Content marketing is an important marketing strategy for your small business. Content marketing in conjunction with SEO is a powerful marketing strategy. It can help small businesses become highly visible to their target audience. By writing, publishing, and distributing content regularly that displays your expertise, you build credibility, authority and trust before trying to sell anything to the target audience.
Small businesses should invest in content marketing. When you create and publish content that has value, you stand out from your competition. Your business becomes a resource for quality, educational information that will help them make a purchase decision.
If you don’t believe in the importance of content marketing to your business, take a look at these statistics:
- 70% of people would rather learn about a company through content rather than advertising
- 82% of consumers feel more positive about a company after reading custom content
- 60% of people are inspired to seek out a product after reading content about it
Given all of these positive aspects of including content marketing into your marketing efforts, look at these statistics from Service Direct regarding small businesses and content marketing:
- 38.07% of small businesses reported doing no content marketing at all.
- 50.03% of small businesses with less than 20 employees reported doing no content marketing.
- 17.46% of small businesses with less than 20 employees don’t have anyone specifically responsible for handling their content marketing.
What does this mean? There is ample opportunity for small businesses to get ahead of their competition with a small investment in content marketing.
Benefits of Content Marketing
There are many benefits to your small business when you invest in content marketing. In summary, the benefits include:
- Increases your digital footprint
- Generates leads more cost-effectively
- Builds trust and awareness
- Provides the foundation for SEO
- Increases social media following
- Delivers a high ROI
- Provides long-term visibility
- Delivers value with no strings attached
1. Increases your digital footprint
Adding more quality content to your website helps to create a larger digital footprint. Your business gets more opportunity to found in the search results.
Every page that you create for your website gives the search engine one more page to index and serve to your potential customers. The more quality content you have that helps them, the more likely they will choose your business when they wish to buy.
2. Generates leads more cost-effectively
One of the most important content marketing benefits is generating inbound leads by attracting your ideal buyers. Content marketing costs about 62% less than traditional marketing tactics but it generates about 3 times as many leads (see above statistics link for source). Even though it can be time-consuming, content marketing is one of the best investments you can make in your business.
If you understand what your audience needs, your content will attract potential customers when it is presented during a search. The right content will feed your sales funnel, which helps your audience move closer to making a purchase with you. When a visitor reads your blog or social media post, they will take action if the content provided was captivating enough that they would like to see more. The more qualified the lead, the less time you have to spend selling. You are able to focus on those most likely to convert.
3. Builds trust and awareness
Small businesses face the challenge of getting their brand in front of their target audience. But content that continually gets found when someone is looking for an answer influences your brand reputation.
Sharing your expertise also builds the trust of your audience. Your content should provide advice, education and useful solutions freely and without a sales pitch. When you create and share high-quality content, you are seen as an authority in your niche. You are now the expert that can help them solve whatever problem they have. Relationships built on trust are more likely to move beyond free advice into a profitable relationship for your business.
And now that Google’s helpful content update has rolled out into the search algorithm, your content needs to focus on people rather than search engines. The helpful content update evaluates content sitewide, therefore you need to be creating quality content regularly. If you have thin or non-useful content, consider removing or updating it.
Display your expertise in your field and write useful content that can help people overcome a problem or challenge. You will build your E-A-T (Expertise, Authoritativeness and Trustworthiness), one of the guidelines Google uses to assess whether your content is valuable to readers.
4. Provides the foundation for SEO
Without content, there is nothing to optimize. In order to rise in the search engine results, you need to create content that offers value and shares helpful information with your ideal customer. When your content satisfies searcher intent so it answers the question they initially asked the search engine, your content will attract them to you.
That type of content can increase you rankings. Ranking on the first page further strengthens the trust relationship between your audience and your brand. But generating traffic through organic SEO requires that you keep your content relevant, informative and up to date.
5. Increases your social media following
As your content gets promoted and shared, you can connect with people who have shared your content or commented on your post. This gives you an opportunity to answer other questions and become a trusted source for helpful information. When the need arises, you become the go-to business to help solve their biggest problem
Posting your content on your social media channels will provide customers a way to interact with your business. Your audience will want to like, comment and share content they find interesting. And they are more likely to like your page or subscribe to your channel if you are consistently giving them quality information.
6. Delivers a high ROI
With an effective content marketing strategy, there are many ways you will see a positive return on your investment. Your business will enjoy:
- Increased leads
- Higher brand visibility
- Better brand reputation
- Increased inbound traffic
7. Provides long-term visibility
Unlike an advertising campaign, content marketing is in it for the long-haul. When you run a PPC campaign, once you turn it off, your visibility goes with it.
When your business ranks in the organic search engine results, it is there for a longer period of time. Your position in the search results is not predicated on your ad budget. But you do need to keep the content up-to-date so it remains relevant.
8. Delivers value with no strings attached
Giver’s gain is the concept of helping people grow their business without an ulterior motive. Content marketing takes the giver’s gain concept of network to a higher level. You help people freely without expecting anything in return. This makes your business approachable and the one most people will feel more comfortable with when they do decide to choose a vendor.
Share your knowledge and expertise
With all the value this strategy delivers, small businesses should realize the importance and invest in content marketing. As I provided in my practical tips on implementing a content marketing strategy, all content is strategic and you should value quality over quantity.
Make content marketing a strategic investment for the upcoming year. Then put together a plan to get content development underway.