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5 Small Businesses That Commonly Neglect Content Marketing
By Phillip Thune, Textbroker
The following five businesses tend to be run by busy people with little time to spare for the indispensable task of drawing new customers into the fold and building loyalty among existing customers. They can benefit more than most other businesses by boosting their long-term profit outlook with a smart content marketing campaign that takes advantage of state-of-the-art online visibility techniques.
Independent Financial Consultant
- An independent financial consultant can build credibility and capture the attention of prospective customers by blogging periodically about common topics such as earning more money, ethically reducing taxes on those earnings and socking away what's left for maximum returns. It might seem at first that this consultant is giving away professional advice without compensation, but people who routinely handle their own financial affairs would have found similar advice elsewhere anyway, and people who prefer hand-holding will probably read the free advice carefully and then nonetheless request expert assistance with navigating the perilous seas of financial management. Even self-reliant website visitors who devour the free advice and then silently depart may later refer the consultant's friendly services to buddies, family members and business associates. Positive word of mouth is a powerful thing.
- A neighborhood bakery can often attract more local business by regularly posting fun articles on great bakeries around the world, recipes for terrific homemade cupcakes and other baking-related topics. Writing enthusiastically about remote bakeries that don't cater in any case to neighborhood customers is crazy like a fox because it shows that the owners aren't shy about acknowledging the unusual skills of nominal competitors, which speaks well of the owners' confidence in their own skills. Similarly, posting gorgeously illustrated recipes for delicious homemade bakery products won't hurt business at all because customers who want to bake for themselves will do so anyway, and others will think that they can buy those tasty bakery products at the sponsoring bakery. It's a win-win situation. Experienced marketers can doubtless dream up other ways to create positive vibes without inadvertently helping direct competitors or discouraging repeat purchases.
- A plumbing firm can attract favorable attention from local prospects by systematically posting useful tutorials on fixing many common residential and commercial plumbing problems, which naturally include lists of the required tools and materials in addition to polite warnings about the disasters that can result from botching the job. These tutorials should be upbeat and positive, appearing in website pages with sidebars that offer professional services from the sponsoring business to fix those same problems. Freely sharing knowledge in a friendly way can only increase goodwill, and most people don't have the tools or inclination for anything but the simplest repairs. Even customers who own many tools may not have every tool required or want the hassle of dragging a dead rat from the bowels of a clogged drain, preferring instead to work on their own projects while the poor plumber is cleaning up the frightful mess in the bathroom or kitchen.
- A licensed electrician might choose to regularly post interesting articles about beautiful outdoor lighting systems, advanced but affordable home security systems and other topics of interest to residential customers. Another part of the same website might host highly readable articles on commercial wiring systems, attracting attention from small retail stores, boutique machine shops and other potential customers. Safety and liability issues surrounding electrical work forbid do-it-yourself tutorials, but articles on consumer items such as LED lightbulbs should fall on safe ground.
Independent Law Practice
- An independent law practice can thoughtfully describe common scenarios in probate, criminal defense and consumer tort cases with free advice on avoiding serious mistakes. Practicing law is complicated enough even for trained lawyers, and the great majority of laypeople appreciate plain language that tells them much of what they want to know about a specific area of law. Simply showing this sort of respect for the needs of laypeople will build goodwill and a community reputation for being able to explain complex issues in plain English. Even purely informational articles with no explicit calls to action should be placed on website pages with clickable leads to professional services from the sponsoring law firm.
At first glance, content creation may seem like a small piece in the small business owner’s much larger puzzle. However, the distribution of branded content has the potential to generate limitless revenue through brand awareness, internal linking and social capital.
Phillip Thune has been Chief Executive Officer of Textbroker since 2010. Through his leadership and expertise in business and content marketing practices, Textbroker continues to grow dramatically and remain the leading provider of on-demand, unique written content.
Textbroker can be found on twitter at @TextBroker.
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