20 Easy Ideas To Promote Your Micro Business With Content Marketing

Your primary job as a business owner is to find and keep customers.

The success of your business depends on it.

Which means regardless of how busy you are, you need to invest time in activities that attract prospects, make a connection and convert them into paying customers.

Did you know content marketing is a really valuable strategy to help you achieve this?

Let me explain…

Content marketing is all about sharing useful, informative and entertaining information for FREE. As such it allows potential customers to become acquainted with your products and services which in turn lays the foundations for future sales.

It’s just fantastic!

However there is a barrier.

Perhaps you’d love to embrace content marketing but you:

  • Hate to write.
  • Don’t know what to write.
  • Have run out of things to write.

Fortunately content marketing isn’t all about blogging.

So read on and I’ll outline 20 easy ideas you can explore. And 10 of them don’t involve writing (just idea generating). What’s more, each has the potential to engage your target audience and set the scene for future sales.

Which will you try?

10 Ideas if you’re happy to write

  1. Create an expert product and give away in exchange for an email address. It’s an effective method to build your email list and create the foundations for permission marketing. Stan Smith from Pushing Social has a great offer. His Build A Successful Blog Strategy In Only 7 Minutes is a fantastic tool if you want to develop your blog.
  2. Develop a high value autoresponder. This is simply a sequence of emails that you deliver to customers through the likes of MailChimp (af link) or Aweber. Aim to engage readers in substantive conversations. And whilst well timed sales talk is ok, it shouldn’t form the bulk of your interaction.
  3. Write a regular newsletter. Identify a clear objective and call to action. Work out how often you’ll publish, and plan your content to ensure you’re consistently delivering value to your subscribers.
  4. Seek opportunities to guest blog and increase the exposure of your business to a new audience.
  5. Leave relevant, insightful comments on blogs. Avoid the “nice post” style and instead add value to the discussion thread. It’s a really effective way to raise your profile, get on the radar of the blog owner and even attract new readers to your blog.
  6. Create bespoke landing pages to group together content about particular products and services. Copyblogger has some brilliant examples including their Copywriting 101 series. These pages are a powerful way to focus your audience and expose them to a range of relevant content about a specific topic.
  7. Review your about us page and rewrite it from the customer perspective rather than boring your customer with your life story.
  8. Interview satisfied clients and create some interesting case studies. Use these as an alternative to testimonials and allow a 3rd party to vouch for you and your business.
  9. Write an informative article for a trade journal or magazine. It’s a good way to gain exposure and build credibility.
  10. Review a book, publication or journal that’s hot in your area.

10 Ideas if you hate to write:

  1. Create a series of informative videos which solve a problem or address an issue your customers face. Russ Henneberry from Tiny and Mighty does this really well. He offers 10 free internet marketing videos when you subscribe to his list. I recommend that you do 🙂
  2. Run a Hub Google+ Hangout and lead a discussion based around your specialist niche with your peers.
  3. Prepare a webinar that offers solutions to one of your target customer’s most pressing problems. Include a Q&A session at the end and use it to position yourself as a specialist.
  4. Run a tweet chat based around your area of expertise and use it to share ideas, initiate conversation and get on the radar of your potential customers.
  5. Get a speaker slot at a conference and share your specific take on a topic that resonates with the audience, for example Jo Waltham will be presenting at the Food Blogger Conference later this month talking about how to move from WordPress.com to a self-hosted domain.
  6. Run a free face-to-face workshop and teach attendees something from your specialism which they can directly apply to either their business or their personal life.
  7. Networking organisations such as 4N have 15minute presentation slots at their events. It’s a great opportunity to share knowledge and ideas with fellow networkers and indicate how you can help.
  8. Use the Google Hangout functionality or a service such as GoToWebinar to record interviews with experts in your field.
  9. Get interviewed. Here’s an example of Hub Contributor Robert Peters discussing social media with Jade Pluck from Virtually Anywhere.
  10. Create an infographic.
So there you have 20 different content creation ideas along with a series of effective examples. But what have I missed? What other content marketing strategies have worked well in your business. Please share you ideas by leaving a comment below.

micro business action

Today’s Micro Action

Invest some time figuring out how to make content marketing work in your business, then identify at least 3 ideas you will try.

