3 Reasons Your Business Needs to Implement Content Marketing

3 Reasons Your Business Needs to Implement Content Marketing

3 Reasons Your Business Needs to Implement Content Marketing

content marketingAs a small business owner who is looking to increase sales via the internet you will recognise that most of your competition is already investing in one form of internet marketing or another and in some cases will have a well structured online marketing campaign in place.

In order to implement an online marketing campaign you need to invest in quality content that speaks directly to the problems that your target audience face.

Without that compelling content getting in front of the right people at the right time, your voice will not be heard, your business offerings will go unnoticed and you will watch as your competitors thrust open their doors to new clients that could and should have been yours.

Articles, videos, blog posts, pillar content, follow up emails, presentations and proposals: the list is endless!

To many business owners it may seem daunting or even off putting to have to produce an array of meaningful and compelling content on a regular basis that empowers your target audience to reach out and connect with you, and trust me it is.

But the truth of the matter is without the commitment to truly encapsulate your audience, online marketing will never see the results that you may have been promised or dreamed off.

But we already have a website!

To say that you have a website is not good enough. It is not. A website on its own is NOTHING. It is like jumping out of a plane with a parachute on your back and not knowing how to pull the chord. Useless. In fact it is less than useless, your website becomes a cost that sucks cash from your business instead of becoming an investment that adds to your bottom line on a monthly basis.

The content that you create is the means to attracting those profitable clients. Both on your website and on other targeted websites across the internet where your audience may be visiting. When your content creation dries up or doesn’t even get off the ground in the first place you will get fewer eyeballs looking, less subscribers and even fewer sales.

Content drives the internet and quality content engages your targeted audience, arouses their interest, creates a desire and encourages them to act.

3 Benefits of Content Marketing for Your Business

Highly Visible Social Proof

If you claim to be the biggest, the best or the most efficient in your niche or industry then you’d better make sure there is evidence on the internet to substantiate those claims.

It is not difficult for anyone to search the internet to find out information about your business. One simple search in Google of your business name will bring back search results highlighting the most relevant pages on the internet about your business.

Don’t be fooled into thinking that because you have not put anything on the internet about your firm that no one else has done it either. There are so many ways that people can talk about your business: Social media, local business directories, blogs etc that you should implement an online reputation management strategy to keep informed of how your business is being represented online.

If you are the best, then social proof will occur naturally to support these claims and then you will have some great third party generated content that you can use to market your business and win more customers with.

Be seen as a Thought Leader.

content marketing through thought leadership

Pick up a trade magazine and look at the expert opinion articles, those people are providing interviews, writing articles relating to their niche and adding insight around topical issues that may confuse potential clients. By taking time to put that content out there they become a thought leader, the “go to” person in that industry, and when that happens opportunities and business relationships come your way.

The same thing happens on the internet, in fact, the very same content or remarkably similar content to the trade magazine article will be converted into a blog post, a video, an article on an industry related website, an email through to your existing database.

Staying in the spotlight at the top is not easy. It requires attention to detail, original ideas and of course, constant updating.

Top Search Engine Rankings.

Having your business website listed in the top of the search engine rankings for your business niche, the products or services you offer or even the problems that your services solve is a great way to increase sales in your business. In the majority of niches there is fierce competition for the top spots in the search engines.

Google is continually updating they way they rank websites on the internet, one of the key areas they look at is the content both on and off the website. Is it related to the niche, is it good quality, is it being shared by other people, does it have third party comments, does the content get linked back to or linked out to other informative content.

All of these factors and many more are used to make a decision on the relevance and quality of your website and where it sits in the search rankings. Ultimately none of these factors can be taken into consideration if you do not have any content or create content on a regular basis.

The more content you produce which is related to your core competencies, the easier it is for you to place in context links and also get your articles published in leading sites within your niche which again helps your content marketing strategy by raising your profile.

Content marketing alone will not bring a horde of new business but it certainly plays a significant part and it will help your online presence and build you online reputation, set your business apart from your competition as a thought leader and position you as the go to player in your industry.

Why Online Business Reputation Management Should be On Your Radar

Why Online Business Reputation Management Should be On Your Radar

Why Online Business Reputation Management Should be On Your Radar

A lot of business leaders are so busy running their businesses that they don’t have time to focus on building marketing systems that get them new clients, let alone worry about their business reputation management online.

Your Business Reputation is Whatever Google Says It Is!

Face it, when someone is looking for your business, or your services they go to Google and type in your business name. The chances are the results they will include your website, amongst several other citations of your business.

Now you might think, “Well that’s ok we have a website and it has positive testimonials on there so we are fine, no need to worry!”

Well I am sorry to tell you that that isn’t good enough and here is why:

Very rarely do people enter your website url directly into the browser, even if they know you. The normal web user goes to Google and types the company name into Google and then hits search.

