Content Marketing for Small Businesses
If your business doesn’t have a robust content marketing strategy in place, you might be losing out on the biggest innovation to hit marketing since the internet. I read a statistic this morning that made me really sit up and take notice. According to the article on Inbound Writer, 78% of chief marketing officers think custom content (articles, white papers, blogs, etc.) is the future of marketing.
Content Marketing Defined
What is content marketing? According to the Content Marketing Institute,
“Content marketing is a marketing technique of creating and distributing valuable, relevant and consistent content to attract and acquire a clearly defined audience – with the objective of driving profitable customer action.”
Why Content Marketing Matters
Traditional advertising’s effectiveness is fading. The more people are bombarded with ads, the less effective the ads become. Consumers have grown wise to the tricks of the advertising trade, and eschew ads for information. And that’s where content marketing comes in.
Most custom content produced as part of a content marketing strategy seeks to inform consumers, providing them with facts to help them make a purchasing decision. The other day, I was searching for background information to write a client’s blog post, and found a treasure trove of woodworking project how-to sheets online. The major retailer producing this excellent content had uploaded a complete project library that anyone could access and download without having to jump through hoops. Each sheet had a simple format and clear drawings that showed the novice how to complete everything from a deck to a new pantry shelf system, with a shopping list of hardware, lumber, paint and supplies needed to complete the project. The idea, of course, was that once you found the project sheet, you’d download it and take it into the store as your shopping list.
Think about this content for a moment. Not only can it be printed and handed out in-store, but it acted as a search engine marketing tool, appearing on the first page of the search engine results when I typed in my search term. It was a potent marketing tool helping the company’s website attract new site visitors, and by using clear, simple instructions, perhaps transforming the casual visitor into a buyer in the store.
Starting Your Content Marketing Strategy: The First Question to Ask
Any size business, from a sole proprietorship to a major corporation, can use content marketing to build their brand and acquire, retain and create loyal customers. The first step is to identify your content marketing strategy.
Why do you want to enact a content marketing strategy? Is it to boost your visibility on the search engines and attract website traffic? Is it to build your brand? Is it to increase sales for a specific product category or engage better with a specific group of customers?
Any and all of these are great reasons to begin your content marketing program. A good content marketing strategy begins by knowing the answers to these questions in detail. Take your time to develop your responses. Knowing WHY you want to begin a content marketing strategy is even more important than understanding the HOW of carrying it off.
If you’d like to begin work on your company’s content marketing strategy, I’d be delighted to help you. I’ve created great content strategies for many industries and products, and for companies ranging from small start ups to major established firms. Contact me through Seven Oaks Consulting, and let’s talk about how we can harness the power of content marketing to boost your website visibility and sales.
About the Author
By Jeanne Grunert, President and Founder of Seven Oaks Consulting. Jeanne is an award-winning writer, blogger and marketing manager with over 20 years of experience. She personally works with every client at Seven Oaks Consulting and creates expert content marketing strategies and written materials to build brands, attract site traffic, and acquire new customers. Contact Jeanne.