They say that ‘Content is king’ but how can a small business compete with its larger competitors with lots of people? I believe they can.
Consumers have an increasingly voracious online appetite for all manner of information, education, communication, and entertainment. Whether that be Google or YouTube, Facebook or Twitter, LinkedIn or some other source for technical or industry specific information.
Ever typed a search into google with a ‘how do I’ type query? We all have.
GSA Business Development is a small business and there’s no doubt that we have seen an improvement in sales lead generation since we increased the level of content we publish on our website and blog and through other channels.
That’s not least because
- search engines love good keyword rich (more on that later) content and links
- we demonstrate a level of expertise to our clients.
But how do small businesses generate good content, compete with larger competitors and find the time to generate content with a view to increased lead generation through social media?
Clearly, at it’s most basic you can pay someone to generate content and to distribute it to you. Indeed, we do that for clients. But that may be cost prohibitive. There’s no doubt that there is value in bringing in experts if you can afford it. But you can do it yourself if you want to. For example, I started this blog on my iPad on the train yesterday morning. I added to it in the waiting area at a client’s premises. I am finishing it off during lunch today. Total time spent? Probably 45 – 60 mins! We can all find that time. And, use your laptop or a old style pad if you don’t have an iPad!
Research – Do your research before you start. Decide on what you are going to write about. Maybe split up your services and write one blog around these as a start point. Start with your industry and areas of expertise. For ideas, maybe consider the following: Check out online newsletters or other articles
Do a google search on buzzwords or topics in your sector. Have a look at LinkedIn forum posts. Check out what’s being reported in online magazines or industry bodies
Look at what’s trending on twitter
Planning – Be realistic. If you can’t do 3 blogs a week, commit to one. Decide how long it will be. See point 3 below. Scope out the final list of topics you want to write/comment upon
Decide how much time you will devote and ideally when and how. For example, do you have commute time each day? Start filing relevant content you will use into folders for use when you decide to write your content now and in future
Think about top 5 or top 10 lists and what these might be. This will help shape your content and enable you to integrate blogging with Twitter by scheduling tweets (e.g. Top 5 tips on generating online content) around the individual tips and linking the tweets to the blog. We will be doing that for this blog once we’ve fleshed out sufficient content to make each section workable in its own right. If you have colleagues, ask them to help you either with research or even writing
Generating good content – Normally 250-750 words should suffice dependent on the topic. This blog is obviously a lot more but there is a lot more to say. Is it going to be a blog, article, piece of news, thought piece, white paper, a top tips or how to…, video (you can use your webcam) and/or a series of tweets with links? Grab your research and decide what you are going to write about. Think through the keywords and keyword phrases that need to go in both your title and text so that it supports search engines finding your content when someone types in a search query. Make sure it isn’t too keyword heavy at the expense of readability. There’s No point repeating ‘social media content strategy’ every 10 words if it makes the blog clunky. Readers will tune out. But you can talk about content to support SEO or content generating higher sales enquiries as long as it fits the context! Allocate time for writing and/or recording. Don’t forget it could be video or even audio. If you really can’t do it during the day (I don’t believe you’re that busy every day, week and month!), then remember commute, lunch or waiting time like this. Maybe it’s heresy but what about evenings and weekends? If it’s important and for your own business, you will find the time if you decide that development of engaging content is the right strategy for you.
Posting and distribution – Do you have a CMS on your website that allows you to add content? If not, maybe you need to set up a blog in WordPress or some other tool. Either way, you need to place your content somewhere online so that readers and search engines can find it so that it drives visitors and enquiries. Make sure that grammar and spelling are correct and that you have checked your keywords before going live with your content. Make sure you give your content a good heading and include keywords at the start and end of the information. Ensure you tag the content so that search engines can pick up on the key words at the bottom of the blog. If the blog is integrated on your site, it is worth checking that the site itself has the same relevant keywords as the content so as to reinforce the visibility.
Consider using an agency to distribute content e.g. Placing the content on key online media for your sector (for a fee) or pushing out a more newsworthy piece of content as a press release
Don’t forget to seed your content using social media such as Facebook (but take care if your friends wouldn’t want to read a blog about solar panels!), twitter, LinkedIn and so on.
Ultimately, small businesses can generate good content that leads to more sales enquiries. It is partly planning and research, partly time management and discipline. The rewards are there if you apply yourself and consider content creation as part of your online lead generation strategy.
If you’d like to know more about our Social Media Lead Generation Services or book a Social Media Strategy Workshop and Training and find out how GSA Business Development can help Generate Growth for your Business, by contacting us now on 0845 658 8192 or send us an email.