When it comes to our content strategy we always think the more content we have the better our search rankings will be. However, search engines know better than that and you should always choose quality over quantity. Always.
What is high quality content?
Content isn’t just frequently updating your website with blogs, videos or images. While that can be good for your website, search engines decide what makes your content worthy. Are you creating the same content that can be found on other sites? Is your content providing value to its visitors? Is your content relatable and unique? Is it answering the questions that someone is searching for? Fresh, interesting, easy to read, and credible content with the right number of keywords impact the quality of content. Remember, high quality content provides a valuable experience to its’ visitors.
How does this effect SEO?
Search engines care about the user experience. Content that is well thought out, relatable, engaging and provides value to its readers leads to social media shares, backlinks, inbound links, higher visits and more, which leads to search engines ranking your content higher. When you share quality content that answers questions, it may get shared in blog posts, linked to in e-newsletters, quoted on other high-ranking sites which Google sees as trust worthy and worth sharing with those who are looking for answers.
How do you develop high quality content?
With good content dominating search engines, you’ll really need to invest time and money into developing high quality content. Think outside the box, use other creative tactics, and try to become an industry expert to be considered a trustworthy resource, which will then lead to higher search rankings.
In the small business world it can be intimidating trying to understand the avalanche of information surrounding digital marketing. What is click-through rate? How can I understand Google Analytics better? Why is anchor text important?
I get asked these questions a lot as the owner of a digital marketing agency, and I understand how frustrating it can be to wrap your brain around some of this. But as confusing as it can be, it’s nothing compared to understanding how these services are priced.
In this blog series we’re focusing on understanding the cost of three core services in the digital marketing world:
- Content marketing
- SEO (search engine optimization)
- Social media marketing
What is Content Marketing for Small Business?
Let’s first define exactly what is content marketing: Content marketing is the creation and promotion of physical and/or digital assets designed to reach a target audience on behalf of a business.
Most of the time when our clients think about content they immediately think about blog posts. While that’s certainly one form of content, it’s far from the only format that’s used for content marketing. Presentations, whitepapers, social media posts, newsletters, graphics, video and books are all forms of content.
How is Content Marketing Priced?
As one can expect with most digital marketing services, content marketing pricing can vary widely. A big reason for this is because of the different goals of content marketing campaigns.
Let’s use an example in the brick-and-mortar world. The company WP Car Manager (no affiliation) A WordPress plugin which provides an intuitive UI for managing and listing cars. for its customers. After doing some digging, I can tell that WP Car managerhas used content marketing to get their name out there. They have frequently had their executives appear in the press, they have a robust blog targeted at business owners, and because they also have offerings to ecommerce store owners, they have partnered with related companies to get listed on places like WP Repository apps page. (I have never used this plugin, but will be in the near future)
More than likely your goal is to receive many of the same benefits. So with that in mind, how would your content marketing campaign be structured, and how much might that cost? The most common structures I see are:
- Monthly ongoing campaign execution
- One-off project pricing
Monthly ongoing campaigns are by far the most popular in my experience, as there’s so much to do in a meaningful campaign that accomplishes real goals and earn real money. For a small business, content marketing ranges from $2,000 per month for basic content creation and publication on blog and social channels, to $7,500 per month for greater frequency and greater experienced content marketers. On the high end of the price range, you’ll also have more creative campaigns, the ability to market to multiple locations, and the campaign will be tied directly to revenue (instead of just completing line items like the lower-budget campaigns).
One-off projects can vary as well, but normally these are lower, ranging from $1,000 to $3,000. Good examples of one-off content marketing projects would be a one-time performing email outreach for a particular piece of content, or creating a lead generation campaign via social media advertising.
The biggest exception to this price range is creating a marketing a video. Because it’s relatively specialized and time-intensive, video production can often cost in the five figures to complete. Reference - Manta Academy
You get what you pay for, just like anything else. For small businesses, the better companies with the most robust campaigns will reach content marketing costs up to $7,500 per month. It sounds like a lot, but this gives you a team of people that specialize in making the company money through content (not to mention, the average salary for just one experienced, in-house content marketer is $90,000 per year).
