Earlier this week, I read and commented on a blog about how content marketing just doesn’t work. This blog author had some very valid points.
- Content is a pain to produce.
- Smaller companies have limited time to update their website with new content and copy.
- There is just too much content, too many emails and other things to read every day.
While these are all valid arguments, I wanted to give some thoughts and helpful tips because I know that this author is not the only one with these content complaints and feeling this overwhelmed with content.
Content is a Pain to Produce
I completely agree! I spend a good chunk of my time producing content for my clients and my own marketing. For larger e-books and content offers, it takes time to research the ideas, get them outlined, written, produced and then create a campaign to promote so that people know about the offer for this new awesome content. Blog articles I write are time consuming on only a slightly smaller scale BUT, they are vital. Content is the cornerstone to internet marketing. You have to have the content to fill your website with relevant information that your customers are looking for. Relevant, quality content is only produced from time and work. Here are some tips to help you with creating good content:
- Get your staff to help. They can either write their own articles or information pieces. They may already have something started in a presentation or a case study. They may help you come up with a list of ideas of what your audience is interested in learning about.
- Hire a writer and/or an editor. If someone writes something in your company, but it needs some polishing, have an editor look it over and clean it up for you. If you get a list of ideas, hire a writer to write them for you. You can find writers that specialize in blog writing and most likely with a background in your industry. I have used Zerys myself when I need certain pieces written and don’t have the time.
- Make things short and digestible. Use images, bullet points and subheadings. Try to make it as scannable as possible. Maybe break things down so that it can be consumed a little bit over a couple of weeks of blog articles.
Small Size, Limited Time
I know that smaller companies have limited time, and usually limited budgets. I know this because I am my own small company and understand watching the bottom line. I also know that a part of being a business owner is to delegate what I cannot do because of either time or knowledge area. If you feel that internet marketing is important, and make the commitment, then you are ready to make the investment. This investment will be either your time or your money.
If you choose time:
- Time to learn about the various aspects to internet marketing. You need to understand SEO, how to blog and create other great pieces of content, promotion and sharing through the various social media outlets, email marketing, creating online campaigns and how to analyze your results to understand what is working and what needs to be tweaked.
- Time to learn the different software for monitoring, analyzing, posting, creating, etc. It can be a variety of tools or automated marketing software, either way it takes time to learn.
- Time to plan and strategize because you need to have goals and objectives to know where you are going and how you are going to get there.
- Time to do the work to create content, promote, share, build relationships, setup the emails and campaigns and the other intricacies to online marketing.
- Time to keep up with all the changes to all the technologies including social media platforms and changes to the software systems you use.
If you choose money:
- You invest in software to make your online marketing easier. The selling point about marketing automation software is that it is a one-stop-shop. You no longer have to use the variety of different apps and software systems to do what you need to do. Also, marketing automation software companies should, as a benefit, help to educate and keep you up to date on what is changing in the online marketing world.
- You invest in people to help in the areas that you need help. This could be hiring a writer or an editor if you need to create that great content, or receiving help from a web designer with SEO experience. There are individuals who specialize in certain areas of internet marketing and others that have a well-rounded experience in the area of internet marketing aspects.
- You invest in hiring a professional that can either guide and educate you or just do all the marketing for you. From nuts to bolts. All things from creating a strategy, creating content, setting up your campaigns, sending you leads and doing your analysis to suggest what to do next. You can also hire someone to help you decide on a marketing automation software platform, implement and train you how to use it.
Too Much Content
When I first wanted to learn everything I could about internet marketing, it was like turning on a fire hose. I signed up for email newsletters, subscribed to blogs, joined groups and forums and the information came in like a tidal wave. I so understand how it feels to be overwhelmed with the amount of information available. What to do?
- Start slow… Find one or two trusted knowledge leaders in the industry and read their blogs, downloads, attend webinars, etc. As you learn more, your curiosity will allow you to look for more information.
- Monitor which groups and forums are really beneficial. You will find that some are more spammy than informative. I sign up on groups and forums and then leave the ones that are either not relevant or send more spam than good information.
- Unsubscribe. I know that doesn’t always work. I have several senders that I know I have unsubscribed from and continued to receive emails. Maybe setup rules in your Inbox to send certain emails from certain senders to the trash.
Internet marketing for small business, actually any size business, is not easy, but it is valuable. I see it myself working with the people I work with. If any of these complaints are ones you have said yourself, I hope I was able to give you a couple useful tips to continue using it to see the payoff of more qualified leads.
Shannon Caldwell is owner of Caldwell Marketing Communications in Denver, Colorado. With over 12 years of practical marketing experience across a wide variety of industries, Shannon brings a wealth of experience, passion and creative ideas to her clients and their marketing needs. You can see her other articles about marketing on her marketing blog.