What the user is presented with is a list of pages that Google believes to be the most relevant for your business name. Now of course your website is one of those pages, or at least it should be, if it is not then you really do have trouble! The other listings will be other relevant and useful information concerning your business. This could be:

  • Press releases
  • Articles
  • Videos
  • Forum sites
  • Blog Posts
  • Local directory listings
  • Review sites
  • Social media sites.
  • Images
  • PDf articles

Do you see my point? If the answer is no, then let me explain some more.

business reputation management - ease of reviews

There are many forms of content that people can place online, all of which can be relevant to your business, your name, your products or services. If you don’t know what is online when someone searches for you then shame on you.

Remember, the internet is not static, so just because you checked what came up in a search 6 months ago it doesn’t mean it’s the same today, or tomorrow or the day after and the day after that.

One negative comment left online, or a negative article, can quickly be syndicated to many sites across the internet. Once this happens then that piece of content becomes more credible in the eyes of the search engines because people are taking the time to comment on it and share it.

That means the piece of negative content moves higher up the search engine listings damaging your business reputation, potentially losing market value and impacting your lead generation.

3 Steps to Better Your Business Reputation Management

Take accountability

Don’t ignore your online business reputation. Make a point of taking responsibility by assigning someone in your business to take ownership. Then go out and proactively work to provide the search engines with useful, relevant and quality content that adds value to your business and to people searching for your company.

The sooner you create value added content, the sooner it can be indexed and shared by the public, therefore increasing relevancy.

Don’t enter a Slanging Match

“He said, she did, I said,” is not going to help you out in this situation. If the comment or content is someone having a good old rant then sometimes it is best not to add fuel to the fire by leaving a response.

Analyse the comment or content that has been posted and think about how best to respond. If the comment is reasonable, for example if the user is talking about an experience they have had with your business and how it was disappointing, then step up to the plate and offer an apology and an avenue to interact with that consumer in order to investigate the issue and make things right. By doing this you get the opportunity to rectify the client’s sentiment about your business and also show the outside world, who are watching, that you really do care about your customers and clients.

Positively ask for feedback

reputation managementGetting positive reviews is another way to counteract the negative press that is online. There are many 3rd party review sites that allow consumers to leave their honest feedback about businesses that then get published online.

Ask your customers to go to these sites and leave honest reviews about your business, this will help build up a series of reviews, hopefully positive, that can be used to push down the negative reviews, provide feedback to your business and increase the perception of your business online.

Ultimately business reputation management is vital. If someone is saying something negative about your business or services they might have a reason to make a valid complaint. Consider all negative comments or complaints seriously and take corrective action where warranted.

If you want to know more how we could help you develop an online business reputation management system, marketing the GREAT work that you do for clients, protecting your business from the bad comments and winning new and repeat business online then call us today. 0161 850 4413

Behaving Like a RAT Online Is a Good Thing!

Behaving Like a RAT Online Is a Good Thing!

Behaving Like a RAT Online Is a Good Thing!

online bradingPeople do business and buy from people that they know, like and trust. This has and always will be the case. So how can you position yourself online as someone who is authentic, knowledgeable and trustworthy to capitalise both financially and personally from the growing consumer demand for online services.

Berelevant online Brandingelevant.

It is nigh on impossible to be an authority on a plethora of subjects. Yes, there are people in this world who are so gifted that they can speak openly, candidly and with authority on many subjects but they are few and far between. The best way to make an impact online, and I mean really stand out from the hundreds of millions of others looking to do the same, is to be an authority in just one niche.

Don’t see this as limiting your potential: it is not. Check that a niche has an audience before you get started and then do everything you can to be seen as a thought leader. Write thought provoking articles about the subject, produce a video series, challenge some existing practices in the niche and introduce your own ideas. But most of all stay relevant.

If the niche is Dalmatian training techniques then talking about five star trips to Costa Rica is not relevant. Unless of course you held a Dalmatian training summit on the beach….

Stick with what you know.

Be anAuthority Marketinguthority

Of the entire internet community, 90% of people read content, 9% of people edit or curate content and only 1% of the internet community actually create content. Be one of the minorities, differentiate yourself from the crowd. Have an active voice, connect with other content creators and influencers by creating valuable content that is thought provoking and original.

The more relevant content you create, the greater the chance you have of people finding it, engaging with you and becoming part of your online community.

Seek out opportunities to provide content on other highly targeted and well visited websites. By doing this you will be able to highlight your knowledge, experience and thought leadership to others who are interested in your niche but may never have found your online portfolio.

Don’t be afraid of giving away too much, a well written piece that gives sound advice, some simple to follow tips that anyone can do or a thorough and in depth explanation into a process used within your industry will only stand to increase your stature, highlight your authority on the subject and make you stand out as a thought leader.

Be Be Trustworthyrustworthy

One of the biggest concerns of users online is who to trust. In fact that is not just online that is anybody in any relationship, personal or business. In order to conduct business with someone you need to be able to like them and trust that they will deliver on exactly what they say they can.

Make it easy for people to find and connect with you. Develop a brand where people can recognise you regardless of the platform it may be on. The more often people see your brand over the internet, the more likely they are to take the time to stop, take notice of what it is you do and how it can benefit them and more importantly, connect with you.

