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Entrepreneurial Profile: Big Bob’s BBQ

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“I’m Chris Lilly. I’m the Vice President and Pit Master at Big Bob Gibson’s Barbecue in Decatur, Ala., a restaurant that was started by my wife’s grandfather in 1925. I’m the fourth generation and I’ve got two sons in the business right now–Jacob and Andrew–one at each restaurant, so that is five generations of family-owned barbecue business.

I’ve been at Progress Bank since the very beginning, about nine or 10 years ago when they opened up. And the reason I went with Progress was because of the people. Some of my favorite people that I used to deal with went to Progress Bank and I followed along. For me, it’s more of a friendship, it’s a trust and you have to know them and they have to know you. The people at Progress know me personally. They know my restaurant. So I can make one phone call or one visit at Progress and they can take care of all my business needs and all my personal needs. And you know, that’s a luxury. I not only work here in Decatur, but I travel all over the country cooking barbecue in many different places and I’m not here all the time to go to the bank and take care of things. It’s nice to know that Progress is always there and knows me and my business so well. If something comes up and needs to be taken care of, I can do that over the phone. And that’s a luxury that I just don’t have with other banks.

I think Progress is good for entrepreneurs because they take the time to get to know the person and to know the business and they understand the business. They care about you and they care about what you’re doing and they want you to succeed. It’s not all about making money on their side. They want your business to succeed–they are there to back you every step of the way. Without a doubt, it would be my first choice if I was a young entrepreneur.

The following is a transcript from a video testimonial for Progress Bank. For more about Big Bob’s BBQ, check out the Fall/Winter 2017 issue of Tools for Success.

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Develop a content marketing strategy with these 8 simple ideas.

content is king

As technology has changed the way consumers socialize, shop and interact, companies are finding that the marketing playbook has a few new and unfamiliar pages. When the marketplace changes, it only serves to reason that companies must begin to adjust the way they communicate marketing messages.

Today’s consumers have instant access to compare prices, research product reviews and, with the press of a button, can easily “skip” advertising messages. No longer can companies merely flood the market with their brand messages through traditional channels and see results. Even digital channels are now crowded with blinking banners and sidebar buttons all screaming for attention.

One marketing trend being integrated into the overall strategy is content marketing. In simple terms, content marketing is the focus on creating valuable and relevant content that speaks
to a clearly defined audience. It is putting aside the “salesy” messages in favor of resources and
information that educate the consumer. It is connecting rather than pitching. Engaging rather than selling.

In fact, this trend for using content marketing is on the rise. According to a recent study by
Boston-based software company Curata of more than 600 marketing organizations, 76% of those surveyed are planning to increase their investment in content marketing in the coming year.

WHAT DOES A CONTENT MARKETING STRATEGY LOOK LIKE?
Finding the right way to connect and engage with your target audience will depend on the type of business, resources available and determining the way in which your audience will be most receptive to receiving your messages.

Here are eight ways to start a content marketing strategy:
BLOGS – A great option for providing written resources, video feeds and images.
PUBLISHING – Whether it be cookbooks, magazines or a buyer’s guide, publishing can establish your credibility as an expert while keeping your name in front of an audience in an entertaining and engaging way.
VIDEO – With the rise of YouTube, the power of a good video is undeniable. You could provide step-by-step how-to videos or create a commercial that has viral potential.
WEBSITE – Today’s websites are responsive and can be designed with content marketing in mind. Add features to engage your audience as well as integrate other elements of your overall strategy such as a blog or videos.
NEWSLETTERS – Whether you provide in print or by email, a newsletter can be a great way to keep brand awareness with your customers. Provide relevant and meaningful content to increase its value.
BLOGGER REVIEWS – Connect with bloggers who have an existing audience that includes your target audience. Offer them free products in exchange for reviews and exposure to their followers.
SOCIAL MEDIA – Even with limited character space, you can still establish yourself as an authority in the Twitterverse and beyond. Don’t just blast your specials, but take the opportunity to really connect with your fans and followers.
INFOGRAPHICS – Clever graphics that tell a story or provide information have great viral potential. Provide information in this easy-to-absorb format and increase your exposure through shareable content.

Your content marketing strategy is only limited by your imagination. Ask yourself what your customers really want or need to know and then create the resource to provide that information in an entertaining way.

In simple terms, content marketing is the focus on creating valuable and relevant content that speaks to a clearly defined audience.

*Published in the Spring/Summer 2015 issue of Tools for Success Magazine.

Author: Bethany Meadows is the owner of Vertical Solutions Media Inc, a full service marketing agencies that specializes in helping small businesses build strong brands and increase revenues.

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