11 Proven Shareable Content Recipes (+Examples)

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shareable social media content

Writing shareable content is damn hard. 😓

The stats make for sad reading.

According to the Buzzsumo Content Trends Report 2018, based on a sample of 100 million posts, 50% of all content gained a mere 4 shares or fewer across all the main social networks.

So if your post gets only five shares, throw a party because you are above average. That’s insane.

The bottom line? Most content is ignored.

Your brand’s precious words you and your team thought would ignite social media, brushed aside without a perfunctory glance, let alone a share.

Today that’s about to change.

In this guide, I’ll show you how to write share-worthy content using 11 proven content frameworks that provoke high-octane social chatter. Plus, there are plenty of viral content examples so you see how it’s done.

Firstly, let’s answer a few basic questions.


Shareable Content: Q&A

Let’s quickly run through a few fundamental but crucial questions.


What is shareable content?

Content so good it moves readers to share it with their peeps on their social media channels like Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, etc.

It spreads fast through the ripple effect. People who consume the shared content pass it on to their friends who also spread it to their friends.


Why is shareable content important?

  1. It increases brand awareness as more people see your content.
  2. It boosts engagement with your company as many people interact with your content.
  3. It improves chances of getting organic backlinks from new people exposed to your content.
  4. It boosts your brand’s trustworthiness as people see your brand plastered all over different social channels.
  5. It attracts the attention of industry leaders and opens up opportunities like collaborations, guest post requests, or podcast interviews.
Shareable content is beneficial in so many ways. It increases brand awareness, boosts engagement, increases chances of getting backlinks, builds authority and attracts the attention of industry leaders.Click To Tweet


How do you get people to share your content?

  1. Write useful content.
    If it’s helpful, they gladly share it with their friends so they too get help.
  2. Appeal to their senses. 
    Aroused emotions push people to share more.
  3. Give them the opportunity to share. 
    Place share buttons in strategic places so they are visible and accessible.
  4. Tell fascinating stories.
    Stories are part of the human psyche. Everybody loves a good story.
  5. Take advantage of User Generated Content (USG)
    Content based on your audience’s feedback resonates.
  6. Take a clear stand on important subjects.
    If you reaffirm people’s beliefs, they’ll feel good and share your brand’s content. 
  7. Craft more visual content.
    Studies show people share visual content more than plain content.
  8. Be original.
    If you repeat what’s already out there, you’ll be ignored but if you find unique angles, you’ll be pursued.
  9. Latch onto a trending popular culture topic.
    Tie your content into a trendy topic and ride along.

    Here are 9 easy ways to write content that gets shared like crazy and spreads like wildfire 🔥🔥🔥Click To Tweet


How do I make content go viral?

Sorry, you can’t make your content go viral. 

That’s up to your audience to decide. 

But you can write amazing content worthy enough to go viral and dominate social media conversations. 

Which leads us to the next question…


How do I write amazing content?

Here are 10 shareable content ideas:

  1. Write captivating headlines.
  2. Craft tantalizing sub-headlines.
  3. Keep it simple and straightforward.
  4. Avoid jargon and complex language.
  5. Use the active voice, not the passive voice.
  6. Use short sentences (around 12-18 words)
  7. Use short paragraphs (up to 4 sentences)
  8. Inject ginger and fizz- your irresistible personality.
  9. Make them laugh.
  10. Address issues your audience cares about.


5 Examples Of Shareable Content

Research shows popular content fall into 5 categories.

Here’s the list graded in order of performance.

  1. List posts aka listicles.
  2. Why-posts.
  3. Videos.
  4. How-to articles.
  5. What-posts.
Struggling to get shares? Here are 5 doable content types you can try today!Click To Tweet

With the essentials out of the way, let’s move on to the shares-friendly content recipes.

11 Top Shareable Content Recipes You Must Try

Now, let’s go over 11 content frameworks of popular content.

First up…


Recipe #1: The Hot Sex Magazine Editor

Blockbuster magazines, especially sex ones (no need to blush), have one thing in common- scintillating headlines.

The kind that grabs you by the collar and never lets go until you take a peek at the content they are advertising. Yes, your headline is a mini ad.

Here’s a good example from Cosmopolitan.

Source

Besides gorgeous Khloe Kardashian, the magazine’s headlines are alluring.

  • 99 Sex Questions: We Answer The Naughtiest Questions On Your Mind-In 20 Words Or Less 
  • The Smile That Makes Men Hit On You
  • Feel Great Naked! 9 Foods That Burn Fat While You Eat

How’s that for simplicity, candor, and intrigue?

No wonder you can’t help yourself at the grocery store book rack.

Your post rises or falls on the quality of the headline. If nobody clicks on your headline, your post won’t get read. And if your post isn’t read, it won’t get shared, period.

I won’t bore you with headline stats you’ve heard a bazillion times like 80% of people only read the headline blah blah.

Instead, I’d like to show you a recent shocking statistic from a study by Authority Hacker:

What?!

Yes, 10% of headlines account for 90% of social shares and engagement. Another analysis by Backlinko revealed 1.3% of articles generate 75% of all social shares. Worse, 59% of people share content based on the headline alone without reading a single word more!

What’s the lesson of all this?

Write a great headline, or forget about shares.

Here’s how to write irresistible headlines

  • Lean towards clarity, not cleverness. Don’t over-complicate things.
  • Follow tried and tested headlines templates, don’t start from scratch.
  • Hook readers by including a clear benefit in your headline.
  • Lure readers through emotion-dripping power words but don’t be clickbaity.
  • Slip in click-through rate boosters like numbers and parentheticals.
  • Scour through comments of popular niche articles to glean headline gems from your audience.
  • Test your headlines with a small group first and use the winner.
  • Polish up your headlines with headline analyzer tools like CoSchedule, Sharethrough, or Advanced Marketing Institute, but still use your judgment.
  • Overall, people respond to headlines that give (or promise) them an answer to a topic they care about.

Basically, a humdinger of a headline kick-starts your shares journey.


Recipe #2: The Captivating Campfire Storyteller

Nothing pulls people’s heartstrings like a well-told story.

Stories evoke strong emotions, engage readers, and get people talking.

Studies show a good story releases dopamine and oxytocin (aka the happiness chemicals) in your brain. Stories also light up your motor cortex, the brain part responsible for your actions.

Master blogger Jon Morrow of Smart Blogger knows how to work touching micro-stories into his content.

The result?

An avalanche of shares and comments. 

His post ‘7 Life Lessons From A Guy Who Can’t Move Anything But His Face’ generated a lot of buzz.

Impressive, right!? 

He shares some major challenges he has gone through to get to where he is:

“Not to imply it’s been easy, mind you. During my 34 years, I’ve had pneumonia 16 times, recovered from more than 50 broken bones, and spent literally years of my life in hospitals and doctor’s offices.

But I’m still here. Not only have I survived my condition, but I’ve built a life most people only dream about.”

This mini-story dares readers to pursue their dreams in spite of seemingly insurmountable challenges.

Here’s how to incorporate stories into your content

  • Massage simple but fascinating personal anecdotes into your content to illustrate your points. 
  • Be vulnerable and share personal stories of your failures so readers see you’re authentic… even Superman has his kryptonite but fans still adore him.
  • Target a particular emotion in your story and harp on it.
  • Make your audience the hero of the story so they identify with it.
  • Tell your audience success stories.
  • Follow proven storytelling frameworks like this one.