That price may not always be practical, and to be honest, sometimes it’s not entirely necessary either. But if you’re dealing with a lower budget, it means you’ll need to do more vetting into the company you’ll be hiring to market your business. At the end of the day, you want to make sure you’re making money, not just publishing content for content’s sake.
We do not give you a team it is just 1 person but we are selective in who we take on and we really prefer to just have 2 customers a month on this type of platform, we currently have room for one more, our monthly fee is lower than what is quoted above, use the form below to send us an email for a more accurate quote and what the companies ad spend budget is.
Disclaimer: Excerpts of the content above were taken from other sources, credit is given on the Credit Page
Generating and retaining customers is the lifeblood of every small business in the world. Which is why it’s no surprise that business owners find marketing the #1 biggest challenge. It’s clear that getting repeat business, retaining customers and generating new ones is a huge focus point for all business owners. The question is, how do you do marketing and advertising effectively? How do you attract new customers with a positive ROI?
1. A Website for Conversions, Not Fancy Design
When creating or optimizing a small business website, the design always seems to be the top priority. Indeed, many business owners fret over image sizes and shades of color. But what about its ability to attract new customers? Leading the website traffic down the right path to convert them into a customer seems to go out of the window in favor of design.
Yes, design is important. However, it should serve the function of the website — to generate new customers — not the other way around. So, what makes for a conversion-driven website? At the very least, your home page must include these elements:
- Headline: What is the value proposition of your offering? What makes you different? The headline should grab the attention of the visitor and compel them to keep reading.
- Calls-to-action: What do you want the visitor to do? Should they call you directly, fill out a form or buy from your website? Having a clear call-to-action will encourage visitors to take the next step in the relationship with you.
- Benefit-driven copy writing: The content on your homepage (and product pages) must focus on the benefits that your product or service brings to the customer. It should talk about their challenges, not facts about your business. People care about how you can help them. Elements such as awards and years in business can help with trustworthiness, but should be secondary to what you do for your customers.
- Social proof: Start collecting customer testimonials and wear them on your website like a badge of honor. You can also include reviews from third party sites (such as Google Reviews) and logos of any publications you’ve been featured in.
- Contact information: Make your contact details easy to find. If you rely on telephone inquiries, ensure your phone number is in the header. If you’re a brick-and-mortar business, make it easy for people to find you.
- Visual content: The imagery you use should enforce what you’re offering. If you sell physical products, use imagery that illustrates them in use.
2. Optimize for Local SEO
Once you have a conversion-driven website, it’s time to drive traffic. According to Search Engine Journal, 93% of online experiences start with a search engine. In other words, most of your customers will find you via Google.
3. Identify Local & Industry Influence's
Influences marketing has become a practice of its own over the last 24 months. For those not in the know, influence marketing is where brands partner with social media “influence” who have access to sizable audiences in order to promote their products and services.
While it may appear to be reserved for bigger brands, the art of influence marketing is widely available to small businesses thanks to the rise of micro-influences.
Micro-influences are those with a smaller yet niche audience of engaged followers. They don’t cost as much, meaning it’s an affordable option for small businesses. Not only that, but they tend to receive a higher level of engagement than “major” influences.
Using Instagram as an example, search for accounts that share similar interests to your audience or those based in your target geo. For example, if you run a burger restaurant, you could search for your town name to find the top posts
Then, look through the accounts associated with these top posts. Identify those with 20,000 to 100,000 followers, as these fit the “micro-influence” criteria
4. Create Valuable & Entertaining Content
As mentioned earlier, not every prospect will be ready to buy from you right away. Which is why it’s important to build a relationship early by delivering value up front.
How? With content marketing.
5. Don’t Neglect Partnerships
There are other small businesses in your marketplace who have access to your ideal customer. You can partner with these businesses to promote each other’s products and services.
