We are excited to re-launch a Daily Deals program designed to help drive traffic into our local businesses! It is the perfect time to create or share what specials your business is running as it's just in time for the start of holiday shopping. The Chamber is going to run an ads in print and on social media directing potential visitors to a special landing page on our site. This landing page (which currently looks like this) is where your deals will appear, promoting your locals special or any other deal that your business may be offering. Discounted services, discounts on food, specials on drinks, discounts on merchandise, etc are all examples of what you can load here.
Here is what we need from you:
Boulder City Chamber Communications Director
How to find the direct link so people can leave google reviews on your member businesses - it was impossible before this trick!
THANK YOU TOM WITH THE NORTH PHOENIX CHAMBER WHO SUGGESTED THIS TRICK IN THE LAST www.CHAMBERCOLLABORATIVE.com MEETING.
You don't have to watch this video if you follow this 2 step process:
Businesses need to evolve periodically. Whether you like it or not, you have to look at the trends going on around us and make decisions accordingly. These decisions may involve reaching out to a new demographic, offering new services or products, or changing the way you do things like tailoring your marketing writing to Google’s ever-changing rules.
If it’s been a while since you’ve innovated in your business, now might be the time to consider a facelift.
Many business owners embrace tradition and refuse to yield. That worked for Blockbuster, too. But seriously, no one stopped watching movies. They just changed the way they did it. The same may be true of your business. To keep from closing your doors, you need to watch for trends. Here are a few that may influence how you think about your business.
Three Not- So -New Trends That Are Shaping Today ’ s Businesses
When you talk innovation, very few people have the intestinal fortitude to be on the bleeding edge of adopting completely new approaches. That’s why this article features trends that aren’t so new that they haven’t been tested but are still new enough that they may give you some exciting ideas.
If you sell products, you may have been watching this trend. Today, you can get hobbies, pet toys, clothing, beauty products, razors, books, teas, coffee, wine, fitness equipment, snacks, dinner, and so much more sent to you weekly or monthly. They have sample and full-sized boxes. Some companies allow you to control your selections, delivery frequency, preferences, and many other customizable options.
But for most of the boxes, you don’t know what’s coming in them until they arrive (or you see an early opener on YouTube). The boxes always boast a value of more than you pay for the subscription service.
Why it works: it surprises and delights recipients. Often it streamlines something they need or want and offers an attractive entry price. Many box services use word of mouth and offer discount codes to influencers in their target market like mommy bloggers or YouTube beauty experts.
It used to be when you started a company, you needed to invest in resources and other start-up expenses. These days, a new type of business is putting that onus on contractors. Airbnb, Uber, Lyft, and others aren’t ponying up the necessities for their business operation, contractors are. From homes to cars, boats to crafts, there are businesses that are building their entire empire on things they don’t own or need to worry about maintaining.
They pay their contractors a portion or charge them a fee to be listed on their site. Some of them cover the contractors under an insurance policy to ensure the property is protected but the contractor is in charge of their own maintenance, production, and other critical components.
Another idea that’s similar is how direct marketing companies work. They make the product and then have an army of contractors sell it for them. Each contractor runs their operation as a mini business adhering to the manufacturer’s rules for selling and they receive a commission when they move product.
Why it works: fewer start-up costs to hamper growth.
Reshaping a mission
The final trend that more companies are embracing is telling their “why,” and in doing so, embracing a culture of giving back. Many businesses find a cause to support now and give a portion of proceeds (either of the whole business or a particular product line) to that group or cause.
Why this works: a study has found that young people (especially) are willing to pay more for a product that supports a good cause.
If it’s been a while since you rethought your business strategy, it might be time to open yourself up to some of the newer trends out there. These ideas won’t work for every business so consider your offerings and your target market before making any big decisions. However, you might just find that these ideas get you thinking about one that’s an even better fit for your operation.
