Small Business Marketing Tips RoundUp #5 Top Tips from Around the Web

Small Business Marketing Tips RoundUp #5 Top Tips from Around the Web

Ziiiiiiiipppppp. See that? No, probably not. ‘That’ was merely a whole month’s worth of content marketing pearls of wisdom, whizzing past your eyeballs so fast it’d make your head spin like that kid from The Exorcist.

If you’ve been head down, tail up working for The Man (even if The Man is you … women included here) why not come up for air and we’ll run it through for you? Now go make a coffee and let’s get started…

1. What’s killing your content marketing ? …

According to Joe Pulizzi of the Content Marketing Institute, the answer is simple. And yes, this will be a bit of a spoiler, but given we’ll be sending you over to check out the article in more detail at your leisure. We hope Joe will forgive us this one time.

In his article, One Thing Is Killing Content Marketing and Everyone Is Ignoring It. Joe challenges content marketers to answer a simple question that many businesses find unanswerable. The simple question is this: “Is the content you are creating and distributing for your customers any different than anything else out there?”

If the answer to this question is ‘no’, Joe provides some solid steps to set you in the right direction. What’s great about this? It is real, actionable advice on how to make your content stand out from the crowd and provide your customers some real value, and not just more of the same-old advice. Highly recommended.

We say: Merely copying what everyone else is doing is a sure fire recipe for mediocrity. Make the extra effort to stand out from the crowd. By offering a unique service you might even find, you can do a lot less work for much greater reward.

2. Thinking differently can pay off for small business …

Sometimes it’s hard to be a small business, especially when your marketing budget is also small. But as they say, necessity is the mother of invention. There’s plenty of tips and tricks out there for those who are wanting to stretch their marketing dollar just that little bit further.

Dan Scalco of Digitalux, in a recent article for Forbes entitled ‘6 Ways to Think Outside the Box When Marketing Your Small Business’. Carries some fresh ideas for those who might be a bit over waiting for inspiration to strike.

His tips include suggestions on personalization, increasing customer engagement, showing your appreciation, how to get started with loyalty programs, using the capabilities of LinkedIn and running a survey to canvas current customer opinion.

There’s a nice blend here of some established wisdom but also some new trends, with plenty of links provided if you’d like to chase some more information.

We say: “If you always do what you’ve always done, you’ll always get what you’ve always got”. Never a truer word was said when it comes to small business. Sometimes, due to the uncertainty that comes from being a small operation, it can feel like veering from a well-trodden path will send unnecessary risk in your direction.

While that might be so, a calculated risk is often worth consideration. This is especially so in regard to marketing, where a small outlay can sometimes lead to big results.

3. Social media marketing: What’s in a like?

It seems the world has gone crazy over social media marketing statistics. As any self-respecting social media manager will tell you, it’s all about the “likes”.  At every scale, from small business owner-operators right up to multi-million dollar corporations.

Companies are spending big bucks investing in social media promotion and chasing their next target for likes (as well as followers and a range of similar metrics).

Except it’s apparently not all about the likes – well, not in the way most brands think of it, as a cross-institutional group of academics asserted in a recent HBR article (What’s the Value of a Like?).

They argue that most social media marketers are at a loss, to say exactly what return on investment all their slavish time and effort is getting them, yet they continue to invest in the hope that social media promotion will translate to increased sales.

However, the logic that social media investment will increase exposure to the brand and ultimately increase sales is a fatal error, confusing cause with consequence, according to the researchers. What they found was more the inverse; that those already predisposed to the company and loyal to the brand were more likely to become social media supporters.

In contrast, they consistently found across a range of experiments, that liking a brand did not automatically lead to increased buying behavior. What did? You’ll have to read the article to find out.

We say: For too long, social media marketers have been slaves to metrics that don’t always mean terribly much. And unfortunately, even where the marketers are a bit more discerning, upper management does not always fully comprehend the complexity.

Sometimes it takes hard research data to get to the bottom of this rather murky pond, but the enhanced clarity is well worth the effort.

4. Marketing by the book

If reading lists inspire thoughts of endless droning lectures, incomprehensible assessment exercises and the shuffling of feet in examination halls, we’re betting it’s probably been a while since you dipped into an amazing book. And possibly even less time since you delved into an amazing marketing book.

Well, have no fear – Mashable are here to save the day, with a list of 10 marketing books to read in 2017. Even the rundown alone is set to provide you with a mini-education. The authors are set about explaining exactly why you need to add these books to your business bookshelf.

We say: Ok, we know it sounds corny, but books really do have the power to change lives. You never know when the next one you pick up will have the answer to a question you’ve been puzzling over, or better yet, solves a problem you didn’t even realize that you had in the first place.

5. Make ‘em laugh …

And because we like to end with a bit of fun wherever possible, we’ve included Hubspot’s February chucklefest … 10 of the Best Ads from February: Offbeat Serenades, Great Hair, and a Potato. Our pick: the Spotify “Play this at my funeral” imagining is pretty hard to beat.

The real value in this article is not just in the giggle factor, although it’s always good to have a laugh. One helpful exercise is to take a leaf out of Joe Pulizzi’s book, and ask yourself…

what are these guys doing differently that make their marketing so enjoyable? Are they poking a little fun at themselves and their brand, thereby showing that they are in on the joke? Are they tugging at heartstrings? Or presenting an age-old message in a totally new way? The answers might surprise you.

We say: Most ads can be broken down into a message and a method… An interesting exercise for those attempting to innovate is to ask yourself what would happen if you translated either of these… the message or the method … to your own context. Great food for thought.

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