Why Content Marketing Keeps on Giving

Content marketing, it’s the gift that keeps on giving. So content marketing, why is it the gift that keeps on giving? Well, it is because it keeps generating views for you as a business. Let me explain what I mean here.

If you create a really nice video on YouTube, or maybe you create a nice piece of content on your website, maybe it’s a blog post or maybe it’s a nice page that you’ve designed on your website. If it’s ranking high on Google, it’s going to continue to gain views for you as a business. To compare this to advertising. With advertising, you’re going to get a lot of views upfront, but then you’re not going to receive more views once your budget runs out. With content marketing, it keeps generating views over and over again for a long time into the future. Let’s take a look at an example.

The blog post I created in July 2017. It’s been read over 400,000 times at the time. Two and a half years after posting the blog, it’s still generating 10,000 readers a month, so that’s pretty impressive, right? 10,000 views per month. This blog is still generating that for us as a business that I created two and a half years ago, and so it’s unbelievable. Over 400,000 people have seen this blog and it’s all because of content marketing.

Let’s take a look at an example of how this would perform over time compared to paid advertising. So let’s compare that to running a paid ad. A paid ad of around $5,000 would generate you approximately 50,000 views if you’re lucky. Then once the ad budget runs out, all the views would just stop.

But if you invested $5,000 in a really nice well-optimized content like I created, you would start with only a small number of readers and it would take much longer to reach 50,000 views, but eventually, it would pass that and it would continue to ramp up well beyond and just keep ongoing.

All in all, the return on investment with content marketing versus paid advertising is just so much better. It’s slower to ramp up, but then it’s much, much better in the long term.

So the question is which one should you choose? Well, I’d actually recommend both. I think you should invest great time and effort and resources into developing really great high-quality content that you can optimize and you can promote organically. But I would also encourage you if you have enough budget to also invest in some promotion of that content through paid advertising. Give it a little boost, build some momentum behind the content so it can build its views faster and then let it, the organic piece of it, just keep propelling it forward thereafter.

That’s the strategy I’d recommend. But if you want to look for ideas for your business for content marketing, you’re not quite sure you know how to tackle it. Give us a call, talk to one of our marketing consultants. We’d be happy to help you out.

Marketing For Retail Stores During Social Distancing – 3 Tips

Today we’re going to cover three tips on how to market your retail store in the era of social distancing.

1: Make sure that you’re communicating with your customers.

One of the most important things you can do is let them know that you are planning on surviving this time and you are going to open your doors again. You’ve got to make sure that they know what your hours are. If you are still able to be open, maybe you’ve had to restrict your hours or maybe you’ve restricted your staff a little bit, so you’ve still got to make sure that you communicate that to them. There are other businesses that are totally closing their doors or people that are just stopping for the time period. Maybe that’s you. That’s okay. You’ve just got to make sure that you’re communicating this to your customers.

They want to hear from you. They want to know where you’re at with this. They want to know that you’re going through the same thing and that you’re taking precautions to keep your staff safe and to keep them safe. So make sure you’re communicating across all mediums you’ve got because it’s incredibly important. Once your doors are open again, then they can come back and be your customers. They just need to know that you’re planning on doing that.

2: You’ve got to get online.

A lot of retail stores are realizing that they can’t rely on foot traffic anymore. They’ve got to get online, they’ve got to get that eCommerce site set up and you’ve got to start selling via the internet. It’s not the world’s easiest thing to do. You’ve got to have the website. It’s great if you have your point of sale system connected with your inventory so that you’re not selling things that you don’t actually have, you don’t have to manually update those things. So it’s really hard. It’s really difficult. It takes a lot of time, but time is really all we’ve got right now, so now’s a perfect time to make sure that you’re doing that.

Communicate with all of your vendors, have them send you product photos and product images so you can get started on that. If you need to find a new point of sales system, you’ve got to hunt that down to make sure that it’s going to connect with your website. Great websites to look at would be websites 360, WooCommerce, Woo 360, Shopify. These are all incredible platforms that connect with a lot of point of sale systems, so that’s another thing you can look at. You’ve got to just make sure that you are online as soon as possible because that’s really what’s going to keep you around during this time. You can’t always rely on foot traffic. Sometimes it’s a pandemic. Other times it’s a snowstorm, but if you’re online then you’ve got a 24-hour salesman who’s selling your product all the time.

A lot of small businesses have relied on older ways of selling their product for a long time and that’s okay, but when we start to come across challenges like we’re experiencing right now, you really start to realize that it’s not going to work that much longer. And we’ve got a lot of time on our hands, so now is the perfect time to make sure that you are getting online so you can sell online.

Now I’ve got a pro tip for you here. If you’re closed or if you’ve got reduced hours, so you’ve got extra time on your hands or you’ve got staff that doesn’t really have a lot of things to do at this moment, now is a perfect time to start to task them or task yourself to start doing these other things that are going to take a lot of time that will help you get online faster. One of these is product descriptions. Product descriptions are tough because you can’t just steal them offline and your vendors are not going to send them to you. You’ve got to come up with these yourself. So if you’ve got a staff member that is really, really knowledgeable about a lot of products, have them start writing product descriptions. You’re getting product images, your vendors are sending you those and then as you get that and you start to bring your products online, you can make sure you’ve got your product descriptions as well. It’s incredibly important and can save you a lot of time.

Another thing that you can do, again, if you’ve got staff members that are really knowledgeable about what you’re selling or the services that you offer, you can have them start to write content, write blogs and things like that, that will help your website rank organically. Everybody is online now. All we’re doing is spending time online. So you’ve got to get online and make sure your content is there. Now is a great time to keep your team employed, keep them busy and utilize the skills that they have to make sure that your website is ranking high.

