Content Marketing Best Practices for Small Businesses

Are you constantly struggling to maintain a healthy online presence for your small business? Having a website, social media pages, and even a blog is a great way to boost your company’s visibility online, but there’s a lot of competition out there. Rather than spending your marketing budget on expensive and pushy online advertisements that most people tend to ignore or block, it’s time to consider a content marketing strategy for your small business.

Why is content marketing important for small businesses?

Rather than pushing unwanted advertisements on your potential customers, content marketing is designed to allow your customers to find you, educate themselves about your brand and your products or services, and encourage them to share and engage with your brand.

Consumers are extra-wary of advertisements these days. Anyone who uses the internet is constantly bombarded with pop up ads, auto-play commercials, and intrusive ads that interrupt them from viewing the content they want. People respond to the clutter by installing ad-blockers, skipping through commercials, and deleting anything they see as spam. It’s more important than ever to make sure you’re providing quality content that people actually want to see. Content marketing allows consumers to see your brand not as an interruption, but as a valuable source of information.

What can content marketing do for my small business?

With an effective content marketing strategy, you will…

  • Boost brand awareness

Publishing consistent and relevant content is the best way to make your brand stand out from your competition. Stay in the forefront of your customer’s minds so they’ll think of your company the next time they need what you have to offer.

  • Become known as an industry leader

Imagine you’re competing with several other businesses in your area who offer the exact same services or products. How do you stand out? Most consumers will look for reputation and expertise when making their final decisions. With content marketing, you’re proving to your audience that you know what you’re talking about when it comes to your industry. You’ll build a reputation as a leading expert in your field, which will make you the more trusted choice against your competition.

  • Drive traffic to your website

A steady flow of new content is like adding another strand to your spider web. The more strands you have, the bigger your web, and the more likely you are to “catch” potential customers. Increasing your website’s traffic is one of the first steps to generating valuable leads for your business.

  • Keep your online presence active and relevant

In this digital age, consumers rely on the internet for information they need in order to make decisions, whether they’re researching their next purchase or looking for a service provider. Inactive social media pages and plain, uninformative websites are usually a sign of an inactive or apathetic business, and that’s not what you want. Make sure you’re frequently providing new, fresh content for your website, blog, and social media pages in order to maintain an active buzz about your business.

Why Your Small Business Needs a Blog

Maybe you’ve heard about business blogging, or even read a few blogs yourself. But is a blog really necessary for small businesses? The answer is a resounding, YES! A small business blog is a valuable marketing tool that will allow you to generate organic site traffic for your website, attract and nurture leads, and inform your potential customers about your business.

A business blog is one tool that enables you to take advantage of the four benefits of content marketing listed above: boosting brand awareness, building a reputation as an industry expert, generating website traffic, and keeping an active online presence. Blogging is also a valuable way to boost your website’s SEO, or Search Engine Optimization.

SEO is what makes popular search engines such as Google find your website and present it to people who are searching for content like yours. When you write blogs based around keywords related to your industry, it makes your website more likely to show up when people are searching for those keywords. For instance, if your business provides cell phone repairs and you blog about “Ways to tell if your phone has water damage,” you’ll attract potential customers who might need your services.

Types of Content to Consider

There are endless possibilities to the types of content you can create and share. To get started, think about your target audience: Who are the people you’re trying to connect your business with, and what types of content would those people be most interested in?

  • Blog posts and articles
  • Ebooks and whitepapers
  • Video content
  • Audio content, such as podcasts
  • Infographics
  • Emails
  • Case studies
  • “How To” Guides
  • Checklists
  • Interviews
  • Industry news
  • Online courses

Once you’ve created your content, it’s time to distribute it to the world. Be sure to keep your social media pages freshly updated with any content you create, and consider asking affiliates to share your content as well. Don’t forget to encourage your followers to share and interact with your content, and always end your content with a call to action that asks customers to take an action and engage with your business!

No matter what you choose, it’s important to monitor and analyze the results of content you’ve released previously, as these results will give you valuable data that will show what works for your business, and what doesn’t.

Final Tips:

  • To get started, think about your audience. Always create content with your target audience in mind. Think about their problems, their goals, and any questions they might have about your product or service.
  • Need ideas? You can generate plenty of content by simply answering those common questions asked most by your current customers, because chances are people are searching for answers to those questions online.
  • Don’t just let your content sit. Create a strategy for placement and promotion for every piece you create. Social media, influencers, and guest blogging are all great ways to spread the word about your content.
  • Always monitor and analyze the results of your content. Pay attention to what your audience responds to, and adjust your strategy often.