Content marketing for small businesses is essential for your success. A content marketing strategy involves producing high-quality pieces of valuable information. Small businesses benefit from content marketing because it increases brand awareness, generate more leads, and drives loyalty.
Small businesses can find it challenging to compete against large, established companies. If you are a small or new business owner, you know the challenges of taking on the “big guns.” You probably have a limited budget, smaller staff, and fewer resources. A solid marketing strategy that involves getting customer reviews, publishing content, and having the right promotions can give you an even footing.
In a previous article, we discussed how online reviews are essential for reputation management. In this article, you will learn why your small business needs a content marketing strategy. You will also find out five ways to create a solid plan to use content marketing for business success.
What is Content Marketing Strategy?
Simply put, content marketing is creating and sharing any type of online material. Content marketing can be blog posts, social media posts, long-form articles, infographics, videos, and other content.
Content marketing differs from advertising because the goal is to share valuable, relevant, and shareable content. So, rather than sell “stuff,” the content should inform, educate, and even entertain.
According to the Content Marketing Institute, no kind of marketing tactics are effective without good content.
For example, social media posts require great images with catchy, punchy phrases. Publishing valuable content on your website boosts your Search Engine Optimization (SEO) strategy. Search engines index these pages and show them as relevant search results. Also, any Pay-Per-Click advertising campaign needs excellent content for it to be effective and convert new customers.
Does Content Marketing Work for Small Businesses?
Of course, the most crucial question is, will content marketing help your small business become successful?
Providing content for consumers is key to your business success. Did you know that over 90% of people research a business online before deciding to engage? Content marketing can boost your success when used as part of a long-term strategy.
Using content as a marketing tactic helps consumers become loyal customers.
To get more customers, an effective strategy should focus on each stage of the buying process. The type of content you post ultimately affects the consumer’s decision to use your business rather than your competitors.
Here is how content marketing addresses all the needs of your customers when they are on their buying journey.
Content marketing builds brand awareness for small businesses
The first stage in the buying process to attract new customers is through brand awareness. You help create brand awareness by creating the following types of content:
- writing industry-related blog posts
- producing “how-to” articles or videos
- creating infographics
- publishing slideshows
- recording podcasts or webinars
- publishing newsletters
Content marketing helps consumers decide
The next stage of the buying process is where potential customers or returning customers are deciding on your product.
The type of content that helps them decide should include the following:
- customer testimonials
- real customer reviews
- case studies
- an FAQ page
- demo videos
Content marketing can seal the deal
The last stage of the buying process is when the consumer is ready to make a decision. Depending on your business model, you could offer coupons, free trials, live demos, or competitive pricing to convert the lead.
How to Create a Successful Content Marketing Strategy
What are the key elements to creating a content marketing strategy to boost your business success?
Here are five steps to create a marketing strategy based on quality, value, and relevant content.
1. Know your audience
First, you need to know your target audience if you want to produce relevant and valuable content. Knowing your perfect customer type helps create content that answers the exact questions they need answering.
How can you come up with content relevant to your audience? The easiest way is to write a few words related to your business on Google. You will see a list of phrases that come up. If you hit enter, you will also see a box with “People also ask.” These are the most relevant questions you can answer for your audience.
Create content around the issues your potential customers are searching for online.
2. Know your goals
You should always create content with a specific goal in mind. Remember, there are three stages in a consumer’s journey. Have a plan to create detailed pieces that address your customer’s needs during each phase.
So, you need to decide if the blog post or article is to raise brand awareness, or is it to show social proof of your product. Some types of social media content are designed to get more followers, whereas others are to generate leads.
The main goal is to create enough content so that a potential customer can always get the information they are looking for without dropping off.
3. Get customer feedback
One of the essential areas when it comes to a solid content marketing strategy is to get customer feedback. Getting reviews from your customers is vital to strengthen your online reputation.
Customers reviews also provide great user-generated content for your website. Not only does it help potential customers decide on your product or service, but it also provides content that the search engines pick up. These comments and star-ratings form part of the algorithm in local search engine results’ pages.
The importance of getting more real online reviews is why many local businesses decide on having a customer review management strategy. In many cases, the return on investment (ROI) is higher than traditional paid advertising.
4. Have a schedule
Posting content consistently is another crucial way to make your content marketing strategy more effective.
If you are posting content over several channels, you should set up a posting schedule. You could have a social media post scheduled for one day, your blog post for another day and so on.
The goal is consistency.
Your consumers will become disengaged if blog posts or social media posts go out haphazardly.
5. Decide on what channels to use
Part of your content marketing strategy should be to use the best channels for distributing content. Here are some types of content you should focus on:
- The “About Us” section of your website is essential in attracting new customers. The page should explain your values, goals, and business culture.
- Blog posts are excellent for building brand awareness and driving traffic to your site. Posting regularly on your website with SEO-optimized content will help you rank higher in the search engines.
- Offer downloadable guides in exchange for email addresses. Getting addresses not only helps you distribute more valuable content; you also get email addresses to use as part of your marketing email campaign strategy.
- Post content on social media that your followers will love to share. Using high-quality images and videos can help boost your online presence and attract new customers.
In conclusion, content marketing is an integral part of a long-term strategy to boost the success of your small business. High-quality content increases your brand awareness, generate more leads, and ultimately results in higher revenue.
Contact us at Starloop to find out how we can help you attract new customers, get real online reviews, and increase your rankings.