This article is meant to be a hands-on exercise. Why? Chances are you already know that you need to be submitting more content into the marketplace to grow your business, but you find this thought overwhelming. So I have a challenge for you, here today.  Take one piece of content you have already created (this can be stats in your industry, a newsletter article, blog post, case study, etc.) and ACTION each step below as you read them.

Step One – Let’s start with an easy one. Put it up on your website. Make sure you have some common search terms in there so Google can index it and increase your relevance for these terms.

Step Two – Send it out in your newsletter. Don’t have a newsletter? Set one up now. Constant Contact offers a free 30 day Trial and has templates pre-built.

Step Three – Post it on your blog.  Don’t have a blog?  Set one up now. WordPress is by far the leading blog software and will allow you to set one up for free in 5 minutes. You can also get some help and have it integrate right into your site.

Step Four – Submit it your industry or regional publications and to the media. Don’t have a list of relevant publications or media contacts? Call up your library and ask them if they carry a recent copy of the Gale Directory of Publications and Broadcast Media or if they have a local list of such publications (if your focus is the local market). Gale Directories cover media and publication listings all over the world. See if the library can create a list otherwise make time now in your calendar to go down there and compile the list yourself.

Step Five – Submit it to online article sites like www.ezinearticles.com. It’s free to sign up and takes only minutes to submit and link the article back to your site.

Step Six – Take out 5 – 10 little one sentence snippets and create small posts. Post these snippets on Facebook and/or your Facebook Business Page, Twitter, Linked In and Google +. If you don’t have any of these of profiles, set them up.  If you want to make posting to these sites easy, set up a tool such as HootSuite (again free) to submit posts to all your social media sites in one click of a button.

Step Seven – Insert into a Word File titled “MY Book” or “MY e-Book” or “Another great free report”. Place it into the chapter where it would belong so that over time you have created a larger publication and also so you start to put themes around future content (to fill in blanks).

Step Eight – Create an online Ad – This could be on a Chamber online newsletter, Google, Linked In or Facebook.  Link back to the article on your site and have a call to action at the top and the bottom such as subscribing to your Free Tips or a Free Assessment or a trial product or service.  Set it up for one week only and put a small budget on it like $40 – $50 and then watch the traffic to your site and measure results.

Step Nine – Send it out in the mail to prospects.  Include a nice introductory letter outlining your interest in servicing business like theirs, a special offer and this very helpful article. Don’t have a mailing list? Try InfoCanada or InfoUSA and create one today. Dun and Bradstreet also has great lists.

Step Ten – Use it at your next live event (networking, tradeshow, sales presentation). Think of it as a large business card and include your contact details and a call to action on the back.

Content is valuable.  It takes you time to create and is designed to help both your present and future customers.  Make sure you take advantage of ALL the avenues available to you or you aren’t marketing as effectively as you can.

(Photo Credit: Courtney Dirks)

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Cidnee Stephen
Cidnee Stephen

Cidnee Stephen is the owner of Strategies for Success - a marketing company that focuses on the needs of budget minded small businesses and professional services. You can follow her on Google+, Twitter, and Facebook