Christina R. Green teaches small businesses, chambers, and associations how to connect through content. Her articles have appeared in the Midwest Society of Association Executives’ Magazine, NTEN.org, AssociationTech, and WritersWeekly. She is a regular blogger at Frankjkenny.com where we access these articles with permission.
Do you have an SEO strategy? Maybe not. But you likely know that SEO is an important part of your business getting seen on the internet.
Things change often with search engines so it’s good to have an agency, guru, or SEO expert at close hand. If you can’t afford one of those things for your business, you’ll have to do it on your own and stay abreast of all of the changes. One of those changes you should be considering is how voice search is impacting SEO.
Voice search is increasing with greater use of mobile and the increase in access to artificial intelligence. If you have a business that focuses on local clients or customers, voice search is incredibly important as local searches are 3 times more likely to be voice searches than text.
But exactly what’s different between voice search and keyed search?
Plenty. Here’s what you need to know and the changes you need to make to what you’re already doing:
4 Ways to Optimize for Voice Search
Consider Placing for Questions or Phrases
In voice search, most people ask a question or make a statement surrounding a need. For instance, “Where’s the nearest taco place?” Think about what sorts of questions people would ask to find your business. Then create content around those questions. For example, someone might request “Best dog groomer in Nashville.” Write a blog post under that title. Write a review of several different places where you can get your dog groomed from doing it yourself to a portable groomer to your business.
Offering other ideas besides just your own business makes you a reliable resource. However, there’s no need to directly mention the competition. Speak in generalities of the competitors unless you find that people are often searching for you and your nemesis. For instance, if there’s a rivalry between your hot dogs and another place in town, mentioning them directly could help you “steal” some of their search results.
Use the Right Language
There are regional ways of saying things (not accents) and naming items. Just listen to a comedian making fun of their hometown. For instance, some parts of the Midwest refer to washcloths as wash rags and vacuums as sweepers. If you sold those items and wanted to rank for them locally, you may consider using those local terms.
Also, while it might be hard to rank for some terms like“pizza restaurant,” it might be easier to rank for “best pizza place near me.” Most voice searches will use less formal terminology or language because voice search is based on how people talk. And when they talk to search or their virtual assistants like Siri, Google, or Alexa, they speak like they’re talking to someone they know. They don’t speak formally the way they might when looking something up online.
Localize the Search
Wherever possible, if you serve a community (meaning people in town come to you for your service or product and you’re not an internet business serving all areas), mention the areas you serve. Not only will this clear up any confusion but it will also help you rank in that area. But don’t simply state the name of your town over and over. Any bot can do that. Pepper in things about your town that will help people and search engines recognize you really are serving that area. For instance, if you are a carpet cleaner you might add content to your website that asks, “Having people in for the Waynesville Sauerkraut Festival? You want clean floors. We can help.”
This type of personalization is best used when switched out throughout the year. Websites were never made to be stagnant. Remember to refresh content on a regular basis.
Become More Verbose
When typing in a search, most people use 2-3 word phrases. Voice search is much longer, 5-7 words. You’ll want to keep this in mind when optimizing your content. It’s important to do some search research to find out how people are searching for things that you provide. When it comes to voice, they tend to be more long-winded and describe what they need than when they’re texting it.
If you’re concerned about search engine optimization--and you should be--it’s important to consider how search is changing that, especially if your customers are largely local. Create content and optimize your web copy around how people speak and the questions they’d ask to find you. It’s well worth the time investment to do it now rather than wait until your competitors do it.
Christina R. Green teaches small businesses, chambers, and associations how to connect through content. Her articles have appeared in the Midwest Society of Association Executives’Magazine, NTEN.org, AssociationTech, and Socialfish. She is a regular blogger at Frankjkenny.com who we purchase the rights to this content from for our customers.
LITTLE BACKGROUND AND PLANS FOR THE CHAMBER COLLABORATIVE
For years the CEO of Chamber Nation, Richard Scully held national meetings once per month to know how to build the Chamber Nation program to best suit Chambers of Commerce throughout the country. Five years ago those meetings ended because so much of the platform was built and performing well.
