Have you heard all the buzz around ‘Content is King’ or seen brands pumping out YouTube videos, blogs and articles? Have you wondered what the point of it all is? Well, this type of content development and deployment is all part of developing a content marketing strategy, and in this post we explain all you need to know in order to cost-effectively get the attention of your target audience in an increasingly crowded and noisy marketplace.
Marketing is a forever evolving practice, and getting it right can really set your small business apart from all your competitors, however, many unfortunately misunderstand or underestimate its role, putting them at a disadvantage.
What is content marketing?
Content marketing is where a business regularly creates and distributes valuable and relevant content, to attract and inform a target audience, with a goal to inspire a desirable behaviour from them.
It’s a highly effective strategy in both promoting your businesses and converting potential customers into leads, through the use of intriguing material, such as blogs, video, books, articles, and so on.
Where did content marketing Come from?
Up until recently, marketing for many businesses has been focused on expensive advertising campaigns which forced direct messages onto customers, commanding them to take action and purchase a product. This frequently made it difficult for smaller businesses to compete with larger ones with deep marketing pockets.
However, the rise of technology has meant that people today are internet savvy and highly educated. This has completely changed customer behaviour and how they respond to communications from organisations about their products.
The days where people actively listen to paid advertisements via mass media and then act are quickly fading. Many now browse the internet for information on everything before deciding upon the best option and this is where Content marketing practices come in.
Producing content pieces like blogs, articles, website copy and videos offers potential customers something to engage with when they are in the research phase of a product/service purchasing decision. By providing relevant, engaging content, a business can engage people early and in a more compelling way.
Why is content marketing important for small businesses?
Small businesses, like yours, are competing in industries full of advertising noise. As a result, your customers are ploughing through all of the clutter, trying to find information they actually are interested in. This means they are customising their social media, tailoring their browsers and beginning to completely ignore disruptive advertising.
This makes it so important to find ways to ensure your business isn’t wasting money on advertising that people are ignoring, and instead, producing content that your target audience actually wants to spend their precious time seeing and reading.
The first and most important step in using content marketing is re-assessing the way you communicate with customers. Because your goal is to inform your customers, you must replace the sales pitch with more helpful information. In other words, you are Marketing with the intention of making buyers see your brand as a valued thought leader, and not an interruption to something else.
“With content marketing, don’t interrupt what your audience is interested in. Be what they’re interested in.”
Content marketing focuses on communicating with the customer, by creating and distributing information with the intent to engage a target audience and promote brand awareness. As a result, this information must be relevant and valuable to help your small business attract and retain customers.
Content to win your target audience’s attention
So, what kind of content does your audience want from you?
‘Winning attention’ really is the aim of the game for small businesses, because people are time poor and very selective in what they choose to engage with.
Content marketing can significantly help businesses better relate to their target audiences by giving them what they really want, which is educated insight into an industry, a brand and everything in between.
Attracting people to your business and persuading them on the benefits of your product or service means you must capture their attention and pique their interest.
Traditionally, this was difficult for small businesses because consumers have long held trust in more mainstream forms of advertising. Furthermore, the budget required for these media channels was often large, which created a barrier as smaller businesses lacked the capital resources to compete. However, with the growing popularity of digital marketing, the power of these traditional channels is diminishing, and the demand for content marketing is on the rise.
Smaller businesses are in the perfect position to get the most out of developing a content marketing strategy, when focussed on creating:
- Personal relationships with customers
- Customer satisfaction
- Customer loyalty
Making your marketing content valuable
In order to be successful, a content marketing strategy for small businesses should always begin by precisely identifying your target audience in order to align your content as closely as possible to their interests. This is because this type of strategy revolves around directly addressing the information needs of your customer. Failing to do this at square one will mean that your content will not be targeted correctly to their needs.
Most people search the internet to gather information, find answers to their questions, and see what other people’s experiences have been with your small business. This means that your business absolutely must be active where they are looking, or you may become invisible to them.
Therefore, your marketing content should ideally be created so that it offers them value that is relevant, entertaining, and spurs an emotion that will lead them to follow your Call to Action. In order to gain a consumer’s trust, your business’s product must be linked to positive emotions, which is a goal rarely achieved by traditionally ‘pushy’ adverts.
A small business with a strong content marketing strategy seeks to rise above this forceful advertising strategy, and develop a rapport with people instead, because customers want to be treated as people, not numbers. Content can achieve this goal for you, as your message can be highly tailored to care about their welfare in satisfying their needs.
The four ways content marketing can drive results for your small business
Here are four ways that content marketing can really have an impact on your business’ success and increase your bottom-line.
1) Keeping Your Website Fresh
Your customers are searching throughout the digital space to help them keep informed, and your website is usually one of the main points of contact they come across.
It is also the first impression of your business, so it’s important that it does a great job. A boring, in-frequently updated website means that people will tire quickly and never return, or bounce to find something better, which means you’ve lost them. Whereas a website full of thought-provoking marketing content, interesting videos and regular blog posts gives them a reason to stay longer on your page and return at a future date, meaning that the probability of conversion is far greater.
2) Boost Brand Awareness
Continuing on from the above, the more people engage with fresh and captivating marketing content your business provides, the more exposed to the brand and your messaging they become. This keeps your small business’ product offering top of mind and increases their chance of becoming a customer.
Publishing new and relevant marketing content creates a stream of opportunities for your potential customer to interact with your business, making you a stand out option for them, it also gives you a greater influence over their buying behaviour.
3) Become a Key Opinion Leader
If your small business is actively providing its target audience with helpful and relevant information amongst a sea of other competitor businesses, which one will people likely turn to when they are ready to buy? Yours!
By producing original marketing content, your small business will start to be seen as a larger thought-leader in your industry, and customers often prefer to go with an experienced, trusted supplier. Content marketing demonstrates your knowledge to prospective customers and builds a strong reputation for your business, ensuring you are seen as genuine and trustworthy.
4) Extensive Reach
People today not only like to engage with creative marketing content, but also share it across their various social media platforms with friends and family who may also be interested. This means that good quality content has far reaching potential.
In addition, other people are more likely to engage in content when it has been shared by someone they know.
When this happens, your small business is getting the attention of a wider audience and building brand awareness with a network of people. Therefore, creating a steady flow of new information about relevant subjects really puts you in touch with your audiences and drives people to buy from you.
The advantage of content marketing for small businesses
The main reason content marketing is ideal for smaller businesses like yours is that it is one of the most cost-effective ways to drive traffic and build awareness of your brand.
Creating new and fresh content that attracts, acquires, and engages your target audience may take some time to see the results, but don’t give up. If you persist and always continue to refine it, a content marketing strategy will lead your small business to great success.
How Can GDR Group Help?
Most small businesses like yours appreciate the many benefits of creating compelling content for their target audience as part of their marketing strategy, but just don’t have the time to take full advantage of it.
We can devise the perfect content marketing Strategy for your business, which will:
- Increase reach to customers
- Provide engaging material to your audience
- Decrease time and cost on content management
- Stay ahead of the competition.
Stay ahead of the competition and let our experts develop a strong content marketing strategy for your small business that helps you dominate your local market.
Call today on 1800 876 673 or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org
We would love to help!