Reasons every small business should use content marketing
Why? Why would multi-billion dollar organizations like McKinsey and Morgan Stanly, to name a few, invest so much in content marketing? The answer: It works. Content marketing gets them more business and helps them grow.
Many small businesses are still skeptical about adopting content marketing. As a result, they lose an opportunity to reach wider audiences and grow their brand. If you’re one of those businesses and you’re not sure where and how content marketing fits into your business, this article is for you.
What is content marketing?
When you hear “content marketing”, blogs and articles are most likely the first things that come to mind. And you’re not wrong to think of them first, they are the most popular forms of content marketing.
But content marketing is much more than just the type or format of content.
Content marketing is a long-term marketing strategy that focuses on creating and distributing relevant and valuable content in a variety of formats to attract, engage, and retain a specific audience and drive profitable audience action.
The main difference between content marketing and other forms of marketing is the emphasis on “valuable and relevant”. Traditional outbound marketing is intrusive and oftentimes irrelevant to the person it’s reaching.
On the other hand, content marketing or inbound marketing has a strong focus on the consumer. Content marketing is focused on attracting and bringing value to the target audience as opposed to interrupting the audience with information that’s irrelevant and invaluable to them.
Does content marketing work for all small businesses?
The short answer, YES. Content marketing works for all kinds of businesses. It doesn’t matter which country you’re in, the size of your business, or your industry. All businesses can benefit from content marketing.
Startups and small business owners are often overwhelmed by big brands that are pushing out tons of content. But they really shouldn’t be. Content marketing is less about how big you are and how deep your pockets are and more about the quality of content you’re putting out. That is all that is needed, HIGH-QUALITY CONTENT.
What you need to understand as a small business owner is that your potential customers are out there Googling and surfing the internet looking for solutions that directly and indirectly link to your product or service. To win the content game, your job is to figure out what problems they’re facing and create very very useful content that helps them solve these problems.
Wondering how creating content that solves your target audience’s problems will help grow your business? Look no further, here are the reasons why your small business needs to utilize content marketing.
Reasons every small business should use content marketing
Increases site traffic
Search engines love websites that are constantly publishing fresh, original, and valuable content. Such websites are the reason people trust search engines like Google and Bing in the first place. As a result, search engines reward these websites with higher rankings and get more organic traffic. This alone is enough reason why every small business needs to use content marketing.
Google looks at a number of factors when deciding which website to rank for a specific search query, some of the factors are:
- The date the content was first published
- How often the content is updated and changed
- How many inbound links does the content get?
- How often is that webpage visited?
- Context and length of content
But traffic to your website can come from anywhere on the internet, it doesn’t have to only come from search results. Social media can be a good source of traffic for your website and so can other websites. YouTube can also be a great source of traffic and so can email.
But in order for these channels to generate traffic to your website, you need to first create content for each channel.
The content you publish or share in other places needs two things- to be relevant to your audience and provide real value and link back to your website. That means if you’re creating a blog piece for an industry-authoritative website you need to find a creative way to link back to your website, product, or service.
Increase brand awareness
Content marketing exposes your brand to new and larger audiences. Every business can benefit from having more people know about it, including yours. As we mentioned before your content doesn’t have to be found on your website only. There are many other places your content can live on the internet.
All these other places, be it social media, YouTube, or high-authority websites, have huge audiences. Audiences that can potentially be also yours.
Most content marketers focus on getting links from other websites. That’s quite good as it helps with your SEO and rankings. But a link will not improve your brand awareness. What will increase your awareness is the mention of your brand.
The value of being mentioned in popular websites is that your brand gets in front of a very large audience. Depending on how engaging and useful your content is, the majority of that large audience will note your brand’s name. Some will even look up your brand on social media, others will visit your website looking for more amazing content.
The majority of the traffic you get from content marketing will not become customers right away. You don’t want these people forgetting about your brand and going to another company when they’re ready to buy.
That’s where consistency comes in. Creating and publishing valuable, relevant, and consistent content keeps you on your audience’s radar and improves brand recall. By the time your audience is ready to make a purchase, your business is their first option.
Showcasing authority and solidify your brand as a key resource
If someone asked you- “who are the authorities in your industry?” You will most likely name a few brands or individuals you see often publishing high-quality content on their websites or social media channels.
These industry authorities often get all the attention, website traffic, and business. What you need to realize is that the only thing that makes them a reliable resource in your industry is strictly content. They create and put tons of useful content on a regular basis.
Publishing consistent, authoritative, and well-researched content helps solidify your brand as a key resource. When you consistently create great content you showcase your knowledge base about your industry and show why you are an industry leader.
This type of marketing puts your brand in your prospect’s mind and allows you to demonstrate your skills and expertise again and again. Showing your prospects you are the best option in your field. When the time comes for them to make a purchase, they are more likely to turn to you.
Address audience problems and improve trust with customers
Since content marketing is consumer-focused, it can be also used to build and improve trust between your small business and your customers. Trust between you and your customers is particularly important because the majority of people make purchases based on trust and credibility.