Today, we are venturing down a new path of Membership Development and Growth. Because of this Chamber Nation has decided to bring the Chamber Collaborative back in earnest with a highly qualified host from the Chamber industry to share ideas that are working in the field, take input from participants, and have other executives share insights they have to help grow membership.
Fortunately, we have a starting point with a terrific host who has proven first hand membership development experience within the Chamber of Commerce industry. Luis has much to share in this area that we know participants will be excited to learn. Like before we will hold these meetings to 30 minutes, but the CEO of Chamber Nation and others will stay on the line after the session has ended to answer or discuss other issues you may have. We will also provide support for both Docu.Team and the MembershipPublishingSystem.Com. We hope you will register below for future meetings so you won't miss any great ideas on growing your Chamber of Commerce.
We have a terrific tool for our customers to use in order to move community businesses from being educated in the value of membership, to actually being a qualified lead. This process makes it much easier to grow membership.
Here are the 5 reasons that makes ACH, a smarter choice for Chambers looking to make recurring payments work.
Checklist for turning on auto-pay for clients:
NOTE: Because of the high rate of Credit Card expirations and card number changes you might consider having us activate ACH payments from a checking account for auto payments. Make sure you have Authorize.net enable ACH payments in your Merchant Account.
Once the above is completed, contact Support to turn on auto-payments and/or automatic invoicing. (For a faster response, include a short note indicating that you've gone through the above checklist.)
More information on how auto-pay will work afterward:
Some people think a chamber membership is all about networking and because of that they see it as obsolete. After all, you can just meet other business people online, right? Search on Facebook and a number of business groups will come up, many geared to a certain profession or business size.
Some of these groups are private so you have to apply to get in. A few even require you to answer questions and promise to play nicely with others. Upon acceptance, you can spend all day chatting it up with other like-minded business owners (for free!).
No need to join the chamber, right?
Saying that joining a Facebook group for business replaces the need for a chamber membership is like placing a nickel in your piggy bank and claiming to have a retirement account. Sure, the two are kind of similar but you’ll never get the same amount of return from that group as you will from a chamber membership. Here’s why.
With a chamber membership you get the following things you won’t get from a Facebook group:
1. A Connection with the Community and a Marketable Designation
The chamber is a well-respected community organization. Many people see it as similar to the Better Business Bureau. Your membership plaque or window cling tells customers that you are intending to be part of the community for a long time. Being a member of an online group is not a reputation builder.
2. Knowledgeable Help
With an online Facebook group, someone will ask a question, others will give their advice. This can be a wonderful experiment in crowd-sourced learning. However, it can also have its downside. While the group administrator may have asked a few questions when someone entered, most groups do not vet members. Anyone can offer advice, skilled/experienced or not. It’s difficult to tell the good from the bad.
Facebook also allows frequent contributors in the group to receive a designation next to their names. Be aware this just means they answer questions often. This does not indicate expertise of any kind just a willingness to jump into conversations and post.
3. Hands-on Learning Opportunities
The chamber offers hands-on learning opportunities as well as lunch and learns. For many people, it’s hard to learn by being told what to do. But seeing it or working on it on their own through the instruction of others, can help improve the learning experience. That’s why some chambers have created learning opportunities that include things like social media help and in-person website attention. Check with your local chamber to find out what sort of learning sessions it offers.
With Facebook groups, there’s a limit to the amount of information must people are willing to share. In depth learning will likely occur elsewhere.
4. Ribbon Cuttings
When you open a new location for your business, hit a milestone anniversary or some other accomplishment, your Facebook group might send you some emoji balloons but the chamber will be there with a social media mention, perhaps an article, help on a press release, and/or a ribbon-cutting event to celebrate your time in business.
Your Facebook group may be exceptionally supportive and you may even feel like you have a group of online friends, but it’s likely that as supportive as these friends are, they are not lobbying on behalf of your community and business on a local, state, and national level. Your chamber is. Many businesses forget this valuable part of chamber work. While most businesses can’t afford their own lobbyist, they can afford chamber membership.
