Small businesses compete with a lot of noise that is constantly clamoring to grab the attention of potential customers.
Consumers are eliminating clutter by skipping TV shows, subscribing to digital radio without ads, installing ad blockers to browse their favorite websites, and personalizing what’s on their social media.
To prevent them from skipping or ignoring messages, digital marketers must create pieces that the target audience wants to see. When small businesses communicate with their customers by providing information rather than offering a sales pitch, the consumer will listen to them. The message and the brand are no longer seen as an interruption, but as a valuable provider of information.
This tactic has a name: it’s called content marketing. Content marketing means constantly creating and distributing information that is valuable and relevant to the people who make up a small business target audience.
“It is a technique, a strategy to attract and retain customers.” ( How to make money with content marketing? )
Ultimately, the goal is for your content to attract a consumer to do business with your company.
You may think, “That’s not what I’m doing, I’m not a writer!” But whether you’re selling gadgets, fixing cars, or building houses, content marketing can help you attract and retain customers.
These are some of the ways that content marketing drives small businesses.
- Increase brand awareness
Consistency is a key ingredient to a successful content marketing strategy. This means posting new content on a regular basis, creating opportunities for a target market to see the company name. Your brand will be familiar to them and the next time they need your services, it will be the first thing they consider.
- Create an identity as a trusted expert
If there are 10 plumbers in the city but only one provides helpful information that educates the community about plumbing maintenance, issues, options, and innovations, that brand will stand out as the expert.
By doing this, a brand is proving its expertise, so potential customers don’t need to question. Since this small business is helping consumers without getting paid for this advice, it will also gain a reputation for being trustworthy.
- Encourage your clients to make a decision
When consumers need to spend money or make time for a service, it’s natural to postpone things. However, once a consumer gets clear answers to their questions, or hears a story they can relate to, that person may finally be motivated to make a purchase or make an appointment.
Producing content that guides the consumer through the buyer’s journey (awareness, evaluation, and purchase) results in more sales.
- Shareable content brings people to your door
Creating a steady stream of fresh information on a variety of topics opens up multiple avenues to drive traffic to a website – through search, social media, traditional media, and more – that ultimately results in phone calls, requests, or traffic.
Marketing tactics that are already in place, such as pay-per-click advertising, digital banner ads, public relations, social media, and search engine optimization, don’t work as well without content to promote.
These vehicles need something to talk about and a link. Posting new and relevant content gives people a reason to click. Covering unique, timely, and seasonal themes will appeal to a broader audience and encourage frequent visitors.
It also increases the ranking in search results, so potential customers are more likely to find your small business than one of your competitors.
- Keeps your website cool
Most consumers today rely on the web to find the information they need to make decisions. Therefore, a website will often be the consumer’s first impression of that business. A stagnant and outdated website is less interesting and less professional than one with updated content that changes regularly.
Undecided consumers who are researching their options can check the website and social media presence more than once. When they return, seeing something new and relevant makes their visit a better experience, and shows that the brand is a professional organization.