If you run a small business, you’ve likely heard of content marketing. An alternative option that can complement traditional advertising, content marketing helps guide new customers to your website while keeping existing customers engaged. It is rapidly emerging as one of the most important methods for generating traffic. Let’s take a look at content marketing, how it can help your business and strategies for employing it.
What is Content Marketing?
Traditional marketing involves running paid advertisements. By contrast, content marketing involves attracting an audience by providing something of value. There are a variety of ways in which successful companies engage in content marketing; however, the basic concept is to leverage your expertise and creativity to provide information and advice to customers.
Research has shown that people are increasingly ignoring advertisements while 70% of people would prefer to learn about a company through articles rather than traditional advertising. With the increase in people who prefer to learn about companies through non-traditional advertising, content marketing is sure to continue to increase in importance.
Benefits of Content Marketing
For small businesses seeking to engage in a content marketing strategy, there are many different ways that it can help improve your organization. Let’s take a look at some of the major benefits of content marketing for small businesses.
Improved Visibility. Leveraging quality content that engages users across your various social media platforms will bring in more viewers and get greater attention from existing customers. Marketing content is a great way to enhance a small business’s image.
Relationship Building. One of the most significant benefits of content marketing is that it helps create strong relationships with customers. By providing information and knowledge, your small business will be seen as a trustworthy partner.
Enhances Credibility. Marketing is essentially the art of persuasion. One of the most effective ways to help persuade your audience is by having credibility. By providing content, you can inform your readers, enhancing your overall credibility and portraying you as an expert in the area.
Create Further Means for Communication. Sharing content on your social media platforms provides an opportunity for people to engage with you through sharing your articles and videos. Additionally, consumers can comment on your posts. This provides excellent opportunities for further engagement with consumers.
Content Marketing Strategies for Small Businesses
It is easy to see why content marketing for small businesses is important. Content marketing is also a very flexible way of engaging with potential customers. The way you utilize marketing content will vary depending upon your business, your clients, and your strengths. Let’s take a look at several ways small businesses can engage in the marketing of the content.
Blogs. Blogs are no longer the rantings and reflections of individuals. Modern blogs are much more commonly used as ways to share information. Blogs should cover an important topic for your readers. For example, if you run a lawn care business, you could do a blog about reseeding your lawn or the best types of flowers to improve curb appeal. Provide content that your readers will like and ensure that you are sharing it effectively.
Instructional Videos. How many of you immediately go to YouTube to troubleshoot a technical or mechanical issue? There is a reason why instructional videos are very popular. You can leverage this on your company’s own YouTube channel, providing knowledge while bringing in new customers and improving your brand. Be sure to share your videos on other social media platforms as well.
Create a Podcast. This one takes a bit more time and work in terms of editing so it may not be the best choice for everyone. However, if you have a lot to say about a topic and some extra time, you can produce a very effective, high-quality podcast with only a few hundred dollars worth of equipment. This can be an interesting way to reach customers. Ensure that the podcast is about something interesting enough to fill time.
Leverage Trends. Stay in touch with the current news and utilize it to your advantage. If you are a tax preparer, share information about how a recent tax bill will affect clients. If you are in the fitness industry, winter is a prime time to discuss tips for working out at home. Ensure that you effectively gear your content to major events when applicable as well as seasonal trends.
Live Stream. An increasingly popular way to connect with customers is through live streams. These can take a variety of different forms. If you run a restaurant, consider hosting a cooking class. If you are a mechanic, walk your viewers through how to change a headlight. Live streams are also an opportunity to leverage real-time interactions.
Post Interviews. One of the most effective ways to share expertise is to interview others. Consider getting a leader in your field to sit down and answer questions. This can be an informative way for a behind-the-scenes look at your industry or can be used to get expert insight on recent trends.
Share Infographics. Many software options can be used to create informative and engaging infographics. This is an easy way to share major information with your audiences. Additionally, infographics tend to catch people’s attention much more than typical images and other types of content.
Content marketing is increasing in its importance. Today, many businesses in every industry engage in content marketing. It is a particularly important technique for small businesses as marketing can help you stand out and differentiate yourself from the other options available in your area.
When considering a content marketing approach, first seek to understand your audience and their needs. Then, determine the most effective methods to deliver meaningful, engaging content to your audience. Once you begin generating the content, it is important to keep producing it periodically to keep customers engaged. An effective content marketing strategy for small businesses will greatly improve your organization’s reach and success.