Content marketing for a small business is all about providing your customers with valuable content. Your business needs to reach out to new people and keep its current customers engaged. Content marketing can help you achieve this goal. Using it effectively will heighten your brand’s awareness, attract new customers, and increase sales.
We know you may be confused after seeing the term ‘content marketing.’ As the term suggests, it’s a sub-field of Marketing Science. But don’t worry about the technicalities of it. We’re here to help you view it as a useful tool you can use to grow your small business on any platform.
Pay attention that content marketing differs from content production. The aim of content production is narrower when compared to content marketing. We’ve explained content production and ways to scale it in another blog post.
In this guide, first, we’ll provide you with an overview of what content marketing is and how you can leverage it to grow your business. Next, we’ll discuss 10 creative ideas you can use for content marketing.
Content marketing for a small business
As a small business owner, you may have doubts about the effectiveness of this approach. You’re thinking, “Because I run a small business, content marketing can’t benefit me.” Let’s get that out of your head. Your business’s size is not a determining factor in the success of your content marketing strategy.
Small businesses, among others, can benefit a lot from including content marketing in their strategy. The ROI from content marketing is guaranteed to be positive. It is very cost-efficient. You don’t need a tremendous amount of spending to extract results. That’s one huge advantage for a small business with limited resources.
Remember that people are inclined to learn about your business through blog posts or social media content. They prefer these over tons of annoying ads. You want these people to naturally reach out to your business’ services or products through the content you share.
What is content marketing?
The correct meaning of ‘content’
We often hear the term ‘content marketing,’ but most usually don’t know what it is. The concept still sounds new to many people. But it’s been around for quite a long time.
Before discussing the top 10 solutions of content marketing, we need to align our minds on what content is.
Content is the essence of your business. It can include a wide range of formats such as text, images, videos, infographics, polls, articles, E-books, podcasts, and much more.
A common myth surrounding this topic is that producing content is the same as copywriting. People mostly think of it as a written text. However, content goes way beyond this definition. Clearing your mind of such misconceptions is crucial to the success of your business’ content marketing strategy.
Content marketing defined
We can define content marketing in many distinct ways. It can be a field, a practice, an industry, or a career path. But most importantly, it’s a tool many businesses of all sizes can use to market their work and reach out to more customers.
Content marketing is an essential part of almost every business strategy. It involves the use of different content formats we discussed earlier to provide value to your audience. All of it comes down to one sole purpose: creating content that people deem valuable. Through adopting a journalistic approach, you should try to answer their questions, solve their problems, and get their interest.
You can easily understand that content marketing is not about you, your business, or your products and services. It’s all about having the right answer to “What does my target audience care about?”
Top benefits of Content Marketing:
Content marketing brings numerous benefits to the table for many businesses. The size of your business is not important in this case. Whether you’re a small business owner or a large company CEO, you’ll benefit from incorporating content marketing into your business strategy. The benefits mentioned below also apply to content marketing for a small business.
1. Attract new customers
One huge advantage you gain by offering the appropriate content is drawing many people towards your business’ products or services. If you manage to get the right content out there, you’re making your business more discoverable. This can create an opportunity for you to turn each of these individuals into new customers. Once they establish a connection with your business, they’ll be able to trust your business, and they’re more likely to become your loyal customers.
2. Engage current customers
By producing the right content, you’ll also keep those that are already your customers engaged. These are typically your loyal customers and will need new reasons to remain loyal. You should consistently try to delight them with the content you curate. Once you keep up the efforts for a while, you’ll become a credible authority in your niche. You’ll eventually form a sense of community around your business, which makes your customer list longer.
3. Strengthen brand awareness
Another common benefit that comes with content marketing for a small business is making it more recognizable. As you know, we’re living in the information age. Billions of people are using search engines to search for information. For your content marketing strategy to succeed, it is vital that what you put out there is compelling for people. If more and more individuals interact with your content, it’ll cause it to appear among the best search results. The final outcome is that a larger audience will become aware of your business, increasing the chance of having more customers.