I’ve known a lot of people to get “burned” by something they shared on social media. If you need help on a delicate matter within your business, it’s likely you don’t want to splash it across a public forum, even if that forum is a “private group.” If you’re dealing with something sensitive and you need advice on next steps (like in the case of a termination, business bankruptcy or going-out-of-business situation) you don’t want to share that with the world. At the chamber, you can get the help you need or a reference to someone who can assist you without sharing it with the world. Chambers handle delicate situations all the time and they do so with discretion.
There’s nothing wrong with joining Facebook groups. They can be extremely helpful in hearing advice from people who may have gone through similar situations. But these memberships will never cover everything your chamber can do for your business. Still, there’s no reason to choose between one or the other. When it comes to business growth, multiple tools and investments are required, and chamber membership is an excellent one.
Christina R. Green teaches small businesses, chambers, and associations how to connect through content. Her articles have appeared in the Midwest Society of Association Executives’ Magazine, NTEN.org, AssociationTech, and Writer’s Weekly. Used with permission from Frank Kenny as we purchase this service for our Chamber Nation customers.
Clickable smartphone link code:
The following link can be used to make a clickable phone link. You can copy the code below and paste it into your webpage, mobile app, then edit with your phone number. This code may not work on all phones but does work for iPhone, Droid / Android and Blackberry.
This video shows a quick and easy way for Chambers to add a code that will give member pricing to those people who are not in your Member Database.
We purchase communication guidance from Frank Kenny so Chamber Nation can provide valuable content to our Chamber Nation customers. Here is another important tool for you.
Here is a must do for you. Download the recently released 2018 Membership Marketing Benchmarking Report from Marketing General. It's their 10th annual report with lots of trends, data, and insights about membership organizations. You will find it super valuable. It's 79 pages and free.
You will discover things like...
One recruitment channel that has seen recent growth in reported effectiveness is paid digital marketing. ...digital channel was almost invisible in our research until 2015.
Associations with increases in their one-year membership and five-year membership numbers are significantly more likely to have a higher percentage of millennial members.
In looking back over data from the last ten years, it is significant to note that the 2018 key membership statistics mirror the resiliency that associations have reported over this period, perhaps challenging those who have prophesied the imminent demise of the association membership model.
When it comes to fulfilling new memberships, for 2018, only 44% of associations report sending a mailed welcome kit to onboard new members. This is down from 51% in 2017and significantly down from 83% ten years ago in 2009.
In our 2010 research, only 22% of associations reported offering automatic annual credit card renewals. This payment method has expanded over the years. Automatic annual credit card renewals are especially popular among IMOs, with 45% making this option available.
When asked the engagement opportunities that associations report as increasing over the past year, over half of individual membership associations report increases in participation in the following areas: in their public social media (73%), in a private social network (59%), in their young professional program (54%), and in attendance of their webinars (52%).
Here are the sections:
Content creation takes a lot of time and energy in trying to find things that appeal to your audience. But a lot of the challenge is in thinking about what to post. If you know your audience well, it becomes infinitely easier to create and curate content they’ll enjoy.
The Three Rules of Good Content
Before covering items from your daily life that would make good business content, remember that all good content keeps in mind the three rules. The highest shared content does at least one of these three things. It:
If you can do these things for your target audience, they are more likely to share your posts.
Finding Content in Your Daily LifeWhy is finding content in your daily life important? Because it keeps you from having to dig around and spend a lot of time creating what isn’t natural for you. The kind of content in the following suggestions are things you’re already doing and you can naturally capture those things in words, images, or videos to help make stronger connections with your audience.
Best of all, because they’re things you’re already doing or experiencing, they’re super easy and don’t require elaborate sets or set up.
The key to all of these pieces of content is creating something people can identify with and will want to be a part of. All of these ideas invite people in to your world, and thus, help them to better decide that they want to be a part of what you’re doing.
