What first comes to mind when you hear content marketing for business?
For many, it’s sales of products, goods, or rendering a service?
While this is absolutely true, it is important to realize that content marketing for business is much deeper than instant sales, it can be an art of persuading an audience by dishing out the value in a bid to build like and trust.
What is Content Marketing?
Content marketing is a strategic marketing approach focused on creating and distributing valuable, relevant, and consistent content to attract and retain a clearly defined audience with the ultimate goal to drive profitable customer action.
It is a marketing technique of creating and distributing valuable, relevant, and consistent content to attract a clearly defined audience to drive profitable customer action.
It involves consistently publishing content that your audiences or customers would find valuable and would want to consume.
This means that value is the core in marketing content because it is only when your content serves the need of your customers that you can help them trust your brand.
Content marketing for business plays a vital role in aiding the growth of businesses, especially online because it is the content you have on your website that you can optimize to attract more audiences.
Since value is relative, the most important aspect to consider is what your audiences want or require solving a problem.
Your business niche is what determines the right content to market. To properly market your brand, you should be ready to trigger your audience’s attention by developing valuable content to serve their need.
Nevertheless, you can only be said to have a good content marketing strategy for business when you are able to optimize your content on search engines to reach your targeted audience and to drive sales actions.
What are the Differences between Content Writing and Copywriting?
Copywriting is the act or occupation of writing the text for the purpose of advertising or other forms of marketing. It is the process of writing advertising promotional materials.
The goal of a copywriter is to increase brand awareness through short and engaging pieces of text.
Content writing on the other hand is researching and creating comprehensive write-ups, in other to educate or expand the knowledge base of a targeted audience.
The goal of developing content is to add value to a targeted audience which in marketing is your prospective audience.
Since value attracts, a content writer uses the value as a secret formula to penetrate into the minds of the audience.
Before highlighting the differences, it is important to understand that copywriting can be infused into content writing and this is a common practice.
This happens when the content is written with an engaging call to action which is capable of converting the reader to a buyer immediately or subsequently.
Having stated this, there are several differences between the two marketing techniques.
1. Unlike copywriting that converts customers on a short term basis, conversion of customers through content writing is more long-lasting.
The reason behind this is that copywriting deals with selling your brand through developing persuasive messages but content writing gives value to the prospective audience before the call to action.
After helping your audience out with certain information, you have created a level of awareness for your brand.
Your audiences become aware that you are an authority in that field or area.
Whenever they require the services of someone that offers help on the subject you might have educated them about, there is a very high chance that your brand would be chosen.
2. Copywriting should be kept short, simple, and persuasive but content, especially for business growth is usually lengthy, although, dependent on the subject of discussion.
While copywriting focuses on highlighting the unique selling point of a brand to persuade a prospective audience, content writing provides comprehensive information about a subject matter to serve your audience and bring about long-term trust.
In summary, a good content marketer combines both qualities to promote a brand. The ultimate focus should be creating SEO content to attract more customers.
5 Elements of a Good Content
Creating content is not enough. What’s most important is how good the content is and how best it is structured to achieve its purpose.
The fundamental questions every content writer should ask themselves before creating any type of contents are;
- Who is my target audience?
- What are their needs?
- How can I help to solve their problem?
- What is the best and most comprehensive language to communicate the solution?
- What do I hope to achieve after gratifying their need? (This is where you indicate your CTA)
- How do I optimize my content to attract customers?
After answering the questions above, there are certain elements that should be infused into your content before it can be referred to as a ‘Good Content’.
The most important criterion for good content is how much value it is able to give to the target audience. For content to be good, it has to be capable of solving the need of the audience.
Content can be well researched, written, and comprehensive but not valuable. This is because it might not be right for the audience you are targeting.
For example, if you run a small business that sells dog food and you generate content on interior decoration for your website, this is not valuable content.
This is because it is outside your niche and the customers you are targeting do not require such information from you. It would also paint you as a non-professional and your audience will lose trust in your brand.
A valuable post for someone who sells dog food would be anything related to dog nutrition or dog health.
Therefore, problem-solving remains an integral component of content marketing for business.
