As a small business owner you’re forced to stay on top of the latest marketing tools, knowledge, and tips to build a successful brand and communicate it to the right audience. When looking for success in 2014, consider the recommendations below when examining your business’ content marketing plan.
Jump Onto the Cloud
Small business experts and marketing gurus have stressed the importance of cloud computing and storage relentlessly to you. With the beginning of 2014, it’s time to make the change. Your business’s marketing plan, sales, employee work and productivity are all intimately connected to cloud computing.
In a competitive market that becomes more dependent on mobile device users, having full access to key business information, blog posts and data is more essential than ever. More employers are establishing or looking to convert to bring your own device (BYOD) workplaces. The cloud enables working professionals to finish projects on the train, at home or at their favorite Starbucks outlet. With the growing popularity of phablets and hybrid tablets, there isn’t any local storage available–it’s all in the cloud.
What Defines Content
Creating great content for your business isn’t simply about having solid writers employed. No, it’s about how those writers convey the story and present it in the most human, relatable and attractive manner.
The problem with content marketing isn’t that business owners are too lax to invest in writers, but they put stock in cheap labor rather than placing value on high quality content. One great blog post or article may take time (2 weeks or 3 months) to naturally find its way onto other websites with credible and significant page rankings. Investing in great content creation is a long term investment.
Also, when hiring managers approach the process, they need to have clear objectives and specific requirements for content writing candidates. A large issue resides in the fact that they may not know how to properly assess a candidate based on their abilities. If you want short narrative, conversational, formal or technical writing samples, then ask for it. Excellent writers know how to make the transition between various tones-of-voice and writing styles.
As far as the content goes, you must consider the targeted audience, publishing times and channels, and the type of content created. If your customers are overwhelmingly teens, adults, parents, the elderly, athletes or whomever, tailor the content so that it specifically speaks to them.
Depending on the audience, their specific schedules and other factors, narrow down the best times to publish blog posts and share them on social media. For example, if working professionals are using Facebook and Twitter more between the hours of 5:00 pm to 8:00 pm, then publish during that timeframe. These posts, statuses and tweets should be at the top of the news feeds. Don’t make people work to find your content.
Written content is not enough. Original pictures are great too, but using videos can boost your content’s originality and attractiveness. A large percentage of small-to-medium sized businesses simply rely on writing about the tricks of the trade relating to their industry. A well-written article is a good start. But savvier businesses post video podcasts speaking about new tools, success stories, interviews with clients and office culture events like birthday parties and harmless pranks. Humanizing the content can go a long way to helping your audience connect with your brand.
Reputation Management and Customer Appreciation
Marketing relies on customer appreciation. As mentioned before, don’t make customers work to find your content. The same principle applies to coupons, deals and sales. Recent news points to the importance of location based marketing with the developing iBeacon for new iO7 iPhones.
This technology senses the location of a person in a specific store and sends them promotions and coupons relative to the products nearby. Groupon and LivingSocial became incredibly popular fast because they saved people money!
Small businesses must look to adapt their content and overall marketing plans to new mobile technology. If business don’t have the mobile websites or even apps that adapt and work with such location based technology, then they’ll quickly lose a step in a competitive digital market. That’s why now it’s even more important to consider investing in mobile application development for your business.
Take a hint from Apple and Google by making convenience a goal of your products/services. Stellar customer service is the lifeblood for protecting and enhancing a business’ reputation.
Ted Levin is a freelance writer and editor. He enjoys writing about social media, content marketing, and storytelling.