If you’re running a small business you know all-too-well the challenge of capturing the attention of potential customers. Simply put, you’re trying to be heard over a ton of noise. With consumers facing a daily bombardment of marketing, a lot of them are slamming the door on the non-stop ads, commercials and pop-ups by using ad-blockers, subscribing to the ad-free digital radio, paying for private email accounts and filtering what comes through their feeds on social media.
So to stay above water, smart digital marketers need to design messages that aren’t seen as annoyances, but rather, as intriguing opportunities. Thus, when small businesses engage with their target audience they need to do it in a way where they’re offering useful information as opposed to banging away with a pushy sales pitch.
This is how you get your consumers to listen. Your brand is no longer seen as a nuisance, but rather, as an appreciated value provider. This highly effective tactic is known as content marketing.
So what exactly is content marketing?
Simply put, content marketing is when a marketer or business consistently provides valuable information to its target audience. The ultimate goal being to develop a trusted and appreciated relationship where your prospective customers become actual customers.
So with the basics of content marketing down, here are the reasons why every small business needs content marketing:
No matter how great your content in, consistency is the most crucial aspect of your content marketing’s success. By providing new, high-quality content to your audience on a regular basis, you’ll create lots of chances for your target market to see your business’s name. The more your brand is recognized, the more familiar it will become to prospective customers, and the next time they’re looking for the type of services you provide, they’ll think of you.
If you had 10 doctors in town to choose from, and one of them offered free blood pressure checks, had a website discussing common medical procedures, and provided useful information on basic health and nutrition advice, that doctor would be doing a lot to separate himself from the other 9.
This is exactly what you want to do with your small business. Offer sincere and helpful content at no-cost, and very quickly you’ll develop an identity as a trusted source. Once that happens, people will continuously return to your site; not just as a place for free information, but because they’ll now see your brand as something unique and worthy of their hard earned money.
Congratulations, at this stage, your site has moved well beyond being just another place that’s selling something, and is now a valued resource.
When it’s comes time for consumers to spend some money, it’s pretty common for them to drag their heels on making the actual purchase. This is, of course, a natural reaction to being uncertain if the product or service they’re considering will meet their expectations. That’s what’s so great about proving yourself by providing great content, and even if you’re not a great writer and need to seek out the best sites for writing help, when potential customers get to see and benefit from what you have to offer, and when your content helps them through the phases of their buyer’s journey, there’s a very good chance your hard work will result in sales.
Putting out a constant stream of new and useful information through the various marketing avenues (social media, search engines, traditional media…etc.) will most likely drive a far greater amount of traffic to your website than if you promoted your site through paid marketing tools without providing or promoting any content.
Simply put, promotional vehicles need substance. And by offering fresh, useful content you’ll inspire people to click on whatever promotional ads you’re running. You’ll also be impressing Google, this leads to a boost in your site’s rankings which increases your chances that prospective customers will discover you.
People today rely immensely on the internet of information. So when it comes to making an online purchase, the quality and presentation of a business’s website will do a lot to influence whether or not a consumer sticks around for a while or bounces off to another site.
And while a site that comes across as barren and stagnant will often send prospective customers off, never to return, one that presents professional, dynamic content will have the opposite effect. Consumers who are just shopping around might visit a site multiple times, and if they see fresh, relevant content every time they come back, they’ll associate your brand with a superior experience and are more likely become customers.
Maybe the best thing about content marketing for your small business is that can continue to bring your customers back after they’ve made their first purchase. By continuously providing valuable information, your customers will keep seeing your site as a friendly place to get the relevant help they need and stopping by could remain a regular weekly or even daily routine. Thus, the long-term goal of content marketing is to build a base of loyal repeat customers who would never even consider shopping somewhere else. Between this group and the new consumers your content keeps attracting, your small business will over time become a prosperous success.
One thing to remember is that developing a small business takes time. There’s a ton of competitors out there vying for the same market space and it can be tricky at first to win consumers over. However, as I’ve laid out above, effectively applying an effective content creation strategy to your marketing can do a tremendous amount to turn your small business into a giant success.
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