2. Back up Information with Evidence
For every fact stated in your content, it is important to back it up with evidence by making your source available.
The only time this is not necessary is when the information is from your understanding of that concept. This means that the information has not yet been validated but proven to be effective through personal testimony.
This way, your audience can tell which information is generally validated and which is a recommendation or personal idea.
This is possible when you carry out proper research before developing your content.
3. Your Content should be practical
Nothing beats a first-hand point of view. Writing theoretically is different from writing from practical experience.
Both will give you the required information but one gives you the information from a professional and well-experienced point of view.
4. Do it differently
Creativity in developing content is vital. There are loads of similar contents, what makes yours different?
If you have a website for your small business that deals with sales of clothes and fashion accessories, I’m sure you know that there are numerous fashion contents from various websites.
What would set you apart is the additional spice you add in presenting yours in a different and unique way.
How can you do this?
For example, if there are numerous contents on ‘the appropriate place to wear denim’, you can develop content on ‘how you can style your denim to suit any event’.
Doing this has made you miles ahead of your competitors, going deeper than what they could offer. This is creativity!
5. Properly optimize your content
Include your targeted words synonyms to help promote your content in search engines.
It is also important too; use your keywords in your Meta description, use relevant images where necessary, and optimize the description.
Most importantly, you should include a solid and engaging call to action (CTA) on every of your website content.
Why Content Marketing is Key to Business Growth?
Content is king, it is what enables you to build a relationship with your audience. It can also serve as a key to unlocking your audience’s hearts.
Again, with consistent and quality content, you can successfully build a community. This community would serve as your loyal customers who like and trust your business because of the value you have added to them.
Recall that Content Marketing is not efficient until it can be optimized to reach a wide audience. Once it ranks on search engines and more people get to see it, this means more awareness for your brand.
This is a perfect strategy to be advantaged over your competitors who do not have a content marketing strategy.
Especially for small businesses, consistent content marketing positions your business in the industry as a professional.
Types of Content Marketing?
Most people feel that Content Marketing is limited to marketing valuable articles alone. There are various ways to package and market your content. Some of the ways include;
Blogging means communicating ideas through writing, photography, and other media that is self-published online.
It is a practice common with small business owners because it can simply be done by obtaining or building a website and publishing original content on it.
Blogs are highly encouraged by business owners because they encourage consistency in supplying quality content as well as give room for audience engagement.
Most blog post requires SEO to reach their target audience and increase traffic in the site as engagements.
A video is a visual multimedia source that combines a sequence of images to form a moving picture.
Videos can either be made up of visual and audio/sounds or just visual components arranged sequentially to narrate an event or pass a message.
Contents can be translated into a video or communicated with a video. It can even be something as simple as collecting meaningful pictures and presenting them in a comprehensive format to pass a particular message.
Videos can also be combined with texts and this is a very common practice amongst content creators.
A podcast is a digital audio, video file, or recording, usually part of a themed series, which can be downloaded from a website to a media player or a computer or other devices.
Podcasting is like a radio show that can reach a very large audience simultaneously and is mostly done in series.
Podcasting is a very good form of marketing content. It can be downloaded easily into your device and available for re-use.
Podcasts can be created in audio format or video formats which can also be called ‘Vodcast’ or videocast.
As a result of the audio effects of the podcast, you can easily convey meanings. This is because your tone gives life to your message and can increase understanding by your audience or listener.
This is a graphical representation of information to foster better understanding.
Infographics are used to communicate complex information in a visually appealing and engaging way.
It includes; bar graphs, pie charts, histograms, line charts, tree diagrams, mind maps, Gantt charts, and network diagrams.
Asides from the fact that it simplifies information, it breaks every form of the language barrier and many users can access the information.
Just like a picture is worth more than a thousand words, a good infographic is also worth a thousand words.
Electronic mail (Email) is a method of exchanging messages between people.
Marketing contents via email entails sending various types of content to a list of subscribers.
It helps you build the relationship that content marketing sets out to achieve as interested subscribes to your website to receive messages from you directly from your mailing list.
