Is your small business practicing content marketing?
If not, you could be missing out!
Today, content marketing is an essential building block in a notable online presence – for businesses at every level, not just enterprise. Small businesses can greatly benefit from it.
In addition to helping your brand build authority, great content marketing also promotes brand awareness, boosts your SEO, and labels you as an engaged and unique brand in the online world.
From plumbers to SaaS companies: everyone can benefit from content marketing!
Small Business Content Marketing: Defining How it Works For Your Small Biz
According to Content Marketing Institute,
“Content marketing is 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.”
Today, content marketing is everywhere on the web.
You see it daily on social media, in blog posts, in white papers, and in the various ebooks, videos, and images brands create to interact with their customers.
Used by brands ranging from Proctor & Gamble and Microsoft to small-town dog grooming businesses, content marketing is one strategy that works hard to build online recognition. What’s more, it’s popular.
According to Neil Patel, 60% of marketers create at least a single piece of content every day. It’s also effective: content marketing leaders enjoy year-over-year site growth that is 7.8x higher than content marketing followers.
Instead of pitching customers a sales message or tracking them down and asking that they by your product, content marketing focuses on value first. By working to create something that’s valuable and helps customers answer questions and solve problems, content marketing allows brands to stand out from the “content sea” and communicate with their customers more efficiently.
Why Your Small Business Needs Content Marketing: 5 Reasons
If you’re running a small business, you have a lot to think about. From hiring and managing employees to developing your product to providing all-star customer service, life is busy! That doesn’t mean, however, that you can afford to skimp on content marketing.
Today, it’s easy for small businesses to be run over by larger enterprises or online companies. It’s tougher than ever to cut through the noise, and that’s where content marketing comes in. Ideal for helping small businesses communicate directly with and to their customers, content marketing shifts you from an obnoxious brand just looking for a sale to a helpful friend with the customer’s best interests at heart.
Here are five top reasons you need content marketing in your small business right now:
1. Content Marketing Increases Brand Awareness
If customers forget who your brand is and what it does, you can kiss success goodbye. In today’s world, it’s difficult to be a successful company unless you cultivate brand awareness. How do you do this, you ask? Through content marketing.
When you publish new content at regular, predictable intervals, your customers come to trust your company and rely on it to provide value and relevance. This, in turn, helps your brand become a household name and ensures customers will remember you the next time they need a product, good, or service.
2. Content Marketing Boosts Your Authority
Here’s an example: there are five dog-grooming businesses in your town, but only one has a blog that publishes helpful information on everything from how to stop skin itching in older dogs to how frequently you should bathe puppies. The other has no content.
Which do you think customers will choose?
If you guessed the one with the blog, you’re right. When brands demonstrate their expertise through content marketing, they become more attractive to their customers. This, in turn, helps boost sales and conversion rates.
3. Content Marketing Drives Customers To Take Action
One of the most important aspects of content marketing is that it inspires customers to make a move. Through compelling calls-to-action and helpful answers, great content helps tip customers over the edge and encourages them to take that next step – whether it’s scheduling an appointment or making a purchase.
4. Content Marketing Helps You Earn New Customers
Say you publish a blog that several of your existing customers like and share on their Facebook pages. From there, their friends and family see the blog post and read it because someone they trust recommended it. These people learn more about your brand and get answers to their questions through the post. The next time they need pet grooming, they remember that place their friend shared the post from, and they call you up.
By creating shareable content, you make it easier to attract and convert new customers. What’s more, you increase the likelihood that existing customers will see your content and enjoy it, which is pivotal to creating a recognizable brand.
5. Content Marketing Boosts Your SEO
Did you know that every page you publish is another opportunity for Google to index your business? The more content you create, the more you uplift your SEO. Here’s how that works:
According to Search Engine Land, SEO has four key elements:
- Finding out what customers want and delivering it.
- Re-targeting customers, even after they abandon your site.
- Providing special offers for customers who “Act now.”
- Developing better content that is more appealing to customers.
While meeting those four objectives might seem like a long shot, content does it effortlessly. In addition to building trust and authority in your given industry, great content also makes it easier to take control of your relationship with your customers and ensure it’s a symbiotic one.
In this way, content marketing supports and uplifts your SEO efforts, and makes them much more successful than they would otherwise be on their own.
Small Business Content Marketing: 7 Actionable Tips to Incorporate Content Marketing in Your Small Business
Now that you know “why” content marketing matters so much for small businesses, let’s talk about how you can start incorporating it into yours. Here are some top tips to get started with small business content marketing:
1. Optimize for Local SEO
If you have a local company with a brick-and-mortar location, you need to be optimizing for local SEO. One of the most critical aspects of content marketing for small businesses, optimizing for local SEO is a great way to appeal to your local customers and increase local appeal.
