Small Business

17 Lessons About Content Marketing for Small Business


For my first liveblogged session at Content Marketing World, C.C. Chapman opened things up with a warning that this is 101 level content and to leave if you know what you’re doing. I think that’s a bit subjective, because the thing most companies suck at is the basics.

While the official CMI session title is: Transforming Your Small Business Into a Content Powerhouse, I’m going to make up my own for the purposes of this blog post:

17 Lessons About Content Marketing for Small Business

1. Whether you’re a big or small business, content is content. Many of the same rules apply. Content is essential for growing your company whether it’s a big brand or a mom and pop looking to expand.

How Social Media Really Works for Small Business

SMB social media marketing

One of the most common questions small business marketers are seeking to answer is, “How can I really benefit from social media?” Social media has certainly changed and improved how small to mid-size businesses can carve out space and connect in an extremely crowded marketplace. When companies participate on the social web in a meaningful way, it helps create a personal connection between customers and the brand.

One of the greatest benefits specifically for small businesses is that access to potential customers has increased tremendously. Rather than strictly focusing on paid advertising, word-of-mouth referrals, and in-store promotions (or a wacky mascot standing outside) businesses can now directly find customers  that may be interested in their products based on profiles, active discussions, keywords or expressed interests. This is especially key in the early stages of a business life-cycle when cash is at a premium.

3 Essential Small Business Search Marketing Trends

search marketing trends“Qualified”, “showing intent to buy”, “high conversion rate” and many other phrases are used to describe search engine marketing.  As a $16 billion industry, Search Marketing including SEO (search engine optimization) and PPC ads (pay per click) represent a substantial opportunity for small businesses to connect with customers at the moment they are looking for products and services to buy.

Even though Search Marketing presents an attractive opportunity to grow online sales, many businesses are too busy running their companies to stay on top of future trends. To that end, here are three search marketing trends worth paying attention to:

Ten Must Read Tips to Start a Small Business Blog

A friend of mine who is an experienced corporate marketer started a new business. The store just opened and being the good pal that I am, I was able to provide some advice regarding marketing on the web – specifically regarding blog marketing.

This is a new small business, so considerations for what to do about a web site included: cost, functionality, flexibility, ease of maintenance and marketability. The web site needed to serve as both an online representation of the business, but without transactional functionality, as well as a host for landing pages used with email and PPC campaigns.

My recommendation for a low cost, easy to use and search engine friendly content mangagement system? Blog software.

Two Biggest Advantages of Small Businesses SEO

agility-creativity-search-marketingWith search engine optimization, small businesses have two advantages larger competitors often can’t match: creativity and agility.

By embracing these two philosophies as part of their digital marketing DNA, small businesses can carve out a search marketing strategy that runs circles around larger competitors.

Today, we’ll briefly explore why creativity and agility are advantages small businesses have for search marketing, and some quick tips to activate each.

Creativity as a search marketing advantage

Large = more risk management – Small = creativity/individuality can shine

Larger corporations are naturally risk-averse. Most won’t create blogs that take sides on issues, create controversy or linkbait, push the envelope with snarky ideas or allow shining examples of individuality. Which is why individuals and smaller companies have a continued advantage: there are far less stakeholders so it’s easier to sell creative, controversial or compelling ideas. The more creative your content is, the more editorially earned, organic links you’ll attract from the web community that content builds.

Recession Proof Search Engine Optimization Tips


In this month’s Target Marketing Magazine, a TopRank authored article on how small businesses can gain a competitive marketing advantage by leveraging content promotion, blogs, social media and universal search was featured. Recently there has been some dialog and commentary on certain SEM channels about upcoming harder economic times calling for SEO to be taken back to the basics: “Textbook SEO” as Mike Grehan would put it. I disagree with the premise that companies should stop experimenting with new tactics and stick with the fundamentals. Effective SEO in any economic environment means getting more creative, not mundane.

“As search engines evolve with features such as personalized, social and unified search, so must marketers evolve — especially those on a budget.”

Session: Big Ideas for Small Sites & Small Budgets

This session covered things from what a small business owner should be paying attention to, what you shouldn’t, and gave ideas, tips an information for the small business owner. All great tips to consider when trying to compete with the larger companies.

  • Stop algorithm chasing and forget about magic formulas like % of keywords on the page.
  • Link age is becoming more and more important.
  • Click backs becoming more important. Example: If someone clicks on your listing in Google, then returns seconds later to the Google results, it tells the engine that that ranking wasn’t a good match for that person.
  • Latent Semantic indexing is becoming more important.
  • Speak the customers language and don’t just optimize for search engines.