For many small business owners content marketing is nothing more than just a buzzword since they used to believe that content marketing is a necessity for big companies, brands and startups. However, when executed right, content marketing can help small businesses not only increase their visibility and boost sales, but also eliminate the necessity to spend on advertising. What’s more, the rise of ad blocking serves as a signal that in the nearest future businesses will have to start investing most of their budget in a quality content rather than spending their entire marketing budget on advertising.
So, why do small businesses need to invest in a content marketing?
Here are 3 reasons:
Good content marketing helps to build a strong online company presence
Since most of today’s consumers do online research and read online reviews prior to buying any physical products or ordering services, a strong online company presence is crucial for business of any size. Moreover, to stand out among competitors, your company needs not only good products/services to sell, your company needs a unique story to tell. You have to communicate your company’s story and mission in such a way that it makes competition irrelevant. That’s when content marketing comes into play.
With the help of content you can communicate the reason why you started your company, your company’s mission, vision and values it stands for and what value it delivers to customers. The content you create around your company’s activities, product offerings, mission and values should give potential customers a solid reason to buy from you, not your competitors. In addition, to build a strong online company presence, everything – from visuals to messaging – should reflect company’s identity and remain as brand consistent as possible.
Good content has a potential to become a reliable education source for your customers
Very often when doing research on products a simple product description isn’t enough for customers to make a purchasing decision. Smart businesses know this and they go beyond providing a basic product description – they clearly illustrate how a particular product can add value to customer’s life and solve a problem.
If you produce jam, you should go beyond listing ingredients this jam is made of. For example, you can create a content on how to cook different meals with your jam or ask your customers to submit recipes of food that was cooked with your jam.
Or, for example, if you produce healthy snacks, it would be also good to create content on healthy eating and nutrition.
To come up with great content ideas, I’d recommend to use approach mentioned in the book
“The key is to define the total solution buyers seek when they choose a product or service. A simple way to do so is to think about what happens before, during, and after your product is used.”
Good content helps to build trust and position your company as an expert in the field
Today’s businesses are expected to provide a transparent information about products – all ingredients and how they may affect consumers. Consumers are more willing to buy from companies they trust, therefore, it’s very important to communicate important information to customers in a transparent manner.
By being transparent and providing in-depth, fresh and unique content, your company will not only be able to stand out, but also position itself as a leading expert in the field.
Think about how your content can address the unmet industry needs, how your content can fill the gaps and provide information that haven’t been offered by your competitors. You have to create a unique content that will help you to cut through the noise and stay relevant to your customers.
How to get started with content marketing:
Define your company’s tone of voice
Company’s tone of voice is an expression of company’s personality, core values and mission. Company’s tone of voice must be unique and recognizable. To define your company’s tone of voice think about your company as a human being and try to answer the following questions: “Who is my company?”, “What does my company do?”, “What does my company stand for?”, “How should the key attributes that would set my company apart from competition look like?”, “Why do people visit my company’s website and how would I want them to feel about it?”
Defining company’s tone of voice is important because it would influence everything – from website design to messaging to even calls to action.
Define your audience
The next step is to define your audience – “Who your audience is?”, “What’s your audience interested in?”, “What does your audience care about?”
Before you start creating content, you have to define your target audience and think how your content will deliver on audience’s needs. Just like your company’s tone of voice, your content should be unique and relevant.
How will your content play a lead role in owning the audience’s attention? How will your content help drive consumer’s purchasing decision? How will your content help bring a fresh perspective and deliver on customer’s needs for useful and relevant information?
Take care of a proper content distribution
Many business owners ask, “Isn’t it enough to publish content on such social channels as LinkedIn, Facebook, Medium, YouTube only?”
My answer is, “No!”
While social media platforms may provide a greater reach, they remain platforms you have little control over.
I strongly recommend to publish all your content on the platform you own (blog, website) and use social media platforms to distribute your content and send traffic right to your website or blog.
If you are a social media beginner and wish to learn more about its importance for small businesses, here is the article 12 Social Media Marketing Trends for Small Business to help you get started.
Define type of content you’ll publish
Among the most widespread types of content are blog posts, podcasts, videos, infographics, slideshare presentations, images.
Of course, visual content performs best on most channels. But still you have to do analysis to determine what type of content would work best in your case. Also, if you use visuals, it’s important to keep them as brand consistent as possible and try to avoid stock images, especially when it comes to creating content for your product offerings or your services description.
Define frequency of publishing your content
Content marketing works best when it is performed on a consistent basis. Therefore, it’s important to define the optimal frequency of publishing a new content – define days when your content will appear online and try to stick to this schedule.
Create editorial calendar
Editorial calendar provides the best way to stay organized and keep track of the most important aspects of your content marketing – categories, ideas, topics, publishing schedule. Here are a few resources to help you get started with editorial calendar:
To glean useful insights about content marketing for business, I also recommend to read these books:
by Natalie Myhalnytska
For further reading:
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