Learned some interesting – and surprising – stuff about what can and cannot be deemed organic in the cosmetics marketplace. It’s much less regulated than organic food in this way.

Two new Banbury pieces that came out of my habit of over-researching for something else.

fine_lady

  • Boo! Haunted Banbury” just a smidgen too late for Halloween but never mind. It’s read for next year and I am sure Father Bernard (the resident ghost at Whatley Hall) won’t mind waiting. He’s been doing so for centuries!

whatley

Blogging Heats Up Over July

There were so many things I should have been doing in July – wen won’t even discuss how much more attention the garden needs or the every growing list of small jobs that need doing around the house. But July is – and always has been – an especially foodie month for me so it’s not surprising that Fabulous Foodie heated up over the course of the month.

Mary-Berry-Paul-Hollywood-594359Especially after the news of Great British Bake Off‘s return broke. Suddenly it was ALL about baking.

  • Fabulous Foodie’s Tips for Better Baking:  At Fabulous Foodie, we’re very excited about the return of Great British Bake Off next week.  So much so that we’re finding it hard to think about anything else. To be honest, we haven’t actually tried that hard to think of anything else. I mean, it’s Bake Off!
  • More Tips for Better Baking: The count down to Great British Bake Off continues and so does Fabulous Foodie’s Tips for Better Baking.
  • The Old Bake and Switch:   Have you run out of a key ingredient or forget to buy it?  Maybe you only discovered mid-bake that you have no brown sugar. Don’t worry – we won’t tell  Mary or Paul and see if we can’t come up with a “save” of sorts. Don’t let these little hiccups stop you from baking up a storm. Swap and switch – and bake on!
  • Of course, Fabulous Foodie isn’t all just about food – it’s about culinary history and quirky foodie facts as well. Bastille Day (July 14) presented a perfect opportunity to delve deeper into both – with the story of how a Crafty Cardinal Contributed to Cutlery The French DO make me laugh.
  • We’re also not adverse to a bit if a tipple on occasion over on Fabulous Foodie so we were delighted to find it was Pina Colada Day on July 10.  We were even more delighted when we discovered – in the Tale Of Many Ramóns for Piña Colada Day – a bit of a debate behind the origins of one of the world’s most popular cocktails.

June: Bustin’ Out All Over

June was all about the attempt to a) stay cool and b) keep the mint from taking over the whole of the back garden. The mint question was addressed early.

My Own Mock-jito: As the month started, I was in that “create my own drink” mode again. Last time the result was a cranky apple/pom variation. This time I was looking for a way to use up the VAST QUANTITIES of mint. The results were a refreshing, “too early for the bar bell” mock-jito.

One of Many Milk Days: A lot of countries have a national day devoted to milk but the FAO picked June 1 to be World Milk Day, bringing everyone together on the assumption that no one would mind a second day. Of course, they also declared the last Wednesday in Sept each year to be World School Milk Day so it’s possible that the folks at the FAO have a teeny milk obsession.

Summer’s Greatest Hits: The temperatures finally headed up, up, up – and so we offered a round up of classic summer posts from the Fabulous Foodie archives. Just re-reading some of these can make me feel cooler.

From May Day to Memorial Day

May. Bookended by holidays, summer dancing tantalizingly close and for many, graduations loom large. It’s been a long time since I had to worry about any sort of graduation but the whole holiday and summer part? Yes, that’s very much part of my May experience. So were these topics:

Super Easy Two Ingredient Biscuits: Biscuits (that’s biscuits in the American sense) so quick, so easy that it’s almost ludicrous.

biscuits12

May is Salad Month: What gives you more scope for experimentation and improvisation than a salad? Winter salads, summer salads, entree salads, starters salads, side salads. Salads in all shades of green, tomato salads, egg salads, rice salads, potato salads, tuna salads, pasta salads, … you get the point. This crisp and crunchy salad round-up will keep in salads for days.

Easy-Peasy Donuts for Donut Week: Let’s get this out of the way immediately – doughnut or donut. We all know what we mean and I’m sure I speak for many when I say, “stop quibbling – let’s eat!”

donuts

My April Content Line-Up

Kicking off the month was a piece I had great fun writing – We think… we could learn a thing or two from American tourists.” It appeared in the April 2015 issue of The Club, a monthly digital magazine for British Airways’ Executive Club members and was that month’s installment of the “We think …” series.

BA_piece

Travel aside, April was very much about blogging closer to home. In a flurry of additions to both both from Greater Gotham and Fabulous Foodie, I wandered off to see what was happening around town.

banbury_scape

What prompted this flurry of blogging closer to home? Well, a) the weather had been beautiful and b) Banbury seems to be either overlooked or misunderstood as a location with a lot of offer. There are various efforts underway by community groups and community minded residents alike to remedy this and I was inspired by their enthusiasm.

Of course, it wasn’t all about blogging Banbury. After all, April is BLT Sandwich Month and I wasn’t going to let THAT pass without comment. Over on Greater Gotham, I spent a bit of time on Gotham itself when my interests in history, design and marketing came together in New York City World Fairs – both of which opened in April of their respective years.

So a busy and productive month all in all. Hope yours was too. More to come!

March Marches On Out

March on Fabulous Foodie: I’ve already touched upon the fact that March is Sauce Month but there were other things afoot as well.

  • Happy Spanish Paella Day: I’ve talked about paella before in A Plethora of Paella and Ode to Paella – and reading either or both of these will definitely get you in the paella party mood. But it’s not really Spanish Paella Day until you’ve watched the paella episode of Posh Nosh. Ole!
  • Covering Chocolate Covered Raisins Day:  Happy Chocolate Covered Raisins Day, everyone! Go to the movies, grab your Raisinets and celebrate.
  • Culinary Curation: Food Museums: It’s Museum Week over on Twitter (follow the #MuseumWeek hashtag) and naturally my thoughts flew to food museums.

southernfood

Things that have grabbed out attention of late:

  • PR firms at a make-or-break moment on content creation (February 27, 2015 via PR Week): A lot of merging, evolving, aligning and restructuring going on this – in my opinion – spot on – view of where things are going. Which ties in with what I’ve always believed – the key isn’t just working harder. It’s working smarter.
  • Sainsburys Living Archive:  I feel like this was the content gem of my month – Making most of 145 yrs worth of photos & weaving a seriously branded digital narrative