Give me 20 minutes and you’ll have a small business content marketing strategy.
In 2007, I answered a classified ad for a position at a small mom & pop company selling printing supplies. The first few weeks took me a while to get up to speed. Fast forward three years and my hands helped the company deliver more than 250 new products.
I also contributed to hundreds of in-depth product guides and a YouTube account boasting nearly half a million combined views.
I now find myself on the opposite in the role of a freelancer.
Since my journey into blogging and business, I’ve landed hundreds of thousands of visitors; all of these visitors came from content.
The New Small Business Call to Arms
I’ve talked with tons of small business owners over the years.
The lack of support for online content is astounding.
Here I was – someone fully aware of the power of online content. I couldn’t get through to them. Small business owners, I quickly found out, are very resistant to new forms of lead generation. They have spent so much time and effort into traditional advertising vehicles.
Here’s what I want: All small business owners to open their mind about blogging for business.
Investing just 20 minutes of your day or just $100 of your advertising budget for content creation is really all that’s needed to take a small business and prop it on the same level as the big boys.
What and Why of Content Marketing
The term content marketing has been getting slung around quite frequently as of late. I don’t believe many people truly understand the ‘what’ and ‘why’.
The what: Content marketing is, simply, using online content to bring awareness to your business brand, drive leads, and be used as a vehicle for your marketing message.
The why: Online content is forever; this means that every dollar you spend on content creation will remain a marketing tool as long as it can be found (vs. paid advertising which is done once your budget runs out).
For a small business, $100 is a small investment for what could potentially be their greatest marketing asset. $100, in the hands of the right business owner, could become a slew of powerful articles, a few engaging videos, or a set of valuable products.
Each of these investments fuels the content marketing arsenal which builds upon itself as the amount of content grows – it’s compound in nature.
Let me give you an example of effective content marketing from the business I worked for:
We decided we would show video instructions on how to use one of our products. Previously, there had already been written instructions (with pictures). YouTube had begun to take off in a big way and there was little to no competition for what we had planned.
Using an inexpensive camera and video editing tools, all we did was record the process of using our product (which we would have done anyway as part of a normal work routine). After the video was shot, I worked with my boss to add sections and title screens to the video. In a day, the video was done.
With a bit of keyword research, we uploaded the video to YouTube. From where it stands now, the original video has some 50,000 views. 50K is chump numbers to today’s standards but remember this is an instructional video promoting a flagship product.
The kicker is the video was created for just one model – we had thousands in our database giving us thousands of video ideas and opportunities.
Ideas and Know-How are Already There
Every small business I have talked to about content marketing generally responds the same way:
“Yeah, but what do I make? I’m not good at writing!”
That’s just it, you don’t have to be a great writer to implement a content marketing strategy into your business. In fact, nearly every idea will come from your current knowledge of operating your business.
If you don’t have ideas then your employees (and customers) sure as hell do.
Consider your daily routine of operating your business.
- Do you get questions from customers and spend 20 minutes answering them?
- Do you and your employees have an intimate knowledge of your products and how to use them?
- Do you have documentation (like product guides) that explains, to customers, how to operate your products?
Well, you have a ton of great, potential content.
The only difference is that much of that content is in the disguise of business operations. The only thing you need to do is liberate it aka publish it to the web.
Small Business Content Marketing in 20 Minutes a Day
Enough with explaining the minutia. Let’s get into the real reason why you’re reading this post: to create some awesome content that’s going to land your business some sales.
This is how you dominate content, in 20 minutes a day …
Step 1: Identify your Expertise and FAQ’s
Gather everything you have — I mean everything:
- Frequently asked questions
- Email support threads
- Notes from phone calls
- Suggestions from associates
The idea is to create a giant database of potential ideas.
Most of these ideas are existing questions you receive almost daily. Except, you’re now answering them with the intention of content marketing.
Step 2: Diving into Video Production
Here’s what I would do to keep video production easy and cheap: Create screencasts.
You can get on camera later on when you’re comfortable. Pair a screencast tool with a slideshow or presentation app, do a voice-over, and you’re golden.
The best part of screencasting? You can create these in a few minutes, in one take, since you know the answer to these common questions.
Step 3: Streamlining with Transcription
This will save you even more time when converting the video into written content: transcription services.
I’d do this:
- Go to Fiverr
- Look for transcription services
- Buy the gig
- Share the video as the source
You now have written content you could use as part of your sales strategy. This means your content is getting picked up in search engines while receiving plays on YouTube (and other video channels).
All of these are pointing to your sales pages.
Step 4: Mass Marketing your Business Content
- Combine the video and written content as a blog post
- Rip the video, titles, and bullet points and turn it into a presentation
- Turn the video graphics into shareable gifs for social media
- Or, rework them into infographics
- Or, convert them into Pins for Pinterest
- Use the best snippets for social media shares
- Include these items in your business’s newsletter
- Or, send it out as part of an influencer campaign
The combo of the video and text gives you limitless opportunities to spread your brand’s message. Each marketing method should only take a few minutes if you’re using social media automation tools.
Step 5: Creating Compound Opportunities
I’m talking content upgrades.
This is taking the content and making it one better. It’s about using that as a flagship piece defining your brand. Or, even used for creating new revenue streams.
This could include:
- Video Courses
- Premium Newsletters
- White Label
These take a while longer — I wouldn’t consider them part of the 20-minute small business content marketing strategy. Unless… you got into outsourcing in which you could pass this along, managing its creation in a few minutes each day.
The Content Marketing Tool I Recommend
I can only say so much before you finally take the plunge into content marketing for your business. The rest can be found all over the web or in tools that will aid the process.
My only recommendation is that you only invest in what you’ll put into action.
Don’t be gamed into buying a big product and letting it sit by the wayside. Be passionate about the content you’re creating. Don’t let it get in the way of running your business – use content marketing as a tool.
I recommend Camtasia.
You’re not there yet to use those crazy involved automation tools. You need the content first, obviously. Camtasia, I think, is an awesome way to start this journey of content marketing for your small business.
That’s an affiliate link, if you do buy then I’ll earn a small commission. It doesn’t cost you extra and the earnings keep the lights on at Murlu.
I really do think you could launch a small business content marketing strategy on 20-minutes a day if you streamline it. Especially if you’re basing the content around your frequently asked questions — questions you can answer without missing a beat.
Write about 5 – 10 common questions. Answer them as if you’re talking to a customer. Were you able to do it? If so, then you’re on track to create a powerful content strategy that’ll drive traffic and sales.