We’ve been working a lot lately on a list of necessary steps to take with your online content. As we compiled the list, it became clear that this would make a very helpful checklist for small- or medium-sized businesses. As you’ll see, not a lot of detail, but a great list to check against.
If you see any additional ones to add to the list or other helpful links, please comment below.
- Fresh Web Content. A minimum two times a week, update your site with fresh, relevant content for your customers. An easy-to-use content management system like WordPress will help.
- Hire a Journalist. If you don’t have the resources to consistently develop content, hire a journalist or outsource your content to an expert content team.
- Install Google Analytics. Many small businesses have a website but aren’t paying attention to who’s coming to the site and how they are getting there. Use analytics information to find out more about your customers and how you can solve their pain points.
- Set Up RSS Feeds for Your Content. Google’s Feedburner or Feedblitz will work just fine.
- Start a Blog. Starting a blog may be the key to your program. Post at least twice a week and talk about what is going on in your industry. A blog should not be promotional at all. When done right, you will position yourself and your company as a thought leader.
- Comment on Blogs. Find the 15 to 20 best blogs that you feel attract your typical customer and post at least once a week.
- Site News Section. Develop a news section within your site. Keep it updated each month. For a more robust option, check out HP’s newsroom.
- Regular Online News Releases. Plan for at least one “online news release” per month. This could promote the eBook, fresh content, events, new promotions, etc. As long as it’s valuable, you can promote it. Here is an example.
- Develop an Enewsletter. Developing an outbound communications tool is critical to maintain and grow relationships with customers, and will faciliate spreading your content. Be sure your newsletter is “opt-in” (they gave you permission).
- The Free Content Giveaway. Create an eBook as a packaged content download for your customers and prospects. If you need your customer information (leads), you may opt to ask for basic information before download. If you want your content to spread and be shared, set it free. Here is a great discussion about “gated” content. Some excellent eBook examples are David Meerman Scott’s “New Rules” and our “Trust” eBook.
- Twitter Tips. Instead of creating a Twitter account that is all about you, think of your Twitter account as a channel. Determine what your ideal customer pain points are, and then deliver content through your Twitter channel that they would benefit from. Use Twitterfeed to automate your RSS feeds from your blog or web articles. Use Tweetdeck to manage your Twitter conversation. Here’s a Twitter primer to get you started.
- A Facebook movement. Instead of creating a Facebook fan page for your company, create a movement or cause. I thought Shama Hyder did a great job of this with her ACT Blueprint.
- Set Up Your Company in LinkedIn and Maximize Your Profile. PR 20/20 has an excellent post that will get your LinkedIn profile into shape.
- Pay Attention to Your Google Profile. Here’s a step-by-step to setting up your Google profile.
- Listen and Learn. Set up your Google Alerts account to track what customers are saying about you, your brands and the keywords that drive your business. Here’s a quick how-to on Google Alerts.
Just a reminder…these are all tactics to use as part of your content strategy. Determine your content strategy first, then use these steps to execute that strategy.
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