Small businesses get dissuaded from inbound because they are unable to keep working when other things pop-up. They see the amount of time and effort needed to keep their inbound running, think about other places where that time can be spent, and decide that other tasks take precedence.

Standard advice about inbound and content marketing is to be constantly creating new content, but that’s not practical for a small business with limited capabilities. A steady stream of quality, targeted content is important BUT so is serving your customers, keeping the bills paid and improving your product. If you are short on content creation skills — and the resources to acquire them — then you need to take a different approach to inbound.

The key is to shift your focus from counting how many posts, podcasts or ebooks you get done to making sure that whatever you do actually counts for something.

Focus on relevance, quality, accessibility and consistency instead of production. The key is to develop content that stands out and then to maximize distribution/visibility. You are better off creating one great informative whitepaper or smart video per quarter and promoting it aggressively, than spending hours per week pumping out mediocre blog posts while you fall behind on other work.

Things to Remember When Thinking About Inbound

  • Good trumps fast: Your goal isn’t to always be publishing. It is to create something that captures people’s attention. Make it good and it will outlast and outperform 50 mediocre infographics.
  • Play to your (relative) strengths: You may not be the best blogger, graphic designer or videographer, but you are better at one of those than you are at the others. Figure out what you can do best and do it.
  • Know your medium: Study the people who do it best. Make sure that you are not ruining a good idea with bad execution. Take the time to learn the best practices in a medium.
  • Everything is content: The mundane can be made amazing. A well-written “thank you” note might do more for your business than a top-selling e-book on Amazon. Pay attention to everything you put out there.
  • Measurement matters: Take the time to analyze the impact of the content you put out. Looking at acquisition, engagement and conversion metrics around each post AND learning from them will let you make incremental improvements with each new piece

A little wandering around the web will show you a lot of defunct small business blogs, outdated whitepapers and unused social accounts. You don’t have to abandon your content assets or inbound goals. Just rethink what you’re doing. Remember that your audience wants value not volume.

Feature image from Wikipedia

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