Where Your Small Business Should Focus in the New Year

CONTENT: The focus is on value!

Another large shift we’ve been watching, that will land full force in 2015, is the way we use content in our businesses. In past the focus on content was to just get it out there – blog, blog, blog. Historically, during the infancy of blogging, it was much more about the quantity and consistency of getting content out there than the quality of the content itself. That is no longer the case. Effective content in 2015 will need to be easy to find, appear regularly and be of the highest quality.

In order to rise above competition, draw customers in and establish yourself as the ‘authority’ or ‘expert’ in your particular field, you’ll need to put your best foot forward and offer only truly valuable content that informs or solves problems for your customers.

2015 will also be the year that you’ll really need to develop a cohesive, cross-platform, content marketing strategy and plan… and document it. A recent study by the Content Marketing Institute revealed that while 83 percent of B2B businesses have a content strategy, only 35 percent have it documented. Of those, 60 percent of businesses with a documented content strategy are finding it as effective, while only 32 percent of those without a written content plan are finding success. As with any plan, documenting the goals, challenges, strategy and processes involved reduces the communication and execution challenge and boosts overall effectiveness.

It will also be more important than ever to employ a multi-platfom approach, delivering your content to all platforms where your customers are. This includes your website, social channels, newsletters, email marketing, etc. If you are a B2B business and not yet active there, take advantage of new platforms like LinkedIn’s expanded publishing platform, now open as blogging tool to all members.

Here are some plans smart hustling small businesses have for 2015:

annie durkin - benefitscontinuumbenefitsContinuum
Annie Durkin, Director of Sales & Business Development

benefitsContinuum is a full service employee benefits consulting firm that focuses on health care for mid- to large-size clients. Since the onset of Health Care Reform, they have faced and embraced major changes in their business and adjusted to quickly meet the evolving needs of their clients.

“The changes taking place in the health care industry have expanded our roles as benefit advisors. To prepare for this, we are making a concerted effort to be more of a resource; and not just to our existing clients. We are no longer simply in the business of sales, but also the business of collaboration and education," explains Durkin. " We aren't just going to rely on our existing experience and expertise in advising businesses on health care needs, but are also taking advantage of new technology that produces accurate, data-driven results. This helps us to develop more creative, strategic and cost-effective solutions for our clients.”

She also adds,”any business not taking full advantage of all that social media has to offer is really dropping the ball. Move beyond just selling a product or service and create a public voice. Establish a unique personality for your company, positioning yourself as not only a valued resource, but a crucial necessity to your industry. The revenue will follow!”

David Ring - Computer Market ResearchComputer Market Research
David Ring, Product Marketing Manager

Computer Market Research is a computer software company that automates channel marketing programs for companies. They’ve been watching the evolution of the Internet and seeing more companies invest in automation and plan to capitalize on that growing opportunity by amping up their content marketing efforts.

“We are investing in social media, email, video and other forms of content marketing to capture the attention of and inform our audience in the process. As we learned in 2014, content is king. We are banking on that trend to continue and evolve”, says Ring.

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