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