May 14, 2014

Happy National Small Business Week! Kickstart Your SMB with Content Marketing

National Small Business Week is in full swing across the U.S., which means there’s no better time to step back and reassess your current SMB marketing strategy. If content marketing isn’t on your list of action items yet, it’s time to make it a priority.

Why? Because the majority of marketers are already using content to increase brand awareness and generate new leads. According to recent research from CMI, 95 percent of small B2C companies use content marketing, and 78 percent of micro-sized companies do too. Content marketing is also wildly popular in the B2B space, as it’s now used by 93 percent of marketers.  

Below are some ways custom content can skyrocket your SMB into success: 

Generate new leads: Customer acquisition is one of the top reasons why marketers are investing in content creation. Unlike traditional online advertising vehicles such as banner ads, multimedia content offers the ultimate opportunity to hook a customer by offering valuable information. Provide your readers with food for thought and they are sure to bit.

Tip: Try asking your current customers to comment on their experiences with your company and then use their responses in case studies, white papers and blog posts. Chances are your leads will have the same issues as your current customers.  

Stay relevant: Content marketing is the perfect opportunity to show your company’s stance on key topics that are important to your industry. For instance, if you are in the food industry, you could report on supply chain issues and important updates from the FDA. Customers will look at  your website as a trusted source of information.

This is also crucial for staying near the top of Google’s search rankings. If your business does not regularly produce content, it will stand a good chance of falling to a lower spot, which could seriously impact business. Multiple sources confirm that after the first spot, the drop-off is considerable. And the vast majority of users will not even leave the first page of a Google search when looking for a website.   

Tip: Best practices call for a 60/40 split between industry and company news, respectively. Try to strike a balance between company-specific and industry related articles.

Engage with your customers: This should be one of the greatest strengths of your small business. Use your small size to differentiate your company and foster intimate relationships with customers online. Do this by responding to customer comments on blogs and social media posts, or tweet directly at them. This creates a two-way conversation and breaks down the barrier between your business and its consumers.

Tip: End blog posts with a call to action for your customers to post their comments or questions below the article. This will help further the discussion, and customers will love participating.

Remember that it’s tough to produce an immediate ROI with content, so don’t get frustrated if you don’t see results right away. Stick to a regular schedule and eventually you will have a flourishing blog and a steady stream of unique visitors. The beauty of content marketing is that articles will continue to give back over time as they can be re-purposed in several ways.   

Edited by Brooke Neuman

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