Ideas for Content in Things You’re Already DoingMost of these can easily become word posts, image memes, images, video, or even Live events. Vary the format and use the one your audience responds to most. Test out the formats and see which type gets the most shares.
Think about how you spend your day. You’re performing these tasks and visiting these places and people anyway. Take your audience along for the ride. Not only is it an easy form of content but you’ll likely make some loyal customers that way too.
When they see who you are, they can make an educated decision about doing business with you. After all, people do business with those they know, like, and trust and these ideas will help you establish that.
Why is the H1 Tag so Important?
The H1 tag is the most important heading because it’s the highest level tag that shows what your specific page is about. Search engines generally give this tag more weight over other headings, so it usually improves your search engine ranking when you use it correctly and in conjunction with other onsite SEO techniques.
Adding a H1 tag into your Weebly website is very easy (video below).
One of the most common mistakes businesses make is wanting to be all things to all customers. Just as in life and friendships, you will never be everyone’s “cup of tea.”
That’s okay. It’s more than okay.
Understanding this and attracting your ideal customer is the one way to build loyalty among your clients and provide them with the services and products they need. In personalizing your sales approach you will gain more, not less. Here’s how you can go about doing that:
1. Decide who your ideal customer is. There is a group (or maybe several groups) that you can help better than any other business. Who are they? Identify them, flesh out details about their demographics including:
3. Analyze what they want? Now that you know what they’re struggling with figure out what they want; what they wish they had even if it’s not in the budget right now. Focus on how you can help them get there. Several banks have used this approach selling the question of what dream can they help you achieve today.
4. Design marketing campaigns based around the second and third step in this list. Target individual demographics separately. Don’t try to use an all-encompassing solution for the different groups who buy from you. For instance, market to Millennials differently than you do retirees. They have different concerns. Designing your marketing strategy around these groups involves more than just your message. It also affects where and how you’re delivering it. For Millennials, you might turn to Instagram or YouTube. For the older generation, it might be Facebook and direct mail. You need to assess where your clients are so you can implement a strategy to reach them.
5. Create content that appeals to each group. Yes, your marketing message is content but this step takes it a bit further. Create ebooks or infographics with information that will help your ideal customer. Do video or host events. Understand the group you want to reach and then create content and experiences to reach them best. Ever notice a lot of end-of-life providers host free lunch and learns? That’s because they’re a popular way to reach that demographic.
6. Create a clear and “doable” call to action (CTA). At the end (and even midway, as appropriate) of all of your helpful content, you’ll want a clear and actionable CTA. The call to action must be the next step in what they’re looking for. For instance, if you’re selling something with a long sales cycle, you don’t want to add a buy-now button to your About Page on your website. About Pages are something most people visit when they want to learn more about you, not at a late stage in the sales cycle. On the other hand, a call to action to learn more about you on an infographic that walks people through the financing process of your product or service is not a good fit either because by that point most people are ready to consider signing with you. They likely already know about you.
7. Find a way to delight them. Remember when you were figuring out what your ideal customer wanted and needed? Now you want to use that information to make an impression. By this point, you’ve already attracted them with your targeted marketing. They’re already looking into what you have to offer. They’ve scanned your valuable, personalized materials and content. Now, use what you know about them to make an impression. This could be through a targeted email marketing drip campaign or promotional materials that are tied to their wants and needs. But at this stage, you want to kick up your marketing and do something no one else is doing. Maybe that’s a handwritten note or a pop-up event. Use what you know about your ideal customer to surprise and delight them.
8. Always follow-up. Most salespeople know to follow up but incessant calls from your sales team can get old. You need a way to stay in touch with your ideal customer as they consider doing business with you. You also want to stay in contact with those who have purchased and may purchase again. You can do this through a newsletter or other means of occasional contact. Get their email address. Being connected on social media is not enough. They could opt out of those platforms at any time but for someone to give up email that would be nearly impossible. Getting someone’s email is like getting their home address. It could change but not as often.