 

Georgina El Morshdy

Georgina is the wordsmith at Gem Writing & specialises in helping micro business owners communicate their message through words that do justice to their business.

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Comments

  1. Great stuff! Really got me thinking this morning!

    Here are a few more things that you can do to create content if you aren’t gifted with the pen.

    1) Start a MeetUp — Honestly, I wouldn’t be in business today if I hadn’t started a MeetUp. I would schedule one per month and I would make presentations to the group, which established the “know, like and trust” relationships necessary to start generating sales, leads and referrals for my company. In my opinion there is nothing more powerful than speaking opportunities when you are running a tiny business. MeetUp.com takes care of the administrative heavy lifting for you.

    2) Record Audio Posts – I know the word podcast will strike fear or skepticism into the minds of some but this really couldn’t be more simple. Download Audacity (PC) or Garage Band (Mac), buy a decent USB microphone (I use a Yeti Blue microphone — it’s ~$100 USD), set a schedule of topics or interviews and start recording. Start following folks like Cliff Ravenscraft of PodcastAnswerMan.com to start ramping up the professionalism and distribution of your podcast.

    3) Crowdsourced Written Posts – This one is great for whipping up some great content in a flash. Start by writing four questions that your target market might ask. Then ask ~10 experts to provide a short answer to each question. Aggregate each set of answers into a single post, creating four posts total. This is a good example that we recently ran on The Daily Egg – http://blog.crazyegg.com/2012/09/18/experts-advice-improving-conversion/

    Awesome post Georgina! I really love this topic!
    Russ Henneberry recently posted..Are You Creating “Desire Paths” For Your Customers?My Profile

    • Hi Russ. Thanks for the cracking comment. Feeling you need to write to engage with content marketing can be such a barrier for tiny business owners and it’s brilliant to be able to show there are alternatives which suit people who prefer to talk. I’ve not heard of MeetMe.com before and the crowd sourcing article is a really good idea. I’ll have to do one for the Hub very soon 🙂
      Georgina El Morshdy recently posted..Tell Us What Happens In Your Micro Business My Profile

    • @Russ:

      I just wanted to say you left some terrific additional tips. I especially like the ones on podcasting and crowdsourcing. Thanks!

      @Georgina:

      This is a great list you’ve put together. The only thing I can think of to add to the list is the creation of tools and/or apps. This is a simple (and probably stupid) example, but let’s say you’re a carpet seller. As someone who has just bought new carpet for their home, I was looking for a tool on how to calculate approximately how much carpet I needed so I could then calculate an approximate cost. So a simple “carpet calculator” tool on your website or an app would be useful:)

      Travis Van Slooten
      Travis Van Slooten recently posted..Your Contact Page Could Be Losing You SalesMy Profile

  2. Thanks! MeetUp.com is fairly popular in the U.S. — not sure how it does in the UK.
    Russ Henneberry recently posted..How To Increase Visibility For Your Tiny Business (On the cheap)My Profile

    • Hi Russ,
      I have 2 Meetup groups here in the UK, for German speakers and people learning German. It has been great for meeting other Germans here in Milton Keynes as well as helping people learn the language and actually inspired me to then become a professional German language tutor!

      • @Julia — That is excellent! There really is nothing online that replaces in-person contact — it is, IMHO, the best way to build and stabilize a micro business with sales.

        In the early days of my micro business I did a ton of in-person meet ups, presentations and networking events and strengthened those relationships through on-line social media contact and distribution of high-value content to those that I had met in person. Works miracles.
        Russ Henneberry recently posted..Worth Your Time: The Google Zero Moment Of Truth ReportMy Profile

  3. Happily I love to write so the first 10 hot tips resonate with me. I’d like to echo what you say about NOT selling but about giving value.
    No matter how many e-books or newsletters you send out, if all you are doing is selling, your clients will be turned off and tune out.
    Business needs to change, we need to lead the revolution – giving away is the key to building a successful business. And it must be done from the heart because you truly love what you do and want to give your clients value and useful information.
    Also….when you start contributing to discussions on other blogs its a good idea to keep track of them and reply to replies….AND keep your favourite and most active blogs on your favourites…or home pages.. I didn’t and it’s annoying….
    X Claire

  4. @Georgina
    thanks for this, especially including tips for people who find it hard it write about their business, I really like your alternative to writing ideas.
    Thank you
    Julia

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