For all the talk nowadays about Big Business™, the truth is that small businesses still make up about half of the American GDP, not to mention the lion’s share of U.S. jobs. As an SBO (Small Business Owner), there may be times you feel like the guppy in the shark tank — but that doesn’t mean you can’t compete and thrive in your industry.

If you’re thinking of putting a toe into the world of digital marketing, producing and promoting content can be great for spreading awareness of your brand. You don’t need deep pockets to create successful content, either: loads of SBOs have created content campaigns that grew their brand and swelled their customer base.

Wondering how to jump in? Check out these content strategies you can start working on today to put your name out there, build your reputation, and get your phones ringing.

#1. Start a Blog: And Make It For the Reader

Today, more and more SBOs are blogging, and for good reason. Setting up a blog and updating it regularly is an awesome way of letting Google know your website is active, which can increase your Page Rank and help you get into local search results.

However, a blog can do even more than that. By crafting a blog that engages readers, answers their questions, and gives them valuable information (for free!), you can actually gain a substantial number of monthly readers, giving your website’s Page Rank and Domain Authority a huge boost.
A true story to illustrate:

Our team works with an AC repairman whom we’ll call Steve. Steve has a blog on his business’s website, and one month we decided to collaborate on a piece titled, “Why Does My Air Conditioner Smell Bad?” Although his blog’s readership had once been rather modest, this particular piece went viral, netting thousands of viewers a month and giving his website traffic and Google search ranking a huge leg up.

Apparently, having mold in your AC can give it a funny stench, making “why does my AC smell bad?” a natural thing for a concerned homeowner to type into their phone. Because the blog was written with the audience’s user experience in mind, it became a hit, showcasing the power of helpful blog content.

#2. Reach Out to Customers on Google My Business

Have you ever seen a Google My Business page filled with both compliments and complaints, but with no responses from the owner? Yeah, so have we.

Being active on GMB is critical for both bulletproof customer service and solid SEO. From the service side, directly responding to customers’ messages and concerns is an amazing way to reach out directly to your audience, show off your expertise by posting fresh content, and demonstrate how much you care for your customers by addressing their concerns.

From an SEO perspective, Google loves seeing activity on a business’s GMB, so keeping it up-to-date can go a long way as far as getting into business search results.

#3. Respond to Questions on Q&A Forums

Online Question & Answer forums such as Quora, Yahoo! Answers, and Reddit are often untapped sources for content writing and audience outreach.

For example, let’s say Robin the Lawyer is brainstorming content campaign ideas for her Philadelphia law firm. Being knowledgeable in her field and an ace writer, Robin could easily go onto a forum such as Quora, answer legal queries from Philly residents, and quietly promote her law firm in the process by offering a link to her website.

(Note: backlinks from such forums are typically rel=“nofollow” by Google, so this is more about getting potential clients to your site than getting backlinks).

Shameless plug: Here at 1SEO, we actually use a paid tool which, among other things, can give you a list of questions within minutes that folks are asking on Q&A forums that are relevant to your industry and to keywords you’d like to rank for. Pretty nifty, huh?

#4. Buddy Up with Other Bloggers

If you’re already producing A+ content with plenty of breadth and depth, don’t hesitate to promote it by sharing it with other bloggers in your vertical. Doing so is fantastic for spreading awareness of your brand, not to mention getting backlinks from high-ranking industry websites and boosting your site’s authority and trust.

As an example, let’s say you run a healthcare facility, and you produce an in-depth article for your blog on a very specific, niche topic that requires a heavy dose of expertise. Courteously reaching out to an online writer in your field and offering your article as a guest post can be a potential gold mine for exposure and backlinks from an authority in your industry.

#5. Venture into Videos

When we talk about “content,” we don’t just mean writing. If you’re in a field that’s very hands-on, like plumbing, cooking, or auto repair, producing how-to videos could really help you hit the nail on the head. Many SBOs in the trades have discovered a lot of success in creating DIY videos that walk audiences through the steps of how to build, repair, or replace whatever it is they’re working with, ballooning their audience base for just the cost of a good video team.

Do you have your own ideas for content strategies that you’ve been sitting on for a while? Give Philadelphia’s digital marketing ninjas a call today and tell us all about it!