What Is Content Marketing, and How Can It Benefit Your Small Business?
When most people hear the term “marketing,” they think of ads that are designed to sell a specific product or service. However, recent reports have shown that 70 percent of people would rather learn about a company and its products through an article, rather than through advertisements. Therefore, if your marketing strategy focuses on ads alone, you’re missing critical opportunities to connect with your audience.
Enter content marketing.
What Is Content Marketing?
Rather than focusing on making pitches, companies use content marketing to provide valuable and relevant information to their audience. There are so many forms that content marketing can take. Here are just a few:
- Blog posts
- White papers
- Case studies
- And the list goes on!
How Does Content Marketing Benefit Small Businesses?
As a small business in the Northwoods, we at 5 Star Marketing & Distribution know that small business owners and employees wear many different hats and do not have infinite time or budgets to spend. You may be wondering what the benefits of content marketing are if it doesn’t aim to sell a specific product or service. Here is just a quick look at some of content marketing’s benefits.
1. Content marketing broadens your brand’s reach.
Think beyond just the people who are looking for a specific product or service right now. Content marketing exposes your company to those who are interested in your company’s industry and may become customers in the future.
2. Content marketing enhances trust.
By providing information that informs customers, answers questions they have, and solves their problems beyond those directly related to a product, you will the level of trust that prospective buyers and your wider audience have in your company.
3. Establish yourself as an expert and leader in your industry through content marketing.
As a small business owner, you pour your blood, sweat, and tears into your company. You eat, breathe, and sleep your business. You have a passion, a niche, and experience. You are an expert. So give yourself an outlet to establish yourself in the community and beyond as that expert—through the content you post on your website and social media accounts. When you provide people with interesting and pertinent information about your niche, you establish your credibility and expertise in your specific topic, and people will turn to your company’s products and services to help them solve their problems in the future.
4. Content marketing boosts your organic reach, making it easier for people to find you.
By regularly updating your website with new content that includes keywords relevant to what people are searching for, it improves your search rankings, meaning more people can find your website and learn about your company and your products and services.
How Can a Small Business Get Started with Content Marketing?
When brainstorming what type of content to create for content marketing purposes, it is key to think about your audience first. Rather than focusing on what you have to sell to them, come up with a list of questions they have related to your industry and your expertise.
- How would they phrase their questions and search terms in a Google search?
- What information do they need in order to move forward to solve their problem?
- Also think about who your audience is—what types of articles, visuals, and other media would attract them?
- What type of content would they be likely to share with their friends, family members, and colleagues on social media?
- What distribution method (specific social media platforms, email, etc.) is their go-to, so you can reach them there?
Now that you have some ideas about topics to create content around, it’s important to be realistic about getting your content marketing plans off the ground. There are no shortcuts—building an effective content marketing strategy takes effort and consistency over time. However, you needn’t start from square one. Even if you don’t have any articles or blog posts on your website, do you have any informational brochures, pamphlets, company profiles containing case studies, or other collateral that you can rewrite or retool to provide the most relevant and valuable information to your audience?
Whether you are working from existing literature or penning a new article, think of multiple ways that this resource can be used. For instance, you can create an infographic using the statistics you mentioned in an article and post that visual on Facebook, Pinterest, or Twitter. If you interview an industry expert or influencer, you can produce the audio version of the interview into a podcast, the video on YouTube, and include both of these media along with the transcript on your website. You can use the information gleaned during the interview to write up a separate article or blog post, which can be featured in a Facebook post and email newsletter, or developed further into a white paper or e-book.
The very same information can and should be used in multiple different formats because different people in different contexts use different methods of gathering information.
Do You Need Help Getting Your Content Marketing Efforts Off the Ground?
Do you see the tremendous value in providing relevant and audience-focused content but struggle with writing articles and blog posts? The editorial staff at 5 Star Marketing is here to assist you. Email us or call us at 715-453-4511 today to get started.
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