Just because the New Year is around the corner, doesn’t mean you’re too late to get a jump start on planning your small business online marketing content for 2020. And, when you consider that many small businesses plan website and social media content on the fly, you’re pretty much a rockstar right now – waaaaay ahead of the game. So here we go 🚀
3 key steps to successful online marketing
Before you can plan your online marketing, you’ll want to be sure you’re reaching the audience you intend to serve. This means knowing who you are, knowing who they are and knowing the best way to reach them. Let me explain:
Know your core story: We talked about this in an earlier blog. This is your 1-sentence practical and higher purpose explanation of what drives you in your business. Read here how to spark your core story.
Know your audience: Knowing what your audience needs and what they value you for will help you determine what content you should create. Your goal is to provide your audience with exactly what they want so they feel like you are speaking directly to them. This comes from audience research. Read here how to conduct audience research and swipe my Google audience survey.
Show up consistently: This means creating content every week on your website and then sending it out to your target audience’s inbox. On your social media channel of choice, you’ll want to show up nearly every day or more.
Choose Your Content Medium
Now that you’ve determined how to describe who you are and better understand what your audience wants, you can begin thinking about how to reach them. You have three choices for a content medium, and choosing one of them will depend on your preferences and how your audience tends to consume content. We will talk more in depth about the how to’s for each content medium in the future.
Blog: This, obviously is my content medium of choice. Blogging is a great way to consistently show up for your audience weekly and to keep your content easy to consume. If you enjoy writing, blogging is an obvious choice, but even if you’re only a mediocre writer, I still say go for it. Writing is like a muscle that improves with time. And there are a lot of tips and even online content writing courses that can help you improve tremendously. With time, writing gets so much easier, so put away your high school anxiety and try out this medium if you can.
What’s also nice about blogging, is that it’s really practical to refer back to other content within your blogs. Internal linking is good for SEO, but more importantly, it’s practical for your reader. I listen to podcasts on the go, and I often hear hosts tell me to refer back to episode whatever, and I’m just not going to stop my run to refer back to the one they mention. But in a blog, it’s as simple as a click to dive in more.
Video: Like blogging, video takes some getting used to, but if you’re able to practice getting comfortable in front of the camera, it’s a great way to churn out content quickly. There’s a whole range of what’s acceptable in video content, and you can grow with it as you get more experienced and comfortable. Video blogging can be scrappy, with just your phone, a mic and a ring light. Or it can be as crisp as a TV episode like, Marie Forleo’s Marie TV with a whole crew likely filming and editing it. If you show up on Facebook live or IG TV, you can skip the editing and just talk to your audience on the fly. Or you can pre record and try out some easy, do-it-yourself editing on a site like Kapwing or hire a video editor on a site like Fiverr.
What’s nice about video, is that it’s easy to recycle that content. You can start with the video, but then add just the audio to your website as a podcast. And you can write a blog to explain what’s in your video as well. Trifecta!
Podcast: Podcasting is a great way to show up weekly for your audience, especially if you’re comfortable talking to your audience but don’t love the idea of a video. Podcasting makes it really easy to showcase guests too because you don’t have to be in the same location to be on the show together. Guests can call in from all over the world to join you. With podcasting, it’s also really easy to create a blog post with each episode by writing some of your notes or even pulling and editing the the show transcript. Rev.com is a great tool for this job, for $1/minute, and there are others like it.
Once you have your content medium of choice in place, you’re ready to start batching content. I’ll be discussing content batching next week, so stay tuned. But in the meantime, start jotting down content ideas you come up with on the go and create a running list in your phone or on a notepad.