Weave gripping stories into your content.

Thereafter, you’ll open the shares faucet.


Recipe #3: The Firebrand Rabble-rouser

Controversial content triggers a deluge of shares.

A strategic no-holds-barred attack of a popular stance in your niche:

  • Evokes a reaction from both supporters (because it reaffirms their beliefs) and detractors (because they want to prove you wrong).
  • Attracts the attention of influencers in your niche. 
  • Allows you to lead the conversation – gives you a voice and recognition in your industry.

Controversial content triggers a deluge of shares. A strategic no-holds-barred attack of a popular stance in your niche evokes a reaction from both your supporters and detractors. 👎👊👍Click To Tweet

Research conducted by the renowned Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania concluded:

“Content that evokes high-arousal emotions awe, anger, and anxiety, regardless of their valence, is more viral.” (Source)

Contrarian content fits the bill perfectly.

Be careful though. 

Rabble-rousing is more than an attack of an opposing view. It’s taking a stand for what you believe in and letting people react however they want to react.

A great example of this is Forbes Top 10 B2B marketer and founder of IconiContent Aaron Orendorff’s frontal attack of the popular ‘Follow Your Passion’ maxim. 

 

The post opens by making a bold provocative statement that goes against common advice. 

“It’s common wisdom. Near gospel really, and not just among young people and founders. Across generational lines, sentiments like those from Steve Jobs’ 2005 commencement at Stanford have been engraved into our collective consciousness:  

“The only way to do great work is to love what you do. If you haven’t found it yet, keep looking. Don’t settle.”

In other words, follow your passion. There’s just one problem: ‘Follow your passion’ is dangerous advice… nearly everything you’ve been told about following your passion is wrong. “

But don’t raise a furore over anything. 

That’d make you a jerk. 

Yours must be a case of much ado about something. Something your audience cares deeply about.

Here’s how to write antagonistic content

  • Identify a popular stance or approach in your space you feel is wrong.
  • Pinpoint exactly what’s wrong and why it misses the mark.
  • Show the destructiveness of the prevailing thought.
  • Support your argument with research from reputable sources.
  • Use case studies to prove your points.
  • Attack groups of people you audience hate.
  • Point the right way… don’t curse the darkness, switch on the light.
  • Share your convictions plainly, confidently, and unashamedly.
  • Scared of stirring the pot? Start by writing a manifesto type of post where you focus on articulating your beliefs without poking those with different convictions.

So, start trouble and get people talking… fast.


Recipe #4: The Affable Home Shopping TV Host

Home shopping TV hosts are masters at showing how products work.

Whether it’s a toaster or vacuum cleaner the ever-nice hosts show how they work with precision and simplicity.

They don’t give you dry product features. They perform. They transform sterile products like a knife into a wonder.

Undoubtedly, well done how-to articles are very popular.

They’re evergreen and only need the occasional update.

As an illustration, renowned content marketer, author and speaker Mike Allton knows firsthand the power of how-to content. One of the most popular posts on his blog is a simple post titled ‘How To Launch Your Blog’s Podcast‘ 

The post includes fine details like:

  • How to add a new episode
  • Setting up iTunes
  • Setting up Stitcher
  • Setting up Google 
  • How to promote your podcast

As a result, readers get all the step-by-step info they need complete with screenshots. Doing the task in question becomes easy.

Here’s how to write how-to content

  • Identify a nagging problem your audience is struggling with.
  • Show them step by step how to solve the problem.
  • Go deeper and further than most in your guide.
  • Use a lot of graphics to make it easy for people to understand.
  • Touch both ends of the spectrum, create guides for both beginners and advanced folks in your space.
  • Target brand new tools or approaches in your niche and be the first to share a how-to guide on it.
  • Identify hidden product features and explain how to use them.

By and large, good well-structured teaching spreads widely.   


Recipe #5: The Naughty Piggyback Kid

Every industry has gatekeepers who hold the golden keys of influence.

By including niche influencers in your content, you get them to share it with their myriad followers.

Big assumption: your post is seriously-good. Only then will big shots in your industry say yes to your request.

For example, Brian Lang of Small Business Ideas Blog put his business on the spotlight early in his career through a widely shared roundup post.

 His post featured well-known figures like Peg Fitzpatrick, Ana Hoffman, Brian Dean and Joost de Valk:

These industry heavyweights boosted his shares in a big way.

Here’s how to include influencers in your content

  • Connect with influencers and learn from them before you need them.
  • Give 10x before you make one ask so you’re not seen as a pesky parasite.
  • Get into influencers’ radar by sharing their stuff, commenting on their posts, or the big one that never fails, buying their, ahem, pricey products.
  • Quote influencers publicly available work like blog posts, podcast episodes, and books. Tag them on social media once the post is live. You get tons of shares without the outreach headache. 
  • Get into an influencer’s inbox by signing up for their newsletter and hitting reply after receiving the welcome message and thanking them for the value they provide. I’m amazed at how many content marketers don’t use this easy hack!
  • Ask influencers to make original contributions to your content. Make sure the question is sharp.

In summary, ride on the back of influencers and watch your shares soar.


Recipe #6: The Fervent Weight Loss Marketer

Weight loss marketers are masters of showing the impact of their products by revealing the before and after.

You can steal this approach.

Share product success stories… yours and your peeps’.

Case studies are stories on steroids.

Byran Harris of Growth Tools rapidly grew his audience to 300k by trying various list building tactics and sharing the results with his audience.

His most shared post ‘How to Create a $6 million Webinar’ is a case study of how ConvertKit has used webinars to grow their business.

Evidently, the piece is filled with facts, figures, and frameworks like:

  • 2 outreach emails to show how ConvertKit pitch potential partners.
  • Webinar email sequences for pre and post webinar follow-up.
  • Webinar framework example from title slide to closure.
  • Overview of the 5-step process to hosting a successful partner webinar.

In the end, the pathway to building a webinar funnel is clear for readers.

Here’s how to write case studies

  • Identify your (or associates) amazing results.
  • Interview all people involved in the success story to get all the juicy details.
  • Give details of the before and after… and the exact process you followed to get the results. Think TV makeover shows.
  • Do an experiment to find solutions to a pressing problem faced by your audience and publish the results.
  • Publish both good and bad results, it’s more authentic.
  • Make sure the hero of the case study matches your ideal prospect or customer so they identify with the story.

Undeniably, because everyone loves winning, case studies are always a big hit.


Recipe #7: The Colorful Graffiti Artist

Graffiti artists woo you with breathtaking color-combos.

Our brains process images 60,000 times faster than text.

What’s the point? We are visual beings.

The more visuals we see the more engaged we become.

In a study of over one million articles, Buzzsumo found articles with an image once every 75-100 words received double the social media shares than articles with fewer images.

Be a graffiti artist. Mesmerize your audience with rich visuals.

But…

It’s easy to go overboard with images and flood your content with fluffy cats.

Resist the urge.

Only use relevant images. Choose substance over sizzle.

Choosing the right image is especially important when trying to get traction on a social media platform like Pinterest. 

Nico Prins, the founder of Launch Space, who has had a lot of success getting content shared on Pinterest explains.

“While you might have an inclination of what might work on Pinterest you never really know. Using multi-variant testing, creating multiple social media images for each post significantly increases the chance of your content going viral.”

