Digidaze understands what it takes to get found online. Now, more than ever, content is king. Way back in 2011 when Digidaze was just a wee baby, we talked a lot about how providing solid, original content on a business website was the key to becoming a valued site. Well, not much has changed. Google and other search engines now more than ever want to see sites that provide valuable content.

 

The world of digital marketing – internet marketing, search engine optimization, and social media – is ruled by content. Hungry consumers of information sit [impatiently] waiting for the next set of words to come to their inbox that will make them smarter humans. Or, they are out there looking for it.

 

For the small business owner who is trying hard to get the edge on the competition, a constant stream of new and relevant content is an overwhelming notion.

The Value of Content
For years, business owners have known the value of producing newsletters and articles for their customers and prospects. Letting your customers know just how good you are at your craft – whatever that craft may be – has always helped businesses stand out from the crowd. But keeping up with it almost always proves impossible.

As a 20+ year veteran of marketing, I have seen time and time again the start and stop of the company newsletter. Sure, a few issues make it out, but soon enough everyday business priorities simply get in the way. Hmmmm…should I call that client back, or write this article?

But with competition heating up online, it is solid – and abundant – content that is helping companies gain an edge. Search engines LOVE content. But not just any content. Relevant content. You have to know your stuff!

Keeping Up
So just how does the small business owner keep up with content? Here are two simple approaches…

Internal Development
The first approach is to set a realistic goal for content development and distribution, and assign an internal content champion (Hint: NOT the business owner!). No offense to business owners, but here’s how it goes… “I’m the one who really knows the most, so I should be the one writing the articles. And with a little discipline I think I could get a newsletter out every month.” Guess what? It’s not gonna happen. Your intentions are good, but not realistic.

Instead, consider the development and distribution of content in bite-sized chunks, and assign someone else in your organization to be the developer and distributor of that content. Together, you and your content champion can map out a 6-month editorial calendar. Then, each week, make it a requirement to get one thing written and distributed. It doesn’t need to be a book – a one or two-page piece will do. As the weeks progress, you will build up a wonderful database of proprietary information that you can use in all sorts of ways to help your business. But we’ll get to distribution in a minute…

Outsourcing
The second approach is outsourcing. If your business is like most, your internal staff doesn’t have a lot of ‘extra’ time to spend on things outside of his or her day-to-day job. Consider hiring someone to spend just a couple of hours a week writing up content for you. College interns majoring in marketing or journalism are fantastic. For just a few hundred dollars a month, and very little of your own time, you could be building your content arsenal quickly. Or, if taking on another person – even a part-timer – is too much, consider outsourcing to firm that specializes in marketing content.

Top 5 Places to Distribute Your Content
Ok, so now that content development is taken care of, let’s talk about distribution. Throughout the content creation process, you are likely to have some great pieces to release. So where do you put it so your customers will find it? Here are 5 top places for high-value content distribution.

1. Your own website. First and foremost, your content needs to be placed on your company website. Not only does it need to be there, but you need to be sure that customers – and search engines – can find it easily. Create a “Resources” or “News” section, or work links to your articles into other areas of your site.

2. Build a blog. I know – sounds tough and technical, right? Not so. With free blog sites like WordPress (www.wordpress.com) and Google’s Blogspot (www.blogspot.com), creating and posting blog articles is easy. And did I mention free? A blog with your proprietary content that links back to your website is a great way to increase search traffic.

3. Post your articles on article websites. There are tons of article websites like Ezine (www.ezine.com) that allow you to sign up as an ‘author’ and contribute articles. Again, these sites are free, and provide some valuable potential for search traffic. Most do not allow you to cram your article with links back to your site, but they will allow you one or two. And because these sites have a high traffic volume, those links can help increase your site’s visibility.

4. Establish a social media presence. Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and YouTube are great places to quickly post your content. And yes, they are free. Getting set up on social media sites is easy enough, however be warned that gaining friends, followers, or connections will take some time and effort. But once you do, it’s an ideal place to post your content.

5. Create a newsletter. Quarterly, or bi-annually, combine your content into an e-newsletter. E-newsletters can be distributed for free via e-mail to your opt-in customer list. And once your newsletter is prepared, you can distribute that via some of the mediums listed above.

Now that you know that content marketing is where it’s at…get out there and write some down. Oh…and just FYI…this article took about an hour…on and off…I am easily distracted 🙂

Write on little content monkeys…write on.