Content Marketing For Small Business: A Key Component To Your Success
8 Reasons Why Content Marketing For Small Business Is Essential
Is Content Marketing for small business a viable marketing tool? It’s a strategy that many businesses have adopted in an effort to better engage with their audience and drive traffic to their website in a non-salesy manner. It’s certainly not a quick and easy strategy for every business to implement though… and this holds especially true for small businesses who operate on tight budgets and few resources. Let’s face it, creating a Content Marketing Strategy takes time and effort in order to be successful. It requires research and writing and tapping into your audiences needs to create engaging, interesting and valuable content. To do this with the highest quality on a consistent basis is challenging for small businesses. Many question the value of focusing on Content Marketing for small business as a necessary strategy given the effort needed to pull it off. But, when done right, Content Marketing can be one of the most viable and rewarding marketing tools in your arsenal, despite your business size. We’ve got 8 solid reasons why Content Marketing for small business is absolutely essential for success.
1. Content Marketing Gives Your SEO A Boost
As a small business, being discovered is gold. One of the best ways to be discovered is to have your website rank in search for various keywords relative to your business and important to your intended audience and target customers. Content Marketing and SEO are BFFs for a reason. When you create high quality content on your website, people take notice by clicking through to your site from search results or by being referred by other reputable sites. It’s all about building authority and credibility. Content Marketing can drive website visitors when you optimize each piece of content for search engines. It’s not about gaming the system though (Search Engines are too smart for those antics)… but rather focusing on providing value with your content and letting it speak for itself (the best way to do SEO!).
2. Content Marketing Enhances Your Reputation As A Subject Matter Expert
You need to stand out as a small business. You need to have a large voice that has extensive reach. That’s where Content Marketing for small business shines bright. By implementing a solid content strategy for your small business, it gives you a platform for which to share your expertise as it relates to your business. You can establish yourself as a subject matter expert across a few key areas of your business by creating content that your audience values. When you become the go-to resource for these areas, you enhance your reputation and credibility. As you become associated with expertise in certain content areas, opportunities for guest blogging, interviews, speaking, etc. open up as well as avenues for new audiences to discover you. Keep in mind that creating a strategy for Content Marketing for small business doesn’t mean being everywhere and doing everything. It’s about prioritizing what is most important to your audience, your customers and your business. Keeping a focused strategy is the key.
3. Content Marketing Is Great For Driving Traffic To Your Website
As a small business, you want website visitors (new and repeat) to generate business… and you want them visiting on a consistent basis. By default, many small business websites are static… they are information hubs about your products/services, information about your business, etc. Generally, small business websites don’t have much in the way of dynamic content that continuously drives new and repeat visitors. But, when you incorporate a content marketing strategy into your plans, you have the ability to create both evergreen and trending content to capture the interest of your audience – giving them a reason to check out your website over and over again. When combined with a smart social media strategy, driving people to your website with high-value content is a much more engaging tactic (as opposed to a direct sales approach) that will make people want to visit your site and come back for more.
4. Content Marketing Allows You To Promote Your Brand Via Edutainment
Building your brand as a small business is important. A solid brand strategy is the foundation for your business – it’s all about who you are, what you stand for and how you want your audience to perceive you. Small businesses can use content marketing to help build and establish their brand with their customers and audience as the center point. Great content marketing is about providing value in the form of education, information, entertainment (edutainment) that is relevant and timely to your audience. People don’t want to be sold to. Period. And your small business should have this concept at the hub of your brand strategy. While it is imperative to have high quality products and services (the ultimate driver of your business), building your brand and your values through great content makes engaging with your audience less about you and more about them. When you give them content in the form of valuable information or something they derive enjoyment from, their perception of you is positive. So instead of going into sell, sell, sell mode – use content marketing to establish the positive connections to your brand that you want your audience to embrace.
5. Content Marketing Provides An Avenue for Audience Engagement
If you really want to grow your small business, you need to engage with your audience (prospects, customers, vendors, potential partners, etc.). Great businesses are rooted in established relationships. It’s all about having your audience see you authentically… you are a business made up of passionate humans who love what they do and want to share that passion with others. Content Marketing can serve as an avenue to engage with your audience authentically and understand them on a deeper level. Whether it’s polling your audience about a topic to garner their opinion, starting a discussion on a recent trend or engaging in a live Q&A session – engaging with your audience with content that is relevant, timely and interesting will give your brand an authentic personality. Speaking the language of your audience with your content, instead of spewing corporate jargon, will also go a long way in having engaging interactions.
6. Content Marketing Fills Your Social Feed
When you take the time to produce great content that your audience craves, you also build a repository of high-value social content to share across various social networks. Utilizing the power of repurposing content, you can take one piece of really high-value content (blog article, infographic, white paper, video, etc.) and break it down, build it out or reformat it in multiple ways to share across your social profiles. This works really well for evergreen content, because you can build up a repository of quality posts to fill your social queue. When combined with select curated content, you build your reputation as a subject matter expert across social media as well.
7. Content Marketing Allows You To Better Understand Your Audience
Content Marketing can serve as a gauge to what your audience likes and dislikes. Understanding your audience, and especially your target market, on a deeper level has multiple benefits. Not only does it help you hone your content marketing strategy, but also can provide insights into your products and services, research and development, customer service and more. When you create content and share it with your audience, some things will resonate and some won’t. When you hit a home run with content, the key is to then dive deeper to understand what made that particular piece of content so powerful. Was it the information you shared, the format of the content, the way you delivered it, the timing, etc.? Using A/B testing of your content will help you to continuously tweak and optimize what you deliver… each time learning more about your audiences preferences. It’s a learning process, and will take time, but the outcome will be a refined strategy that allows you to focus on the most relevant content that your audience craves and that delivers the results you desire.
8. Content Marketing Helps Build Your Lead Generation List
At the end of the day, a small business needs customers to survive. Creating great content can help with building your brand and reputation, filling your social feed and engaging with your audience – which are all critical elements of building your business. But… one of the most powerful elements of Content Marketing is list building. Generating leads and building an internal list is a crucial step in the marketing process. The list you build is a powerful marketing asset that you own… which can be utilized to guide prospects through your marketing funnel. Creating high value content that correlates directly to the type of information your target customers seek will allow you to grow your list exponentially. So how do you build your list with great content? Lead magnets! Gate your best content and require your audience to provide their email address and other vital information in exchange for something they see value in. Utilize landing pages, social media and other digital assets to promote your lead magnet. If you are providing truly quality content, your audience will willingly give you their email address and other (brief) contact information. The key is to not abuse this gift. Every outreach you make should be purposeful and respectful. Resist the urge to immediately send a sales email immediately upon getting contact information. Focus on building the relationship.
Content Marketing for small businesses can be daunting no doubt. But the benefits of a well crafted Content Marketing strategy far outweigh the challenges of pulling together the time and resources to implement it effectively. It’s not an overnight process and may take longer for a small business to get in a content drumbeat that works for their business and their audience. Over time though, as you build your content repository (as well as your brand reputation), it becomes a part of your everyday business. What do you think? Is Content Marketing for small business a smart and viable strategy?