Use the right image, in the right context, and at the right moment.

Here’s how to create visual content

  • Lead with a featured image at the top of a post to pull readers in.
  • Include screenshots, diagrams, and charts to validate your points and claims.
  • Use custom images to explain complex concepts and also to stand out (people become blind to overdone stock images)
  • Embed short YouTube videos into your content.
  • Craft quote cards to draw people’s attention to important points.
  • Spice things up with GIFs and hot emojis. 🔥🔥🔥
  • Turn your best-performing post into an infographic or slides.
  • Check out these interactive content tools to make your work easier.
  • Create custom images for each social media platform when sharing there.

In light of this, give your audience visual candy. They’ll gobble-up and  share your content.


Recipe #8: The Showstopper Hollywood Star

People need info but they don’t want another Wikipedia.

The solution? Edutainment.

Give them tantalizing pizza, not plain veggies. 🍕

People need info but they don’t want another Wikipedia. The solution? Edutainment. Give them tantalizing pizza, not plain veggies. 🍕Click To Tweet

Turns out grandma was right after all. If you want the content medicine to go down well… add a bit of sugar.

Entertain. Dazzle. Enrapture.

And you’ll, like Hollywood stars, have thousands of followers who rave about you to their friends everywhere they go.

Enchanting Marketing founder Henneke Duistermaat knows how to delight, enchant, and teach her audience in one smooth stroke. Because they’re thrilled, they share her content.

From standout custom images to catchy unusual expressions like ‘crimes against readability’,  Henneke hypnotizes her audience.

Here’s how to create delightful content

  • Talk like a human: stamp out unintelligible gobbledygook and embrace natural everyday language people get.
  • Write conversationally: drop the bone-dry sleep-inducing college thesis style.
  • Use vivid language and imagery so people sense, see, touch, hear, and taste your spellbinding content.
  • Throw in a dose of humor, and, while their mouths are wide open as they laugh pop in a valuable lesson or two.
  • Survey your audience to find out what they enjoy and give it to them.
  • Add a gobbet of personality into your content. Make sure it fits into your brand voice.

In a word, people pass on entertaining content with joy.


Recipe #9: The Meticulous Jumbo Jet Pilot

Do you know what keeps the Boeing 747, queen of the skies and darling of passengers for decades safe from takeoff to landing?

Checklists.

From before-takeoff checklists on the ground to emergency checklists mid-air, to before-landing checklists, pilots follow them religiously.

Why?

They work. 

Checklists are popular with readers because they:

  • Guide– nothing beats a checklist for quick guidance on a subject.
  • Guard– checklists protect you from veering off course.
  • Gist– checklists boil down complex subjects down to the core.
  • Handy- checklists are portable and easy to use.

Checklists offer readers delicious bite-sized content. And, like all good food, taste better when shared with friends.

Checklists offer readers delicious bite-sized content. And, like all good food, taste better when shared with friends. ✔✔✔ Click To Tweet

Guess what? 

The most shared post of all time on the Content Marketing Institute blog is a checklist ‘21 Types of Content We Crave’.

With only 466 words in total, 163 words for the infographic itself and 303 for the surrounding copy, the original post is:

  • Short.
  • Sharp.
  • Sweet.

It’s easy to digest. Consequently, people passed it on all over the internet.

Here’s how to create a checklist

  • Condense a lengthy best-performing guide on your site into a checklist.
  • Identify a complex topic or process your audience cares about and compress it into an easy-to-understand checklist.
  • Make it look beautiful, don’t skimp on design.
  • Go narrow: be hyper-specific, not general.
  • Create a list that answers your audience’s hottest question.

In brief, checklists are an easy way to make your content appetizing.


Recipe #10: The Fun-loving Quiz Master

Quizmasters.

Quirky, cheeky, amusing characters.

But their biggest strength is getting you so absorbed in the game that everything else becomes insignificant.

That’s what interactive content does.

Interactive content like quizzes, games, and contests is on the rise.

It’s great for education, engagement, lead generation, and enjoyment. It’s the enjoyment aspect that gives it the viral element. People dig sharing joyful experiences with loved ones.

Case in point? 

A grammar quiz titled “Only 1 In 50 People Can Identify These 16 Grammar Mistakes. Can You?” generated a lot of engagement and organic reach.

Check out the comments section.

Since everybody loves a good challenge and a bit of fun, the quiz draws huge crowds. Never one to shy away from a challenge, I took the quiz and was duly crowned chief of grammar police. 😎

Here’s how to create interactive content

  • Always start with a goal. Excitement on its own has no marketing value, use it to drive a specific action e.g. to fill a form or schedule an appointment.
  • Remember: interactive content doesn’t substitute content, it supports it. Wrap your game around solid takeaways.
  • Produce interactive videos.
  • Use the opportunity to collect as much info as possible about your audience.
  • Come up with unforgettable augmented reality (AR) driven encounters for your audience. Branded games, treasure hunts, and fascinating virtual User Generated Content experiences get people hooked.
  • Gamify parts of your campaign.

In essence, interactive content appeals to our innate desire for involvement.

Lastly, let’s look at the treasure hunting content recipe.


Recipe #11: The Ever-searching Treasure Hunter

Treasure hunters are a curious determined bunch.

They don’t stop digging until they find a glorious fortune.

Like a treasure hunter, if you dig through gobs of data, you’ll unearth gems never found elsewhere.

Novelty is shares gold dust. 

Brian Dean of Backlinko has had great success with this strategy. He publishes many original research posts like this search engine ranking factors study.


Accordingly, the article leaves readers with data-backed findings like:

  • Getting links from a diverse group of domains is extremely important for SEO.
  • Increasing the number of links to your site may improve rankings for other pages on your site.
  • Writing comprehensive, in-depth content can help you rank higher in Google.
  • Fast-loading websites are significantly more likely to rank in Google.

Here’s how to create original research posts

  • Find a trending topic in your industry using your favorite SEO tool. 
  • If you have a big audience, do a study based on the hot topics you identified. If your audience is small, partner with someone who has a larger one. 
  • Redo a published well-liked old study that hasn’t been updated for a while. 
  • Reach out to influencers already talking about ideas your research proves. Present the results of your study to them and ask them to share if they like it. 
  • Reach out to popular podcasts to talk about the results of your study. 
  • Present your data in a visually appealing way. 
  • Remember to publish your results as a blog post. 

Important to realize, original research is a linkable and shareable asset. 

11 proven shareable content recipes to inspire your audience to share your delicious content like never before! 🍕🍟🍔🍗Click To Tweet

Shareable Content Alone Isn’t Enough…

All in all, be careful with coveting shares for shares sake.

Doing so will turn your bumper shares into nothing but an empty vanity metric. Such shares do absolutely nothing for your brand, besides a few chest-thumping shameless brags to your peers. 

Desire and drive shares from:

  • your ideal prospects who turn into quality leads.
  • the right channels frequented by your audience.
  • your pillar content you want to spread widely.
  • key optimized posts designed to draw people into your funnel.

Then, any shares you get will help grow your business. Even if they’re few.


It’s Your Turn To Write The Most Shared Content On Social Media A.K.A Viral Content

Your struggle for shares is over. Use these shareable content tips to write mouth-watering content that gets shared like crazy. 

