Small businesses simultaneously face an uphill climb against better funded competitors but also have an inherent advantage in their ability to be agile in their marketing efforts. But being agile without marketing intelligently serves no purpose. In this post we look at how to make content and social media work for your SMB to win in the online game.
Macro-Level ContentIn some industries, and by extension for some companies, it is extremely easy to create excellent unique content on a regular basis. Fair or not this isn’t going to change. The TechCrunches and Mashables of the world will always have an advantage of covering topics that are widely followed and inherently interesting – technology. Even better for them is the fact that those who follow those industries are also internet savvy and are constantly digesting the new content produced. But for small businesses who work in niches that are boring and stagnant creating content can be a serious challenge.
This challenge can be overcome by remembering that potential customers have interests beyond your boring product or field. The key to producing content that works for such a business is to include content topics that attract your potential customers. In other words, companies need to go “up a level” to a topic that has wider appeal to their customers. For example, constantly writing about the types of grass your sod farm sells will be extremely boring. But focusing on your end customer, new home owners, sod farms could produce content around home ownership, landscaping, etc. The “macro” topic both appeals to the potential customer and isn’t so unrelated to the core business that it doesn’t make sense on a company blog.
Employing this “macro” level strategy will not only provide your company with more to write about but it will be more effective in attracting the people that will ultimately buy from you.
Building a Macro Audience - When It Make SenseSocial media for small businesses presents the same challenges as does the content outlined above. The challenge may be even more amplified as industries full of people that aren't naturally tech savvy and reading content on regular basis are even less likely to have a Twitter handle, LinkedIn account or Google + profile.
For small businesses in this situation there are two things to keep in mind. The first is to remember that just because social media exists doesn't mean it makes sense for all businesses! If your company is in an extremely niche vertical and your customers never use social media personally or as part of the buying cycle then don’t waste your time on social media.
The second thing to keep in mind is that you will have to employ a “macro” strategy much the same way you did with your content. The goal should be to aggregate an audience that is interested in common “macro” level topics. This audience will then be more likely to consume and share the content produced on your blog or website. These shares and subsequent links will help online visibility and achieve your real goal – attracting potential customers to your website.
While the challenge of being a niche small business will never be easy, being an intelligent marketer can offset this disadvantage. SMBs will see the most success with content and social media when they find and produce the macro level content topics that appeal to their customers and ultimately attract them to their website.