As a marketer, I understand that content marketing is an inexpensive and effective way to reach potential and current customers. By publishing a diverse mix of content, small businesses can build brand awareness, drive website traffic, and increase conversions. Despite the many benefits, small businesses often get stuck trying to figure out how to produce content on a long-term basis.
What is Content Marketing?
The Content Marketing Institute defines content marketing as “a strategic marketing approach focused on creating and distributing valuable, relevant, and consistent content to attract and retain a clearly-defined audience — and, ultimately, to drive profitable customer action.”
At its foundation, content marketing is about your audience, what they value, and how you can help educate them. When done correctly, this creates a relationship and builds trust with your audience. When your audience trusts you, they’re more willing to look to you when it comes time to make a purchasing decision.
To communicate with your audience, you need to produce content. Content will allow you to reach the right audience, draw visitors to your website, engage visitors into leads, and convert them into customers.
All small businesses can benefit from a greater sense of trust between their customers and their brand, more web traffic and repeat visitors, and a reduction in the cost of marketing and acquisition. Content marketing can provide all these and so much more.
How to Get Started
There are a variety of ways small businesses can deliver their content: blog posts, website pages, email, video, print collateral, and beyond.
Here are a few suggestions to get you started.
Write Blog Posts
Blogs allow you to provide value to both your current and potential customers. The key to a successful blog post is it should be informative and entertaining. The point is to give the reader something to engage with whether they follow your content or happen upon it through social media.
When first starting out, think about why people would want to come to your business and build topics from there. If you own a restaurant, for example, you could blog about specials, upcoming events, or include recipes and tips from your chef.
Video is one of the dominant media online, and it is an excellent way for small businesses to keep viewers engaged and to stand out from their competition. For example, an “About Us” video allows small businesses to tell their story and make a personal connection with their customers. An “Explainer Video” can help potential customers understand a business’ offerings and why they should consider them.
Current Content on Social Media
Not all of the content in your content marketing strategy has to be created by you. An effective way to build trust with your audience is to point them to other valuable information related to your industry. Sifting through content that is related to your product or service and passing it along to your customers shows you are keeping the pulse of the industry.
Content marketing is a great way to reach potential customers, and while it can seem daunting, it’s not impossible. Instead of pushing unwanted ads at potential customers, you will leave them with a positive first impression of your brand. It’s all about providing value, even if you don’t get an immediate sale in return.