It’s also a great way to make sales, considering 50% of customers who conduct local searches on a mobile device visit a store within 24 hours, as do 34% of customers who search on a computer.
Not sure where to start optimizing your content for local SEO? Creating location-specific pages is a smart move, as it’s easy to focus them on geographical keywords and use them to help your customers find exactly what they need.
2. Hire Professional Writers to Improve Content Quality
If you’re not exactly Hemingway, it’s okay – you don’t need to be. Lots of companies succeed without an expert writer at the helm. Their trick is simple: they hire expert writers to help them. Even if you’re not a master with the pen, it’s unlikely anyone is ever going to take your company seriously without professional, high-quality writing in your social media profiles, blogs, and web-pages. As such, it’s smart to hire professional writers to improve the quality of your content.
This is especially true now that companies in all industries and specialties are creating more content than they ever have before. If you want to keep up, it’s essential to keep up not only with the pace but the quality of your competitors. Hiring professional writers is one of the smartest ways to do this and give your content marketing a boost all at once.
3. Start Publishing on Social Media More Frequently
A great social media strategy goes hand in hand with good content marketing. Here’s the thing: even if you’re not active on social media, other brands are, and that tricky little addition to their content marketing may well help them outpace you. As such, it’s essential to find ways to keep your brand active on social media. Today, the social web is growing faster than ever before, and simple things like sharing your unique content, curated posts, and relevant industry news on your profiles can help you stay on the bleeding edge. It may also earn you additional customers. If you need some help managing your social presence, look into hiring a social media manager or content team.
4. Start Blogging
Blogging is one of the fastest and easiest ways to improve your content strategy and take a stronger approach to content marketing. It’s also one of the best ways to earn customers. According to Impact Branding and Design, 47% of buyers view 3-5 pieces of content before talking to a sales rep, which means the more content you have, the more likely it is they’ll call your company. What’s more, marketers who blog earn 67% more leads than those who don’t.
With this in mind, start and maintain a company blog. The functionality is built right into most content management systems, and you don’t need to post every day. To start seeing results, shoot to post once or twice a week, and up the frequency as your readership grows. If you need help, you can always outsource your writing to a professional team or a freelancer.
5. Connect Your Content Platforms to One Another
Want to simplify your content marketing? Here’s an easy tip: integrate your various content platforms with one another. For example, if you host a blog on WordPress, you can integrate it with your LinkedIn and Facebook pages to make sharing and distributing your content easy. Not only does this remove content marketing steps for you, but it also helps ensure your best content is going to all your platforms, all the time.
6. Consider Publishing a Paper Brochure
While it may seem like paper publications have fallen out of vogue, they’re still a valuable content asset, and they can help your company build up brand recognition and sales. The tractor company John Deere was arguably the first brand to use paper brochures as a form of content marketing, back in 1897, when they launched “The Furrow,” a simple magazine that helped farmers learn about the industry, how to care for crops, and which approaches would be most successful that season.
If you’re interested in publishing a paper brochure, or any type of print content, don’t let yourself get too carried away in thinking it’s complex and challenging. Just like a digital publication, print publications work best when they’re relevant, valuable, and exciting to consumers.
When you stick with those guidelines, your print content will do just fine.
7. Start Developing Infographics
You know what most businesses aren’t doing? Creating infographics! If you want to stand out in your industry and develop some seriously shareable content that can get you noticed on the web, infographics are the way to go. Not only do they perform better on social media than any other type of content, but they’re also intensely valuable to readers, and not that tough to create.
If you don’t feel comfortable creating your own infographics (using one of the web’s free tools), it’s easy to hire a content company to create infographics for you. Heck, Express Writers even offers infographic creation services! No matter what you choose to do, infographics are a great way to make a splash in content marketing and get your money’s worth, right off the bat. They also make your brand look professional and unique, which is essential for small businesses!
The Case for Content Marketing in Small Business
Small businesses face a unique set of challenges today. In addition to battling larger, online companies with more resources, many of them are also struggling to adapt to the digital age.
Fortunately, one of the easiest things you can do to overcome these challenges is to start adopting content marketing.
Designed to create authentic interactions with customers and position you to perfectly provide value, content marketing is the “only” marketing left for the digital age.
To learn more about content marketing, or to secure world-class content for your small business, visit our online Content Shop today.