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?
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 levelled 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.
General ideas: these ideas can work for many different businesses:
- Newsjacking: nothing like linking yourself to current events, social happenings or trending twitter topics. Just ensure you understand what the whole story or trend is before you hop on, otherwise you could be in for a whole lot of bad PR- as CelebBoutique found out after they posted a tweet pushing their “aurora dress” while details of a mass shooting in an Aurora, Colorado movie theatre were coming out. Not good.
- Curating: gather relevant news from the mainstream media on your site – round up the links and add a few comments based on your professional experience/opinion.
Fashion/beauty: Maybe you run a clothing store, an accessories boutique or a salon.
- Create fashion guides, such as: 10 ways to wear a scarf. This sort of thing works well as a list (lists are hugely popular from a sharing point of view) or as a series of videos SHOWING how to wrap it, tie it, etc. into the latest style). A guide to the best ways to clean jewelry, best way to store out of season clothes, etc.
- Live tweet big fashion events or a running commentary on the “red carpet” arrivals at awards shows.
Charity shop: You have twice the reason to raise your profile via digital and content marketing. It benefits you, the store and your parent organization.
- Pick a “best item of the week or month” and give a bit of background on it? For example, a particular style of pottery (when and where was that style produced?) or a collection of vinyl records (link to that groups music on YouTube and dig up some trivia related to the band. All it takes is a bit of googling.
- Or, if your town is like a lot of towns, charity shops sit quite close to each other – get together with other charity shops and host a vintage crawl (like a pub crawl but with retro style – and tea)!
Service provider: Everyone from beauticians to plumbers get questions all the time.
- Note the questions you get asked most often and answer them. This can be the basis of a great FAQ or a series of blog posts. Or the basis for an email newsletter.
- Case studies: just finished a particular refit or reno? Ask the client if you can use pictures from that project in online content. It not only shows the quality of your work, but it can give potential clients the motivation to finally get their project started and gives them some idea of what to expect. An informed client can often make for a far smoother engagement.
Cafe or restaurant: Don’t just show people the menu – tell them the specials, show them what makes you different, share some insider tips on other reasons to come to the area.
- Does your menu offer options for dinners with specific diets – gluten free, paleo etc. Use the media interest in these diets to fuel local interest in you.
- Promote local events near you. if people have more than one reason to come by, they’re in the area for longer. Is there a street party, a literary festival happening near your cafe? Why not get that news out there – more footfall can’t hurt.
- Do you have theme nights? Offer special events hosting? Highlight those evenings.
I’ll be back with more tips and ideas – hopefully once a week but maybe more if I stumble across something really useful and timely. In the meantime, I am always happy to chat about the content marketing possibilities out there and explore how I might help you and your business in more detail. Drop me a line and we’ll set something up.