Every week as SmallBizLady, I conduct interviews with experts on my Twitter talk show #SmallBizChat. The show takes place every Wednesday on Twitter from 8-9 pm ET. This is excerpted from my recent interview with Phil Gerbyshak @PhilGerb.
Phil Gerbyshak is a speaker who never holds a back and leaves it all on the stage, energizing and inspiring audiences to take action immediately. He is a highly respected speaker, trainer and coach. Phil works with small businesses to build more leads, have more qualified sales conversations and close more business.
SmallBizLady: Does every small business really need to be content marketing?
Phil Gerbyshak: Every business IS content marketing, whether they realize it or not. Saying nothing says a lot about your business.
What does that mean? It means that customers and prospects are looking for your information and more importantly, the solutions to their problems.
You can either create content that helps them solve their problems, you can share content that helps them solve their problems, or they will go somewhere else for the answer to their problems.
SmallBizLady: What are the various types of content marketing that small businesses should do?
Phil Gerbyshak: Video – long form and short form. Longer form content could be in the form of an instructional video or information on how to use or do a product or service for themselves.
You could also interview customers or suppliers or partners in your industry or community.
Shorter form videos can be quick tips, short insights, behind the scenes looks, funny memes or other high value high entertainment clips.
Audio – audio can be podcasts, shows on location, interviews or times when you are interviewed. Anything you can do on video that doesn’t need video is good for audio.
Images – memes, employee photos, in action shots, product or location pictures, before & after or text graphics can be good images.
Text – Anything from an inspirational quote to a written testimonial to a quick tip to a short story to an ebook to an article or an encyclopedia could be effective.
Curated content from others – do you read the morning paper, blogs, listen to the radio, watch tv, read magazines, listen to or read books? Share the insights!
SmallBizLady: What do we do if we don’t want to be in front of the camera in videos?
Phil Gerbyshak: Get over it! You are the face of your business!
If you really don’t want to be in your videos you can hire a college student or actor to “be you”
You can also take a picture or power point and talk over it.
Do your best to actually show up every now and then in your videos and let people connect with you. Even my most camera-shy clients have eventually gotten comfortable on video.
SmallBizLady: How can small businesses use video to promote their small business with a limited budget?
Phil Gerbyshak: Use the equipment you already have. Do you have a smart phone? You already have a terrific video camera. Use it!
You will want to get a good microphone. Investing $20 in a clip-on microphone on Amazon.com will make you sound 10 times better.
Use the PSA method to story board your video.
P= powerful point. What is the point of your video? What question will you answer? Lead with it.
S= story or specifics. Do you have a story to back up your point? Tell it! Do you have a specific example? Share it!
A= action. What do you want people to do as a result of your point or story? Tell them.
Bonus: give them hope by telling them what they accomplish as the result of them taking the action.
SmallBizLady: After a small business makes a video, how else can that be used for content marketing?
Phil Gerbyshak: First, extract the mp3 and turn it into a podcast. That means taking the audio and turning it into something people only listen to.
Second, transcribe the video into text. If it’s long it could be an ebook or series of articles. If it’s shorter it can be an article.
Cut up the answers to the questions for individual tips videos. You can use these to tease your audience to get them to download the longer video or interview to get them to opt in to your email newsletter.
Lastly, share pieces of it in text or graphic form across your social channels.
For those with physical locations, you may wish to play the video in the waiting room or other customer facing areas.
SmallBizLady: What are some of the most common content marketing mistakes small businesses make?
Phil Gerbyshak: Not reusing your content in multiple forms. See previous question and answer for suggestions.
Content focused on your needs as a business owner instead of customer’s needs.
Not responding to the content after it’s posted. Less than 1% of people take the time to comment on any content. Ignoring those 1% can make the content you created get even less to comment.
Not sharing evergreen content over and over again. Each piece of content – if you don’t pay for advertising – will get seen by less than 8% of your audience. That means it could take 12 or more shares to reach everyone.
Not paying any money to advertise your best content – if you take the time and money to create something fantastic, spend a few ($5-$50) to sponsor your best content so more see and share it.
SmallBizLady: What are some tools for do it yourself content marketing?
Phil Gerbyshak: Video: Adobe Spark and Apple Clips are great video tools. YouTube has terrific video editing tools built in too.
Audio: Anchor is a free way to get your audio out there if it’s short. Use Libsyn for longer and more recurring audio insights. With some work, you can also use YouTube to host an image and your audio as a video.
Images: I like Canva.com a lot for images. There are many, many templates to choose and it is easy to use. It also is widely used so you’ll want to try other tools too.
I like WordSwag for text overlay images.
And Cropic for cropping pictures and doing a little different text editing.
Text: Get your audio and video quickly and inexpensively transcribed at http://Otter.AI (about 94% accurate) or use Rev.com for $1 per minute at 99% accuracy.
SmallBizLady: What are some tools if you don’t want to do it yourself to effectively content market?
Phil Gerbyshak: You can get an article written for a fair price at http://textbroker.com or invest more at http://expresswriters.com You can also hire a writer using http://Odesk.com or even see if an intern is available at the local high school or college.
For video and image content, I recommend using http://Fiverr.com for one off content, http://DesignPickle.com for multiple images a month, and hiring a designer using http://Odesk.com, a virtual assistant or someone from your local area to keep up with many images a month.
A virtual assistant can often do many of these items for you too, but make sure you are hiring someone who has a voice aligned with your brand.
SmallBizLady: How can we measure if our content marketing efforts are effective?
Phil Gerbyshak: Starting from zero means measuring and revising everything. Subscribers to your newsletter, YouTube or podcast channel. Followers on various social media channels where you distribute your content.
Next, make sure you know what a “quality subscriber” means to you. What characteristics do they have (location, job title, company, other demographic info)? Start counting these to your total – and put these prospects into your CRM.
From there, it’s time to start measuring interest. You can do this by measuring interactions, email opens and direct contact with you or your business.
Finally, it’s about measuring quality appointments and conversions to business.
SmallBizLady: If small businesses were going to start with just a few things for content marketing, what would they be?
Phil Gerbyshak: Start with a website. Add an opt in form. Create as many videos as you can and create a YouTube channel. Put those videos on your website. Transcribe those to articles. Send out a monthly or bi-monthly educational newsletter.
SmallBizLady: Who are some people we should learn from to improve at content marketing for our small business?
Phil Gerbyshak: Jay Baer is my favorite content marketer. I learn a ton from everything he does.
Ann Handley is my favorite writing first human. She’s funny, she’s insightful, and her teachings don’t hurt (much).
For video first content, I recommend Owen Video Hemsath. He’s entertaining and instructive.
For audio first content, look to Jon Lee Dumas of EOFire.com and Jordan Harbinger.
Neil Patel is also very helpful for content marketing and more: https://neilpatel.com/blog
SmallBizLady: What are some good resources for content marketing?
Phil Gerbyshak: For graphics and images, here’s a list of 50 sites to inspire you: https://www.creativeboom.com/inspiration/50-of-the-best-blogs-for-graphic-design-inspiration
No list of great content marketing is complete without the Content Marketing Institute: https://contentmarketinginstitute.com/blog
If you found this interview helpful, join us on Wednesdays 8-9 pm ET; follow @SmallBizChat on Twitter.
Here’s how to participate in #SmallBizChat: http://bit.ly/1hZeIlz
For more tips on how to start or grow your small business subscribe to Melinda Emerson’s blog http://www.succeedasyourownboss.com.