Small business owners who regularly read up on content marketing strategy probably feel like they know the script by now: Post consistently. Make sure the quality level is high. Use hashtags and calls to action. Offer value, and always put yourself in the reader’s shoes before posting.
These are good, if conventional, content marketing tips. We’ve regularly championed each of these practices, and stand by them. But for today, we want to offer a few quick tips that you may not be expecting from a content marketing firm. These tips are, for the small business owner, just as essential.
- Cut some of your social media accounts.
We’re all for spreading your brand across as many platforms as possible—unless you’re spreading yourself too thin. Some small business owners may lack the time needed to really invest in each platform, meaning they’re either half-assing it or else repeating themselves too much. If you only update each platform once a fortnight, you’re not getting much value; if you automate your tweets to populate all your other social channels, there is no reason for anyone to follow you on more than one platform.
So cut some things—strategically. You probably need Facebook; if you’re a B2B company, you can’t do without LinkedIn. But maybe your Google+ page or your Pinterest account can be cut out without your brand taking too great a loss.
- Post less frequently.
Note that we’re not telling you to post less consistently. You should probably be posting to each social platform once a day, give or take, or else you may find that your presence there just isn’t reaching anyone. If you’re posting a dozen Facebook posts every day, though, we can all but guarantee that the Facebook algorithms are hiding some of them, and you’re diluting your brand’s message regardless. Better to focus on one or two killer posts than take the scattershot, everything-and-the-kitchen-sink approach.
- Sell more.
We’re constantly telling our content marketing clients that social media shouldn’t be all about sales; if you’re just promoting all the time then you’re going to turn off your users. At the same time, though… well, promoting your company is kind of the point. Even when you’re not directly selling, you should have your company’s basic value proposition in mind—and if 90 percent of your posts are non-promotional, you can and should make sure the other 10 are a little more direct.
- Ask for help.
Content marketing is meant to be persuasive, but there is something to be said for taking a straightforward and earnest approach. Sometimes what you really need is for your followers to share your page, invite their friends, or leave positive reviews; and sometimes the best way to make it happen is just to ask them, candidly expressing your need.
For small business owners, these tips may seem a little bit off the reservation, but make no mistake: They’re all essential to a robust content marketing strategy.