Effective Content Marketing for Small Business
In 1996, Bill Gates published his essay “Content is King,” predicting a new age in marketing and communication. Over 20 years later, his words seem to have been prophetic: 91% of B2B marketers using content marketing, while 86% of B2C companies believe it is key to their strategy, according to the Content Marketing Institute.
Audiences today are inundated with content all day long, driving companies to ask a new question: how will my content stand out?
The answer: add value.
Content Marketing Should Offer Your Readers:
Insight & Information
Don’t take this personally, but your reader doesn’t care about you. They care about what you can do for them. Answering their questions, whether it be about your brand, your service, or your industry, makes you a valuable resource for them.
Plus, the more informative your content, the more likely you are to establish yourself as a leader in your industry, increasing brand recognition and brand recall.
Examples of informative content include:
- Advice columns
- Q and A’s
Depending on your brand, it may not seem like entertaining content is the best route to your goal. But content presented on a more conversational and personable level is key to building your brands voice and personality. Your audience is more likely to remain loyal if they see that personality.
The best kind of entertaining content is that which feels genuine – like you are offering your content as a way of starting a relationship, not as a sales pitch. Entertaining content is likely to be more shareable as well, which means a broader reach.
Below are some examples, but keep in mind that many forms of content can be entertaining when infused with personality and the right tone.
- Behind-the-scenes videos
- Photo galleries
Content Marketing Next Steps
Engagement & Interaction
With all of the content being pushed out nowadays, consumers can easily turn most of it into white noise in the background. This is where engaging your audience becomes crucial – you not only want them to hear your message, you want them to stop, listen and participate.
All people want to be heard and to share their opinion. When done the right way engaging content gives them the chance to do that, and helps you build a stronger relationship with them.
- Social media posts that contain questions or hashtags
- Write-in contests
Motivate or Convert
This should come towards the end of your sales funnel, after you have already gotten your audience through the first few touchpoints of your inbound strategy. For instance, once you have gotten a reader to your website from another channel, a prompt to learn more about an ebook, newsletter, or event can then be placed, where it has a stronger chance of turning an already interested lead into a customer. This content will always contain a call to action, such as “download”, “learn more”, or “click here”.
- E-book downloads
- Event registration
To stay motivated to create your content, and to make sure it accomplishes your goals, you’ll need to have a clear purpose for each piece. With one of these goals as your anchor, staying on track will be easier than ever.
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