If you manage to successfully carry out your business’ content marketing strategy and make it flourish, more profitable benefits will follow. These benefits include:
1. Increased ROI from advertising
Once you’re successfully attracting new visitors to your website or even social media, you start to garner vast amounts of data related to your customers’ interaction. You can use the data to customize ads based on your audience’s tastes and needs.
2. Sponsored ads
When you’ve succeeded at garnering a large audience through publishing valuable content, other businesses and companies will be willing to pay you to advertise for them. This results in increased revenues for your business.
3. Content licensing
Perhaps this benefit is reaped once your small business reaches more professional levels. Through licensing, you allow other businesses and companies use your content to share on their platforms in exchange for money. Again one outcome here is more profits. But content licensing also clears a path for your content to be published on new channels.
Content marketing ideas
Blog posts and articles
The ideal starting point for you to begin content marketing for a small business is to own a website with a blog section. You can do a lot with a blog. It allows you to publish written content with a wide variety of creative options.
Posting well-written, niche-relevant blog content that’s optimized for search engines and will help your business attract new visitors.
We’re all using our cell phones or desktop browsers to search for information online. Most of us prefer to watch videos on the topics we search for. Because videos are more interactive and interesting. There are even accurate statistics to prove that. Wyzowl reports that 69% of consumers prefer to watch a short video to learn about a business’ products and services in 2021.
Videos are an excellent tool for producing valuable content. They’re often shared a lot—especially the ones posted on social media platforms. You may decide to share explainer videos or stick to sharing videos on social media. But including them in your strategy is crucial.
Podcasts are becoming more popular each year, and many music streaming platforms are hosting various podcast programs on their websites.
The benefit of producing a podcast series is that you can prepare for it beforehand and do it anywhere. You get to decide the number of episodes, the hosts and guests, and all the other factors.
Conducting interviews is perhaps one of the content marketing methods that may help take some load off your shoulders. That’s because you’re not the only one doing all of it. An interviewee is sharing the burden with you.
Most people are interested in knowing what happens behind the scenes of an industry. So invite your industry’s activists to interview sessions and discuss this topic. The benefit of holding interviews cuts both ways. It’s also a great chance for the interviewee to enter the spotlight.
Ever since the Covid-19 pandemic, the majority of seminars are held online. These E-seminars or webinars are an effective method of content marketing for a small business. All you’re required to do is pick the topics you wish to discuss and set up a time and date.
You need to make sure of promoting it through social media channels or any other way to make people aware of it. You can use platforms like Zoom or Google Meet to host it.
When we come across a relatively long blog article, we may become less inclined to read through it. Or we may decide to read it until the end, but we found it challenging to make sense of the information. In such cases, creating stylish, colorful infographics can be a good shortcut to share valuable content with your audience. They’re much easier to understand than plain text.
The number of social media users is grown each year. Billions of us are using social platforms every day. These are huge markets for any business. Formulating a strategy for your small business’ content marketing on social media platforms is a must. Platforms like Instagram and Facebook are enormous markets for you to publish your curated content. We
Your audience and anyone who wants to get familiar with your business would love to hear what stories you have for telling. People, in general, are interested to know about everyone else’s life stories.
They want to know who you are, how your business was founded, what plans you have, what future goals your business has, and many other topics. Be a master storyteller and win the confidence of your customers.
Every often, you can compile the articles you’ve posted and create an E-book from them. This option is great when you want to publish long-form content which can’t be posted as a single article. An organized E-book can be shared on online bookstores and help you deliver your message on new platforms.
We discussed the definition and benefits of content marketing. We focused a lot on encouraging you to include it in your small business’ general strategy.
However, it is worthy to note that traditional marketing methods like telemarketing are not entirely dead, and you can still use them. But today’s business world favors digital marketing strategies.
Content marketing is among those effective, low-cost methods for helping various businesses grow and become more profitable. It is even helpful when it comes to marketing for a small business.
Understand how to turn it into an advantage for your business, and you’ll have a valuable asset right there in your hands.