3: Be social.

Right now everybody’s online. That’s all we’re doing. That’s all everyone has time to do at this moment. So get online and get social. If you’ve been ignoring your social channels, now’s the time to kick them back up. If you’re pretty good at communicating, but you realize that you’ve kind of slacked off a little bit as things have been dying down, ramp up that communication. This is a great time for you to connect with your customers in an environment that’s not really salesy. You’re not always selling, you’re just communicating that you’re here, you’re here for them, you’re here to help them. You’re here to help them shop with you online. You’re here to support the local economy and you’re here to engage with them.

So social is an incredible way to do that. And if you’ve found that you’re just really not communicating as much as you wanted to or as much as you have in the past, you’ve got to ramp it back up. There’s a lot of people that are saying a lot of studies that are showing that customers, they’re not finding you. They’re not driving by, they’re not seeing the lights on. They don’t see your sign, we’ll be back in three weeks, we’ll be back whenever. They’re looking for you online. And if you’re not there, you’re not showing up, you’re not in their social feeds, you start to lose that top of mind awareness that you worked so hard to get. So, you’ve got to be social.

Another aspect of this is to share content from some of the other folks in your area. If you’ve got business owners that you’re friendly with or you’ve got people in your shopping center or anything like that that you connect with and you know these folks, make sure you’re sharing their content also. Now, small business owners, we’re all in this together, so the more that we can share content from our neighbors, the more we can share content from other small businesses in the area, we all grow together. This is a hard time for a lot of retail stores. It’s a hard time for small businesses, so we’ve got to stick together and we’ve got to make sure that we get through this as one team.

Five Small Business Marketing Tactics to Try In 2020 Marketing

The first thing we’re going to talk about is your content strategy. So when we’re talking about content, you’ve got to remember that Google is constantly changing their algorithm. They’re changing everything about it, how it shows up in the search engine results page, what pages are ranking, why they’re ranking and who sees them. So if you’ve been using an old outdated content strategy, you’ve been doing the same thing you’ve been doing for years, now is the time to change it. You’ve always got to change things up.

Start a podcast. Now you also may be saying, “everybody’s got a podcast. Why would I do that?” Well, it’s pretty easy to start the podcast, but what you really want to do is provide great content, number one, and number two, don’t be boring. There’s a lot of boring podcasts out there and they never see the success that they could.

But for a small business, it can be incredibly valuable because, one, you get to show off what an expert you are in the topic that you’re talking about. Regardless of what your business or industry is, it’s great to be able to talk and show that you’re the expert, you know better. This is all about educating your consumer and an educated consumer is a better customer. Two, this gives you a great opportunity to showcase your brand, who you are, the person behind the brand, the person behind the company.

Next, let’s talk about email. Email is incredibly effective for small businesses, especially, that want to be able to reach their consumer. So change up your email strategy. Change up what it looks like. Change up your content. Change up when you’re sending it. Do some testing. Find out what days work best for you. People have said for years, Tuesdays and Wednesdays are great days to send emails. Maybe for you, it’s Thursday or Friday. Maybe you want to send a weekend email. Test them out. See what’s going to work best for you, what works best for your customers.

Importantly, one thing you really need to consider is to make sure your emails show up really well on mobile. More and more people are using their mobile devices for every aspect of their life, including email. So as long as the email that you’re creating is mobile-responsive and so is the website you’re sending them to, that’s where you see your best efficiency and that’s how you have a great 2020.

Next, let’s talk about your social media, specifically, let’s talk about running some social media ads. Now, it’s been common knowledge for a long time that the organic reach of a Facebook page is pretty limited, pretty low. In fact, for a lot of pages it can be as low as 1%, meaning that you’re only reaching about 1% of your audience when you’re just posting organically.

A lot of people are also trying to rely on boosting and boosting their posts and I got to say that’s a terrible idea. Boosting, if you start thinking back to the old days of newspaper and magazines, things like that, if you were running any ads there, you probably got a discount doing something what’s called a remanent ad or a remanent placement, meaning that you weren’t really in the greatest spot. It was just kind of leftover space that they had. That’s where your ad went. You were in the newspaper or the magazine, but it wasn’t great placement. But at least you were there. That’s what boosting is. Boosting will get you there, but not great placement. It doesn’t utilize any of the machine learning or algorithms that Facebook has at its power. It doesn’t really give you a great way to reach your audience.

Now, running actual ads, as in using Facebook’s Business Manager, that’s how you really get to take advantage of all the power and strength that comes from the machine learning and the algorithms that are built into that. You’re no longer getting this remanent placing, but you’re actually getting preferred placing.

Finally, my last tip is to make your journey personal. This is incredibly important for small businesses because people want to feel connected. They want to feel like you’re a part of the community and you need to be a part of that.

A great way to actually encourage people to work with your business or to choose you for services or products or whatever you offer is to show them that you are an actual real person and you employ real people in the community. Share your hopes, your dreams, the struggles of owning a small business, things that you are going through. By adding this personal touch, you really give your customers an opportunity to… they can connect with you and they can connect with you on an emotional side. Everybody knows the story of Christmas. Everybody knows Santa’s story and that’s part of what helps to make the joy of this Christmas season so real.

So carry this through and start to tell the personal story of your business. Start to tell the personal story of how you got started, why you do what you do, what you did when you took a couple of days off, the things that your kids are doing, the things that your employees are doing, their successes, new things that they’re trying. Maybe an employee is moving on, going to college, starting their own business. Share that with your customers and share that with your community. By taking your customers on this personal journey, they’re going to want to continue to be a patron of your business and to continue to work with you.

Telling your story is an incredible way to grow your business, but also to be a part of the community, so be a part of the community.