Is teaching the new marketing?
The barriers to learning now are lower than ever before. With technology it’s easier than ever to stream and create video with these powerful devices that fit in the palm of our hands.
But we also know that it isn’t always about qualifications, passing tests or having a lifetime of experience. It’s about whether you can demonstrate you can actually do these things in the real world and share that knowledge with others.
When you share knowledge with a potential customer, you are building your brand.
Teaching what you know can be both a rewarding and lucrative opportunity for any business owners out there looking to demonstrate their expertise and nurture new opportunities. Companies are finding that now more than ever, giving away knowledge is a door opener to build deeper connections.
Did you have a teacher who inspired you? Someone who guided you through complex and fascinating subjects? Teaching has the power to create strong emotional connections and lasting business relationships.
Trends over recent years have shown that online learning is going to stay, with our younger generations being brought up in a world where they can access information on-demand through portals like Udemy, Skillshare and Teachable — all designed to maximise the learning experience.
What could you teach this year and how could this help you grow your brand?
Through educational marketing, you are providing wisdom and insight to your network to help them do their jobs. It's not just about making new revenue here, you can actually form relationships with your customers, which is huge right now. That's your superpower as a small business. So really worth doing. So can you teach your skill to others? If so, give it a go.
Small business owner? Double down on your marketing.
Ad spend is projected to reduce by 4 billion pounds during 2020. And that's just in the UK alone.
While the economic markets have shown signs of slipping into recession, there is no doubt that the time spent on digital channels has increased rapidly over lockdown as businesses look to maximise ways to leverage online platforms.
Marketing budgets in particular have fallen because of the recession. As a small business owner it would be easy to see this as a bad time to invest in marketing. But I’m going to suggest otherwise. Why? Because bigger companies feel these economic impacts more so than smaller businesses, they react slower and they have bigger marketing budgets which can be dialled down.
So what does that mean for us small business owners? Well, in fact it could be time to invest in those competitive areas of marketing such as search engine & social media pay-per-click ads.
The cost of these platforms is based on the amount of competition that there is... If there's a lot of competition for these platforms across your industry — it's going to be more expensive to get those clicks and compete for that level of attention.
With businesses reducing their budgets, this is the best time for you as a business to bid on clicks and start appearing where maybe the big corporates would have before.
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The best time to write for engagement and SEO
In the last Digital Marketing Meetup we talked a lot about blogs and we had a great discussion about it. I still would argue that this is the perfect time to write, for example LinkedIn articles have had a growth of 1,611% in engagement over the past few months.
Okay, that's a massive amount of people that are increasing engagement in LinkedIn articles. This doesn't just apply to LinkedIn articles and applies to General, just digital media as a whole. consumption is increasing, but particularly in the written space, which is nice to hear after, you know, everyone talks about video video video all the time.
So what does this mean for you? Well, it could be time to become a thought leader/authority in your industry, particularly if you offer a b2b or business to business service, this can be particularly important to you, you can become an authority in that industry and start developing relationships with people online.
Some of those trendy topics include things like cyber security operations, and you'd expect that from a lot of the changes we've had in business caused by the lockdown, employee experience and virtual events are some of the biggest trending topics online right now that people are reading about.
So it's a great way to generate leads, increase followers, and improve that all important SEO. We know that content is now one of the biggest, biggest influences in Google search algorithms. This means if you're regularly posting content, you're more likely to come out on top of your competitors on Google Search results.
The best part is now people are actually out there looking for good content and will actively engage with producers of content who are creating real value.
Is it time to engage with audio?
Finally, from text to another perennial topic: audio. With 12% of British adults now regularly listening to podcasts on a daily basis — is it time to engage your customers through audio platforms?
I remember back in the days when podcasts were *puts it politely* actually considered kind of retro, a single stream of media, isolated from the digitally connected world.
When video started becoming so accessible, and so connected into social media and how we obtain information people did away with podcasts. But now that life is so on the go we almost have reached out to podcasts for some solitude from all the noise.
Podcasts have really come into their own as a place where you can some really rich, insightful content from trusted authors. But this isn't about starting a podcast necessarily because that can take a lot of work. For you as a small business owner, it could just be about doing guest appearances on these things. Yes, you read that right. You should be a guest on someone’s show.
Remember, you are the expert in your industry, you are the person who knows the most about what you do. And there are journalists and podcast hosts out there looking for people like you to feature on their podcast and offer a voice of authority.
If you want to start guesting on a podcast, it's really easy. There are two services I recommend you start using to find these opportunities…
One is called Help A Reporter Out. Give that a Google search and sign up for updates in your industry really, really useful. The other is TweetDeck — a plugin for Twitter which allows you to follow different topics. Select a few relevant keywords and chances are, before you know you'll get podcast hosts and journalists saying, you know, “I'm looking for someone who's an expert in dog grooming” (I’ve never talked about dog grooming yet but let me know if you are…)
But it’s not just podcasts… 30% of radio listeners are now listening to radio for up to two hours more every day. People working from home routinely listening to podcasts and the radio for extended periods of time, beyond what before a part of their morning/evening commute.
If you're ever considering things like radio ads, or radio advertising or features, this could be the best time to go back to that. There's a lot of weight to it now as well. So that's pretty huge.
Want to continue reading? Check out the blog post from our friends Hello Starling 'Radio, It's The Friendly Format'.