Get to work at attracting your ideal customer. They’ll remain more loyal to you and you’ll be more able to solve their problems and suit their needs. You’ll have fewer customer service issues because they are a good fit for your business. Stop trying to appeal to everyone and speak to those you are best suited to help.
We have heard many great things from our customers about the services we are providing to their Chamber members. One thing we also are hearing is that sometimes it is hard to explain all of the terrific benefits members receive when they are part of the Chamber Lobby program. To try and help rectify this, we have created a second way for Chamber leaders to explain the member benefits.
Since we know that most businesses today are interested in mobile marketing and texting systems for growth, we thought a good move would be to start telling prospective members that when they join the Chamber, they will receive a complete mobile publishing system at no extra charge. To make it even easier you can send them to www.MobilePublishingSystem.com so they can quickly learn all about it.
Creating amazing content on your website is the surest way to incentivize your audience to share your content. But what happens when they stop doing it or what if they never did? What do you do to turn things around?
Most of us aren't simply creating business content for fun. We have a reason for doing so. Maybe it's:
Whatever your business goal behind content creation, if your shares begin to diminish (or they never took off in the first place), you need to do something or you're just wasting your time.
Check Your Analytics and Inventory Your Content
The very first thing you want to do when you notice a drop off in shares is to find out what has changed. Are you posting in the same way you always have, at the same times, days, and frequency? What has changed? Have you changed the way you lead into each post? Are you sharing different types of content? Has your tone changed?
Review Your Topics
Next, review your topics. Are you sharing the same sorts of topics? If you are, maybe your audience wants something more in-depth than what you’ve been providing. Try creating a "complete guide" to your business product or service. If they want more in-depth content, you should see shares increase with that sort of post. If not, try a beginner’s guide to your service or product. How does that perform? Ideally, you will have content for every level of the buyer’s cycle.
If you’ve switched the types of topics you cover, try going back to the former range of topics and see if shares pick up again.
Ditch the Dream of the Free Lunch
If you’ve been producing content for a few years now, you may remember the days of creating good content that got seen and shared freely. Then businesses like Facebook decided they wanted to monetize and the dream of a free lunch quickly came to an end. They started off slowly and quietly offering businesses paid for content if they chose to do so.
It’s no longer a choice.
Only a fraction of your audience will see your content, if you’re not paying for it. On my personal page I like about 100 businesses/pages. Unless I go to my pages feed, I rarely see them. My stream is filled with friends info and groups I belong to. I’ve even asked to see some of these pages but you know how that goes...Zuckerberg knows best.
Speaking of which...if people aren’t seeing your content posting it to a fitting Facebook group or starting your own is a better way to get seen than simply posting it to your page. If you don’t have the time or inclination to start your own Facebook group, start paying to get seen.
End of discussion.
Look for New Share Sources
It may be time to start sharing your content on a new site such as Medium or a new Facebook group that could help you reach your ideal market. By “new” I’m referring to new to you. If you’re old referral sites aren’t bringing you much traffic, try something that might be better aligned with where your audience is. For instance, a lot of younger people are leaving Facebook for Instagram. If your market is teens and early twenties, you’ll want to consider sites like Instagram and Snapchat.
No social site’s audience remains the same forever. Today’s rock song is tomorrow’s elevator music.
Understand Content Is Changing
In a recent report released by BuzzSumo, they found that there is “immense saturation” as more and more businesses embrace content marketing. There’s been a decline in social shares (even in viral posts). The “median for content shares” fell 50% in 2017.
In order to stand out in an oversaturated market, you need to do something to stand out like becoming an expert in your industry or providing a resource that others don’t. For many, that includes “complete guides” and “everything you need to know” posts. These can be time-consuming. Some sites have found considerable success with posting fewer, high-quality pieces as opposed to quick, frequently posted articles.
Today’s content demands are changing and businesses need to keep up with them if they expect their content to continue to be shared. If you are noticing a difference in your content shares, it’s likely time to revisit your production and posting strategy.
