If you run a small business, you know it’s crucial to stay on top of the latest marketing trends in order to survive and stay on top. Content marketing has been around for a few years now and it doesn’t seem to be dying down. However, content marketing seems to work well for startups and IT companies – but does it work for small businesses?
Here are some of the proven benefits of content marketing for small business, no matter how big or small your company is and what industry you are in. Let’s dig in.
Table of Contents
- 1 Better Return on Investment
- 2 You get to Promote your Services without Talking about yourself
- 3 Content Marketing Increases Brand Awareness
- 4 Content Helps in Each Stage of the Marketing Funnel
- 5 Search Engines Notice you
- 6 Your Site Stays Updated
- 7 It’s Excellent for Social Media
- 8 Should you do Content on your own?
Better Return on Investment
Many small businesses are just that – small, and they can’t afford to make any expensive mistakes, whether it’s marketing or any other type of investment. Small business owners often dismiss content marketing as costly, when in fact, it’s fairly cheap compared to all outbound marketing methods.
In a research by Content Marketing Institute, it was found that content marketing on average costs 62% less than outbound marketing methods, while giving 3x as many leads.
In fact, if you want to be savvy with your money, content marketing is exactly the kind of strategy you need to take. With traditional advertising methods such as display ads and pay per click advertising, you only get promotion for the money spent as long as you keep paying. On the other hand, content marketing provides return months and even years once you’ve crafted a quality piece of content. For example, there are articles on Hubspot’s blog getting enormous amounts of views years after their original publish date.
There are two ways to go about investing in content marketing. You can either hire someone in-house to take care of it or outsource it to an expert agency. At ADSpirine, we’ll be glad to help out your small business get a head start with content marketing. We can write some pretty mean content, and we’re sure as hell better than Janet from accounting.
You get to Promote your Services without Talking about yourself
One of the most common mistakes that business owners make when venturing into content marketing is that they think of it as another platform to constantly promote themselves and their services. They think of it as another outlet to show the world how awesome they and their products are.
In reality, who would want to devote 5 minutes of their time reading another sales pitch? The success of content marketing can be attributed exactly to the fact that it’s advertising without advertising.
The ultimate goal of content marketing is to establish yourself as an industry thought leader and expert. You get to build trust over time with your audience, by writing about their problems and how to solve them.
For example, a furniture store can have an in-depth article on how to choose the best type of windows for your home based on your needs and the room where they go. The post can lead your visitor to another post on the site, or they can simply find your reasoning convincing and go straight to your product page.
When done correctly, content marketing convinces visitors that you know what you’re talking about and they’re much more likely to leave money on your table, instead of your competitor, who’s still relying on display ads and PPC advertising to get their name out there.
Content Marketing Increases Brand Awareness
Every business has one common goal – driving up their revenue and improving their bottom line. However, to make it in the long run, you also have to think about brand awareness.
Besides selling products and services, you want to stay on top of customers’ minds, and the best way to do this is to provide value beyond the sale. Some do this by giving discounts and special offers, but an increasing number of businesses is turning to content marketing.
By giving your expertise and knowledge for free, you become your customers’ go-to resource for all matters related to your business. For example, as a marketer, I am a huge fan of Neil Patel.
It’s not that he’s the best digital marketer out there – probably far from it. However, through his network of websites (Neil Patel, Crazyegg, Quicksprout), Neil has preached about digital marketing for years. He provides in-depth, useful content about content, SEO, conversion rate optimization, digital strategy, advertising – you name it, he wrote about it. And the best part – this is all content that helps budding young marketers on the path to success. Even better – there’s very little direct promotion of Neil Patel’s services on any of these websites. However, he was able to do much more. By constantly providing value, he was able to establish himself as the go-to expert on digital marketing. Whether you agree or not, this is something no amount of money can buy, and it provides excellent return on investment in the long run.
Content Helps in Each Stage of the Marketing Funnel
As we’re talking about marketing, it’s necessary to mention the omnipresent marketing funnel. Put simply, a funnel is a path that your visitors take, from the first time they land on your site, to the point where they become interested in your products and finally, to the point where they become a paying customer. Content can help you out in each stage of the funnel and improve your marketing efforts.