Take the time to interact and listen to people. Yes, people are using the internet to market their products and services but try talking about and listening to others. Future clients may be able to relate to the conversations and stories, this will help develop trust and they may then take the time to interact with you

Establishing your authority and personal branding online is not an opportunity to create something you are not. It is about highlighting your strengths, exposing the value that you can offer others and differentiating yourself from the masses. If you do this right then your business and brand will attract the targeted business partners to you.

8 Advantages of Blogs for New Business Generation

8 Advantages of Blogs for New Business Generation

8 Advantages of Blogs for New Business Generation

advantages of blogsLet me start by saying, in my opinion, there is no one size fits all cookie cutter purpose of a blog. In fact each and every blog is unique and that uniqueness is something that any potential blogger should be looking to create. In this post I am going to discuss the main advantages of blogs in business and how it can help your business grow.

It brings your website to life

It is seldom the case that you can find a niche market where there is little to no competition. This means that as a small business owner you have to do something to make your small business stand out from the crowd.

By starting a blog you are making a commitment financially and, more importantly, an investment of your time to provide valuable insights into your industry or niche. Be ruthless with yourself because if you have nothing interesting to say or no value to add then your blog will soon become a ghost town and will in fact have a negative impact on your site.

It helps you become a teacher

In the process of winning business you often get asked questions about your products and services. When you blog on a regular basis you find that your approach to explaining these details changes (Well, it does for me anyway!). When you read something back to yourself in black and white and it doesn’t make sense then you need to amend it until someone can understand exactly what you’re saying.

By creating several articles on a weekly basis you inadvertently

  • sharpen up your sales pitch for when you are addressing clients.
  • You are forced to stay up to date on industry trends.
  • You’ll have answers for the most taxing of questions.

In essence one of the huge advantages of writing a blog is that you are practising your pitch and enhancing your repertoire so that when you do get in front of clients your demeanour is more confident and relaxed, allowing the client to feel more relaxed resulting in more sales.

It gives people a reason to return

I know of a small business owner who vehemently refuses to update his website and swoons at the thought of including a blog. In his opinion there is only one reason people visit the company website and that is to use a free sample of the company software.

My thought is this: if you only give people one reason to visit then they will see your site for that one purpose and no other. Give your audience that reason to return again and again by creating valuable content that provokes curiosity, inspires or educates. By doing this your blog can quickly and easily build a loyal following that can share the name of your business and brand through referral.

It helps search engine rankings

A stand alone website is pretty much an advert in a sea of other adverts. Worse than that if there is no structure, and by that I mean no search engine optimisation, then effectively your website is stranded in an ocean without a lifeline.

advantages of blogs

Adding a blog to your small business website means that you are constantly adding fresh content, when you add fresh content to your blog and promote your blog in the correct manner the search engines recognise this and if you tell them what your blog content is about by using the correct SEO on page optimisation, you will be rewarded by having your content indexed where you most want it to be found. Namely, in front of the eyeballs of targeted prospects for your business.

With a solid inbound marketing strategy and patience you can build up a vast resource for your business that can provide solid value for your audience and position your business as a leader in your industry.

It helps qualify prospects in and out.

When you produce great content on a regular basis then over time you will inevitably cover the majority of aspects of your business, from products, services and solutions through to after care and the results that you provide for other clients.

Having great content available to people who are reviewing your business is a great way to qualify them in or out of your business. And those that take the time to read your content and dissect the information available to them are going to be a much better lead for your business. They will be educated in your business methodology and by the simple act of following your call to action will be signalling to you that they are serious and ready to do business.

The other benefit this has on your business is it saves you time.

As business owners we all want to speak to as many new people about our business on a daily basis. Agreed? Of course the answer is yes! However the truth of the matter is that in a hectic schedule there can be nothing worse than giving up time to speak to a tire kicker.

As well as acting as a lead magnet for qualified clients one of the advantages of blogging is that it acts as a way to repel those that are simply looky loo’s.

It provides social proof

Blogging is about striking up conversation with your audience. It’s about bringing your business and brand to life. The more content you write then the greater the chance of you eliciting a response.

The responses that people in your community leave are great fuel for you to highlight your expertise in your niche and also to outline your approach to customer service.

Many people and businesses don’t like the idea of opening up their blog or website to comments. This myopic approach can actually damage the visibility of your blog in the search engines as the search engines look for social signals as a factor that a blog is actually of good quality.

On top of comments helping with your ranking, they also provide great blog post ideas for further content creation!

It establishes authority

Establish your small business as an authority in your industry by creating highly enriching blog content. If you are able to do this, it is a sure fire way to gain credibility with prospective new business partners. Highly effective peopleknow the more authority you have, the more likely people will open their ears and listen to you without being overly critical, giving you the ability and time to influence this is the purpose of a blog that most small business owners and business professionals desire the most.

How can you increase your authority? Get your blog noticed, write a book, or provide guest content to influential websites in your niche. Ask your prospective customers what they actually want and provide resources where they can find it.

The advantages of blogs vary from industry recognition to SEO benefit but one thing remains constant and that is you will need to learn how to write blogs effectively and integrate your blogging within your marketing strategy to see success. Blogging is not something to be taken lightly it is a huge investment of time and money so make sure you are clear as to what you are looking to achieve before penning your first words.