Content Marketing – The Beginners Guide

Content Marketing

“Content is king,” they say. But is content king for small businesses who don’t have huge resources?  Yes!  And we’ll explain why in our beginners’ guide to content marketing for small businesses…

Firstly – what is content marketing? 

Content marketing is the use of any content to help meet a marketing goal for your business.  These goals will vary but are typically the acquisition of new customers, retaining existing customers and increasing brand awareness.

Content stands out from other areas of marketing like social media and SEO because many of them are only around because of content. Think about it – you can’t post on social media if you don’t have any content to post.

What’s so good about it?

Content marketing has a large range of benefits for any size business. It is known to be one of the best methods of promoting a new or existing business online.  Additionally, it’s one of the cheapest forms of marketing to produce and can offer long-term results if what you’re producing is quality material.

The main benefits of content marketing are:

  • Increases site traffic
  • It creates strong brand awareness and improves brand recall
  • Respect and admiration within the industry
  • Increases indirect and direct customer conversions
  • Encourages people to return to your website
  • Gives you content to share on social media
  • Improved SEO

Now you can see why it’s so popular!

Good content can drive interested traffic to your site for years.  For instance, it’s widely known that older content generally ranks higher than brand new content on search engines like Google as it’s had more time to collect links and prove ‘value’ to readers.  So, if you’re wondering when to start content marketing, the answer is today!

How do I create good content?

Now the million-dollar question, what is good content?  Any form of content that provides its audience with information that offers them value. Remember, you can’t sell, sell, sell your audience all the time – they’ll get bored!  You should try to create content that helps you achieve your main marketing goals:

Build brand awareness

Building brand awareness is the first step to getting more customers.  If your audience doesn’t know about your product or service, then how can they get involved in it?

A popular way to create awareness using content marketing is to educate your audience about your products and services by showing them how these things you offer can effectively solve their paint points.  This kind of content helps you start a conversation with your audience and frequently boosts conversions.

If you’re not sure where to start, pick up the phone and talk to some of your customers to find out what their pain points really are.  This will allow you to then build informative content around the keywords and topics they’ve mentioned that you know will be helpful to others in a similar position to your target market.

Examples of such content include social reviews, case studies, blog posts, and positive customer testimonials.

Demonstrate expertise

Demonstrating expertise shows your customers that you’re someone with a product or service they can trust.  Any other kind of marketing for small businesses becomes easier after building authority and trust.

To achieve this with content marketing, your content of choice should be educational.  This kind of content teaches your audience things you think they’d be interested in.  For example, if you own a craft beer company and a lot of your customers are pubs and restaurants – wouldn’t they love some content that shows them how to up-sell customers to a more expensive beer?

This kind of content builds a relationship between your customers and business and creates a sense of community around your brand which leads to higher levels of indirect conversions.  Furthermore, it encourages your audience to share it as they think it could help others which leads to an increase in site traffic.

Examples of educational content that help demonstrate expertise include blog posts, videos, interactive forms and calculators, podcasts, newsletters, and social media info-graphics.

Create shareable content

One of the best ways to grow your audience and therefore your business as a small business is to create shareable content.

In today’s media and marketing climate, only the best content that actually deserves to get shared, will get shared so it’s up to you to create content that people will naturally want to share with or without assistance an algorithm.

The most effective way to ensure that you’re creating shareable content is to be certain that your content is useful or entertaining to your audience.  This brings us back to what we said before – talk to your customers to understand what is useful to them.  By doing your research you will be able to create valuable content that people will want to share.

Examples of shareable content include social media posts, blog posts, videos, and podcasts.  If you’re looking for a free programme to create aesthetically pleasing social media posts (or any other graphics) then give Canva a try.

Content marketing for small businesses

For small businesses with a small team, quality beats quantity any day of the week.  Therefore, don’t feel the need to post something everyday for the sake of it, as you’ll bore your audience.  Instead, take the time you’d use creating average daily content to create a fantastic piece of content once a week.

Content marketing can be a hugely beneficial tool for small businesses if used correctly. Our top tips will help you create great content that your audience will love!

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