Christina R. Green teaches small businesses, chambers, and associations how to connect through content. She is a regular blogger at Frankjkenny.com where we purchase rights to post.
Social media is an incredibly important tool for increasing your audience and building connections.
These connections can then be leveraged into sales. Most business people know this. But how this gets done can be a bit of a mystery.
If you feel a little lost on what you should be doing on a daily and weekly basis, read on.
Daily Social Media Actions
First, before presenting the daily to-do list it's important to understand these things needn't be
performed all at one time. You don't need an hour first thing in the morning. These tasks can be tackled in those stolen moments throughout your day when you find yourself waiting on something else: waiting for a meeting to start, waiting on a friend for lunch, waiting on a conference call for the
speaker/host to arrive, on your morning commute, or over your morning coffee. You can even do them at night when watching TV or while you use one of the machines at the gym.
However you decide to fit these actions in, you want to do the following on a daily basis:
If you have more time, just do more of these activities.
Weekly Social Media Activities
Social media is not an exact science. While there are best practices, until you start experimenting with posting, you won't know which ones apply to your audience. For that reason, there's a lot of analysis required to understand what you should do more of and what isn't working. So...
On a weekly basis you want to make time for:
Social media, like any other relationship, takes time. It's the long game that matters. Look for ways to add value for your followers every day. If you give more of yourself, you'll get more in return.
Christina R. Green
teaches small businesses, chambers, and associations how to connect through content. Her articles have appeared in the Midwest Society of Association Executives' Magazine. She is a regular blogger at Frank Kenny. We purchase rights to this content for Chamber Nation customers.
According to a recent survey from Manifest, an online business guide, 53 of businesses are using content marketing as part of their marketing strategy. But is it worth the time investment?
What Is Content Marketing?
Content marketing is creating content your ideal customer is interested in, in a medium they enjoy, that will inspire, educate, or entertain. The goal of content marketing is to become a resource for your target demographic in order to help them know, like, and trust you and thus want to do business with you. It is a long-term play, not a short-term win. In content marketing, you use content to create a trusted relationship with your potential customer and that can't be done overnight.
Done correctly, it's a large investment in time. But does the investment pay off?
The answer to that depends on how you "do" content marketing. You can do it poorly. In those
situations, it's best not to attempt it at all. Consider the investment in content marketing worthwhile if you... Research Your Ideal Market Ahead of Time The beauty of content marketing is providing your ideal audience with resources they need. You are solving a problem or helping them solve it. The more personalized advice you can offer, the greater the return.
If you're just going to churn out generic pieces, don't waste your time.
Will Commit to It You want your potential customer to remember you as a resource. If you publish or share something only on occasion, it will be difficult to build a reputation as a helpful site. Instead, commit to whatever type of content you can and publish consistently. It needn't be every day but your audience should be able to follow your posting schedule.
Strategically Share It
Most businesses get stuck on the content creation but that's not the only part you have to commit to. If you create content that nobody sees, it doesn't matter how great it is. Use scheduling software to make sure each of your posts is shared with your social media profiles. As your content library grows, don't forget to use an evergreen retweeter to reschedule older posts that still have value. You spent a lot of time creating those posts, don't let them die because they fall off the main blog page.
Track the Popular Posts
When creating your posts for your audience, pay attention to what they like. What resonates with
them? Long posts or shorter ones? Meaty research posts or stories? Words or video? Images or
podcasts? Noting what your audience responds to is one of the pillars of good content marketing:
Create something of value in a medium they enjoy.
Create What They Want
Content marketing is not about what you want to publish. If you want it to be trusted, you need to show both sides. For instance, if you sell AC units and even though you want to sell a new AC unit to everyone in the county, you can't produce content that says the minute the AC unit is on the fritz, it needs to be replaced. Yes, that might be the ultimate goal and mean more revenue for your comp
any but the content you create needs to be formatted around something believable and trustworthy. Break down what goes into deciding when you need a new unit. People will trust you more if you say replacement is not always the most cost-effective option.
