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April 29, 2010

Share Your Small Biz Smarts and Win!

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This weekend we kick off our Small Biz Discovery Contest. It’s an event that starts with participants sharing actionable advice with the small business community about search engine optimization, pay per click advertising and social media marketing, and ends with one lucky grand prize winner receiving a three-day pass to Search Engine Strategies San Francisco!

We’re hoping the contest entries will act as a free educational resource — a collection of powerful and important Internet marketing tactics that small businesses should be aware of. And we’re offering some sweet prizes to those who are willing to spare 750 words to answer the question:

“What one recommendation would you share with small business owners to improve their online presence?”

Small Biz Discovery Contest logo

Obviously there are dozens of ways to approach this question, especially if working within the whole extent of the Internet and its many channels. So we’re narrowing down the scope by asking that recommendations fall into one of three categories: SEO, PPC and SMM.

Once you’ve picked your category, decide on one piece of advice you’d give your best friend if he owned and operated a local book store, accounting firm, auto body repair, restaurant, law firm or furniture store. If your friend only had the time and resources to devote to one project (either once or ongoing), what should he do that would get him the most value for his efforts?

Then flesh out that recommendation into an article that makes it clear to the audience (the small business community) what the recommendation is and how they can apply it:

Why will it benefit the business?
What are the best practices of the tactic that result in the best odds for success?
On which sites (if it’s an off-site project) should he focus on?
When should he start, stop, add, review, etc.?
Who are his best assets or advocates in such a campaign?
How should he go about implementing the recommendation?

Here are some ideas of recommendations that could be entered into the contest if they were full-fledged articles.

SEO:

  • Optimize Your Local Listings
  • Get Citations Online
  • Obtain Product Reviews
  • Keep Your Shopping Clean and Simple

PPC:

  • Segment Your Search Campaigns
  • Optimize Your Landing Pages
  • Identify Long-tail Keywords
  • Advertise on Facebook

SMM:

  • Get Active on Twitter
  • Create an official Facebook Page for your brand or business
  • Use Applications to Personalized Facebook Pages
  • Add Social Plugins to Your Site

These lists could go on, but I’m much more interested in what you’ve got to say.

As for requirements of entry, we’re asking that articles be a minimum of 750 words, which is a little less than twice the length of the blog post you’re currently reading. Oh, and while an article should fall into a category of SEO, PPC or SMM, any individual can submit one article to each category, if you’re feeling extra generous with your knowledge.

The entry period starts Saturday, May 1, 2010, and ends Monday, May 31, 2010. Send your articles to social-bc[at]bruceclay[dot]com. For more rules and details about all the prizes and how the winners will be chosen, check out the Small Biz Discovery Contest page.

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3 responses to “Share Your Small Biz Smarts and Win!”

  1. Andy @ FirstFound writes:

    I’ll get drafting my entry now, thanks!

  2. Virginia Nussey writes:

    Nice! Looking forward to it, Andy :)

  3. Allen - Personal Brand Builder writes:

    I may not be participating in your contest but I would give out a simple and best suggestion that works out for any business! First of all one should have a clear vision that SEO,PPC and SMM doesn’t fits to every business! It totally depends on the product value and your Market Size! If you know how to work out this you can handle your business/products greatly!



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