Sending emails to your audience helps you to keep in touch with them as well as builds a long-lasting relationship between you and them.
6. Visual content
Visual content is any content that has some sort of a visual element embedded in it.
Visual content uses images, videos, infographics, memes, or other types of visual content in passing a message.
Mixing visuals with written content makes it more interesting and also keeps your audience engaged.
Since the brain processes visual information very fast and is easier to remember, this is a very effective content marketing type.
An eBook (electronic book) is a non-editable, reflowable book that is converted to a digital format to be read on any digital device such as computer screens or mobile devices.
Ebooks come in different formats including; epub, azw, and pdfs. However, PDFs are not officially referred to as ebooks.
Ebooks are extremely handy and unlike hardcopy materials, they can be accessed at any time as they can be accessed with electronic devices like; smartphones, tablets, and computers.
In content marketing, ebooks are effective for building brand awareness. This is because, during the process of adding value to them, you can get their details and progress in your goal to convert them into customers.
8. Lead magnets
A lead magnet is a specific deliverable that is offered to prospects in return for contact information, typically to join an email list.
Simply put, it is an offer dedicated to giving your website visitor relevant values in exchange for their contact information
It can be a free eBook, video, bulletin, or coupons that are used to increase the conversion rates for lead generation activities.
The purpose of a lead magnet is to inspire the people who are consuming your content to get on your email list so as to convert them to customers.
Why Use Different Types of Content Marketing for Small Business?
Imagine a hunter going out with a single bullet or even one carved stone for his sling. There is a possibility that the hunter might miss the target and can’t get a second chance.
Nevertheless, a hunter who goes out with enough bullets and stones stands a very high chance of a successful hunt.
This can be applicable here because a combination of different content marketing types can help your small business achieve guaranteed success.
For audiences who are not big on reading, you have video content for them, for those who understand better with graphical Illustrations, you’ll provide them with infographics and the cycle continues.
Again, publishing different types of content allows you to be everywhere your audiences are and provides them with flexible options to access your content.
Small businesses can take advantage of the multiple types of content marketing until they have fully developed to choosing and adopting one or two types that match their audience persona.
Does Content Marketing Really Work for Small Businesses?
Over the years, content marketing has grown to become a highly profitable investment for all sizes of businesses and according to the Content Marketing Institute, 73% of brands now hire someone to help manage their content strategy.
Content marketing is known to drive higher conversion rates than other traditional marketing methods.
It is very important for small businesses to take advantage of content marketing to rank their business amongst the best in that niche.
It is an opportunity to build a reputable name for your business by communicating to the prospective audiences that you are extremely knowledgeable in that area.
Once a small business can successfully optimize website contents to drive traffic, it is a very effective and long term pull strategy and one of the essential ingredients for rapid growth.
For small businesses, content marketing is the right reputation building and awareness platform. Advertising can only do so little and is short term but building a community via content marketing is long-lasting.
How Can Your Small Business Benefit from Content Marketing?
Content marketing is a long-term strategy that uses content to build a stronger relationship with your audience, captures their attention, highly improves engagement, and improve brand recognition.
The one aim of small businesses is to increase awareness of their brands and products, especially when they are at the early stages of penetrating into the market.
Content marketing is an affordable and more effective form of advertising. With half the cost spent in advertising, you can use content marketing to get double the resulting advertising produces.
Have you heard that value sells itself? With content marketing, you do not directly sell your brand, professionalism and expertise sell it for you.
Customers want to be sure that you know what you are doing before entrusting their problems for you to solve.
With content marketing, your business can be considered as the best fit by customers for solving certain problems and this also helps solidify your business identity.
The last and very fundamental benefit of content marketing is that you can boost your business organic search by optimizing your content.
The more you adopt SEO practices, the more your contents rank in search engines. The more they drank, the more people become aware of your business and the end product is sales conversion.
10 Reasons Why Small Businesses Should Invest in Content Marketing
1. Greater return on a smaller investment
Think of content marketing as those small investments that cost so little but yield massive returns. This is what it is.
You spend less than you would normally spend on advertisement and build a long-lasting customer base which might be temporary through conventional advertisement.
