While not a new concept, content marketing is a fairly new term and there is a reason it is all the rage these days. It is incredibly valuable for small business owners and, with a little creativity, can level the playing field between small businesses and big name brands.
Content marketing can include articles, blog posts, videos, press releases, direct mail pieces, infographics, webinars, and many other content-driven tactics. When your company is creating content, you are thinking like a publisher and therefore attracting consumers seeking the information that is valuable to them. But, how does it benefit you?
Here are reasons why content marketing is important to your small business:
Content Marketing Increases Website Traffic
Content marketing provides traffic for your website. By way of search terms and useful information, you will get people to click on your site. This is the Attraction phase of the Inbound Marketing Methodology. The more people that click through to your site, the more people will convert from visitors to prospects. If your content is share-worthy, readers will share the information to their social channels (gotta love that online word-of-mouth doing the work for you!) This is a good way to constantly keep a new flow of people coming to your site.
Search engines will also gobble up your content, putting your links and information on their result pages. Targeting keyword terms relevant to your audience, truly being helpful with your content and having a degree of transparency is what will help set you apart from your competitors to attract your perfect customers.
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Sharing Your Knowledge Positions Your Expertise
When you are constantly putting out knowledgeable content, your website visitors will take notice and this is awesome for your marketing potential. This means you should be thoughtful about the content you write as well as how frequent you come out with new content. Remember, more is not always better… better is better. If you have competitors, your expertise can make you look far more professional than someone else who puts out lackluster content.
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Forces You to Stay Ahead of Industry Trends
When you are churning out frequent content, you will have to do a bit of research. You can learn a thing or two from doing your research and the more you read up on your field of expertise the better. There is always something new to pick up on or learn. You can then share that knowledge and, as content marketing for small business owners goes, reinforce that position as a valuable resource.
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In recent surveys, CMA research has found that over 50% of content marketing consumers say it has a positive impact upon purchase decisions, with 61% agreeing that it increases brand positivity. When you create content, you are providing a controlled and portable shop window for customers to consume in their own time.
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Deepens Existing Relationships
These days, consumers have more choices than ever before, making for stiffer competition for every business owner (not just small businesses). Content marketing gives a platform to entertain and engage customers, while still keeping them up-to-date on your product announcements and news. A creative content marketing strategy will keep them coming back for more and more.
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Goes Beyond Social
Increasingly, social media platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and others are expecting brands to pay for using their services (have you noticed the dive in organic reach?) Using social media as a way to communicate your message to current and potential customers is not as effective as it once was … and! …. even though you may own your content on these platforms you can’t fully control what happens to it. But, content created through your own website and landing pages is something you have full control over and can benefit from for years to come.
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Do you have any content marketing tips? If so, I would love to share them in a future post. To get your tips featured – message me.
Great recap Susan: thanks! I’ll add another argument: content marketing scales better for SMB’s.
Paying for traffic can rapidly becoming a huge financial constraint. And most of the time, they face diminishing returns from advertising.
Content Marketing is not free either but it can be done under a fixed cost model and (through what we’ve called lean content techniques at Scoop.it) within a budget.