In the digital era, we keep hearing that content is king. As a small business marketer, do you know my response? Resources are queen (and we all know who’s really wearing the pants in all of those castles).
No small business has the time, staff or marketing spend to constantly create new content on every platform, and the pressure to do so can be stifling. It’s easy to get discouraged when you hear that Nike disrupted the world with a new multimillion-dollar video campaign, or Wendy’s went viral (again) using esports as a platform. Well, my budget is $1,000. How is my independently branded real estate firm supposed to get into Fortnite?
Each business has its own weakness on the content front, its own content block. Maybe your marketing team is really just a “team” of you, and publishing five blog posts a day just doesn’t seem feasible. Perhaps your boss won’t approve the budget for professional photography, and your product photos look like they were taken with a 1995 underwater Kodak disposable. Sometimes content blocks can seem even further out of your control, like if your company only has five SKUs and the sixth was scheduled to launch six months ago (which was rescheduled from six months before that) but you’re still waiting.
OK, so your mom and pop noodle shop won’t be doing AI-driven marketing campaigns anytime soon, but it doesn’t mean you have nothing to work with. Here are three simple steps to get your marketing wheels spinning so you and your team (of any size) can create digital content for your small business.
1. Customer Segmentation
I’ll bet you’ve got a 30-second elevator pitch describing your business’s target demographic. Does it include an age range? Probably a geographic location? If so, you’re one step closer to tons of digital content.
Let’s say you’re a nail polish startup with seven shades of pink and a target demographic of 25- to 35-year-old females in the United States. Well, what are some interests of 25- to 35-year-old females? You can likely name a few just off the top of your head (and imagine how many more if you casually asked 10 of your customers in the demographic). Those few topics are great segments for your digital content.
What am I talking about?
Well, “Top Five ‘Petunia Pink’ Defining Moments In This Week’s The Bachelorette” sounds like a blog post many 25- to 35-year-old females would be likely to read. “Around The World In Seven Shades” seems like a fun series of Instagram Stories featuring perfectly manicured hands with various wanderlust-worthy backdrops. Even branching out beyond product-specific content is OK, if it fits with your brand. For example, content on female empowerment might be a good fit for this company.
The best part about digital marketing is that you can mold it to fit any budget (even a $0 budget). Blogs and social media are free! And as you start to show that your content is gaining traction and your boss begins making it rain hundred-dollar bills on the marketing department, you can ramp up your digital spend easily with content you’ve already created — Facebook and Google ads can start from just $1 a day.
As a small business, you’re used to being resourceful with your ad dollars, so think the same way about your content. How can you repurpose your blog content into Instagram Stories? Could that successful Facebook post make a great Google display ad? Once you look at digital content from this angle, you’ll find creating it much less daunting. It’s just like hot sauce: A little can go a long way.
3. Report, Review, Repeat
While your boss may not request updates and reports like a corporate executive, don’t skip this step, small business marketers! Reporting is an important way to gain trust, which can lead to gaining more marketing dollars. Updates don’t have to be lengthy or exhaustive. In fact, the briefer, the better. Digital marketing platforms have no dearth of analytics; boil it down to the stats that truly demonstrate the impact you’re making, and simplify them into a format your busy, nonmarketer supervisor will understand and care about.
Don’t forget to review and repeat. If you see some content isn’t working, adjust it. If you notice certain content is taking off, replicate it. Once you get started and the content cycle begins, you’ll become a lean, mean content-creating queen.