In summary, what’s the psychology of shareable content?

These content types inflame our primal emotions:

Fear, anger, joy, or awe.

By using these recipes, you take your readers on a riveting emotional experience. Charged emotions urge people to reach for the share button instinctively.

Fire up your audience’s strong base emotions. 

Who knows, your post might go viral. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

SEO Writing Example: How I Helped Smart Blogger Rank First Page Of Google In 37 Days (Detailed Teardown)

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Do you want to see a real-life SEO writing example to inspire your content marketing?

Take a good look at the above screenshot.

Can you see the benefits of ranking on the first page of Google for a competitive keyword?

Here are the hard numbers:

  • 608 backlinks
  • 167 referring domains
  • 675 organic keywords
  • 50,4k organic traffic
  • $75,7k traffic value
    (*Showing results 4 months after publication)

These are the insane results of what organic traffic can do for your business. It’s a demonstration of the amazing power of SEO-based content marketing when done right. Imagine the upsurge in leads, profits, and brand awareness.

And, the best part is the benefits are recurring.

On the 24th of July 2019 I wrote this post ‘ClickBank: The Brutally Honest Guide For 2019’ for Smart Blogger. Exactly 37 days later the post hit the front page. It continued to rise steadily until it reached position #2 within 3 months. The second position is as good as it gets on any post about ClickBank because position #1 is occupied by ClickBank themselves.

seo writing example clickbank on front page

According to an Ahrefs study only a mere 5.7% of all newly published pages will get to Google Top 10 within a year.

But I achieved the feat in just 37 days.

Wondering how I did it?

In this detailed SEO writing example, I’ll walk you through all the steps I took so you know how to do it yourself and move your business forward.

I’ve boiled it down to 6 components:

  1. CONTENT BRIEF to guide the writing process.
  2. QUALITY WRITING to execute the brief’s requirements.
  3. COMPREHENSIVENESS to provide super value for readers.
  4. VISUAL APPEAL so readers stay on the page and don’t bounce off.
  5. MANUAL LINK BUILDING to give the post traction.
  6. PROMOTION to spread word about the post far and wide.

Let’s unpack each one.

6 SEO Writing Tips To Take You To The Front Page Of Google

I’m sure you are with me on this one:

Writing a post that ranks on the first page is now harder than ever but it’s still doable if you play your cards right. Here are the tips I followed to nail it.

#1. Content Brief

You know what…

The battle for rankings is won or lost before you write a single word. How you approach your post determines if your post will rise in rankings or fall flat.

That’s where the content brief comes in to save the day.

The humble content brief is the unsung hero of high-ranking blog posts. Most SEO writing examples omit this crucial tool.Click To Tweet

In case you are wondering, a content brief is an editorial document with instructions for a content writer on how to create a piece of content.

When writing the post, I had a detailed content brief to guide me. It was the most thorough content brief I’ve seen in my life as a freelance writer–by far. See the excerpt below to get an idea.

content brief excerpt

This is a small part. It went much deeper than that.

Plus, it also included:

  • Post type and word count
  • Post differentiator.
  • Target keyword and secondary keywords.
  • Searcher intent.
  • Success criteria.
  • Key insight and main takeaways.
  • Outline
  • The angle of the piece
  • Competing posts.
  • Sample posts to mimic style and tone.
  • Additional notes

From a content framework to user intent, I had all the details I needed to craft a post that stood a chance of ranking.

Trying to write a post that ranks without a solid content brief is like a hiker tackling the thick Amazon rainforest without a compass. It’s a stupid fruitless exercise.Click To Tweet

The content brief showed how serious my client was about getting results from the piece. A good brief springs from a solid content marketing strategy. Sadly, I’ve seen countless businesses churn out loads of posts without a content strategy let alone a content brief guiding them.

You don’t stumble upon the front page: you must be intentional about it. A solid well-researched content brief acts as a reliable compass that keeps your writer focused on the true north of your content–in exact alignment with your post’s goals.

With a good brief on hand, I moved on to the next step.

#2. Quality Writing

A first-class brief without a quality writer to use it is worthless.

For your content to succeed you need a topnotch writer in your corner.

In this case, yours truly, ahem 😀

Most businesses don’t get results in their content marketing efforts simply because they hire cheap, untrained, and lousy writers who have no clue what they are doing. SEO content writing in 2020 isn’t about about keyword stuffing as many beginner writers think. It’s about pleasing people first, and then tweaking for search engines.

How do I know the post was interesting, useful, and engaging?

Three reasons.

First, the Smart Blogger crowd enjoyed it.

engaging seo writing blog comment

Second, 167 unique domains linked to it.

seo writing example referring domains stats

Third, I got hired on the spot two days after writing it.

email complimenting engaging seo content

What’s the point of all this?

With 2.49+ million blog posts (WordPress report) published every day and each piece fighting to break through the content saturation ceiling, an A-grade SEO content writer is a must if you want to stand a chance in the fierce ranking race.

Good content isn’t enough anymore. You must raise the bar much higher and produce awesome content that’s:

Unique. Useful. Unparalleled.

Or, in a word. Epic.

Anything less and you might as well kiss high rankings goodbye.

Let’s get into the intricacies of the post itself.

#3. Comprehensiveness

With a word count of 2654, the guide is exhaustive compared to competing posts. It covers everything readers need to know about trading on ClickBank.

It includes detailed insights on how to register on the platform, how to search for the best products, how to avoid common mistakes, and more.

It solves all the common questions and challenges people have about the popular affiliate marketing platform. Case in point, it discusses all payment methods ClickBank accepts.

These are minor but critical details people want to know so they decide if the platform is right for them.

Many studies reveal top-ranked content is:

  • Deep
  • Comprehensive
  • Authoritative

In most cases, long-form content that’s 2000+ words long does the trick.

seo writing case study long form content stats

Not only is the guide in-depth, but it also satisfies user intent. People found exactly what they were looking for in the content. This is shown by the 21 comments it has received so far and the hundreds of people who linked to it.

Content that ranks solves a problem and answers a nagging question comprehensively.Click To Tweet

Next, let’s examine the post’s visual elements.

#4. Visual Appeal

Another standout feature of the post is its visual appeal.

Have you ever tried to read an unending wall of text online? I’m sure you’ll agree with me when I say it’s tiring and uninspiring. Most people dump such posts instantly.

For long text-heavy posts, it’s important to give readers eye-candy to break up the text and make reading pleasurable.

This boosts dwell time.

And, when readers linger on your page, Google takes that as a vote cast for your content’s utility and enjoyability.

The post has 11 screenshots, that’s an image for every 241 words.

Take this short section for instance.

seo case study clickbank post images

These images give readers’ eyes a break while still shedding light on the subject.

Note also:

  • 11 H2 subheads, further broken into H3.
  • Lots of bullet points.
  • Short sentences and paragraphs.
  • Simple direct conversational language.

Like so.

seo writing example formatting

All this made the post easy to read and digest despite its massive size.  Look at the readability stats below.

seo writing example post readability stats

When readers enjoy a piece of content, they stay longer on the page thus giving search engines a signal that the post is valuable.

But having a valuable all-embracing resource isn’t enough. You must tell the world about it.

#5. Manual Link Building

As you know, backlinks are one of the top ranking factors.

Without them your prospects of ranking are low.

