4 Amazing Tips on Content Marketing for Small Businesses

Historically, small businesses have been slower in adapting to content marketing methods and / or strategies that are utilize by corporate marketers. However, as (SEO) Search Engine Optimization practices have evolved considerably in the last couple of years – it’s become more than obvious that small businesses need to add eBooks, comparison guides and how-tos, as well as other content strategies to remain in competitive rankings.

It doesn’t matter if content is outsourced to an agency that offers content management servicesor done in house – ideas for creative, informative and engaging content more than often becomes scarce.

Regardless of that fact, we have 4 amazing tips on Content Marketing for small businesses. Check them out below:

1. Develop a Calendar for Content Marketing. Developing a calendar for content marketing will allow you to document content strategies and methods. Also, it’s an awesome way to ensure that content creation is done in a timely fashion and remains on schedule. This amazing method for content creation is often neglected and overlooked by many small businesses.

Approximately, 61 percent of content marketers have said that their greatest issue when creating content is that it’s too time consuming. Only 44% of marketers have reported to keep a calendar with documented content marketing methods and strategies.

Developing and putting together a calendar that’s designated for content scheduling for the month is the 1st step in setting aside time to brainstorm, strategize, create and finally publish content.

2. You Need to Find Out What Works For You!Before you go on a scavenger hunt for inspiration on other websites you need to have a good understanding of the features and components of past content that has been beneficial to you and your small business.

We advise you to utilize Webmaster Tools and Google Analytics to check on the leading, trafficked web pages and queries, so that you’re able to identify what content has worked the best and which keywords have been used to find your content. Furthermore, it is recommended to use Social Statistics, as they can also, give you insight on content that has done really well.

You can check out Social Media performances by using services, such as – Add This, which embed buttons to share on blogs and also, have tracking info. These are user friendly dashboards, which offer information on an array of click backs and shares.

3. Comprehending Social Media Trends for Topics. Social Media networks and/or platforms are extremely helpful in getting new idea topics. Creating content revolving around trending topics will give you invaluable content ideas, which people are actively searching for on real time.

For instance, Twitter has now had trending topics accessible for quite some time. Earlier this year – Facebook introduced trending topics as well… If you need or want to view trending topics on a more local scale, then you can utilize Trendsmap, which offers users a close and intimate look on trending topics and news that’s over laid on a map with information from Twitter’s social media platform.

Amplify content by covering different aspects of a story. Take a stance that’s controversial in nature or supplement it by using an array of media options, such as – infographics or videos.

4. Use Content That’s Visual. Although, the majority of SEO practices tend to focus on text that will be digested by different search engines – now, visual content has become a lot more appealing and interesting for your fellow, human readers. People seem to be naturally wired to be more attracted and more likely to engage with visual content. Ninety percent of the info that enters the human brain is acquired visually.

With that being said, content that uses images receives an estimated 94% more views than content without any visuals.

A recent survey on marketers from Marketing Sherpa observed that visuals were the simplest form of content to create. Develop infographics utilizing research that’s been done already for content or you can outsource image and/or visual creation to add on to your blog posts. You can easily keep your users and visitors engaged and scrolling through your website pages by simply adding interesting and eye catching GIFs and still images to your written content.

If you’re running a small operation or business it is still essential that you remain in the loop. As always, content is vital to the success of your SEO campaign. Start incorporating these tips to your current and future content and you’ll notice that you’ll experience less difficulties coming up with new topic ideas and/or interesting content for your users and visitors.

How to Use Search Engine Marketing Services to Increase Your Website’s Ranking

Did you know that link popularity plays a huge part in the ranking of websites by search engines? That means the more links you have point to your website, the higher your website will rank in the results. Now the question becomes how do get you high ranking websites to link to your website?

Webmasters can’t afford to mess around so they must obtain these high-ranking links very quickly. This is especially true of part-time webmasters; every minute is valuable. For that reason, you need to employ three techniques that can help you in your Internet marketing business and provide you with excellent link exchanges with other websites.

Three Internet Marketing Techniques To Help Website Owners Obtain Traffic

Technique 1 – Write An Article

If you want your website ranked by the search engines, you’ll need to write an article about the product/service you provide. By writing your article, your readers can learn who you are and what you are offering to them. Why should you write your article? At the end of it, you’ll place a resource box that gives the reader your website information as well as the URL for that site.

When another website or Webmaster chooses to publish your article, they’ll need to include the resource box. It’s easy to write an article. If you don’t want to do the work, you can hire freelance writers from Elance or some other free lance website. All you need to start a project is to hire a writer and have your budget.

Technique 2 – Submit Articles To Directories

Now that you have your article written, it’s time to submit it to different article directories. By publishing them in article directories, you ensure it gets picked up by ezine publishers as well as website owners who want quality, up to date information. You can find all kinds of article directories on the Internet. The more you submit to, the more backlinks you create for your website. Many article directories are going with the RSS technology. RSS stands for Real Simple Syndication, which means your articles will get further mileage.

