Content marketing has gone from strength to strength in recent years, and it’s a discipline that shows no sign of going away. As a small business, you’ll find that content marketing is a valuable addition to your advertising strategy. Not convinced? Here are 8 facts that might surprise you…
You don’t need a content specialist to create great content
As a small business, you might not have the time, money, or staff to have a dedicated content specialist. While bigger brands can afford to have one or even a whole team of content creators, SMEs have to be more discerning with how they allocate resources.
True — but that doesn’t mean you can’t still have great content for your business. Savvy small businesses assign the role of content generation to different roles within their team. This lets them spread the burden across their staff, giving them the flexibility to adapt according to each team member’s workload.
On top of that, this has the added benefit of delivering a content strategy that covers a diverse array of topics according to each person’s strengths. For example, your marketing team can create content about best marketing practices, while directors can share advice on leadership and management. Play to your team’s strengths for a truly beneficial content strategy.
Using images in a blog post makes it more popular than those without
It might seem like an obvious point, but a blog post with an image is infinitely more popular than one without. It’s common knowledge that the brain processes images faster and better than text, and including an image in your content can meet a number of goals too. In fact, adding an image to your blog post can increase views to the tune of an impressive 94%.
Original imagery can make your blog more memorable, and visual content such as infographics can help convey messages better too. Just remember to make sure it’s relevant to your content to make it really engage.
You don’t always need original content to deliver value
While you should always strive to create fresh, original content for your blog, it’s not a dealbreaker. As a small business, you might not always have the time or budget to regularly turn out top-notch original content all the time. But that’s okay — content doesn’t have to be fresh to have value. This is where content curation comes in.
Content curation is the process of finding the best bits from reliable sources from around the web and turning it into a piece of content. It’s not plagiarism — it’s just a way of delivering value to your audience that is readable and well-informed.
Being regular can drive traffic
As a small business, your time is probably stretched to the limit. Between chasing new customers and looking after existing ones, it can be difficult finding the time to regularly create quality content. But it’s not enough to just post here and there. A solid content marketing strategy is one that’s updated regularly — and it’s worth it.
This strategy can boost your site’s SEO by showing search engines that you’re actively and regularly delivering fresh content to readers. This increases your value as a website, and it’s this value that search engines are looking for.
Create an editorial calendar and stick to it. And not all your posts need to be 2000 words long and 100% original either. Shorter articles, useful infographics, and careful content curation are all useful ways to quickly and easily add to your content strategy.
Content marketing is about more than SEO
But content marketing isn’t just an effective way to boost your search engine rankings — it’s more than that. By creating content that delivers value and expertise around your industry, you can place yourself in a position of authority.
Put the time and effort into sharing genuinely useful advice. In doing so, your audience will return to your blog for more of the same. Even as a small business, it’s entirely feasible for you to stand out against your competitors by delivering actionable advice that your readers can benefit from.
And at the same time, this kind of content strategy helps to build a community around your business too. Reach out to your readers and ask them their opinions, what they want to read about. This creates a bond between you and your audience, increasing their trust in you. In turn, this leads to a solid customer base that will return to your site time and time again.
Content marketing isn’t just about copy
Content isn’t just about delivering blog post after blog post of written pieces. Content marketing is a diverse discipline, spanning video, images, infographics, even audio. More and more brands are using a variety of formats in their content marketing, and it’s a strategy that can keep things fresh for your audience too.
As a small business, the prospect of crafting a diverse content strategy might seem daunting — but it’s doable. Easel.ly is a great infographic maker that’s easy and free to use. Even their paid option is just $3 a month, meaning SMEs on even the smallest budget can make creative infographics. And there are plenty of free video editors that let you create professional-looking videos at the click of a button too.
Your blog can generate more leads
Having a blog for your small business isn’t just a chance for you to flex your writing muscles. It’s also an opportunity for you to attract new customers. How? By writing about your business and your industry, readers can learn more about who you are — and what you can provide to them.
Blogging is a simple but effective way to bring in new customers, no matter what position your business is at — and this is especially true for local businesses.
Take a look online and you’ll find any number of websites for sale from across the globe that offer a solid product or service, but whose marketing is severely lacking. It would be easy to implement a solid content marketing strategy and swiftly revitalize the consumer base — simply by delivering genuine value through blogging,
Content marketing is for every channel, not just for your blog
Content marketing isn’t a case of just writing a post and then burying it on your blog. An effective strategy shares and repurposes content across a range of channels for maximum exposure.
If you’ve created a dazzling piece of content that delivers real value and creates authority for your business, don’t be coy with it. Post it across your social media profiles for your audience to share it themselves. This will get your wider visibility and further engagement online.
And the best content can be repurposed at a later date. For example, a content roundup in your email newsletters is a great way to drive traffic to your site throughout the year. Repurposing with email is a great way to really get the most out of your content marketing, plus it’s both cheap and easy to implement.
Content marketing for a small business can be a taxing affair. You’re busy, on a budget, and it doesn’t seem like a priority. But a solid content marketing strategy can pay dividends for your business, and it’s a strategy worth implementing today.