Therefore, I manually built 5 high quality backlinks within one month through guest posting. Once the post got to the front page I stopped. The average Ahrefs DR of the target sites was 48.8.

These links helped the post gain initial traction.

Once the post gained momentum and rose to the top, people began linking to it organically. Backlinks ballooned into the hundreds.

clickbank seo content writing tips post

I linked to:

  • Medium to high domain sites
  • Relevant sites
  • Great content

Besides links, I also pushed the post on social media.

#6. Promotion

SEO practitioners argue all day about the connection between social shares and rankings.

Do social shares directly affect a post’s ranking?Click To Tweet

Well, the jury is still out on that one. But one thing is clear: shares indirectly contribute to higher rankings.

The reason is simple.

Having more shares means more eyeballs on your content. And the more people see your content, the more chances they’ll have to link to it.

My main promotion tool was Viral Content Bee, a platform comprising a community of micro social media influencers who promote each other’s content on Twitter, LinkedIn, Pinterest, Tumblr, Mix, and Flipboard.

Here are the shares stats from the backend of the platform.

how high shares boost rankings

I pulled out Facebook, Pinterest, and Buffer shares numbers from Shares Count

clickbank seo writing post shares stats

Let’s tally all the numbers:

  • Twitter                81
  • LinkedIn              6
  • Tumblr                15
  • Mix                         1
  • Facebook            53
  • Pinterest             24
  • Buffer                  12
  • Total                  192

These figures are not earth-shattering but they’re pretty decent.  According to the Buzzsumo Content Trends Report 2018, based on a sample of 100 million posts, 50% of all posts got just 4 shares or fewer across all the main social networks.

I’m sure this social buzz drove a bit of traffic to the post. Most importantly, it spread the word about the content and it’s likely several people linked to it.

SEO Writing Example: Your Post Is Next

In conclusion, ranking on page 1 of Google is no child’s play, but it’s worth the effort.

The client’s goal was to be on page 1 within 9 months.

I did it in 3 months.

Why did we get results so quickly? A key factor is that Smart Blogger is a big authority DR 78 site and so it’s easier for them to rank than low DR sites. Still, the case study shows the power of a carefully planned and expertly written piece of content.

I hope this SEO writing example motivated you.

Use the tips to craft your own winning post.

Meet you on the front page 😀

 

 

 

 

Small Business Marketing in 2020: The Ultimate Customer-pulling Guide (With Inspiring Examples!)

Posted on

No use denying it anymore.

Endless small business marketing demands have taken their toll on you.

Truth be told, it’s all more than you bargained for.

Myriad tasks clamor for your attention:

Differentiate yourself from competitors. Produce quality content week in, week out. Build and nurture your email list. Manage your freelancer team, or ahem, herd cats.

Then there’s brand awareness — spreading the word about your company to potential customers. Plus, the mammoth task of generating enough leads and turning them into loyal customers. And, in a fluid environment, you must also keep up with marketing trends otherwise you’ll become irrelevant.

That’s not the worst part.

Here’s the thing that’s bugging you most.

Where on earth will you get the money and time to do all this? Unlike fancy Fortune 500 companies with deep pockets, your budget is limited. You can’t build an in-house team of high-flyers or bring in pricey marketing consultants to help.

You’ve hit an impenetrable concrete wall.

No wonder you’re frazzled. Your brain fried. Your fortitude waning fast.

But there’s a way out.

In this comprehensive guide, packed with small business marketing tips, I’ll walk you through everything you need to know about marketing your business successfully even if you are on a shoestring budget.

Let’s dive in.

Small Business Marketing Plan: The Proven Springboard To A Profitable Business

It’s cliché for a reason.

If you don’t plan you plan to fail.

Just as a pilot needs a flight plan to get to his destination you need a business plan to reach your business goals. A marketing plan helps your business take off and guides you to the land of unmatched prosperity.

Here are 6 ingredients of a solid marketing plan.

1. Evaluate your business

The current state of your business informs your whole strategy.

  • Are you starting from scratch with limited funds?

Then maybe you should focus on market research, product validation, and promotion to get a foothold on the market.

  • Are you an established business that has plateaued out?

You should improve your product or service, increase order size, and find ways of breaking into new markets so you get to the next level. An easy way to reach new markets is doing affiliate marketing on large networks like ClickBank.

Your marketing plan depends on what stage your business is in.

2. Spy on your competitors

You are not the only business in town.

Many similar businesses are vying for the same market you’re after.

To win, know your competitors’ strengths and weaknesses. Identify the gaps in the market your competitors are missing. Fill the gaps and you’ll smile all the way to the bank.

Follow this guide to get started with competitor analysis.
small business marketing competitor analysis template

Image via Aha

Good competitor analysis helps you sharpen your strategy and make your products/services stand out.

3. Weigh your product quality

Know your product in and out.

How does it compare to similar products on the market? What’s unique about it? How best can you position it on the market so its uniqueness shines through? Frankly, if it’s like the one next door, you might as well close shop because the world can do without it.

Remember: no amount of marketing, no matter how brilliant, can prop up a crappy product.

No amount of marketing no matter how brilliant can prop up a crappy productClick To Tweet

4. Map your potential customers

To succeed in business, know your potential customers.

Go beyond superficial demographics. Know what makes them tick and the product-related problems they are grappling with. Find out where they hang out online and offline.

Draft a buyer persona that describes your ideal customer.

Like this:
small business marketing buyer persona coffee shop

Image via Impact

In-depth buyer personas make your marketing messages laser-focused and resonate with potential buyers.

5. Set your marketing goals

When setting your growth goals don’t spread yourself too thin — stay focused.

Pick 1-2 main goals and 3 sub-goals.

An easy template to follow is:

We want to [number] by  [time] through [steps].

Look at this example from Venngage:

small business marketing goals breakdown

Clearer goals, higher chances of success.

6. Gauge your budget

It takes money to make money.

What’s your budget to do all you’ve set out to do? Allocate funds to each task. The U.S. Small Business Administration recommends spending 7% to 8% of your gross revenue for marketing and advertising if you’re doing less than $5 million a year in sales and your net profit margin after expenses is in the 10% to 12% range.

However, early on, expect to spend more as you get things off the ground.

Tie all this together into a portable document, a master plan for your business. Your small business marketing plan is not cast in stone. It’s always evolving as this graphic shows:
small business marketing plan cycle

  Image via U.S. Small Business Administration

Plan. Work. Review. Fine-tune.

Rinse and repeat.

What Is The Best Marketing Strategy For A Small Business?

Once your plan is in place, it’s time to strategize.

Planning and strategizing are linked.

A plan answers the ‘what’ question while a strategy answers the ‘how’ part. Your plan shows you where you are going. Your strategy tells you how to get there. These strategies fall into two categories:

  1. Inbound marketing– luring customers to your product or service… customers come to you e.g. content marketing, search engine optimization, branding, and social media marketing.
  2. Outbound marketing– going after customers rather than waiting for them to find you e.g. TV commercials, radio ads, cold calling, flyers, and trade shows.

Outbound marketing is more expensive but yields quick results. Inbound marketing is cheaper, but it takes a while to gain traction. But once the results come they compound quickly. See the major differences between the two below.

inbound marketing versus outbound marketing comparison

 Image Via Mashable

Outbound marketing is product-centered and invasive while inbound marketing is customer-centered and non-invasive. There’s no magic strategy. The best marketing strategy is the one that suits your business, not the one everyone’s using.

