SMALL BUSINESS? HERE’S WHY YOU SHOULD TURN TO CONTENT MARKETING
Discover how content marketing can help you and your team capture online growth possibilities for your small business.
Confused about what is content marketing? It can be. But’s undeniably a brilliant marketing method for small businesses at a much, much lower cost than traditional marketing.
As a small business, you may be facing difficulties in letting your brand shine through in the digital world. Even though Singapore, together with the rest of Asia, hasn’t realized the potential of content marketing, but when done right it can be extremely successful in pushing your brand forward.
That’s why industrial giants like Apple and Maybelline are switching to online marketing, right?
And they’re successful online because they have the money and resources right?
Big brands like them have been in the market for plenty of years. Throughout these years, they’ve had their fair share of engagement with the public mass.
Raise your hand if you can memorize Maybelline’s tagline from a commercial. We surely find that hard to get out of our mind.
Now that, is a form of content marketing. Years of traditional advertising activities like television commercial, print advertisements, events, word-of-mouth, brochures etc. have allowed big brands to established their brand authority. This makes switching from offline to online content marketing more efficient because people already knew these brands.
But what about a small business like yours?
Many small business owners today are facing this conundrum: “How do I make people believe in the benefits of my products or services when they don’t even know my brand exists?”
It’s pointless boasting about the awesomeness of your products or services if people are unaware of your brand. As a small or medium sized business, you need to think differently from the huge players do. What worked for the industrial giants doesn’t necessarily mean it’ll work for you.
As a small business, what you need to do is leverage the searching behaviours of people. 51% of Google users discovered a new company or product when conducting a search on their smartphones. Not only on Google, Youtube and Facebook are search engines themselves. Plus, people are constantly on their smartphone snacking on digital content. Just a quick scroll on Facebook tells you how much content people are looking at all day.
So how can a small business like yours make an impression on these users?
- Be at the top of search engines results when your prospects search for topics related to your industry.
- Ensure that you’re one of the few brands they prefer when they have questions regarding your industry.
- Make sure they know what you do and what you can do for them.
Can content marketing possibly achieve these? Yes, it can.
Content marketing can effectively endorse the value of your product or service and brings in more prospective customers to your business at a much lower cost than traditional marketing.
Before we talk about how content marketing can save you cost, let’s see how traditional marketing is doing these days. Report says that magazine business has further deteriorates since 2016. That’s because people are switching the way they receive and view content.
As opposed to buying more widespread advertisements, content marketing lets you directly talk with your targeted prospects.
So how can content marketing help you save cost? We don’t want to confuse you with the technical blabbers, so here’s a simple example. If you’re using Facebook to distribute your content, you can easily use Facebook’s ad manager to target the people you wish to talk with.
Through content, they can personally discover the value that your products or services brings to them. In short, content marketing is the foundation to letting people first trust your brand before they decide to be your customer.
How does content marketing help with business growth?
Some may think content marketing does little to help with business growth. While it’s not immediately obvious, this new marketing technique benefits the health of your business more than you know — especially if you’re an early stage startup trying to break into a competitive space.
Increases the odds of being found online
By producing and distributing relevant, high-quality content, you’re increasing the chances of attracting your prospects whether through search engines, through social media, or through word-of-mouth.
The most important boon of content marketing? Regularly-updated and highly relevant contents on your website and social media platforms earn you higher rankings on search engines.
Builds your brand as a thought leader
Constantly updating your business blog (hopefully you have one) with unique, valuable and educational insights for free helps attract prospects. Whether you’re a B2B or B2C company, statistics shows that companies that blogged 11+ times per month had more web traffic than those blogging less.
Often demonstrating your knowledge by creating content that people have questions about help your brand stand out as being an expert in the industry. Gradually, your brand earns the reputation of being trustworthy among your audiences.
Puts a face behind a brand
Developing and executing the right content marketing strategy helps build a strong and unique brand image. You want your brand to be humane, and that’s how existing customers stay loyal to your brand. By distributing content further into the right social media platforms, you’ll be able to talk and connect with your targeted audiences, like a human being.
Helps drive sales
Nothing sounds better than “cha-ching”. Singapore entrepreneur Krystal Choo mentioned that even when a brand is more recognized because of the content they generate, it is less likely to convert it to sales. That’s true when you’re mindlessly creating inferior content and hoping for your people to stumble upon them. This is where a content marketing strategy comes into play — integrating content marketing, retail marketing and other necessary advertising activities to propel your brand forward. All in all, content that can help solve a targeted prospect’s pain point in turn helps your brand become a trusted adviser. Just this alone makes them think of you first when they need products or services like yours.
How should you start content marketing?
The best practice for content marketing? Blogging. Blogging started off as a pastime for practically anyone. Then more and more businesses tried to hop on board. But most of them gave up after a while.
Other than needing to master essential writing tips before starting a blog, maintaining a business blogging is troublesome. You need a lot of time to blog. You need the right people to help you do so. You need the right resources and techniques to measure traffic and results. But if you’re one of the smarter ones who’s seriously considering blogging for your business, we’ve a few crucial how-tos on practicing blogging as the basic content marketing method for your business.
You need to know your target audiences
Do you have a favourite customer? Great! Talk to him/her and find out what the thing(s) that attracts him or her, ask them what they love and hate about the thing that you do, find out what their buying habits are like, ask them what their interests are, where do they gather online, etc.
If you can’t talk to them, conduct a survey or email them a questionnaire. The information gathered from them should determine your content strategy and content marketing strategy. Always imagine that you’re producing content for him or her.
Develop your content marketing strategy and goal
As mentioned, your content marketing strategy should be built according to your targeted audiences. You’ll also need to know the types of content your competitors are creating, the performance of these content, the social media platforms they are on, the related keywords that people are searching for, questions that people may have in regards to your industry, what are the social media platforms that your brand should be on etc.
Also, write down specific and measurable content marketing objectives so you and your team will know where to refer from in future.
Build a conversion-focused website
Here’s where your content marketing strategy comes to life. A stale website is hardly going to impress your customers and can even give off an unprofessional vibe. Updating your website with a loads of educational content can help ‘answer’ ‘problems’ that your audiences could be facing.
Educate them with valuable information, then navigate them towards the solution (your products or services). Conversion doesn’t necessarily mean purchasing. It could also mean downloading a free ebook, a guide or signing up for a webinar.
Create content that are customer-focused
People don’t need and want to be bombarded with content about how great your product is or how awesome your product or service is. They want to know the value it brings to their life.
Expand intrinsically on the values it brings to lives with fresh content. High-quality content that answers queries that people is a good way to do so. And it helps with ranking on search engine pages too, so you could be increasing opportunities to expose your brand to as many pair of eyes as possible.
Content marketing is one of the most low-cost and effective ways you can drive traffic and build awareness for your small business. Chances are your product or service is incredible. And it deserves much more attention. Take your brand awareness and customer acquisition up to the next level by creating credible content and effectively distributing it. Yes, it may take time for results, but success will come soon.