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Summary:

Last week, I talked about three ingredients for business success, one being the need for systematic and consistent promotion and marketing. A reader asked for a more detailed list of specific things small businesses could do to have a continuous marketing/promotional program. One of my most effective […]

Last week, I talked about three ingredients for business success, one being the need for systematic and consistent promotion and marketing. A reader asked for a more detailed list of specific things small businesses could do to have a continuous marketing/promotional program.

One of my most effective marketing and promotional strategies involves regularly creating content for my sites and on the web. Here are some of the ways you can promote your business using content.

1. Create and maintain a high quality blog.

Writing is my single greatest lead generation strategy. It’s how I get known around the web, and while it’s not the easiest tactic, I definitely believe it’s the most effective. Why? It communicates for me in several ways.

  • It tells readers what I do and about my expertise.
  • It tells search engines about me.
  • It helps filter and screen potential clients by letting them see more of my personality and learn about my working style.

As a web worker, I can’t imagine being able to build an online business without writing and publishing content on a regular basis.

I would recommend posting to your blog at least three times per week, depending on the length and quality of the posts. If you write longer posts, you can decrease your frequency to twice per week, if you’d like.

2. Create and maintain a high quality video blog or podcast.

I’ve heard it said that when it comes to learning and absorbing content online a third of people prefer reading, a third prefer watching, and a third prefer listening. Do the math, and if you’re only producing one type of media, you’re missing out on a large group of potential customers and clients.

Although it can seem intimidating at first, audio and video content can actually be easier to produce than written content. Start off slowly by committing to one podcast or video blog per month. If you’re able to keep up that schedule with ease, slowly increase your frequency.

(Tip: Create a production checklist to streamline the process of creating audio or video content. It can be easy to forget steps, making it much more labor-intensive to do each time.)

3. Create and maintain a high-quality newsletter.

Some probably consider newsletters a thing of the past, but for me, they’ve proven to be a very successful way to communicate with my followers and encourage them to do business with me.

I post one newsletter per month, and it contains five articles and recurring sections. Very often, when I post promotions and discounts to the newsletters, I get immediate sign-ups, and I also get a lot of positive feedback and comments on articles, so I know the subscribers are actually reading them.

4. Write guest posts for other blogs.

One good strategy for getting the word out about your site while making friends along the way (as content is hard to produce!) is to offer guest posts for other bloggers. Make sure they’re high quality posts. If you do, they’re likely to invite you back again and again. Try to write one guest post per week. Maintain that frequency, and that’s four new audiences you’ll be introduced to each month.

There are many ways to promote a company, but content creation has proven to be the most effective for me in my business. The most important thing is to be consistent, both with your posting schedule and with your topics. This will help you become known as an expert in your industry or niche. Just remember, it will take a little time to see results with content creation. Fortunately, though, with the advent of sites like Twitter, it’s becoming a lot easier for the word to spread about the content you create. Happy posting!

How do you use content to effectively promote your business?

Image from Flickr by Pretty/Ugly Design

  1. would agree on various content (listening, reading, vewing) but have’t seen any youtube videos on this blog.

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    1. Hi Neal,

      I don’t necessarily think all blogs/sites have to use all three types of content. Naturally, it would benefit them more if they did, but every person has to take into consideration his/her own preferences. Video might be too intimidating to some, so they might stick with writing or podcasting. I personally don’t use video at this point, but I know it would be very beneficial to me if I did. I’m willing to make the trade-off, and that works for me.

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  2. Great information. Would you ever consider utilizing quality archived posts from your own blog to use as content for your podcast? Thanks for the practical tips!

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    1. Hi Steve,

      Yes, I would absolutely use written content as audio or video. If there’s a way to re-purpose content and save yourself time, make the most of it.

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  3. Fantastic advice and I followed the link to the blog posting post and enjoyed that one as well. My question is, how much time do you spend on your promotional activities and how do you determine your best use for that time? Since you personally don’t do video blogging, I’m assuming that the list wasn’t in order of importance. Thanks!

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    1. Thanks, Tyler. For me, I want a majority of my income to be from more automated sources, so it’s more important for me to spend my time building a platform than working one-on-one with clients, and my schedule reflects that. I spend probably 60% of my time doing promotional/marketing activities (writing, posting, networking, etc.), 20% of my time working one-on-one with clients, 10% on planning (accountability calls, lining up my days, etc.), and 10% on admin stuff (replying to emails, etc.). I work from a block schedule and a list, which keeps me focused and productive.

      Here are a couple of articles that might help.

      http://webworkerdaily.com/2009/12/10/get-more-done-how-to-move-the-big-rocks/

      http://www.chrisbrogan.com/your-farmer-list/

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      1. Thanks for sharing these !!

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  4. A lot of this is well known or has been written about before. The trick is with each of these things: How to make time for them, how to schedule them, how to not lose steam over time.

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    1. Hi, Rocky. I’m learning that the way to success isn’t as sexy and mysterious as I once thought. We usually already know everything we need to succeed. We just have to learn to consistently apply it.

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  5. Really great blog, it is good to see that you are not only doing well yourself but helping others with good advice.

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    1. Thanks, Dan. I hope it helps!

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  6. Excellent blog post, Amber!

    Since my focus is on training chiropractors on how to use blogs and social media to promote and market their practices, I’ll be sure to pass this along to my colleagues.

    I consistently stress the importance of quality content laser-focused on a specific market and/or demographic. Therefore, the importance of distributing content in various formats can’t be overstated.

    Customers prefer to choose how they consume content. So, true content publishers, no matter what profession, should offer as many choices as possible to satisfy their customers wants, needs and desires.

    Once small business owners realize this, they’ll develop loyal costumers much like what Ken Blanchard calls Raving Fans.

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  7. yes it’s Ok… but i need information about how to get a post generator with evektive. so i hopes to blogger’s what know, i need yours information THANK

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  8. Amber,

    Thanks for the reminder of how important discipline is when you are dependent on content development as a marketing tool. It is so easy to get caught up in client work and forget to promote your own business. I am occasionally called to task by my own clients when I advise them to be disciplined in their own business promotion, and they say, “Do you do that?” Um….

    Also, an excellent point that the way to success isn’t necessarily sexy and we know what to do if we will only do it (paraphrase). That statement is at once encouraging and convicting.

    Can’t imagine why I didn’t have an RSS feed for your blog before, but I do now. :)

    Deb

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  9. Excellent article! Really good, concise and to the point. I officially started my blog in May of last year with three comments by twisting the arm of relatives. The comments laid their for months to torment me and I chose to ignore them. After a good bit of reading up on blogging I followed your tips above and it worked like a charm. My blog has gone gangbusters and the comments and subscriptions are steady. I work very hard at it every single day, so I can’t say its something that just happens because it doesn’t. A garden will not grow overnight and it won’t flourish without water. I water my garden daily and it grows.
    Cheers,
    PT

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  10. Very good article, which came at the right time. I have been blogging at The Invisible Mentor for about 10 months and for seven of those months I was experimenting, trying to find my voice and to feel comfortable. I enjoy blogging but I do not have that many subscribers yet (though I have a couple hundred readers who read my blog elsewhere), and I was feeling very down because of that. But last Monday for Martin Luther King Day, my post was about Martin Luther King and a journalist at one of the TV stations in Canada retweeted so I felt good about that. I am also on a few social networks so I posted that same post on poshmama.com and it was pulled to the front page.

    I have written a few guest blog posts but I have not been consistent so that’s something which I have to work on.

    Thank you again because your post is encouragement to me to go on. Have a great day!

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