content marketing for small business

Why Your Business Needs Content Marketing

Kerry Butters Content Marketing 6 Comments

In recent years, the way that we do business and the way that we reach customers has changed dramatically. We’re no longer dependant on bricks and mortar if we want to set up a business and we reach customer in hugely different ways than we did ten years ago. Social media has conspired to shift the balance of power between consumers and businesses. When it comes to advertising, print is out and online is in; however, PPC can be expensive for smaller companies and doesn’t allow for relationships to be fostered.

The best thing about this brave new world of business, is that it needn’t cost a fortune to implement marketing that really works. Growth hacking has risen as a discipline that goes some way to proving this. Rather than rely on expensive means of advertising, growth hacking looks at product-market fit and leveraging social media and other online means to enable a successful business.

Content Mills are Out

We’ve seen changes take place when it comes to search engine marketing too. Where once companies gamed the system in order to appear higher in the ranking using black hat tactics, now algorithm changes are forcing businesses to create good content in order to rank well. The use of content mills and other poor-quality writing services has reduced dramatically as algorithms have changed so that bad spelling and grammar are picked up and sites penalised.

The upshot of all of this is that businesses that seriously want to compete online now have to look for less traditional means of reaching customers. Not only this, but these means have to be carried out in line with search engine rules. Many companies now produce a company blog, but don’t always go about it in the right way.

Building Relationships

This is usually because they are unfamiliar with content marketing and don’t understand the necessity to build online followings and relationships. Content marketing is not a new discipline, but it’s seen a huge resurgence of interest in the last couple of years. It requires a business to create content including blogs, articles, imagery, videos, whitepapers and ebooks.

However, this content must also be tailored towards the audience and shouldn’t focus on being self-promotional, but instead look to inform the reader and be useful to them. It should be crafted in such a way that it’s clear that the business is expert in its industry subject matter. This builds trust in the audience, drives traffic to the business’s website and boosts search engine ranking.

Hire a Content Marketing Expert

It’s often the case that business owners – especially when it comes to small companies – attempt to carry out their own content marketing. This is inadvisable purely because the majority of small business owners simply don’t have the time to commit to creating the content and strategies on a regular basis. And it is necessary to create a strategy when it comes to content marketing as research has shown that those that do, are more likely to be more successful in their efforts and be able to prove ROI.

For this reason, it’s advisable for businesses to invest in content marketing experts so that the most can be gained from it. These should carry out the necessary writing services and work to distribute the content across various platforms online, such as,

  • Social media
  • Press release distribution sites
  • Discussion groups and communities
  • Newsletters
  • Ebook stores

The content that’s created should address the pain points felt by the target audience and look to solve them. This allows for discussion to be created around the content which in turn builds trust between the business and the audience. This should be backed by good website design that also boosts trust through its UX (user experience).

Create Viral Content

It’s also desirable to create viral content where possible. Video is currently the best opportunity that a business has to do this since it’s hugely popular with pretty much every audience. The introduction of native video into the Facebook newsfeed has been wildly successful thus far and it tends to gain lots of engagement in terms of shares, which extends organic reach (which is pretty difficult to gain these days on the site).

Social media advertising shouldn’t be discounted either. Facebook for example has one of the most powerful targeting systems to be found online and is the world’s most popular social media site by far. This means that if you discount the site as a part of your content marketing, then you’re doing your business a disservice. Google has always indexed G+ content and this shows up in search results. Twitter has also recently made a deal with Google to have its content show up in search. This means that your content can potentially be picked up on several different platforms when someone enters a relevant search term.

Don’t Discount the Power of Content Marketing

So content marketing is something that every business owner, regardless of the size of the company, should consider. It’s powerful in that it allows you to connect with customers in a way that’s useful to them and it allows you to boost your site’s reputation and search ranking. Downloadable content such as whitepapers, ebooks, case studies and cheat sheets can also help a business to grow its list quickly so that potential customers can be reached via newsletters and other promotional email.

It should be done properly however, with a clear content strategy in place, in order to get the most from it.

Need content? Get in touch to see what we can do to supercharge your business’s online presence today.

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Kerry is the founder and director of markITwrite, a published author and an established authority in the technology niche. Kerry has a background in both publishing and tech and writes extensively across corporate & business tech, web development, SEO, social and marketing and gadgets. A lover of all things internet and the written word, Kerry is an avid reader, a prolific writer and something of a geek.

Comments 6

  1. Paul Evans

    Interesting article Kerry. It seems that content marketing, once the forgotten stepchild of marketing has now fully blossomed and taken it’s place near the head of the table. You are right, in today’s world, where a website owner and customer may never meet face to face, it is important to build trust online in the business relationship and content marketing is a wonderful avenue to achieve just that.

    Businesses that forgo content marketing will be trampled apon by customers trying to reach those that do offer valuable advice. Yes, who would of thought that literature minor I took in college would come in so handy today :). Thanks for the insight.

  2. Shaina

    Couldn’t agree more! So many companies, both large and small, are hesitant to join the inbound marketing phenomenon. Many think that people are on Social Media for “frivolous” reasons, but don’t have the understanding that in order to keep up with current marketing trends, THEY need to be where their customer is at! Nor do they understand how important Social Media presence and other values of content marketing can be to their search engine optimization or google search results.It’s powerful in that it allows you to connect with customers in a way that’s useful to them and it allows you to boost your site’s reputation and search ranking. You cut right to the point; when done properly content marketing allows for businesses to connect with customers in multiple fashions, allows you to them to boost their brand’s reputation, and of course search ranking. Great article, thanks for the fantastic read!

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      Kerry Butters

      Thanks Shaina,

      It’s frustrating isn’t it? We – and all of our clients – get very real results from social media and content marketing and business owners can’t afford to dismiss it any longer. Content has surpassed king and become emperor in my opinion. Using multiple channels and analytics is key to gaining results, which despite what business owners often still believe, is perfectly measurable and improvable and capable of providing fantastic ROI. It’s far too easy to stagnate in the current digital environment and if you maintain a site with no content, or social media presence, then you’re doing a business a serious disservice.

      Saying that, I do think that many business owners are now starting to wake up to the power of content, but a lot of guidance is necessary when it comes to social media.

      Kerry 🙂

  3. ocode

    Yes, I’m totally agreed with you @kerry. Useful content should be at the core of your marketing.
    Content marketing’s purpose is to attract and retain customers by consistently creating and curating relevant and valuable content with the intention of changing or enhancing consumer behavior. It is an ongoing process that is best integrated into your overall marketing strategy, and it focuses on owning media, not renting it. Also- Content is the present – and future – of marketing, even marketing is impossible without great content.

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