At the top of the funnel, it helps visitors get their first interest in your brand. This can happen either through a Google search, by showing up in their social media feed or as a link on other industry websites. At this stage, the visitor knows nothing about your company or the services you provide. They need a solution to a problem, and you’re there to help out.
At the middle of the funnel, it’s up to you to convince the visitor to choose you and not somebody else to solve their pain point. At this stage, you move them closer to becoming a paid customer – but they’re not there yet. You can use content such as case studies, webinars, in-depth posts about how your product helped others etc.
At the bottom of the funnel, your visitors are no longer just visitors. They’re ready to commit and pull the trigger, and you have content ready to help them out in their decision. You can offer free webinars, blogs detailing the differences between your different offers, as well as free trials and live demos.
Finally, a proper content marketing strategy will keep customers coming back for more, even after the purchase. If they see that the brand they’ve spent money with is consistently engaging with their customers and fans, you’ll be able to instill a sense of brand loyalty and win over someone for life.
Search Engines Notice you
No matter what industry you’re in, if you search the web for a certain keyword, the first page of results is bound to be filled with great content. By that we mean – long-form blog posts with plenty of good keywords and in general, useful, well-optimized content.
If the competition on the first page has really poor content – great news! You should be able to beat them without a hassle. This often happens with highly specialized niches or if you’re competing in a small area-specific market, i.e. selling shoes in London.
There’s no precise method for determining who get on the page 1 of Google’s results. Over the years, search engine algorithms have changed and there’s no surefire way to skyrocket your rankings.
However, there are some pretty good indicators on what works.
One of them is content – and not just any content. Search engines favor in-depth, quality content that answers the searchers’ intent and provide valuable information to the readers. The content that shows up on first pages of search results has these traits:
– Adequate length (1000 or more words)
– Properly optimized (H1, H2, H3 headings, meta descriptions)
– Uses images (with good alt descriptions)
– Has a healthy mix of inbound and outbound links
One of the primary reasons why content works amazingly well is really simple. The more content you have on your website, the more potential keywords you have that you can rank for. If you cannot win the game using your primary keywords, you can get tons of good traffic on long-tail keywords.
Think of it as an investment – each piece of new content you put up is a new resource that can be found by search engines and visitors.
Your Site Stays Updated
Remember how we talked about the factors that Google considers when ranking your websites? It turns out that the freshness of your content is one of those factors as well.
When crawling (looking through) your site, search engines will pay attention to these factors, among others:
– When the last post was created
– When the posts are updated
– How frequently you create new content
– How much traffic you get over time
There’s one thing to keep in mind – if you post new content more frequently, search engines will pick up on this and crawl your sites more frequently as well. This means your posts get indexed more quickly and it will be easier to rank for your desired keywords over time.
Moreover, fresh content means a chance to stay relevant and up to date. If you’re in a fast-moving business such as digital marketing, new trends come and go in a matter of days. If your most recent content is from 2010 and it talks about the redesign of the Facebook like button, you aren’t too likely to grab your visitors’ attention.
By making new blog posts regularly, you have a chance to pick up on the trends and write about those things that are popular at the moment. If you’re not sure what to write about, you can simply ask your visitors using a poll, survey or a quiz.
It’s Excellent for Social Media
How many times has it happened to you that you simply have nothing to share on your company social media profile? If all you post and tweet about is how awesome your products are, there’s no wonder that your follower count is dropping instead of skyrocketing.
Having a fresh stream of content ensures that you always have something to share with your social media following. You can share your blog posts, case studies, webinars – any new content that you’ve put up.
The best part is that once you have a solid base of content to share, you can repurpose it and easily double or triple your social media post lineup. For example, you can turn blog posts into infographics or images. You can use the most important sentences from your articles and other written content as tweets or quotes turned into images.
With a little bit of creativity, one type of content such as blog articles can be turned into great social media posts. For example, text status updates perform great on LinkedIn, while images get great results on Facebook.
Should you do Content on your own?
You can – but you absolutely don’t have to. Our team of experts at ADSpirine knows exactly the kind of content that works with your visitors and search engines such as Google. We can set you up with content that is highly optimized, well-written and structured and provides useful, actionable information to your visitors. Reach out to us today to get started!