2. Means of promotion without selling yourself
In content marketing, you hardly directly sell your business. Your knowledge and the value you provide sell it for you.
Your audience would realize that you are one of those businesses that are experts in what they do.
3. Great content generates return visits to your website
When your audience discovers that your contents are valuable, it draws them back to your website.
Some even go as far as subscribing to your website or mailing list to receive the information you have to give.
4. Expose your business to new prospects and a larger audience
With content marketing, your audience is no longer limited to those you get traditionally.
You now have the right platform to expand your reach and increase your customers.
5. Builds Reputation
Packing your sites with rich and quality content can make your site an authority one.
Once this happens, you have successfully built a good and solid reputation for your business, getting people to easily like and trust you.
6. Increased Retention and Brand Loyalty
Content marketing helps you to be in multiple places at a time.
When you are consistent, your brand would always be the first people will remember when they think of any aspect of your niche. This increases brand retention.
Similarly, once you can successfully convert your audience into customers, there is a very high chance that they would be loyal to your brand. This is because you built a community before converting them into customers.
7. Boost organic search visibility
This can only happen when you can properly optimize your content.
Imagine your webpage ranking top on search engines for searches made about your niche.
That means more traffic for your website and more traffic means more awareness and increased sales after a successful conversion.
8. Helps you stand out from your competition
No matter how creative or outstanding you think your business is, there would be someone who is in that same business line. Those are your competition.
To enable your business to stand out, you need to adopt new methods of doing things differently.
A very good and effective way is through content marketing. It crowns your business as the ultimate professional amongst loads of experts.
9. It allows you to connect with customers and clients
Content marketing gives room for engaging with your audience as well as an avenue to convert them from mere audiences to customers.
This can be achieved through consistency and regular engagement.
10. Improve your conversions
Content marketing can also help you boost sales. After giving valuable content to your audience, there is a very high chance that they would become your customers.
Note that the conversion rate is higher when you use more than one content marketing type.
How to do Content Marketing the Right Way?
- Know and understand your audience as this determines how you should present your content.
- Set your objectives and goals and work towards achieving them by putting each point into consideration when developing and implementing strategies.
- Figure out the best content channels by researching the best place to find your audience.
- Decide on content types to adopt
- Create a content calendar to guide you and ensure consistency
- Optimize your contents
Top 15 Content Marketing Tools for Small Businesses
It is difficult to sort through different apps and get the best to aid your content marketing. Below is a list of apps you can use.
Audacity is a free multi-track audio editor and recorder with an interface translated into many languages. It is very easy to use and is effective in creating video content.
2. Google Analytics
Google Analytics is one of the most popular digital analytics software.
It is a free web analytics service that allows you to analyze in-depth detail about the visitors on your website.
It provides valuable insights that can help you to shape the success strategy of your business and helps you to learn the inner structure of your website to see whether it is accomplishing its purpose or not.
You get to know the details of what people do when they visit your website, how long they stay, and what all pages do they visit on your website to help you improve performance.
3. Answer the Public
Answer The Public is a keyword tool that visualizes search questions and suggested autocomplete searches in an image called a search cloud. Categories consist of the 5 Ws, plus ‘how’, ‘can’, ‘are’, ‘which’ and ‘will’.
This a platform that allows you to find engaging pieces of content and discover new potential outreach opportunities.
The site allows you to search for content that has received the most shares, links, and comments and also allows you to find the key influencers in your specific area, monitor brand mentions and backlinks.
This is a very effective writing tool that helps you check for several types of errors including grammar and punctuation
It detects grammar and punctuation mistakes ranging from basic to advanced and also provides real-time suggestions and guidelines on how to correct these mistakes.
HubSpot offers a full stack of software for marketing, sales, and customer service, with a completely free CRM at its core. They’re powerful alone but even better when used together.
This is a popular and easy to use graphic design platform that allows users to create social media graphics, presentations, posters, documents, and other visual content.
Interestingly, there are many professionally designed templates that can be edited or adjusted to suit your brand taste.