Technique 3 – Do Your Own RSS Article Feeds

Another popular Internet marketing technique is using RSS feeds for your articles. You can easily use this by setting up a blog using WordPress.org or Blogger.com. If you’re not used to blogs, then you may want to settle on Blogger.com; however, if you’re more experienced, use WordPress.org.

Once you’ve got this set up, add your articles to the site. Make sure have a hyperlink back to your URL and have an Anchor Text using your targeted keywords. When the search engines spiders are sent out, you’ll end up higher in search engine rankings. Once you’ve done this, submit the new RSS feeds to both RSS directories and search engines.

As you see, it isn’t hard to get high search engine rankings but it will be necessary to create backlinks and do link exchanges to ensure that your article gets seen and read by all your visitors.

Is Ezine Marketing Dead Or is it Still a Viable Option For My Business?

Ezines help you establish yourself as an expert in your field. When current and prospective clients receive your ezine filled with helpful information that is relevant to their needs, desires, and interests, they will begin to regard you as a source of information. Not only that but when they have questions or needs, you may very well be the first person that they call on for help simply because you obviously know your stuff and because your regular contact puts you foremost in their minds.

Ezines are also still an amazing marketing tool. They put your company and your products or services in front of customers in a non-threatening, non-obtrusive way. You create a community with your clients and prospects by involving them in industry news and even more if you ask for feedback and offer a question and answer column.

Lastly, ezines offer you a regular method of putting new offers or a new product or service information in front of your customers and prospects. You don’t have to wait for a ezine issue to make them aware. You have their email, sending out a supplemental ezine with information or offers just for subscribers is a great way to sell. Podcasts, audio, and video marketing and blogs are all popular mediums, still nothing beats the opportunity to be invited into your customer’s email box on a regular basis.

According to the Kelsey Group, 70% of U.S. households use the internet as an information source when shopping for products and services. In fact, according to Jupiter Research, having a website is imperative in the dialogue between retailers and consumers. They estimate that online sales are only 5% of the total retail market but about 30% of retail sales are researched on line prior to purchase.

What does this mean to your company?

Well it certainly means that you need a website but even more than that, it shows just how important an e-Ezine is to your marketing campaign. Why do you need both? They both provide your customer with information about your company. If done correctly, they both entice your customers to purchase your products and services. In fact, if you provide your customers the ability to purchase on-line then your website goes one step further than a Ezine ever could.

How Can an Ezine Benefit Your Company?

Ezines build credibility by providing potential customers with valuable information on a timely and consistent basis but they’re also an integral part of your marketing campaign. While your website offers valuable information about your company, your products, and your services; your ezine can delve deeper into your buyer’s concerns, interests, desires, and needs.

Your customer might go to your website to find out what products you offer but your ezine can show how a specific product can benefit a certain area of your customer’s life. A manufacturer of roofing products for the construction industry might detail their products and benefits on their website but a ezine article could detail how a particular roofing product could speed up actual construction time and thus lower the overall job cost saving prospective clients time and money.

Ezines can build customer loyalty. Despite the vast number of ezines pouring into in-boxes on a daily basis, people enjoy being part of a community, being kept informed, and being valued as a customer. Sending your valued clients and prospects regular updates and offers on your products or services as well as information to better their lives, involves them and brings them into your corporate community. Moreover, if you provide a question and answer feature in your ezine, it shows them that you value their concerns.

How can my Website and Ezine work together?

On the internet, there are two crucial methods of acquiring sales, the first is to generate traffic to your website and the second is to convert your website visitors into customers. While your website may drive traffic to your store or business, your ezine can serve to drive traffic to your website in a variety of ways.

Ezine Archives and Search Engine Optimization. When potential customers begin their research process they often start with a search engine. An archive of ezine articles that match their key words brings them directly to your website where they may read the plethora of articles that you have on the relative subject matter. The longer that you keep this potential customer at your site, the more likely they are to make a purchase.

More important than waiting for potential prospects to find your website on a search engine, your ezine will bring them to it. Providing valuable information and including a forward to a friend option in your ezine and you have the ability to widen your prospect base and thus widen the potential number of visitors to your website.

Ezines are a valuable tool for evaluating your customer’s buying habits. Tracking what your customers and prospects read in each ezine can give you insight on how to optimize your product selection, placement, and help to focus future marketing initiatives.

While your website makes the front end sale or sends the customer to your store, ezines provide you the opportunity to build on your relationship with your customer and encourage future sales. It increases the lifetime value of your customer.

While, there’s no doubt about the importance of a website, an ezine can prove to be a valuable marketing tool to, not only drive traffic to your website but to also build relationships with current and prospective customers.

What is Involved in Creating An Ezine?

Before you get started, it is important to take some time and research your competition. Do they have ezines? If they do, subscribe to them. Search their archives. What do you like about the ezine? What do you not like? What can you do better or differently from them? What can you learn from them?

Look at the ezine not just as a business owner with an eye for marketing but also review it from the eye of a consumer. It is vitally important throughout this entire process that you are able to get inside the head of your consumer.

