Are you a small business wondering how on earth to “go social”? You’re probably trying to make sense of all the pressure from annoying well-intentioned people saying that your small business needs to be on Facebook, Twitter, Google+, Pinterest, Instagram… oh, and my fave, “you need to get an app.” Thaaanks?
And now you’ve got some schmuck telling you that you need to blog for business.
It is totally overwhelming! Believe me. I was there. (Full disclaimer: I’m now the schmuck mentioned above).
There was a time a few years ago when I didn’t exactly appear qualified to be in charge of Marketing for a $50 million dollar company and yet, there I was.
Fast forward to the present and our company’s unique “all in” content marketing culture and results are now being analyzed for case studies and talked about in university classrooms (okay, maybe only 2 but technically that allows me to pluralize, right?).
We’re figuring it out. We aren’t anywhere near perfect but that’s exactly why I am here writing. Detailing ideas out here helps me get better at what I do and hopefully also helps you. Having a small business example of social business transformation to model after would’ve been incredibly helpful to me 2 years ago so now my mission is to provide one for you.
Where Do You Start?
So how did we do it? I’m about to pull back the emerald green curtain and reveal the 3 pivotal marketing decisions that changed everything:
- We started using HubSpot
- We learned how to create killer content
- We involved our entire team
The best way to camouflage your “where-on-earth-do-I-start–deer-in-headlights-look” is by strapping on a content marketing superhero mask and get bloggin’.
They call it “all-in-one marketing software”… I call it “gift-from-heaven software”. HubSpot makes it super easy for a non-techy person like me to create new website pages, blog for business, improve SEO, master email, post to social channels, and analyze lead intelligence. And I repeat, I have zero technical skills (I thought “html” was a button on the keyboard… j/k… sort of)!
Once you dive into HubSpot, you think, “OH MY GOSH, this is awesome!” Then you realize, “Wait a minute, this might actually be TOO much awesome. Where the heck do I start?!”
We started by blogging.
And that’s when the social business mantra you love to hate comes into play… “Create killer content”. Why thank you, Captain Obvious.
Now for the quest to conquer this nebulous thing called “killer content”… and that’s when I found The Sales Lion.
Creating Killer Content
It was a single tweet, “7 Content Ideas that Will Blow Up Your Brand and Business in 12 Months or Less—Guaranteed via @TheSalesLion.” This. Was. It. THIS was the nebulous “killer content” that was eluding us! This was the type of content that was going to bring results. It didn’t have to be as complicated as we were making it. We just had to turn every single customer question into a blog post and use Marcus’ 7 specific content ideas to get us started.
The more that I read and learned from this pool-guy-turned-awesome-content-marketing-blogger, the more I knew he was my guy. He had been where I was. He had overcome the exact same challenges. He wasn’t just sharing theory and super big brand stories. He and his small business were living it, killing it and now sharing it. THIS was going to be my example to go by.
New challenge: How the heck was I going to get the rest of the team to drink the content-cool-aid?
And then he published this doozy, “11 Hours to Change a Company Forever: A Story about Business and Life.”
Go Big or Go Home
At that time, we had been business blogging for nearly 1 year with only 1 person creating content and maybe 2 blog posts a month. We could do better. We NEEDED to do better (big long story reserved for another time).
It was time to go “all in” and get everyone creating content. And Marcus Sheridan, The Sales Lion, was just the guy to make it happen.
He came. He spoke. He blew our minds. It worked. He ignited enthusiasm across our entire team and helped us all understand HOW to do this content marketing thing successfully together.
The results: 50+ team members contributing hundreds of blog posts and video that have now quadrupled our website traffic, shortened sales cycles and allowed us to hire more people.
Need Your Help!
Social Media Examiner has asked me to share Block Imaging’s story during their Content Success Summit in February. The line-up of presenters and topics for this event is insanely talented so I’m feeling the pressure. I could really use your input! What questions do you have about our company’s example and what information should I go into greater detail about? Not only will your input help me make a killer presentation better, I’ll also be sure to write answers to your suggestions here on my blog in future posts. Your ideas and questions are GREATLY appreciated.
Much love to you guys, my fellow warriors of enthusiasm!