Let’s face it, smaller businesses have a lot of work to do if they want to be heard in the chaos of online marketing today. Not only are there big-named brands to compete with, but customers are avoiding traditional advertising techniques by installing ad-blockers, fast-forwarding through television shows, and customising their social media feeds.
If you want to be seen in today’s business environment, then you’re going to need to get crafty. By that, I mean you’ll need to start designing content that your audience really wants to see. You need to offer value. Content marketing is a method of frequently creating relevant, valuable sources of information for your target audience. Ultimately, it improves your relationship with your customers, so they’re more likely to work with your company.
Not convinced? Here are a few reasons why small businesses need to invest in content marketing.
1. It Improves Brand Awareness
One of the most important elements in any content marketing strategy is consistency. That means that you need to be prepared to post blogs and articles at a regular frequency if you want your audience to take notice. Fortunately, the more you develop content, the more your pages will be indexed by search engines, leading to higher organic traffic. At the same time, as you explore your content strategy, customers will begin to see your name, and hear your voice more often, creating familiarity.
2. It Keeps your Website Fresh
A stale website is a useless one. Customers rely on the web today to find the information they need for important decisions. When they’re looking for information on a company, your clients will use your website as their first impression of your brand. If your website is stale and boring, then you’re not going to get the customers you’re looking for.
However, a professional website, regularly updated with high-value content represents your position as an industry leader to your target market. If your content is good enough, you could even keep your customers coming back for more.
3. Shareable Content Delivers New Customers
By creating a steady stream of fresh content, you automatically increase your chances of gaining more organic traffic. However, you can also syndicate that content on social media, and create posts on guest websites, to improve your chances of referral-based traffic too. The more you spread your brand presence around the internet, the more your audience will grow, leading to bigger, better conversions.
Just remember that if you want your content to be shareable, it needs to be valuable. You can’t just copy and paste something that someone else has done, or create keyword-stuffed nonsense. You need to offer real, authentic information.
4. It Encourages Customers to Act
Customers don’t just make decisions on a whim. At least, most of the time they don’t. If you want your audience to spend money on a product or service, you need to convince them it’s the right decision. In other words, you need to answer the questions that they might have before they’ve even had a chance to ask them.
If you learn about your audience and produce content that addresses their pain points and concerns, you can reduce the friction in your sales funnel, improving your chances of getting more leads that convert into customers.
5. It Gives you an Expert Identity
Finally, if there are ten other businesses in the area that offer services just like yours, and you’re the only person who offers frequent blog posts and information about the plumbing industry, then you’re going to look the most professional. Content helps you stand out as an industry expert, demonstrating your knowledge of your specialist niche, and ensuring you have the right impression.
Since small businesses need to make themselves stand out from the crowd today, identifying yourself is an expert is a great way to differentiate yourself from the competition.
Rob is Founder & Publisher of UC Today, a leading news publication specialising in Unified Communications & Collaboration technologies.