The problem with online marketing generally and especially SEO for small business is one of the resources. After all, if you can’t afford to spend a couple of hundred dollars on an infographic, or hire an outside firm to do your SEO, or even to pay someone to handle outreach…..how is a small business owner supposed to have the time to handle SEO let alone all of your online marketing (itself a full time job) as well as running your business?
The answer usually is to stop thinking of SEO and online marketing as separate from running your business and make it part of what you normally do. Make your daily business and your online marketing work together and you might find you have time to do a lot more than you initially expected to be able to.
Almost every business, large or small, creates a ton of content. Be it newsletters, marketing pieces or even some customer interaction (as an example, customers often have questions that are how companies like Zendesk help venture funded start-ups create online FAQ sections), we all spend an inordinate amount of time talking about our businesses internally and externally. When it comes time to create content though, most small businesses think that they need to do something completely and utterly different. The advice here is simple, use the content that you’re already creating but not sharing and start sharing it on your blog and in other places of your website.
The beauty of doing this, of course, customers are more likely to both order from you, but they’re also more likely to find answers to their questions if you give them more information and less customer service and interaction, generally will give you more time to market yourself and find even more sales.
Outreach and Social Media:
It has been said that social media should take small businesses, no more than 15 minutes or so per day. While I think that’s a pretty rosy outlook and something closer to double that is even a best case scenario, it’s a good goal to have to be sure.
First, to hit that target you’ll without a doubt need to be sharing your own creations, as well as folks that you’re intimately familiar with. The process of finding content to share specifically for social is going to eat up more than your allotted time.
My second point, don’t treat social like it’s part of your business that has no other tie in. Social will force you to do some customer service on it at times, but it’ll also easily combine with outreach.
If you aren’t familiar, outreach may very well be the most important part of SEO and online marketing for small business. Simply creating content isn’t enough, without outreach you’ll quickly find out that your content is awesome but no one is seeing it. Sending it along via email to folks that might be interested, as well as sharing it with others on social media is a great use of your marketing time.
This fits nicely with both social media as well as content creation, but given that some current studies find that 75% of the world’s high-speed bandwidth will be used to stream video by 2020, as a small business owner, you have to be concerned with video. In fact, if you want to exist online video is quickly becoming an imperative.
But, how can you handle video if you have limited resources?
Luckily, we all carry around a camera/video recorder in our pocket that people a generation ago, could have only dreamed of. Your cell phone takes video of high enough quality to basically go on tv, especially if you film sideways instead of up and down (professional video folks HATE the up and down video that most of us record at home).
Basic video editing software is often included on new computer purchases, but literally adding small connotations or even cutting out a few cases of bad sentence structure is normally enough for most potential customers to pay attention.
The video is bound to continue changing and over time, you’re likely to see a greater number of small businesses focused on video quality, but for now, get in the game and perfect your presentation as time goes by.
I hope you’ve found these three tips as actionable pieces of advice for your growing online business. So much of what we’re told focuses on content quality that people often get convinced that if their online content isn’t as good as major brands that they shouldn’t even try. That’s far from the truth.
Contributed By: Mark Aselstine From Uncorked Ventures