For the small business entrepreneur, building your business can be a dauntless endeavor, as well as expensive. You are challenged with possessing little capital face stiff competition as well as operate in a seemingly beleaguered economy. Developing a earned media plan and strategy must become a top priority within your overall business plan for you to succeed.
In a blog post titled, 7 Hot Trends for Small Business in 2013, Barry Moltz shared this crucial observation:
“Earned media is what counts. Expensive paid advertising no longer attracts the most customers. Earned media like online reviews and referrals are the key part of the customer’s buying process. The opportunity: Forget one-off advertisement placements and instead invest in a long-term strategy of building a community of supporters who talk about the company’s products online.”
Any small business entrepreneur must begin their earned media with their own personal or company blog. This is the part of the media that you can control and build from creatively and consistently. A couple of days ago I posted on how a small businesses can market effectively with a blog. Your blog can be imbedded with all types of media, such as video, podcasts, photos and charts. Content marketing is what you want to engage in on a routine basis. Here is some research from Content Marketing Institute and MarketingProfs with the latest findings concerning content marketing:
- 91% of B2B marketers are now using content marketing.
- 79% use content marketing for brand awareness, 74% for customer acquisition and 71% for lead generation.
- On average, B2B marketers are spending 33% of their marketing budgets on content marketing, which is up from 26% last year.
- 54% plan to increase their content marketing spending in 2013.
- Large companies use an average of 18 content marketing tactics while small companies use an average of 11 tactics.
Some highly intelligent chaps at MIT have been studying this phenomenon of why something goes viral in the marketing world. They claim that content is shared (and therefore Media is Earned) because of three main factors relating to the dynamics of groups.
- To bolster camaraderie and articulate their shared experiences and values that identify oneself as belonging to a particular community.
- To gather information and explain hard to understand events or circumstances.
- To establish the boundaries of an “in-group”.
As a small business entrepreneur you can take inexpensive and proactive actions, via your blog, to develop effective content marketing. Connecting with potential clients and like-minded communities and bloggers, you can get your ideas and message to spread rapidly.