Finally, the trend in content these days is one-stop shopping. People don't want to spend hours
researching things on the Interwebs. They want one "ultimate guide" to addressing their problem. They want one place to find everything they need to know about the subject. This is great news for content producers because your business likely has tons of best practices in the buying process and educational information about your products. In content marketing, quality wins over quantity so well-researched and thought out content beats slapped together drivel any day.
Are you still wondering if all this work in content marketing is worth it?
If you can commit to the necessities listed earlier in this article, there's a good chance that content
marketing can help you win more customers and improve your word of mouth and social media shares.
But you won't really know without trying and you can't just experiment with content marketing over a
week-long period. You need to make an investment in it for at least six months. If you don't think you can do that, ask yourself if you want to be one of the 47% of businesses who aren't doing it. Maybe that's okay. But you should definitely find out which group your competition is in before you decide you can't take it on.
Christina R. Green - teaches small businesses, chambers, and associations how to connect through content. Her articles have appeared in the Midwest Society of Association Executives’ Magazine. She is a regular blogger at Frank Kenny where Chamber Nation buys rights to this content for its customers.
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1. Getting the Documentation Done
In today's changing online world Two Things need to happen.
One: be sure your community businesses document their individual products and/or services for search (even if they are not selling online), and Two: have a program in place to do this work for your busy business owners as part of their membership, or business license. Otherwise you are likely to have a community-wide website with nothing in it and poor overall search results.
2. Using Documentation to Dramatically Improve Community Promotion
Once there is a loaded community database of business services and products (that we build for you), a mobile app for every business, and master mobile app for the entire community, your community will have something significant to advertise. In addition, search engines and your new Chamber Lobby website will contribute significant results.
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Your business will never bring in enough revenue if people don't know about you. Most businesses don't fail because their service or product is inferior to everything else on the market. They fail because no one knows about them or they don't differentiate themselves from the competition.
But it doesn't matter how good your offerings are or how loved they could be. If people don't know about them, your business will never succeed.
Some businesses think that social media has replaced advertising.
It hasn't replaced it but it has changed it. People don't want clever taglines anymore.
But you still need to get their attention.
If you don't have the budget for Super Bowl ads (or any other major media presentation), then you'll like these budget-friendly ideas.
Social Media Paid Ads
In the beginning of social media, businesses could post and get seen. No longer. These days without engagement, only a fraction of your audience will see your posts. Even when they chose to follow you!
As dismaying as this may seem, social media paid advertising is one of the least expensive forms of advertising out there. It's not as cheap as it once was but it does have some very good targeting options that can help ensure you will reach people who are most likely in the market for your services or products.
Ever notice that item you were just checking on Amazon appears all over the Internet afterward? That's not some sort of sign. That's remarketing or retargeting. It allows you to present paid ads to people who have already shown an interest in your site. Those are the folks who are at least remotely interested in what you have to offer. Since purchases are an emotional buy, "following" people until they make an emotional decision often benefits you.
While you're considering this avenue, don't forget about Facebook's pixel that can present targeted information to people who have visited your website in the past.
Websites with banner ads often are inexpensive from an advertising perspective. Look for industry experts with websites or online personal pages (like blogs or private online communities) where your ideal demographic hangs out. If they have ads on their site, ask them about their ad policy. They may also have newsletter ad opportunities or may accept advertorials/sponsored content. While the latter falls more under marketing, it can be very valuable in reaching your ideal audience.
Ask for details about the website's demographics and click-throughs and what you get for your advertising money.
Finally, it's important to understand that hard sells aren't appreciated by anyone. Clever slogans may get noticed in Super Bowl ads and commercial awards shows but your customers are looking for sources that will help them know, like, and trust the person they're buying from. You need your advertising to be focused on helping and not disrupting your audience. You do this by answering questions and solving problems that they care about.
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