Why Content Marketing is Essential for Small Businesses

The internet has made it easier to start a small business. With more small businesses emerging through online platforms, however, it is important to stand out among the competition.

Content marketing is a significant part of a successful small business. Creating a brand presence online and attracting your specific audience is vital for your business. Content marketing is more than having a social media presence, it is a holistic approach to marketing that involves tracking traffic, generating content, and cultivating a following.

Stay tuned to find out:

  • What is content marketing?
  • Why is it important to my business?
  • How can I bring content marketing into my plan?

What is Content Marketing?

Content marketing is different from traditional marketing. Instead of focusing on just advertising services of products, you begin actively marketing solutions to problems and the opportunity for a lifestyle. This allows for more specific advertising that will result in loyalty to a brand and therefore a greater outlook for a business over a longer period of time.

Traditional marketing is more concerned with fulfilling short-term goals, like selling a product. Content marketing takes a more inclusive approach. What sets content marketing apart is that it informs consumers about their decisions. Many times, this content can be considered more general information so it is more readily accepted by consumers than very obvious, targeted content.

Content marketing usually manifests itself as blog posts, articles, mass emails, and tweets. This is content that is free and available to everyone, so a company is able to reach a larger audience. The content is also seen as more credible because it is informational and therefore more meaningful.

Sponsored messages are now seen in a more negative light, so more subtle forms of marketing like content marketing are preferred. Content also is relevant for longer and therefore can stay in circulation for longer.

Articles and tweets are also easy to share among people, so the chance of passing on information is higher than if it were a traditional advertisement. The shareability and credibility of content marketing make it a sustainable, reliable, and vital part of a small business.

Why Content Marketing is Particularly Important for Small Businesses

Many businesses exist, some with a greater and older presence than others. Small businesses have to begin establishing themselves in a saturated market in order to be successful. While larger corporations are using content marketing to maintain their following, small businesses rely on exposure through content marketing.

As a small business, it is hard to be seen among the more established brands. To set yourself apart from the others, you have to begin drawing in new followers and making yourself a valuable addition to their lives. This can be done through storytelling and showing that you appreciate their support.

The storytelling aspect of this can be achieved through content that portrays a certain lifestyle and has a mission. With various social media platforms, it is even easier to show followers your brand’s aesthetic and tailor your content accordingly.

By generating consistent content, small businesses can gain a new following of people who agree with a specific brand. This will ensure more success over a longer period of time, which is essential to a small business’ success.

How Can I Start Using Content Marketing?

Since content marketing is so comprehensive, there are many aspects of it to consider. The basic parts of successful content marketing are:

  • Social media marketing
  • Search engine optimization (SEO)
  • Public relations (PR)
  • Pay-per-click (PPC)
  • Inbound marketing
  • Content strategy

Social media marketing is what most people think of when they think of modern marketing strategy. At its core, social media marketing is simply using social media to gain traffic. Social media is important for being discovered and it gives you an opportunity to respond to your followers and demonstrate your dedication to them.

Search engine optimization (SEO) has always been part of marketing because it affects traffic to your website through search engines like Google and Yahoo. Through using keywords and polishing your website, you can ensure that your website shows up higher on searches. This contributes to more organic, unpaid traffic through your business’ website. For small businesses, this allows you to effectively compete with more established brands. When your website shows up alongside or even before more well-known brands, you increase your traffic.

Public relations can work tangentially with social media to increase brand success. Comments and direct messaging allow you to respond to customers promptly, and social media platforms are an opportunity to take a stance on topics or address concerns publicly. Although social media also presents more opportunities for followers to express negative feelings, small businesses can continue to show that they value their customers by gracefully responding in a public light.

Pay-per-click (PPC) marketing is something to consider if you have more money to spend. Through PPC, you pay every time someone clicks on an advertisement link. This is less authentic because you essentially buy traffic. If you have enough traffic because of these clicks, then it could be worth it. This is still something to consider when your business is more established and you have money to spend on this kind of marketing.

Inbound marketing is the most characteristic part of content marketing. Essentially, inbound marketing is attracting customers through less obvious channels like blogs or articles. You bring in traffic through less obvious means, making customers feel more valued and informed about their decisions.

Content strategy is the final part of content marketing. Planning how and when you put out content affects your presence online. By being consistent and thoughtful about your content, you will make the most out of your content marketing.

Small businesses are in a unique position because they have to establish themselves among other brands. Content marketing offers an approach that is accessible and beneficial to smaller businesses.  

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