Expect that you will take approximately 8-10 hours to craft your first ezine. After than, you can expect it to take approximately 4-5 hours per issue depending on how you’re distributing the ezine and how much copy you plan on offering. Set aside an hour and a half per article if you’re writing them all yourself.

o Creating the original design format for ezine 6 hours

o Creating the copy-2 hours (for a 1 or 2 article ezine)

o Formatting the ezine-1 hour

o Sending the ezine-10 minutes

o Testing/tracking-1 hour per ezine

As you develop a method for creating your ezine this process can be significantly shortened. I’m a writer so it takes me much less time to craft the copy but my graphic design skills are shall we say…challenged so it takes me much more time to design and format a ezine.

Regardless, the initial time commitment will be greatly shortened as you become more accustomed to the process. So don’t be deterred by the initial time commitment.

Why You NEED an E-Zine Marketing List

An E-Zine is an online newsletter, sent via email, to people on your marketing list. If you don’t have a marketing list, it’s difficult to SEND an E-Zine, and you miss a whole list of functional marketing options. The key component here is building a list, and I can help you with that, but first, let’s discuss all the reasons why you NEED an E-Zine.

1 – Invitation to Bring People Back

People really will forget about you, if you don’t INVITE them to come back to your site, or have some way of connecting with them to bring them back to your website. An E-Zine offers at minimum, an announcement feature that you can use whenever you publish a blog post, telling people – Hey, come see my latest informational blog post.

2 – Another Income or Revenue Building Source

Did you know you could sell ads for your E-Zine? People who are interested in what you offer, may also be interested in other like minded business offers, and those people will pay for advertizing in a related publication. These can sell for as little as $10 – $15 per publication, or as much as $2,000 per publication.The value of the ads is dependent on the number of people on your list. Yeah, we’re back to building you a great list!

3 – A Means of Distributing Informative Articles

Informative articles and valuable content can be shared in your E-Zine, with links back to your website. This drives traffic, builds revenue, and grows your page rank for your website. By creating an informative base of knowledge about your industry at your website, you attract more clients who need information, and gain new clients who want what you offer. Article Marketing goes well with List Building.

4 – Invitation to Participate in Specials and Discounts

Adding a discount certificate or special pricing section to your E-Zine encourages buying customers to come back for a special deal. You send them a coupon in their email, to be printed off – or not, and they bring their coupon to your business to get a great price on items or services you sell. You’d think they won the lottery with the speed some of them return to get their 10% discount!

5 – Invitations to Events

Whether you participate in frequent flyer programs, special annual events and holidays, or just randomly hold a book signing at the local book store, you’ll want to share these details with your Marketing List. More importantly, they’ll want to know. Grow a list of participating team members and share these details with them. If they’re on your list, it’s easy, just send them out an email update and tell them about your event.

Yeah, you really do need a list. Your list will help your business grow by providing you access through a permission-based ezine publishing service that helps you with the process of growing your list, reducing the churn on your list, and improving your communication efforts with the people on your list.

Are You Using Ezine Directories in Your Internet Marketing?

When you’re trying to figure out how to get traffic to your web content, there are a lot of options to evaluate. And it’s important that you pick the ones that go well with the product/service you are offering and the target audience for that product/service.

Using ezines to promote your products is a fantastic way to hit the right audience because there is an ezine for every niche possible. There are even ezines about ezines! If you want to save a lot of time doing your own research for the possible ezines to fit your niche, you can use ezine directories.

In case you’re unfamiliar with ezines, they are basically a newsletter that is sent out to a subscriber list who has confirmed interest in receiving them. If you find one that matches what your business offers, you are guaranteed a qualified audience to advertise to.

The best way to reach this audience is by placing what is called an Ezine Solo Ad. This basically means that the producer of the ezine will send out your text ad to his/her audience for a price.

In order to find the right ezines, you can go through ezine directories and do a search for the keywords or keyword phrases that represent your business to find a targeted ezine that you can advertise in.

Here are a few of the many directories that you can take a look at:

New-List offers a wide variety of general categories and thousands of thousands of specific newsletters to choose from within these categories.

eZINESearch allows you to type in the general category that pertains to your business, a description and some keywords. Once you’ve entered this information, you are taken to the results of your search and can get more information about what each ezine offers, the size of its mailing list, the frequency of the mailings, etc.

BestEzines have thousands of ezines to display along with reviews and complete information about each ezine including the target audience, frequency of the newsletter, tags and how many times the ezine has been viewed.

Ezine Directory offers an impressive list of ezines within a fair number of topics but does not provide you with the details on each. In any case, it is always better to contact the publisher of an ezine directly to verify statistics, price, etc. of the ezine.

Jogena’s eZine Directory offers both a listing of ezines and a listing of e-books, which is a nice twist. This site is very well-done and offers a great deal of information on both topics, in a way that is clear and easy to understand.

The Directory of Ezines is actually a paid service but well-worth the investment necessary. Not only does this site offer you an extremely detailed profile of all the different ezines, the owner, Charlie Page, actually also offers you one on one consulting on how to use his service as well as other ezines.

Hopefully these Ezine directories will hold some of the information you’re looking for!