2016 Content Marketing Guide for Small Businesses

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How showcasing your unique expertise boosts your brand recognition and attracts customers

As a small business owner in Northeast Ohio, you know that it takes a concerted effort to attract and keep customers. Strategic marketing that creatively engage consumers is needed to set your business apart from the crowd. One of the most essential marketing tools to accomplish this is “content marketing.”

What is content marketing?

Content marketing is a marketing strategy that involves creating and sharing specialized content with the public, most often online or through social media. The most effective content is unique, specific, targeted, educational, and entertaining. What are some examples of content marketing in action?

  • A small bridal boutique publishes a series of monthly blog posts on up-and-coming wedding fashion trends at a variety of price points.
  • An independent coffee shop shares information on the importance of buying ethically-sourced coffee on its Facebook page.
  • A family-owned plumbing repair company films and posts short videos about common home repair problems and DIY tips.
  • A local art gallery challenges its Instagram followers to post images of their own artwork and share stories about what inspires them.

What makes content marketing so powerful?

In recent years, content marketing has become incredibly popular with small business owners. Why? Simply put, it works! Content marketing is an inexpensive and highly effective way of introducing your company to a wider audience, attracting new consumers, and keeping your customer base engaged. Content marketing serves the following valuable purposes:

  • It establishes you as an expert in your field. Content marketing shows off your knowledge, passion, and unique perspective. New customers who are considering giving you their business will feel confident in your professionalism and will be more likely to put their trust in you.
  • It distinguishes you from your competitors. Content marketing gives your small business unparalleled brand awareness. If you reach out to the community with interesting content, your business will at the forefront of peoples’ minds when they need a service you provide.
  • It keeps your customers engaged. People hate being spammed with advertisements; because of this, some small businesses find it difficult to stay on their customers’ radars without being tuned out. Content marketing offers a creative solution to this problem! By regularly updating your business’s website and social media pages with interesting content that ditches the sales pitch, you will entertain your customers and keep them returning again and again.
  • It has a big impact on your bottom line. While creating high-quality content requires a significant investment of time and energy, it is definitely worth it. Calls to action embedded within your content (whether direct or indirect) can drive business, be it online sales or in-person visits. Similarly, the sharable nature of entertaining content means that you can potentially reach a huge audience without having to spend a lot of money on marketing.

As you can see, whether your goal is to educate consumers, spur enthusiasm, drive action, or simply entertain, content marketing has its place in any small business marketing plan.

What type of content should I be creating?

When creating a content marketing strategy for your small business, you should ask yourself the following questions: What is your target audience and what kind of information would they find interesting or relevant to their lives? What specialized knowledge do you have? What type of content are your competitors creating? Do you want to educate, entertain, or both? These considerations will help you determine what content to create and how it should be crafted.

Some common examples of content created by small business owners include:

  • Blog posts. A blog on your small business’s website is the perfect place to showcase the depth of your knowledge about your field. Regardless of what your business specializes in, you can write blogs related to current events, trends in your industry, customer feedback, and seasonal topics. The possibilities are endless!
  • User-generated content. You can invite your social media followers to create and share their own content on your page. User-generated content bolsters passion for your service or industry, and drives peer recommendations of your business. In addition, people will be subconsciously drawn to a business that they know others already engage with and trust.
  • A regular social media presence. Even posting simple content such as status updates, tweets, stories, and relevant articles can demonstrate that your small business is active in the community and your industry.
  • Other media. Content marketing can take virtually any form, including videos, photographs, FAQs, apps, podcasts, live streamed events, online contests, and email newsletters, among many others. You are limited only by your imagination!
  • Getting started with content marketing

    If you are excited by content marketing but feeling overwhelmed by its many possibilities, a professional can help unleash your inner creator. A marketing firm with national experience such as Purely Branded can create a strategic plan for seamlessly adding content into your small business’s website and social media pages. No matter where in Northeast Ohio you are based or what your individual marketing goals are, Purely Branded can raise your brand awareness, attract new customers, and deepen your current relationships with content marketing. Contact us today!

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