10 Free Content is King Marketing Tools

 

If you want to be a success at digital marketing, you have to accept the fact that content will always be king of marketing. In fact, a lot of the digital marketing tactics you see today have actually been practices for many generations – before digital was even a dream.

From cave paintings to John Deer and even Jell-O, content marketing has been around for literally thousands of years. Anytime someone wanted to get the information out about anything, they could turn to content to help. Cookbooks are a great example of content marketing before the internet, because it’s something everyone can relate to. If a cookbook listed a particular brand of item in it, that’s what people would buy.

Today, content marketing is extra important because it’s how you’ll entice visitors to your website. It’s also how you’ll teach people about the issues that are important to your audience, and hopefully turn them into a customer.

Content Marketing is King

 

Digital Search Content – All content is fodder for search engine traffic. Search engines use the information on your blogs, websites and social media to send your customers and viewers your way. They do this with the terms and keywords used in the content or in the “alt” descriptions.

Social Media Content – Everything you put on social media is content. It doesn’t matter if it’s a meme, an image, words, a video or something else; it is considered content. When you realize all that content encompasses, you quickly realize that yes, it is very important. It’s not just a blog post or text; it’s everything.

 

 

1. Blogs
  • Blog writings need to go out on a regular basis to help your visitors find your website. Blog posts of 600-1000 words are most likely to show in search engines such as Google. You can also write original guest blog posts or comment on other business blogs sometimes to attract other audiences to your business. Be sure your comments add value though. I currently use WordPress.com.
2. Newsletters
  • Content can be distributed via email in the form of newsletters on a regular basis to keep your subscribers engaged and active. Mailchimp or AWeber have free trails and are valuable resources for newsletter creation and email management.
3. Magazines
  • Today, you can create an online magazine to help with content marketing and keeping your audience engaged and informed. I subscribe to a great example called “Your Virtual Assistant Daily” via email.
4.  Podcasts
  • This is another way to put out information without having to type it. Instead you can record your thoughts and upload them to be listened to later. Podcasts are flexible and perfect for that simple easy way to stream a live video message from your Android or IOS device directly to your target customers. Some popular free apps are available in Google Play.
5.  Videos
  • YouTube is a great example of the power of video to get the word out about anything and teach others something that requires visuals.  Social media and most web hosts are on board with sharing and posting YouTube content.
6.  White Papers
  • These are long research documents that often compare and contrast the solutions to a problem discussed in depth. They are great for educating a wide audience without overtly advertising your business solution.
7.  EBooks 
  • Using books to build your expertise is a great way to teach an audience about something that requires a lot of information. Today, publishing is simple and free.
8.  Online Presentations
  • You can create and post PowerPoint slides on LinkedIn SlideShare.net and use other presentation sharing sites as another way to keep your audience informed. It’s a format that helps you stand out from the competition. Most web hosts are coming on board to encourage and simplify posting your slide presentations.
9.  Webinars
  • Growing in popularity due to their live nature and the way the audience can interact with the hosts for collaboration and information, webinars are a very effective form of content. Examples of online free trials and/or inexpensive webinar conferencing solutions are www.gotomeeting.ca, www.join.me and www.anymeeting.com.
9.  Infographics
  • Most often used on social media, infographics and images are a great way to attract attention and help your customers understand important data visually. I use Canva to create various infographics. It’s simple and free.
10.  Branded Tools 
  • Whether it’s a diet app, a WordPress plugin or something else, creating a tool that your audience can use daily (even if it’s an old-fashioned calendar or checklist) provides the type of content that will remind the on-line public of your product or services.

As you see, everything you do to market your business plus inform people about your business and interact with people is actually content. That’s why content is king. Content is the most important asset you own when it comes to digital marketing.

Use the tips listed here merely as a starting point to where you as an entrepreneur or startup small business owner can choose to take advantage of online content marketing opportunities.  You don’t need to be an expert for self promotion of your business using valuable content – unless you’d like to, of course. There are plenty of free online webinars and guides to assist you along the way.  The links in this post are only suggested to provide resource ideas and examples. They are not in any way recommended or preferred sites.

If you have any questions or wish to learn more about how a virtual assistant can help create or manage your business content please contact me.

 

 

Content is anything that adds value to the readers life. – Avinash Kaushik, Google

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Four Tips for Social Media Business Networking

Social Media for BusinessSocial Media networking is here to stay – Twitter, Facebook, Google+, Instagram, blogging and a host of new social media networking sites are on the rise. People want to be connected and the speed we’re moving in to stay connected is frightful at times – how can you keep up? But more importantly, are you being less productive than you could be by spending a lot of time visiting social networking sites?

