Every blog comes in a different flavor. When I first started reading blogs I wasn’t looking for marketing news or business tips. I was mostly reading articles about DIY home decor, traveling, and fashion. Yet, the women responsible for these blogs are the ones who gave me my first taste of some basics behind inbound marketing.
They had their specific niche, and as girly as it may have been they did not forget to include marketing tips (go figure). I have since realized that you can get a lot of valuable information from sources you never imagined. Thus, I feel no shame in having learned some amazing small business marketing ideas from women who know the best ways to cook my favorite recipes, and the best way to layout a blog post.
Here are a few core marketing ideas I learned…
Be passionate, optimistic, and committed to your business
These three things I learned first from my father, a small business owner himself, but was inspired again in the beginning of my marketing journey by Rachel MacDonald from In Spaces Between.
Why is this a marketing tip? Because passion, optimism, and committment will take you a long way in your marketing endeavors regardless of what you know now, how much money you have for marketing, or the people in your network. These driving forces are what gets you up in the morning to work on that next blog post, create another landing page, or learn how to analyze your marketing efforts.
How can each of these things directly affect your marketing efforts?
- Passion affects a lot of things, but more directly the depth of value you are willing to offer, how excited you are to delight your customers, and the space you give to innovation. I think about Steve Jobs and his unrelenting passion to make Apple Inc. the best it could be by creating top-notch products, and marketing them in such a way to expose the value that they offered. Passion is the heart behind all of the marketing mechanics.
- Optimism affects the entire way you view the marketing journey. Most likely you won’t see the results you want right away. Being optimistic will keep the smile on your face even when the data coming in isn’t what you would like it to be. Plus, you will look at new tasks and goals as attainable, no matter how big.
- Commitment is the what keeps the fire of your passion and optimism burning day in and day out. It brings out the consistency of all your efforts. Whether it is making sure to blog at least twice a week, staying on top of your emails, or being engaged with your followers on social media.
Passion, optimism, and commitment fuel every aspect of your marketing campaign.
Know who you are marketing to
Before I knew what a Buyer Persona was I knew based off my favorite lifestyle blogs that it is hugely important to all aspects of marketing to know who your ideal prospects are in order to tailor your messaging to attract them to your site. It is more advantageous to market to those who already have an interest in your area of expertise then to those who could care less. Find out their pain points, their goals, and their habits.
Always look for ways to add value
While I mentioned it above, it is worth bringing out by itself. Rachel from In Spaces Between asks herself the question “how can I be useful?” and in this marketing age where it is so important to pose yourself as a thought leader this is the best question you can ask. Finding out what your customers are struggling with, and ways you can offer help will not only force you to become the best at what you do, but will show off that expertise, and give them a reason to consider buying your product or service. You can give your customers value in several different ways, but the best way is to create killer content on your website. Here are a few options:
- Blog posts
- White papers
Always be on the lookout for how you can answer a question your customers may have, or fix a problem they are dealing with in a way that makes sense for your customer. Several lifestyle bloggers even give eClasses about the topics they cover most, which could be an option for your business as well. Remember, that if they can make money from the content they create through their blog you can too.
Find creative ways to make a unique user experience
One thing I love the most about lifestyle blogs is the amount of creativity they put into their sites, and the love they have for sharing ways to do that with their readers. The same amount of creativity can be used for any website in any industry or size of business. You could be marketing software, construction equipment, or medical supplies and still be creative and artistic. The goal is to create a fun and consistent user experience for your customers by making them feel that they are being connected to real people who care about their needs. Here are a few tips:
- Tell your story or your company’s story in an “About” section that is personal and compelling.
- If you have multiple contributors to your blog make sure there are relevant, and interesting personal details in their description.
- Make your blog stand out by creating an easy to read, but interesting layout.
- Be creative with typography. Use fonts that speak to who you are as a company.
- Create a logo that is consistent with your brand, but is up to date and eye catching.
Your visitors will want to spend more time on your website if they enjoy the experience they have there. Learning new ways to do this, and expanding the resources you use for sparking good ideas is key to being cutting edge in your marketing efforts. You may find golden nuggets in places you never imagined.