The best marketing strategy is the one that suits your business, not the one everyone's usingClick To Tweet

Here are 3 unicorn strategies that work like gangbusters:

  1. Content Marketing
  2. Email Marketing
  3. Social Media Marketing

Let’s look at each strategy.

#1. Content Marketing: Selling Subtly Without Being Salesy

Content marketing is creating, publishing and distributing shareworthy content that helps your audience while generating interest in your products or services.

Numbers from the Content Marketing Institute show the power of content marketing:

  • Builds trust– a massive 81% of consumers trust info in blogs. In comparison, 83% of people hate advertisements and consider them disruptive. Worse, they lump them together with fake news.
  • Generates more leads– small businesses with blogs get 126% more leads than small businesses without. Content marketing generates over 3x as many leads as outbound marketing.
  • Cost effective– costs a whopping 62% less than outbound marketing. Plus, it gets 3x leads per dollar spent than paid search and doesn’t need a continual cash injection to get results.

People love educational content. They prefer it to traditional advertising and vote for it with their feet. By visiting your store to check out your products.
how content benefits small business marketers

Image Via: Cision

Talk about the power of content to move people down your funnel and drive foot traffic to your brick-and-mortar store.

Content comes in all shapes and sizes:

  • Blog post
  • Infographics
  • Case studies
  • Videos
  • User Generated Content (UGC)
  • PDFs and Ebooks
  • Slides/Presentations

Putting content out there is the easy bit. Using content to achieve commercial outcomes is the challenging part. Come up with a solid content strategy instead of pumping out loads of content without a clear intention.

Your content strategy includes 6 key aspects:

  1. Goals– describe your goals… is it leads, brand awareness, or more sales?
  2. Target Audience- define your ideal reader profile.
  3. Content Types- identify content types that resonate with your audience.
  4. Channels– pinpoint your content distribution channels.
  5. Content Management– come up with an editorial calendar.
  6. Analytics– measure and analyze everything and adjust suitably.

Pet Sitters Ireland, Ireland’s largest pet care company, grew their revenue by a whopping 450% in three years.

Their strategy?

Answering peoples’ questions on their blog.

For example:
small business marketing question based content Pet Sitters

They now have a thriving franchise because of their phenomenal success.

#2. Email Marketing: Developing Deep Trust With Your Audience

With a mouth-watering return of $40 per $1 spent email is the king of marketing channels.

The better your email writing ability, the more money you’ll make. You must write compelling emails so your audience trusts you and acts on your offers.

Here’s the anatomy of a great business email:

Element #1. An Optimized Sender Address

If you’re like most people you decide whether to open an email based on who it’s from alone. Many studies confirm that’s the number one factor people consider before opening or deleting an email.

Research from HubSpot revealed people open emails from people, not corporations.

Send as a person, not a company.

optimized sender HubSpot

Image via HubSpot

Sending emails as a person makes you relatable.

Element #2. A Captivating Subject line

A good compelling subject line is:

  • Clear not clever– in most cases, a simple and straightforward subject line works better than a cryptic and complicated one. Try to be too cute and people will give your email the cold shoulder.
  • Benefit-driven– people are always asking, “What’s in it for me?” Your subject line should show them how they’ll benefit from your message so they’re motivated to open your email.
  • Short not long-winded– these days, 66% of people open emails on space-starved mobile devices. A shorter subject line between 5-9 words stands a better chance of communicating your message fully before it gets truncated. If longer put the most important part of the message at the beginning.
  • Spam-free– if your subject has any spammy words, spam filters will nab it. Avoid common spam-trigger words like accept credit cards, marketing solutions act now, and big bucks.

Good subject lines ensure your small business marketing campaigns take off.

Element #3. An Irresistible Call To Action

Your call-to-action (CTA) is the specific action you want readers to take after reading your email.

Maybe you want them to:

  • Join your list.
  • Schedule a free strategy call.
  • Register for a webinar.
  • Download a resource.

Whatever your goal, your CTA is the bridge that takes them there.

An effective call to action should be:

  • Clear, so readers know exactly what to do.
  • Compelling, so readers itch to click it.
  • Visible, so readers don’t miss it.
  • Simple, so readers understand it without a struggle.
  • Active, so users become interested.
  • Repeated, so readers don’t look far to click it.

Good CTAs entice people to click-through to see your offers and continue on the buyer journey you have mapped out for them until they reach the finish line… your buy button.

Good CTAs entice people to click-through to see your offers and continue on the buyer journey you have mapped out for them until they reach the finish line... your buy buttonClick To Tweet

Below is a good example of an optimized email from Ahrefs.

optimized email Ahrefs

Brownie points for a simple conversational style.

#3. Social Media Marketing For Small Business: Mixing Business With Pleasure

Clever small business owners are on social media because of its wide reach.

social media reach for small business marketing

Build your social media presence on platforms where your prospects hang out. But don’t make the rookie mistake made by most business owners. Selling straight after connecting with someone.

That’s dumb. It’s like proposing marriage on the first date. 👎👎👎

Here’s what you should do instead if you want to win people’s hearts without coming across as a clueless brand.

  1. Show up– follow your prospects to their favorite channel whether it’s FB, WhatsApp or Instagram.
  2. Listen up– pay close attention to the conversation. Use social listening tools so you get alerted when someone mentions your brand and respond promptly.
  3. Speak up– make intelligent contributions and impress people with your deep insights. Provide value.
  4. Loosen up– do social media as a person, not a company. It’s social after all. Relax, stay clear of corporate speak and have some fun. You connect better with people.
  5. Divvy up– be generous and give of your time and expertise. Like and share other people’s stuff. They’ll reciprocate and remember you when they need help connected to your product or service.
  6. Set up shop– while social media is mainly for driving traffic to your site, you can still sell directly there depending on your product or service. However, serve more than you sell.

Follow these tips and sell on social media without sounding like a jerk.

When it comes to gaining followers fast, Twitter is the easiest free platform to jump on. You can also do paid social media ads. Of all the paid social media platforms Facebook gives you the best chance of success. Here’s a crash course on killing it with Facebook ads:

  • Define your goals– do you want downloads, likes, subscriptions, free trials, purchases or phone calls?
  • Narrow your target– the more you pin down your target audience, the higher your chances of success.
  • Create enough ads– start off with many ads, run them for a few days, and then whittle them down to 2-3 top performers and focus on those.
  • Test and tweak– test and improve every aspect of your ads: headline copy, images, descriptive text, CTA, posting time, target interests, and demographics.
  • Start with your fans– target existing fans who adore you and watch your click-throughs soar.
  • Direct traffic to a landing page– don’t kill conversions by taking the hard-won traffic to your home page. Take it to an optimized landing page instead for higher conversions.
  • Retarget non-buyers– retarget those who clicked on your ad but ended up not buying.

Sam Ovens built an 8-figure consulting business empire on the back of a powerful social media marketing strategy. He used Facebook ads like this one.

Sam Ovens Facebook ad for small business marketing

Image Via Drew Crawford

You too can make a killing through Facebook Ads.

4 Small Business Marketing Ideas For You To Try (The Last One Will Shock You)

Not sure how to promote your business?

Here are some creative ways to market your business.

