Rand Venn diagram

How Can Your Small Business Grow Its Online Presence?

We’re excited to share with you the third and final installment of our interview with former founder of Moz.com and current “Wizard of Moz” Rand Fishkin by Director of Training Sarah Benoit. You can check out our past two conversations with Rand, including a discussion on the present and future trends of company culture as well as Rand’s predictions for SEO trends in 2016.

Both educators in their own right, Sarah and Rand, engaged in a candid conversation on the topic of what marketing channels they each recommend for small businesses that have a national audience but a smaller budget. If you’d like to watch it in its entirety, we’ve embedded the full video of their conversation below.

A few of Rand’s remarks really stood out to us as a team that works with a number of small businesses seeking a greater online presence. In particular, this response resonated with our efforts to encourage small businesses to dive into the right digital marketing channels:

1. Market in Ways that You’re Good At

“I think that as a small business, when you have very little bandwidth and resources to invest into web marketing as a whole, you need to be extremely careful to invest into the channels that fit into the overlap of three things. So let’s imagine a Venn diagram. We’ve got our three circles. Circle number one is things you are uniquely good at. So if you say, “I feel like I should do content marketing” or “I feel like I should do video.” But you’re terrible at video and you don’t like doing it, that is probably a bad choice for you. Don’t bother with it! Maybe you’re great at Powerpoint. Go with SlideShare. Make cool slides. Put them up on the web. Maybe you’re great at photography. Do some cool Photoshop stuff. Do some great photography. Invest your time and energy into that. Maybe you’re awesome at public speaking and events. Great! Do events! Get out in the real world. Maybe that’s the traffic driver for you, and you can rely on all the links and reference points that come back from all the events that you participate in to help drive up your search rankings and get your links and get you traffic and awareness and branding. I don’t encourage anyone to pursue a channel that they are not passionate about and they don’t think they can be great at. That’s number one.

2. Go Where Your Audience Is

The second one is you have to choose places where your audience actually dwells and where their influencers dwell. So if you go, “Man I’m great at presentations. I love speaking at events. But no one from my target market comes to events, nor are they influenced by it.” Then you know what? Take that one off the table; maybe go to the second thing you’re passionate about and good at.

3. Provide Unique Value

And then the third thing is something where you can deliver unique value. So, somewhat separate from the passion debate, this is about saying, “Are there already 10 people in this field providing value to the market in the same way I am on the web?” And that could be in terms of their SEO value or it could be their content value or it could be the value that they get by interacting with folks on social. Whatever it is. You need to find that area. Those three: unique value, things that you’re passionate and good at, area where your audience is. You pick that one, you’re going to be good.”

Develop Your Online Marketing Strategy This Spring

You heard it from Rand here, but you also may have heard it from Sarah if you’ve ever attended the JB Media Institute or one of our educational trainings: don’t force yourself to utilize digital marketing channels that you’re not comfortable with! Find what works for you and stick to it.

Still trying to find out what strategies might work best for your Internet marketing efforts? Join our upcoming Spring Half-day Internet Marketing Bootcamp to explore several innovative ways to catapult your online marketing in 2016. This bootcamp includes sessions on effective marketing partnerships, tools to boost your keyword development and easier ways to utilize Google’s reporting tools. We’re also launching another Online JB Media Institute the week of April 4 where we’ll spend 12 weeks discussing the topics of social media, SEO, online PR, online advertising and strategy & project management.

Watch the Interview with Rand Fishkin

Watch the video to find out if Rand’s thoughts seem applicable to your situation and contact us when you’re ready to debrief!