Content Marketing: A Guide For Small Business

In case you haven’t already noticed, content marketing is now all the rage for businesses of all sizes, and especially small businesses.

According to a survey by BusinessBolts.com, three-quarters of small businesses are engaged in content marketing, and 74% said they plan to increase their content marketing budget in the next year. The study also says small businesses are finding benefits in traffic, search rankings and brand building in exchange for minimal effort.

So what exactly is content marketing? This is the best definition we’ve come across: content marketing is the ability of a business to create and communicate educational information to existing and potential customers in a meaningful way that drives trust and creates a connection.

As you can see, the main goal of content marketing is to educate rather than sell; by positioning yourself and your brand as an authority aiming to educate, the selling is far more subtle, and this approach will build trust in the long-run.

So how are small businesses using content marketing?…

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Tips To Create An Effective Communications Plan

With a new year just starting, now is the perfect time to look ahead and set your communication goals for 2013 and build a solid plan to get you there!

The thought of mapping out all of your PR, Social Media, Advertising, and Marketing activities for the upcoming year may seem daunting, but it doesn’t have to be.

A good place to start is by reviewing last year’s communications plan and reflecting on what activities went well, what didn’t, what were the most effective tactics and how you can make them even better this year.

Once you do some reflecting, here are some great tips to help you craft a winning communications plan:

Set specific goals: The core of any business or communications plan is centered around strategic goals. In order to measure success, your goals need to be as clearly defined as possible; make sure your goals follow the SMART principle (Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic, and Time-bound).Also, always make sure to align your communication goals with your…

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The Essential Social Media Networks For Your Small Business

So you’ve finally decided to take the Social Media plunge for your small business, and you’re suddenly feeling a surge of panic as you realize there are hundreds of social networks out there, how do you choose?

Take a deep breath and relax, it doesn’t have to be so overwhelming. The key to choosing the right social networks for your small business is to first take the time to do some research on each network and then decide if it’s the right fit for your overall Social Media strategy.

That being said, there are some social networks that are essential for your small business to join as part of your Social Media strategy, think of them as the foundation of your overall Social Media presence –by joining these networks you’ll be well on your way to becoming a socially savvy small biz:

Facebook: Ok be honest, don’t you find it strange when you find out that someone doesn’t have a Facebook profile? What do you think your…

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Effective Tips To Pitch The Media

Being featured in the media is a great cost-effective way to generate exposure for your business. For most entrepreneurs and small business owners, being featured in the news is the essence of PR to them (media relations is actually only one facet of PR, but we’ll leave this topic for another post!).

Effective media pitching is more of an art than a science.  Keep in mind that most reporters receive hundreds, if not thousands, of pitches a week so making sure that your pitch peaks their interest is critical.

Before you make your pitch, you must first hash out your story, define your audience, and choose your angle – doing this will help you to organize your thoughts when you contact a reporter, and it will also help you to target your pitch to the right media outlets.

 It is important to remember that each individual reporter or news editor will have their own criteria for selecting pitches to pursue and feature, so with that in…

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Content Marketing & PR: One in the Same?

PR and Content Marketing have expanded over a wide variety of different channels in recent times and the two realms are now colliding like never before!

As a small business owner, it is extremely important to realize the benefits that you will experience by employing effective Content Marketing tactics. By providing timely, relevant, and useful information, you will be able to attract customers and build a loyal following that will drive your bottom line.

Below we will discuss the importance of Content Marketing for small businesses, and we will also discuss tips that you can use to ensure that you get the most out of your Content Marketing activities.

The first step to harnessing the power within Content Marketing is to understand how it fits into the PR equation. Public Relations is focused on influencing opinions and managing reputations, while Content Marketing is focused on lead generation and sales. With both, the practices involved are used to spread awareness and create a loyal following…

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