Strategy #1. Get involved locally

Attend local networking events.

Be part of your local Chamber of Commerce chapter and be active in local business associations. And, if there’s a vibrant Business Network International (BIN) group near you, become an active member. You’ll soon see quality leads rolling in if you play your cards right.

Volunteer to be a backup speaker in some meetings. This’ll boost your brand’s authority.

Strategy #2. Give away swag items

In case you are wondering, swag means the stuff we all get.

It’s free company-branded items given away as a way of advertising. Entice your community with cool free branded items like rubberized sunglasses, custom pens and pencils, drawstring backpacks, lip balm, and hoodies — they’ll fall in love with your brand.

Would you forget a company that has given you a cool gift? I don’t think so?! Research confirms this.

benefits of using swag items in marketing

Image Via Inkwell Global Marketing

Swag items make people more likely to do business with you. Plus, they trigger reciprocity.

Strategy #3. Google AdWords

According to Net Marketshare Google owns 74.8% of the search engine market share. An easy way to win prospects over is targeting keywords related to your product or service through Google AdWords.

Here are some Google Ads tips to try:

  • Focus on a few keywords and balance between broad match keywords and exact match keywords.
  • Match the message of your ad with the message of your landing page. You’ll increase your click-through and conversion rates and reduce costs.
  • Leverage geo-targeting to see which area is performing best for you and double down on it. Use the dimensions tab to grab a report that analyzes your performance by country, region, or metro area.

Strategy #4. Direct Mail

Think direct mail is dead?

Think again, my friend.

Direct mail is alive and kicking. It can yield great results because nobody’s using it. Because they’re unique, direct mail packages bring a sense of surprise and intrigue. Above all, direct mail has a high response rate of 5% to 9% depending on the list you are sending to.

Types of mailers include postcards, oversized envelopes, catalogs, letter-sized, newsletter, and self-mailers.

To boost your chances of success:

  • Target precisely– since it’s easier for an existing customer to buy from you again, target them first. You’ll get repeat sales. Besides, marketing to your current customers is way cheaper than looking for new customers.
  • Test your offers– send an offer to a small portion of your list and see if the messaging resonates. Or send one type of offer to one group and another to a different one and see which one sticks.
  • Time mailings wisely– be sensitive to your list. Don’t bombard them with mail otherwise, you’ll put them off. Send rarely when you’ve got special offers.
  • Tidy up your offer– no matter the marketing channel, if your offer is flat, your campaign will be a dud. So make serious offers worthy of people’s investment.

Direct mail is an unusual way of marketing your products and services.

Make Money While You Catch Some Z’s: Small Business Marketing Automation Tips To Ramp Up Your Sales

Moving a person from doubtful prospect to delighted buying customer takes time and many repetitive tasks like:

  • Social media posting
  • Responding to email inquiries
  • Lead generation
  • Customers support
  • Appointment scheduling
  • Assigning leads to sales reps
  • Abandoned cart reminders
  • Event registration
  • Billing customers.

Doing all these tasks can be a full-time job.

Thankfully, there’s a way out — sales automation.

Sales automation is using software to computerize some business tasks that make up your sales process.

Automation saves time, improves productivity, and increases profits. A survey of SMBs by Get Response cited saving time as the number one benefit of marketing automation.

number one benefit of small business marketing automation

Here’s a simple 4-step guide to getting started with small business marketing automation:

  1. Study your current process

Start by testing what you are doing now.

Focus on activities around each of the four stages of the sales cycle — prospecting, qualifying, meeting, and closing. How effective is each activity and how long does it take to complete?

  1. Pick tasks you want to automate

You can’t put everything on auto-pilot.

Choose time-consuming and tedious tasks. They lend themselves well to being taken over by a machine.

  1. Choose the best automation tools

Once you know what you want to automate, research suitable tools.

Focus on those that cover the key touch points of your customer journey, are easy to use, and integrate with apps you are already using.

  1. Track results and perfect your process

Set targets, measure results, and optimize your process for the best output.

Here are some popular free or dirt-cheap automation tools to consider:

While automation is great, the human touch is critical.

It’s what distinguishes your brand and keeps customers coming back for more.

Become A Widely Popular Local Brand Until Customers Bang On Your Door In Search Of Your Product

That’d be great if you can pull it off, right?

Well, you can.

It’s possible to get more than enough customers by dominating local search engine results.

Wondering how?

By setting up and optimizing your Google My Business (GMB) listing.

Here’s how to nail your GMB listing in 5 simple steps.

#1. Include a cover photo and other photos

Google revealed businesses with photos on their listing get 42% more requests for driving directions to their location from users, and 35% more clicks through to their websites than businesses that don’t have photos.

These photos include:

  • Cover photo– gives prospects a visual summary of who you are and what you do. Since this is the first picture that appears on your listing, it plays an important part in your listing’s success.
  • Your logo– makes your brand stand out and be instantly recognizable.
  • Events photos– to woo potential customers display photos of business events or other exciting activities your company is doing.

#2. Polish up the descriptive summary

You have up to 150 words to summarize what your brand does under the cover photo.

Make the description simple, direct, sumptuous. Remember to include the keywords you want to rank for.

#3. Respond to customer reviews

Answering customer queries endears you to them. It shows you care.

Respond to all reviews. Don’t fear negative reviews.

According to a Review Trackers study, 45 percent of consumers say they’re more likely to visit a business if it responds to negative online reviews.

#4. Make sure your listing is thorough

To reap rewards ensure your listing is exhaustive.

The difference in conversions between a bare listing and a complete one is jaw-dropping.

advantages of detailed GMB listings in small business marketing

Image via Proceed Innovative

Cover all the bases. Fill in all the required info. You’ll see a hike in visitors and sales. Let’s say you are in New York and Google ‘best photo and video equipment store in New York’. These are the results you’ll get.

B and H optimized GMB listing

Who can miss this business?! It occupies a distinctive prime real estate at the top of the results. That’s the power of an optimized GMB listing.

#5. Share fresh content

Share new stuff about upcoming events and offers to keep prospects engaged.

Not only written content — short 30-second videos are also great for engagement.

Supercharge your listing’s powers by investing in ASAPmaps, a business listing optimization service. A Georgia Attorney saw amazing results by doing so.

Google My Business listing optimization tool

A return of $61,850 isn’t bad, hey?!

How Can I Market My Small Business For Free? (Or, Become A Self-confessed Penny Pincher)

Want to make big bucks on a small business marketing budget?

Here’s how.

Let’s run through 7 inexpensive marketing ideas for small businesses.

