The following is a guest blog post by Erica Bell, a social media specialist who focuses on topics such as marketing and social media trends. She writes for Business.com Media, Inc., a small business resource site.
How Small Businesses Can Make a Big Splash with Content Marketing
Building brand awareness and acquiring new customers are often the biggest goals when it comes to content marketing. Businesses of all sizes are using content to get their business and brand in front of new eyes, become thought leaders, and encourage customers to continue through their purchase journey. For those that want to make a big splash with small business content, consider taking these four steps to push forward.
Know Your Audience… and Their Pain Points
Small businesses have an advantage over larger corporations. Starting off with a small foundation of customers allows you to gain deeper insight into who your audience actually is. Analytics and big data allow us to see what behaviors are typical of an audience, but in-depth conversations allow small businesses to truly understand what it is their customers want and need. Small e-commerce sites can build personal relationships for deeper engagement. Local brick-and-mortar businesses can have one-on-one conversations with customers on a regular basis about what they’re looking for and the information that helps them make a purchase. Knowing your audience, what’s going on in their area and industry, and understanding what it takes to solve problems they come across can help you create – it’s the first step in really making an impact with content marketing.
Create Relevant Content
Whether you choose to tailor content based on the profiles of those making the purchase or characteristics they share with past customers, you need to focus on creating content that is relevant to your audience. As a small business that understands the pain points of its customers, and how to solve them, creating content that addresses these is how you can guarantee your content is relevant. Address pain points, industry news and the latest trends. Many marketers struggle with creating enough content.
A recent CMI study of small B2B businesses found that 64% of respondents labeled producing enough content as their top challenge, followed by 54% citing production of the type of content that engages. Don’t be a part of the majority here. Turn to your customers, team members, and other blogs and websites for content inspiration. If you’re using a blog, videos, podcasts and multiple forms of content, consider repurposing it to ensure you have enough content that is targeted to your audience. A recent blog post from Business.com shares ways you can continue ramping up your content marketing. If all else fails focus on the people, passions and places of your own company.
Share, Share, Share
Creating content isn’t enough for you to truly make a splash. In order to make waves, your content has to be shareable and get shared. Pass what you create on to your current customers, contacts, and on social media. The same CMI study found that B2B small business marketers use an average of five social media platforms. That’s right: FIVE. Share your content across networks such as Facebook, Twitter, Google+, LinkedIn, and Pinterest. The networks that are best for your business will vary, so make sure that you’re spending your time in the right places. Work with friends, family, business contacts, and partners to get your great, targeted content in front of the right people. Share and ask others to do the same.
Having a content marketing strategy is essential. You need to include the type of content you’re going to produce, timelines, and how you’re going to share that content with the world in order to achieve your goals of building brand awareness and acquiring new customers.