Overwhelming, isn’t it?
I’m talking about the number of tasks you must handle in just one day as a small business owner. Chances are, you’re overseeing multiple departments at your company, and it can be stressful to manage everything at once.
But wait a second – what if you’re prioritizing all of the wrong tasks? What if you’re focusing too much on smaller, “urgent-but-not-important tasks” when you should be focusing on the bigger, more impactful tasks that will actually help power your business forward?
If that’s the case, you’re not alone. It’s easy to get caught up in the day-to-day grind of owning a small business and neglect the important tasks that don’t seem quite as urgent. But don’t let that happen – instead, add these 3 tasks to your to-do list today:
1. Prioritizing content marketing
These days, just about every small business produces online content. In fact, 94% of businesses with fewer than 99 employees use some form of content marketing.
But guess what?
According to Content Marketing Institute, only 48% of B2B small business marketers have a documented strategy. That means the other 52% are probably just throwing around content that they think might work, hoping for the best.
Here are the challenges B2B small business marketers are facing that are hindering them from reaching their content marketing goals:
And B2C small businesses are even worse off, with only 37% of them having a documented content marketing strategy. Here are their top challenges:
These challenges, paired with a lack of strategy, are a major problem for small businesses. That’s because trying to execute content marketing with no documented strategy usually just results in wasted time and money and a low return on investment.
So, don’t waste your resources by being aimless with your content marketing efforts. Instead, take the time to come up with a research-based content marketing strategy and document it.
But maybe you’re hesitant to do so because you’re facing some challenges of you own that are hindering you from successfully creating and executing a content marketing strategy. Here are a few of those challenges and some tips on how to overcome them:
- Lack of time to produce content – It’s understandable that you’re busy, but are you ever really too busy to invest in something that can make a massive difference in the profitability of your business? Try to see content marketing for what it is – something that can help you connect with your target audience and boost your sales immensely if you do it right. This shift in mindset may be all you need to make the time for content creation. If you and your internal employees absolutely don’t have time to create content right now, consider outsourcing to a freelance content writer who has expertise in your industry.
- Inability to produce engaging content – This is a really common problem because many businesses are afraid to stand out too much. As a result, they end up creating bland content that reads just like all of their competitors’ ineffective content. To learn how to avoid this mistake and produce engaging content, read blogs like Hubspot and QuickSprout. You may even want to consider taking a content marketing course online. But if you’d rather not do that, you can always outsource to a freelancer who has a proven track record of writing conversational content that gets results.
- Inability to track content results – If you’re putting lots of time and effort into content marketing, you want to know what kind of return you’re getting on your investment. Check out this blog post to learn how you can measure your content marketing effectiveness.
- Problems with producing content consistently – If you find yourself letting your content marketing tasks slip through the cracks, consider using CoSchedule or a similar application to create a publishing calendar, and stick to it. You may also want to hold meetings regularly with your content marketing team so everyone can stay on schedule.
- Inability to find trained content marketing professionals – If you’ve been looking through Upwork to find expert content marketers, you’re doing it wrong. That’s not to say that there are no good content marketers on there – it’s just that most expert content marketers spend more time marketing themselves on social media than they do using bidding sites. So, instead of using Upwork or a similar site, try a quick Google search or get on LinkedIn and Twitter to search for a content marketer who specializes in your industry. Make sure you look through the writer’s samples before you decide to hire them so you can accurately determine whether or not they can create the kind of content you need.
If you’re facing different challenges that are stopping you from utilizing content marketing to its full potential, brainstorm with your team to think of ways to overcome those challenges. Often, all you need is a little creative problem solving to make it happen.
And when you do start executing an effective content marketing strategy, you’ll likely notice improved traffic, stronger brand recognition, increased engagement, and more leads.
Tip: Check out this infographic to learn more about how content marketing can benefit small businesses.
2. Building a stronger brand presence
Lots of small businesses neglect to build a strong brand. Maybe they don’t understand branding, or maybe they just haven’t prioritized it.
Either way, it’s a bad situation. Your brand has a lot to do with how your audience perceives you, and the way your audience perceives you can directly affect your sales. On top of that, having a strong brand can easily:
- Establish you as trustworthy and credible
- Make your marketing materials more effective
- Increase audience engagement on social media
Sounds good, right?
To gain all of those benefits, start building a stronger brand presence by:
- Developing a unique writing voice that showcases your brand personality and using that voice consistently in all of your content
- Picking a strong logo, brand colors, and brand fonts, and using those when you create graphics
- Being unafraid to be different and stand up for what you believe in when you write content
- Creating marketing personas that represent your target audience and referencing those any time you write content
- Considering your branding when you communicate with customers
- Customizing your social profiles according to your brand colors and guidelines
If you’re completely new to branding, start thinking about how to brand your business by asking yourself who you are, who your target audience is, and how you can deliver value to your target audience while using your unique personality to appeal to them. From there, you can fine tune your brand as you learn about your audience and get more comfortable being authentic and vulnerable (as opposed to being stale and corporate-y) when you write content.
3. Creating a mobile app
What if I told you that a mobile app could help you build brand recognition and loyalty, connect with your customers more easily, and become more profitable?
It’s true. And mobile app usage is increasing – just take a look at this chart showing how popular apps are compared to mobile web usage:
But maybe you already know how much of a game-changer an app could be for your business – you just don’t think an app is within your budget.
If that’s the case, you’ll be glad to learn that you can use an online mobile app creator like Buildfire to create your own app. And you don’t even have to have any development skills to use Buildfire – you simply choose a template, create an account (it only takes a few seconds), and use the intuitive editor to build your own app!
And the best thing about using Buildfire to build a small business app? It’s free.
On top of that, you can completely customize your app to fit your brand. You can even show off your blog content within the app to boost reader engagement on your blog posts, create an in-app social network, include customer HTML, create and share event calendars, send push notifications to specific user groups, and more.
Now, all of this information might seem a bit overwhelming, but all three of these tasks are completely do-able if you prioritize them. Everyone starts somewhere, so do what you can, and get your employees involved so they can use their expertise to help you make your plans a reality.
If you and your employees are far too busy to start doing all three things mentioned in this blog post right now, try implementing one at a time. The important thing is that they’re on your to-do list and that you take action in the near future.
And don’t limit yourself to these business-growing tasks alone. Start thinking about what else you can do to benefit your small business. Yes – your to-do list will grow a bit longer as a result. But the additional tasks will be well worth the greater business success you’ll see.
Which of these things are you most excited about adding to your to-do list? Share in the comments section!