  1. Focus on inbound marketing– as noted earlier, inbound marketing is significantly cheaper than outbound marketing. It works for most sectors. By switching to inbound you’ll save and make more money.
  2. Dissect all your data– a careful and thorough analysis of customer data at your disposal will reveal trends about your customers’ needs and take the guesswork out of the equation. You’ll focus on the right channels, fine-tune your campaigns and drop ineffective strategies.
  3. Embrace marketing automation– gaining and keeping customers costs money, time, and effort. By using automation tools, you save on all three fronts. Automating some of your processes frees you to focus on important tasks such as closing sales.
  4. Ask for referrals– according to the Nielsen Global Trust in Advertising Report, 83% of people trust the recommendations of friends and family when making a buying decision. Leads generated from referrals convert 4x better than marketing leads.power of referrals as a marketing strategyDevelop a system of asking for referrals from current customers. You’ll get the best marketing qualified leads (MQL) for free.
  5. Take advantage of free tools– can you market your business for free? Yes, you can! You’ll be surprised how many awesome free but effective marketing tools are out there. They’re handy for businesses with simple straightforward needs.
  6. Hang around forums and groups– get good leads from niche forums and groups. It costs nothing but your time. However, don’t rush to ask for business straightaway. Contribute to the conversation, answer questions, and become known as a value-provider first.
  7. Build a remote team– typically, creating a remote team of workers is cheaper than in-house one. Because you don’t have to rent a large office or pay health benefits, you cut down costs. Yes, working remotely has its challenges but if you pick the right people and the right communication and collaboration tools, it can work well. Even if you don’t build a fully remote team, you can still outsource specific tasks and save big.

These cost-cutting tactics are easy on the pocket but still pack a big punch that’ll leave a positive dent on your bottom line.

How To Market Your Business Online

If you are an SMB owner online’s the place to be.

Why?

Two reasons.

First, that’s where your customers are. Your next customer is probably searching for you on Google as we speak.

Second, online marketing will save you gobs of cash. Offline cost per leads (CPLs) range between $300 and $500. Online CPLs are significantly lower, which is good news if you’re a cash-starved business. Survey Anyplace provides a useful comparison of online CPL according to the channel.

cost per lead by channel breakdown

As you can see the most expensive online channel is 4x cheaper than the cheapest offline channel.

But being online isn’t enough. You’ve got to latch onto what’s working now and the foreseeable future. Four small business marketing trends stand out today:

#1. In-depth personalized content

Thin generalized content doesn’t cut it anymore.

The content bar is now high.

People are particular about the quality of the content they consume.

Thin generalized content doesn’t cut it anymore- people are now particular about the quality of the content they consume.Click To Tweet

They want solid exhaustive content that answers most of their questions. Where you could get by with a rehashed 700-word me-too post, you now need a massively detailed 3000-word guide. But how do you ensure you give your audience exactly what they want?

Here’s how to discover your readers’ needs:

  • Note frequently asked questions on your help desk or from your sales team.
  • Spy on your ideal customers in forums and social media and hear their frustrations, preferences, and desires.
  • Scour comments of popular posts in niche sites to find content gaps you can fill.

#2. Hop on the unstoppable video steam train

Video content is hot right now.

From ephemeral videos to live videos, people are gobbling up video content.

A Content Trends Survey by HubSpot showed 62% of people pay close attention to videos and skim other types of content.

rise of video content

Not only are people watching plenty of videos, but they also want to see more video content according to the same survey.

What type of videos should you consider using?

  • Testimonials Videos– capture satisfied customers raving about your product or service. Up to 92% of consumers now check online reviews and testimonials when considering a purchase. Build trust and close more sales through testimonial videos.
  • Events Videos– sharing your special events generates buzz around your brand. It’s a fun and engaging way of telling your community about who you are and what you do. Share exciting clips of your events on Facebook or on your GMB listing.
  • Explainer Videos– an easy way of generating quality leads is posting explainer videos on your online channels. Come up with a short 5-minute step-by-step video explaining how to do something. If you are the roofing business, you could do a video titled ‘How To Spot A Failing Roof. These simple how-to videos are hugely popular and regularly cross 1 million views on YouTube.
  • Product Review Videos– nothing beats review video in showcasing the benefits of your product or showing its superiority over the competition. However, use regular language, not jargon otherwise you’ll speak above people’s heads.

Well-done relevant videos are hard-to-ignore. They’ll give you a lot of marketing mileage.

#3. Optimize your content for voice search

Google reports that by 2020 more than half the searches will be through voice.

Voice search is not the future of digital marketing it’s already here — 65% of 25-49-year-olds speak to their voice-enabled devices at least once a day.

For your brand’s content to be findable when people speak to their devices you have to:

  • Write conversationally– by writing as if you are speaking your content is more likely to show up in search engines.
  • Optimize for mobile– most voice searches happen on-the-move on mobile devices.
  • Create question-based content– a good number of voice searches are question-based. Create a detailed FAQ page on your site and write blog posts that answer readers’ questions.
  • Lean towards long-form content– research by Backlinko suggests Google prefers longer content when generating voice search results.
  • Keep it simple– avoid gobbledygook and jargon… that’s not how ordinary folks speak.
  • Optimize for local SEO– up to 82% of all mobile search is local so by adapting your content for local SEO you boost your chances of appearing in voice searches.
  • Include long-tail keywords– since voice queries are longer sprinkling long-tail keywords makes your content voice-ready.

#4. Merge online tactics and offline tactics

The line between online and offline marketing has become blurred.

People can start their buyer journey on an offline channel and end it on an online channel and vice versa. Strive to give them a unified and seamless experience no matter where they reach out.

The line between online & offline marketing has become blurred. People can start their buyer journey on an offline channel and end it on an online channel and vice versa. Strive to give them a unified and seamless experience no matter where they reach out.Click To Tweet

Embrace innovation in your brick and mortar store.

  • Optimize for near-me searches so you get people off the sidewalk into your store.
  • Use location data to craft real-time mobile ads that compliment your traditional ads.
  • Build augmented reality apps that show people how your product would look like inside their homes or offices.
  • Use voice-activated devices to take simple orders.

Family-run business Concord Pet Food in Wilmington Delaware grew to 30 brick-and-mortar stores partly by launching an e-commerce site to complement their physical stores.

website Concord Pet Foods

In 2018 they made $20,000 from their first Cyber Monday sale. Not a bad start if you ask me.

You must be wondering. How do I keep tabs on all these moving pieces?

The Secret To Keeping Your Marketing Engine Sleek And Firing Perfectly Always

We live in a data-driven world

Old-fashioned marketing is dead. You don’t have to wait for months to know the results of a marketing campaign.

Old-fashioned marketing is dead. You don’t have to wait for months to know the results of a marketing campaignClick To Tweet

Every aspect of marketing is now measurable. You can know in a matter of minutes or hours how a campaign is doing and fine-tune things as you move along.

You have so much data at your disposal.

  • Social media stats.
  • Website stats.
  • Email stats.
  • Third party stats.
  • Campaign stats.

So pivotal is data in marketing today that one survey of over 600 marketing leaders across industries in North America and the U.K. revealed marketing technology budget was higher than labor costs.
small business martec budget allocation

It all boils down to this: data is the lifeblood of modern business.

Use data insights to hyper-target your customers and serve them better.

Bye Small Business Marketing Blues: It’s Time To Bloom Like Never Before

Listen: there’s no need for you to feel overwhelmed anymore. No reason to be submerged by a deluge of marketing duties.

Get a grip. You’ve got this.

By using the innovative small business marketing strategies we’ve highlighted, your company will thrive sooner than you think.

Imagine this.

Your pipeline — filled to the brim.

Your inquiries and sales — ever rising.

Your cash register — ringing nonstop.

Your brand — celebrated everywhere.

Your competitors — stumped beyond words.

Your feelings — thrilled to bits.

Yes, it’s possible. With the right marketing mix and some elbow grease, you can do it. You can achieve your business goals beyond your wildest dreams and leave competitors green-eyed.

Are you ready for a total turnaround in your business?

Then go do your thing. Knock em dead.