One way to earn trust and credibility from your audience is by addressing a particular problem they’re facing.
When you create content addressing, or giving insights into a problem your audience is facing, you educate them and drive them back to a product or service that solves that problem. When this is done correctly your audience gets the feeling that you not only want to sell to them, but you actually care and understand their pain points.
Over time, this helps you build trust and a positive brand reputation and keeps you on top of your customer’s minds. The more useful content your audience sees, the more trust and positive association they have with your company.
And, just as discussed earlier, when your prospects and customers see you consistently publish great content, they start to see you as a leader in your industry. In addition, guest posting content on industry-related sites or sharing your content with influencers also helps you further build trust with your target audience.
Generates leads and sales
Another reason every small business should use content marketing is, content helps you generate leads and convert them into prospects. Lead generation is important for all businesses that rely on web traffic to grow their brand and make sales. Content marketing enables strangers to discover your brand through the useful content you put out.
If these strangers find your content useful, insightful, and engaging they become your audience. Meaning they’re more likely to keep coming back for more useful content and over time become more likely to be interested in purchasing from you in the future.
There are so many ways in which you can use your content to generate leads for your business. You can use Call-to-actions directly within your content. Or, you can use content to guide users to a landing page where they can share their contact information, becoming leads.
The later strategy of generating leads using content requires that you give a freemium (A free access/download of a valuable piece of content) in exchange for audience contact details. This free downloadable content can be an eBook, a guide, or a template that your audience just has to get their hands on.
Doing this (giving away valuable free content in exchange for contact info) allows you to move your leads through your sales process and nurture them towards converting into a sale.
Interestingly enough, new users will often discover your brand’s content on the internet way before they are even ready to make a decision to purchase. At this time, your competition is not even in the picture, giving you a competitive advantage of being first.
Content marketing is cost-effective
Still skeptical about the use of content marketing for your business? Here’s an even better reason why every small business should use content marketing as part of their overall marketing strategy. Content marketing is one of the most affordable and yet so effective forms of marketing available to all businesses.
It is so affordable that even if you outsource content or hire an agency to produce your content, it is still way cheaper than other forms of marketing. As a matter of fact, content marketing is 62% cheaper than traditional and outbound marketing.
The best thing about content, on top of reduced costs, is that it can last forever on the internet and consistently generate up to 3 times the number of leads.
Some of the content you’ll create is time-sensitive, which means it loses its relevance as time goes by. But some content pieces will remain relevant for a very long time, consistently working to generate traffic for your website and leads for your business.
For small businesses that want to maximize their budget and ROI, content marketing is a must as it is more affordable and highly effective. While it can take a while to start seeing the results of your efforts, over time you will see an impressive ROI on your content marketing.
Helps improve your SEO
Reasons for using content marketing for your business also include building and improving your website’s search engine optimization (SEO). One of the most effective ways to generate organic traffic to your website is through great content.
By consistently producing high-quality, authoritative keyword optimized content, you improve your chances of ranking higher in search engines.
And in addition to enabling strangers to discover your website, reach content will earn your website backlinks or follow links. Other people who have consumed your content will want to share what you have to say in their own content and share backlinks to your website.
Backlinks are important for two reasons. Firstly they give your website tons of traffic from other websites. Secondly, they tell Google that people are referring to your website’s content.
This lets Google and other search engines know that you’re an authority in your industry, that you provide valuable and relevant content. Through this, search engines get a clear idea about the purpose of your business or website and therefore they rank you higher in search results.
Content is the heart of every digital marketing strategy
Another great reason why your small business should use content marketing is that content is at the heart of every successful digital marketing strategy. The consistent high-quality content you create helps support every other part of your digital marketing.
The majority of small businesses use an omnichannel approach to digital marketing, including us. Channels that are often used include blogs, email marketing, social media, and even paid Ads in an attempt to attract wider audiences and convert them into customers.
All these digital channels and tactics have one thing in common. CONTENT. Without great content, you cannot execute digital marketing. This is evident in millions of websites all over the internet that see no traffic. They lack content and so people have no reason to visit them.
Content marketing integrates into all other areas of your digital marketing strategy. For example, say you want to run a Facebook Ad campaign to generate traffic to your website. Firstly, that Advert itself will require content, both written and creative content. Secondly, once visitors arrive at your website you need content to engage and keep them there, and have them come back to your website on their own looking for more.
Create consistent, valuable and relevant content
Mentioned above are some of the most obvious reasons why every small business should use content marketing as part of its growth strategy. If your business can benefit from more website traffic, more brand awareness, and more online leads, then you definitely should be using content marketing.
Not only will content marketing help you get discovered online, but it also enables you to build enduring relationships with your existing customers. In return, they become advocates for your brand.
If you really want to see the much talked about cost-effectiveness of content marketing start by working on a content marketing strategy. Study your target customers, figure out what challenges they’re dealing with that can be solved by your product or service, and start creating high-quality content.
Integrate your content marketing with your social media marketing to maximize your digital marketing impact. Remember, in order for your content marketing to work it should be valuable, relevant, and published consistently.