As an entrepreneur, the art of marketing is at the forefront of your strategy. To grow, you need to employ thorough marketing tactics towards the right consumers. And in today’s business world, there’s a wealth of information at your fingertips. Visit your local bookstore, and there are likely shelves upon shelves of marketing advice. A simple search online will yield millions of results. But with a wide breadth of resources, it can be difficult for entrepreneurs to navigate.
For this reason, biographies and how-tos are popular in the business world. Business owners want to hear advice from people who have been there and done that. They want to learn more about the tried-and-true methods of the successful. Here, we’ve broken down advice from several sources into a simple-to-read blog post. Use this as a starting point, and branch out from here as you expand your knowledge in different marketing areas.
Deliver Valuable, SEO-Rich Content
Every business owner needs to have a blog, regardless of industry. Your content is also your product, and it too has a user experience.
Google’s John Mueller said, “I see lots and lots of SEO blogs talking about user experience, which I think is a great thing to focus on as well. Because that essentially kind of focuses on what we are trying to look at as well. We want to rank content that is useful for them (Google Search users) and if your content is really useful for them, then we want to rank it.”
On the official Google blog, the team went on to describe what it means to be useful to readers. And studies have found that, on average, businesses with blogs tend to have 434% more indexed pages. This means that search engines have a much larger volume of content to crawl when you have a blog, and understands that your pages are delivering what users want.
Unfortunately, some industries may have a harder time than others. For example, let’s say you work in the professional services industry and recently opened a legal practice. You may feel limited in your scope for creating engaging blog posts, but with the right research and resources, you can seamlessly abide by Google’s rules to deliver the most useful content. You might also consider working with an SEO agency like Elite Legal Marketing, which specializes in optimizing SEO for legal businesses. In many cases, working with a niche agency can help leverage SEO knowledge that relates more accurately to your specific industry.
Outsource Where Possible
Speaking of blogs, who’s writing all that SEO-rich copy? If you’re not well-versed on the craft of writing, it might be in your best interest to outsource to a freelancer who is skilled in areas you lack. The same strategy applies to graphic design, website design, SEO, social media, and many other facets of marketing. Outsourcing gives you an opportunity to build meaningful areas of your business without forking over a full-time salary and covers all the other associated costs that come with hiring employees. If you’re just starting out, the flexibility can be very attractive.
Renee Warren, CEO and Co-Founder of Onboardly, explains how she built a profitable company helping startups grow by outsourcing a huge chunk of their early responsibilities. She says, “Using marketplaces like Clarity.fm, 99designs, and [UpWork] we got expert advice (using Clarity.fm), created affordable prototypes [UpWork] and branding (using 99designs) and just focused on creating as much value as possible.”
Many people who don’t fully understand the outsourcing concept believe that it’s just a short-cut to getting cheap, low-value work done quickly, but this isn’t the case. Entrepreneurs and marketing gurus like Tim Ferris praise the pros of outsourcing for their tremendous benefits. Why limit yourself to stateside talent? Or huge, costly marketing companies? What’s more is that freelancers usually work on platforms that keep contracts fair and in good standing, giving both the employee and the employer peace of mind during every outsourced transaction.
Daniel Kempe is the Founder of Quuu.co, says, “Build strong routes to market early on, and where possible look to form ‘contra-deals’ with influential people and companies where you can each benefit from working together.”
According to Kempe, this strategy led him to a partnership with Buffer, where he was able to leverage their company’s existing user base of 2.7 million.
As a business, you should be looking for similar ways to market other types of users that fall within your target. Keep in mind that you don’t have to have as many users as the business you’re partnering with. Quuu didn’t have nearly as many users as Buffer, but were able to offer the company value in other ways.
For example, let’s say you just launched a line of organic, homemade tea bags. You might partner with a lifestyle or health blogger to help spread the word. You could offer the blogger free product to include in their contest, which would reach their thousands of subscribers. Similarly, you may partner with someone where the exchange is even. For instance, if you’re a web designer, might partner with a business who has another skill, such as search engine optimization.