The first thing to note is that social media networking shouldn’t be looked at as a negative thing. It’s simply a necessary component of internet business marketing and as savvy online business owners, it’s up to us to stay connected to the latest trends and changes in this field.

However, it’s also important to note that too much of a good thing may also lead to a negative outcome, such as not making the best use of our time.

 

If you’d like to use social media networking in your marketing but are worried about the time issues associated with it, here are a few tips:

1. Set a Schedule

  • Set out a set time each day – say 20 or 30 minutes – that you dedicate to social networking. Try to stick to the same schedule each day. This way you get your dose of social networking without it overtaking your business or life. The schedule should be personal to you and you may find that 30 minutes is too little or too much, but whatever the schedule ensure you stick to it.

2. Know your Goal

  •  Before you get started ask yourself – what would I like to achieve from this? Do I want to gain more clients or customers? Do I want to just have a little fun and connect with friends and business acquaintances? It’s important to know your goals with social networking because this will help you put the whole thing into perspective. Develop excellent profiles and keep your social media activity up to date, planned, and targeted. You never know who you’ll meet online who can help you reach your business goals. Focus your posts and interactions with the intent of being a helpful resource to the people you meet.

3. Keep it Simple at First

  • Trying to be involved with all aspects of social networking may seem a little daunting (and time consuming). Instead, research and find one or two methods you really enjoy and that seem to work for your business needs. Monitor your results by tracking likes, followers or prospect leads per blog or post. What works best? Is it an informative post, an image or a blog? Then stick to those methods that are attracting results for a while until you’re confident you can handle more.

4.  Prioritize

  • Unless you’ve proven that social networking is a big part of your overall business strategy and success, it may make sense to prioritize your fundamental (i.e. money-making) tasks first. Once you’ve completed the activities for the day that you feel will help your business succeed, then you can move on to your social networking time.

 

It’s all too easy to get caught up in the social networking time trap. That’s why all of the steps above work hand in hand. If you don’t know your goals with social networking, it’s easy to waste time, and you also won’t know where your priorities should be. And if you do too much too soon it’s easy to not stick to your schedule and spend too much time on social networking sites.

Use the tips listed here merely as a starting point to where you as a business owner can choose to take advantage of this free social media opportunities.  Remember you’re in control and you don’t need to be an expert with social media networking – unless you’d like to, of course. There are plenty of free online webinars and guides to assist you along the way.  Perhaps you would prefer to outsource? If you would like to learn more about how a virtual assistant can help with social media management feel free to contact me.

Eight Common Networking Mistakes

people-networking

 

As a home business entrepreneur, you know that you need to network. You know networking will help you get to know people, build relationships, and even build your reputation as an expert if you know what you’re doing. To be successful with networking it is important to avoid these eight common mistakes.

 

1. Not Having a Goal
  • You should create a goal for general networking but also for each networking channel, be it online or offline. Before any event, write down the goal you want to achieve. For example, you want to connect with at least three new people, so that you know when you leave if you’ve been successful or not.
2. Not Being You
  •  Many people think that because they have a home based business, they need to exaggerate and make themselves look bigger and better than they are. But the truth is, you simply need to be your authentic self because it is you that makes your business and offerings special.
3. Not Listening More Than You Talk
  • Practice mindful listening. Repeat back to others what you heard, mirror their thoughts, and ask appropriate questions. They’ll actually remember you more when you show genuine interest.
4. Hanging Out with Competitors
  • While you do want to get to know your competitors, you will make more sales by networking with the people who need what you offer. Commiserating with colleagues is useful, but it won’t increase your client base.
5. Not Pushing Your Boundaries
  • Going to events can be intimidating, but it’s important to push your boundaries if you want to grow your business. You can start slow with online events, and then move gradually into offline events.
6. Acting like a Wallflower
  •  Don’t go to an event and stand in a corner all alone. Mingle and get to know people. A good method to help you accomplish this is to volunteer to be a greeter at the event. Handing out name tags, programs or helping out at registration requires you to speak to people directly.
7. Being the Last One Standing
  • At any in-person event, you want to make your exit before the last minute. Being the last one at an event can be a sign of desperation. Instead, leave people wanting more.
8. Having No Energy
  • When you speak to people, project your voice, smile and show some likable energy about you. You want people to feel good when you talk to them.

Common networking mistakes that home business owners make can be avoided with just a little bit of knowledge and planning. You can be very successful with networking as a home business owner. Today, most people don’t have an issue working with someone who has a home office, so you can go into any situation with confidence. The important thing is that you can do what you say you can do and follow through.