When it comes to content marketing, the majority of small businesses (and even large ones) start with creating a simple content marketing plan based on collecting long-tail keywords. The reason they do this comes from the belief that quality content costs a fortune and small business can’t afford it. As a result, many companies come up with the same strategy and alist of articles. Then companies decide on posting frequency and often follow the rule “as often as you can”.
All I can say about this approach is – it’s absolutely wrong.
To start with, conduct audience research. What information would they consider to bevaluable? What information do the competitors miss? What content will establishyou as an opinion leader?
One of the most vivid examples of how itworks is a life story of Marcus Sheridan. To put it in a nutshell, Marcus owned a swimming pool company and was about to go bankrupt. Then, he decided to try inbound marketing as a last-hope effort.
Instead of thoughtlessly collecting keywords, Marcus started with the audience research and found out that the majority of prospects wanted to know the cost of a fiberglass pool.
At that time, none of the websites had a clear answer to this question. Marcus wrote a detailed post on this topic answering all users’ concerns.
The result? This article generated over $2 million in sales.
Instead of publishing tons of fluffy content, small businesses should focus on helping their users to solve the problems. This idea seems obvious, but only a small number of businesses follow such an approach.
What are the content types you can utilize to make this strategy work for your business?
“Seeing Is Believing”, as the saying goes. If you sell physical goods, there is no better way to promote them than to film a video of a product being in use.
Do you remember the “Will It Blend?” series from Blendtec, a blender manufacturer? If not, here is one of their videos:
As a result of the “Will it Blend?” campaign, Blendtec’s sales went up by 700%. The brand also received almost 900 000 subscribers on Youtube (no, I didn’t do a typo in numbers) and was featured on The Wall Street Journal, The Tonight Show, The History Channel, and many more media outlets.
How much did it cost? The initial cost of the first video was about $100. Then it all boiled down to the price of items they blended (a can of Coke in one case).
So you don’t need a pile of money to create entertaining videos for your product. And even if you do,that won’t guarantee success. Evian spent way more than $100 on Evian Roller Babies commercial and it holds the official Guinness World Record for the most viral video ad of all time. But can we call it a success? Not really.
In the year the Evian “Roller Babies” video went viral and attracted 50 million views, the brand lost market share and sales dropped 25 percent.
The problem was that the commercial had nothing to do with the product. Viewers weren’t able to associate what they see with the promoted product. For them it was just a cute video with kids, nothing more.
Even if you are a service company, you can shoot a video explaining what you do and answering the most common questions from users (at least you can make a FAQ video series).
When thinking of interviews, many small businesses believe that “it’s too difficult and we can’t afford it”. Indeed, not all of us have connections with top influencers, especially if you’re about to start the business. The good news is you don’t need to interview Elon Musk or Donald Trump.
Being an expert isn’t equal to being public and well-known. Write down a list of people you believe to be experts on your local market, and you’ll see that the majority of them rarely give interviews and get published (well, some of them just don’t want to). Give it a try and interview such an expert even if he/she isn’t publicly renowned (yet). It’s a win-win situation when you receive unique valuable content, while your interviewee gets a chance to build a personal brand.
Educational “How to” content
This one is straightforward. Users seek for the information – you provide the information. Producing commercialized content is the necessary evil, but it’s unlikely to help you become an opinion leader.
On thecontrary, educational content won’t bring you sales right the way, but will help you establish as an authority. Show the world that you know your stuff perfectly welland users will be more likely to trust you in future.
Writing case studies is a great way to share the success stories connected with your products. If you are a service company, it’s a great chance to showcase your expertise and the way you managed to solve your customer’s problem.
If you sell tangible goods, you can share the example of how it helped your users satisfy their goals.
77% of people take the time to read product reviews before they make any purchases online. Users don’t believe in everything you write about your own company or product, but they are likely to trust the review from another person.
If you have only a few clients, you can put the block with their testimonials sitewide. But if there is plenty of them, you can publish roundup posts in your blog comprising the most interesting and inspiring responses of your customers.
What are your favorite content types? Share in the comments section below.