Victoria Bennett, Partnership and Sponsorship Director at Barclays Personal and Corporate Banking, says it best:
“To tap into one another expertise, contacts and customers. A combined approach can be more powerful than flying solo when executed properly.”
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Local marketing has multiple benefits for a business. It offers you the opportunity to get your products and services in the face of new home-based customers and can elevate your business in the community. Your company can easily become a household name by being front and center in the neighborhood where you are located.
Any business that believes marketing can be divided into neat little categories is destined for failure. There’s no such thing as an online marketing strategy and an offline marketing strategy. Local marketing requires a unified effort, regardless of the medium.
The Rule of Seven
The rule of seven is one of the classic principles of marketing. It says that, in order for a prospect to become a customer, they must see your offer at least seven times. In other words, once a customer has seen a brand’s offer on seven different occasions, they have everything they need to follow through with a purchase.
While the underlying principles of the rule of seven still apply, the number will be larger in 2016 and beyond. Jay Walker-Smith of Yankelovich Consumer Research points out that the average customer was exposed to just 500 ads per day in the 1970s, compared to 5,000 ads today. As a result, the rule of seven may as well be the rule of seventy.
But this is where marketers are going astray. Many assume that throwing a bunch of marketing and advertising campaigns against a wall in hopes that a couple stick is a good idea. “It seems like the goal of most marketers and advertisers nowadays is to cover every blank space with some kind of brand logo or a promotion or an advertisement,” Walker-Smith says. But should that be the goal?
If you want to satisfy the rule of seven(ty), the goal shouldn’t be to make a bunch of noise and hope that your message rings the loudest. Instead, you should be looking for ways to maximize your reach by going after both online and offline channels. In this article, we’re going to take a look at some specific offline and online strategies that will help your small business enhance its local marketing efforts.
See More on my Blog where I go in depth about this subject....
You’ve heard the old saying. “There’s no such thing as a free lunch.” And some would argue the same thing goes for small business advertising. But is it possible to advertise for free?
What about free social media and other sites where your business can get listed and gain visibility, for free? Can you really promote your products, services and brand for free online? Well, yes … and no.
Indeed, there are places where small businesses can advertise for free by getting free listings and free visibility, and we’ll give you a nice long list at the end of this section. But before we get to that list, it’s important to understand these five limitations when it comes to free business advertising:
Things to Remember if You Want to Advertise for Free
1. The more popular the free business advertising platform, the harder it is to stand out. Yes, you can advertise for free but some sites such as social media sites have so much noise that it may be hard to stand out. And some sites throttle back visibility to your own followers, unless you pay to “boost” your post. Or the site may not give much visibility unless you buy a “featured listing.”
2. You have to invest time to see results — and time is money. Social media is a perfect example of this. You may have to devote paid staff time or hire a contractor to find content, locate and customize images, post updates, monitor replies, and participate in conversations. While not a paid ad placement, it still costs you. Smart businesses get software tools to cut down on some of the labor, but even tools can cost money.
3. Free platforms may start out as free, then evolve into paid platforms. If you start out using the free service, eventually you may have to pay to continue to get the same features. You can’t blame the platform for wanting to get compensated for its technology and usage. Examples are content curation platforms such as RebelMouse and Scoop.it, which evolved toward the paid model especially for business users. So while you may not pay for advertising, you have to pay to use the technology tool.
4. Free business advertising platforms may perform so-so. Some free platforms may be great for building brand recognition and overall presence (all very valuable, albeit longer term). But if you need customers right now, advertising may be a more immediate and direct route to getting sales or leads. And some free listing sites and platforms may not be able to deliver the reach you need.
5. Free platforms may be more powerful when combined with advertising. In other words, don’t look at free sites or paid advertising as “either – or.” Think of them as complementary parts of an overall marketing strategy that often work best together. Paid and free options can amplify the effect of the other.
More on the Blog...........