For small businesses, content marketing can seem overly complex or expensive, something that only large brands can afford. However, by drastically lowering the cost barriers to entry, digital content marketing has leveled the playing field for companies of all sizes. Today, even entrepreneurs and mom-and-pop shops can design a well-crafted content marketing approach to attract new customers and grow their business.
Here are some of the top benefits of content marketing for small businesses:
1. Content marketing is cheaper than traditional advertising.
Paid advertising, such as TV commercials and direct mail, are usually out of reach cost-wise for many small businesses. Plus, those formats are not nearly as effective as they used to be, and may not even be the right vehicles to reach your target audience.
Digital marketing has opened up entirely new and more affordable channels for small business advertising. For instance, options such as social media, search engine optimization (SEO), influencer partnerships, email marketing, and community building can all help small business marketers distribute quality content that cost-effectively builds brand awareness across their key audiences.
2. Creating content is as easy as sharing your expertise – customers are looking for education, not hard sales pitches.
In the age of the Internet, consumers are more informed than ever before. Perhaps that’s why as many as 70% of customers prefer to learn about a company through an article, blog, or other source instead of an ad. Content marketing helps you create and distribute valuable content that educates potential customers about your brand, which can also help increase your conversion rates.
Effective content is trustworthy, high-quality content. For this reason, blogging can be one of the easiest and most effective ways for small business owners to build trust with your audience because, over time, you can establish yourself as an authority on a particular subject or industry. However, trust doesn’t happen overnight. You have to consistently deliver content that’s valuable and shareable. This is why blogging can be a great marketing tool because, when done well, as it fosters conversations that enable customers and prospects to get to know, trust, and like you over a period of time. As a result, when they’re ready to buy (or know someone who is), your company will be the first company that comes to mind.
Click here to check out The Ultimate Content Calendar for 2021 and how to use it.
3. Unlike traditional advertising, digital content can be repurposed.
Not only is digital content cheaper than traditional advertising, it’s also a far more efficient way to market your company. Unlike a window display or static ad, a well-written blog post can be distributed way beyond your own website. You can share it on social media, fold it into an email newsletter, recreate it as an infographic or video, and potentially see it take on a life of its own as your audience shares it on their social media pages. As a result, a single blog post can drive continued traffic to your website long after you’ve published it — and generate a far bigger return on investment (ROI) than you ever expected.
Your content marketing plan should include ideas for how to repurpose resources such as blog posts. For instance, if your company is launching a new product or service in six months, now is the time to think about all of the campaign elements, such as new website pages, a blog calendar, social media posts, email, videos, etc., that will lead up to the announcement. Not only will this ensure you have your bases covered across your key marketing channels, a well-planned campaign roadmap will help you determine how to repurpose content in a way that best aligns with your marketing campaign goals while reducing the need to create all new content.
4. You can position you and your company as experts in your field.
Blogs, videos, eBooks, podcasts, webinars, and how-to guides are all great ways to demonstrate your unmatched knowledge and expertise in your market. When you combine great content with an effective SEO strategy, you dramatically increase the chances of potential customers finding you through Internet searches. Once you build an inbound marketing campaign, you can engage new audiences by answering their questions so they will start to view your company as an authoritative source of information — and potentially convert into a lifelong, loyal customer.
Content marketing is the most cost-effective and flexible way to promote your company, generate new leads via organic traffic, and attract loyal customers by focusing on building trust instead of hard selling. With digital content, the possibilities are almost endless. You don’t have to stick to just blog posts and email. You can create customer case studies, infographics, testimonials, checklists, employee spotlights, industry reviews, Q&As, podcasts, newsletters, photos…the list goes on.
The point is, no matter which industry you’re in or who your customers are, a flexible content marketing strategy can help ensure your content creation efforts generate the right content to engage them — in the right place and at the right time.