By Kelly Sutherland, iCrossing UK

With 2013 set to become the year of ‘content marketing’, it’s important to ensure that your business is creating fresh, engaging and relevant content. For small to medium enterprises (SMEs) this can seem daunting and a common misconception is that you won’t have the staff numbers or in-house expertise to create and promote engaging assets. But in reality, the beauty of digital marketing is that you have the freedom to share information regularly and immediately. Google+ is key, and getting your business active now will benefit traffic, customer engagement and SEO goals long-term. Here are 4 key tips for maximising your presence through Google+.

Synchronise your Calendars:

One of the biggest concerns for businesses venturing into social is what they will say. Combine your PR and Marketing calendars to map out a new ‘conversation’ calendar to apply across all your social profiles. Schedule competitions, highlight discussions around launches and press releases, and update followers on industry news. Include your blog content in the calendar. If your business doesn’t have one yet, now is the time. Host it on your existing site to ensure traffic drives equity to your main domain; make sure you share each post on Google+. This will help unite your marketing strategy and will ensure that you have enough substance to engage with customers and influencers on Google+.

Think Video:

You can now create videos with smart phones and webcams, and edit them on YouTube without any expensive equipment. Think about what your business can offer, such as advice and tutorials. Apply your business message to current affairs to encourage real time engagement. There are two recommended upload options for your videos:

· Upload to your company blog: and share this link on Google+. This will drive traffic to your site and help the page get indexed by Google.

· Upload to Google+: Building your Google+ content offering and updating regularly will build the authority of your profile.

Hangout with your customers:

One of the most useful tools Google+ offers is Hangouts. These are effectively free video conferencing services which many businesses already use for internal meetings. But utilising the service to run webinars can really build relationships with your customers and involving experts from your contact list will keep discussions lively and informative for viewers. With marketing methods such as this, planning is vital, so choose your subject carefully, rehearse, and promote it via email marketing to encourage sign-ups. This can be used for any business type, for example a surveillance company recently held a webinar around the subject of employee safety and workplace bullying, pushing their message while addressing genuine issues. Do your research and think creatively. Google+ also allows you to record Webinars for YouTube so you can continue to promote and share them for months after.

Keep SEO in mind:

It is important to understand what Google+ really is; Google’s foray into social search and a further step to incorporating this into organic results. It’s therefore vital that your profile is optimised correctly. Include keywords in your “about” section, give your posts SEO friendly titles (the first sentence will act as a title tag), include frequent links to your site (these are followed by Google and indexed almost immediately). See this Whitepaper for more information about how to optimise your Google+ page for SEO.

Above all remember that Google+ is a personal experience. Different target segments can be separated into Circles, allowing you to share different content with each. This freedom ensures you are targeting the right people with the right information, and can save time and money for SMEs with a tight marketing budget.

Digital Marketing Show – If you sell products or services to marketing professionals take a look at www.digitalmarketingshow.co.uk

powered by Typeform