This is the second in the series of blogs exploring Digital Marketing for SMEs. I hope you enjoy, please leave any feedback in the comment section below.
At the Content Marketing Show, Dan Fielder gave a talk titled: ‘Developing and Editorial Mindset for a Non-Editorial Business’. This was one of the talks that really stood out to me as he mentioned many problems I first faced when at my current employment.
Large B2C companies have the money and resources to produce huge campaigns which gains large media attention. When it comes to B2B marketing there always seems to be a struggle to create exciting and informative content as well as build up an audience who want this content.
Dan mentioned 5 points to take into consideration when marketing to B2B;
- Find your editorial niche
- Work your contacts book
- Have ideas. Lots of them
- Get some momentum
- Slide, dice, curate
Taking what Dan stated and relating it further to SMEs;
Find your editorial niche
I think this is one of the most important points and something all SMEs can implement. In my industry (satellite broadband) we work in both B2C and B2B, I started writing blog posts when I joined as noticed the rest of my industry had only ever released press releases. I wanted to give the users practical information which they could use, and was easy to understand.
In my industry my niche is in fact satellite broadband as it’s a sector of broadband. But the same things can apply to your own industries.
A great way I found of doing this was to take questions which were asked to customers as well as some they asked us and turned them into posts, such as ‘how do I check my data usage’, ‘how to I check my broadband speed’. Although these seem like basic posts no other company had that information readily available for their customers, it gave us the advantage as we were able to give useful information which could be found quite easily.
Work your contacts book
Use everyone to your disposal. As a SME and someone that has started social media + blog posts from scratch, it’s very hard to gain an audience and even harder to gain avid blog readers. At the start your friends can be some of the most helpful people around, ask them to share your posts and really get behind everything you do. Things take some time to see results, try setting yourself small targets at first to work towards the larger goal.
Have Ideas. Lots of them
Sometimes it is hard to come up with a series of posts or content that you really think is valuable. The best way to come up with ideas is to take every day examples. You could use online forums, social media, the news, blog comments, business data and as I’ve said above questions asked by customers can add some great value.
You may think that your industry is boring and no-one wants to read about it, but there will always been something informative that can give viewers an insight and educate them. Take this great hub page titled: ‘The Properties and Characteristics of Timber’. They have taken a relatively monotonous subject and giving it some real interest.
Get some momentum
I’ve fallen foul of this, as I’m sure everyone has before. You get to a point where you run out of juice, or you don’t see the return. It’s hard for SMEs to see the benefits of creating content when there is no feedback or return from doing so. All I can advise you to do is stick with it. Stick to your schedule, create content that you’re enthusiastic about and make sure it’s worth reading, if you don’t feel it gives the viewer anything, then why would they want to read more about your company, or ultimately do business with you.
Slice, dice, curate
A blog post does not just have to be a stand-alone blog post. Take your ideas and take them a step further. Below is a diagram which really explains how one blog post can take on many forms.
SMEs can struggle when it comes to creating content, especially B2B businesses. Your products/services might not be as "fun" as the B2C counterparts but that doesn't mean you have to be boring with your content! As long as you take with you the points from above, and make your content have added value, you’re on the right path.
The best advice I have taken from the Content Marketing Show is not to stop creating content. We are not always a fortunate enough to have 1000’s or even 100’s of views on a blog post. When I first started I was happy to hit 20 views. As with many things you really need to spend the time planning, it is no good taking 10 minutes to write a short piece and expect people to share it, find your own writing style and don’t give up.
To help you on your way to create better content, here are some tired-and-tested blog genres for businesses.
- Product page
- Case Study
- What is…?
- How to…?
- Facts at a glance
- News story
- Top 10 tips
- Buyer’s guide
If you run a small business and would like some help creating content, we would love to hear from you. Look out for next week’s blog which continues the theme of Digital Marketing for SMEs.