Content marketing for small business is really no different than large businesses. You can use the same exact principles and strategies that huge corporations use to capture new leads and convert leads into sales. In fact, being small is actually a major advantage. The key reason is this: the most successful content marketing campaigns are based around having a really compelling story. As a small business, it's a lot easier to create and present a meaningful story that your customers will appreciate and relate to.
There's a lot to "Content Marketing" so in this blog post I'm just going to walk you through the most essential things you need to know to get started making Content Marketing work for you.
What Is Content Marketing?
First, let's look at what Content Marketing is -- then, we can explore why you need it and how to do it.
Content Marketing, in a nutshell, is a form of marketing that's all about providing valuable content to engage your prospects, capture your leads, and convert your customers. (The key word here is VALUE.)
Content Marketing is something you can do on your website, your blog, your social networks, your email newsletters, your webinars, your print newsletters, your SMS messaging, and so much more. The media you use is not nearly as important as the message. Content Marketing is about being useful and helpful to your customers before AND after they make a purchase from you.
And perhaps most importantly, Content Marketing is about building a long-lasting RELATIONSHIP with your customer.
Why You Need Content Marketing
The biggest reason you need Content Marketing in your small business is to stay in front of your prospects and customers for as long as possible. The only reason your business would not benefit from this type of marketing is if there is no value in staying connected to your customers.
Very few businesses fall into this category, and even those that do could probably find a way to expand their businesses by adding on this type of marketing.
You also need Content Marketing to have a compelling reason for your customers to stay connected to your business. Today, we're all competing for our customers' attention -- and their attention span is getting shorter and shorter all the time. Email, social media, SMS messages -- everything is constantly in the way of your message getting straight to your customer. So instead of fighting these trends, the idea is to leverage as many media channels as possible to reach your customer.
And, really, you need Content Marketing to help your customer understand the immense VALUE of what you do. This brings us to the next key element -- your story.
It Starts With Your Story
Before you begin building your Content Marketing strategy, you need to develop a story for your business. The stronger the storyline for your business, the more likely your customers will stay engaged with you. For most businesses, this usually means bringing YOUR personality to the front of your marketing messages.
The secret to making this work is to just be true to who you are and why you're in business. Your customers want to know that you're in your line of business for all the right reasons. They want to feel connected to your company, and personality is almost always the best way to create this relationship.
This is where your U.S.P. comes into play -- your Unique Selling Proposition. Every business needs a U.S.P. It's what helps you stand out from your crowd of competitors to highlight the strengths in your products and services.
The more you can connect your U.S.P. to your story, the more your customer will bond with you, feel connected to you, and engage with your marketing messages.
Here's another way to put this: the more your customer feels connected to your story, the less your marketing feels like marketing to them.
This is exactly what you're trying to achieve with Content Marketing.
Create Lots Of Great Content
Once you know your U.S.P. and you have a storyline to build around it, you need to start creating lots and lots of content. You can either create this content yourself, assign an employee to the job, or work with a Copywriter or Content Writer. Obviously, without content, you cannot do Content Marketing.
If you plan to create your own content, you'll want to study Copywriting as much as possible. This is the single most valuable skill any business owner could ever hope to acquire. After all, Copywriting is nothing less than "sales in print."
If you're not already using Content Marketing to grow your business, you should start today. Doing so will help your customers AND you understand your business better so it can grow faster!