This is a software application for both web and mobile, designed to manage accounts in social networks, by providing the means for a user to schedule posts to Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, Instagram Stories, Pinterest, and LinkedIn, as well as analyze their results and engage with their community.
This application can help you achieve consistency in content marketing.
Mailchimp is an all-in-one marketing platform that helps you manage and talk to your clients, customers, and other interested parties.
It focuses on healthy contact management practices, beautifully designed campaigns, and powerful data analysis that would aid content marketing via mail.
Trello is a terrific tool for project and task management. The visual Kanban boards are flexible, shareable, and let you pack a ton of detail into each card.
You can use it to organize your marketing activities including; what to create, when to create, the strategies involved as well as serves as a good platform to create a content calendar.
SurveyMonkey is an online survey software that helps you to create and run professional online surveys.
It is a very powerful and well-known online application that helps you analyze your performance by evaluating your audience’s satisfaction and interests.
12. Content Marketing Institute
It gives you access to loads of information in all aspects of content marketing as well as new ideas to aid content development.
Feedly is a robust feed reader that aggregates information from around the web into one convenient place.
It can be used to view updates on any topic you’re interested in, whether they come from the news, blogs, social media posts, RSS feeds, or other sources.
This means that research is made easy and more convenient for your content creation purpose.
Siteliner is a free service that lets you explore your website, revealing key issues that affect your site’s quality and search engine ranking.
This would give you details about your performance and your areas of strength and weakness.
Slack is essentially a chat room for your whole company, designed to replace email as your primary method of communication and sharing.
Its workspaces allow you to organize communications by channels for group discussions and allow for private messages to share information, files, and more all in one place.
This would aid content marketing especially if you have a team.
24 Content Marketing Ideas for Businesses
Since we have extensively covered how to create good content, it is imperative to also discuss top content marketing ideas for businesses.
In this section, we shall be discussing the content marketing ideas for business growth.
1. Know exactly who your customers are
If you don’t know who you are targeting, how do you create content for them?
This is the first thing you ought to discover so that each of your content would appeal to your prospective customers.
For example, if you are selling women clothes, your customers are definitely women and that’s where your focus should lie.
2. Use consistent branding
Content is king but consistency is the crown. You should identify a unique selling point and stick to it. Infuse it into all your content for easy brand identification.
3. Get listed in local online directories
This is a very good way to increase your business visibility online. It helps attract more traffic to your business by increasing your chances of ranking on search engines when prospective customers require the goods you sell or service you render.
Google my business, yelp, Bing places, Canada business directory are free business listings you can take advantage of.
4. Answer customer inquiries as fast as possible
Customers are like kids, they are attracted to those who give them quality attention.
The secret is to always be available to attend to their needs so that your competitors do not beat you to the game.
5. Create premium content using PowerPoint / Keynote
Remember that the content you create has a role to play in the success of content marketing.
Hence, you can create good and quality PowerPoint content with a good quality appeal.
6. Give away freebies
A free or cheap offer triggers audience attention and is a perfect lead magnet strategy.
It may not be something very expensive. It could be free eBooks, discounts on products, free bulletins, or even a free consultation session.
7. Utilize guest blogging
Guest blogging is a good strategy you can adopt to increase traffic on your website and build backlinks as well.
8. Get more leads by creating lead magnets
This cannot be overemphasized as it is an effective way to guarantee an increase in conversion rates.
Put certain things in place to get your audience’s contact information so as to follow up on them.
9. Create eBooks and checklists to convert website visitors
This is also perfect for a lead magnet. Create free eBooks and use them as a way to get your audience information to pursue conversion.
10. Run an Email course and grow your email list
Create a course and split it into a series. Send out emails for each topic within a period of time and watch how many people would subscribe to your mailing list just to partake in the learning process.
11. Use Facebook live video
Live video is a way to build a better relationship with your audience.
You can do a short live video session where you get to share gainful information with your audience as well as engage with them.
12. Use custom ‘Thank You’ pages
After every purchase is made or audience subscription is carried out, use a customized thank you page to help them feel important to your business.
13. Supercharge your online presence by knowing the basics of SEO
Nothing beats high ranking pages on search engines. Once you can get your webpages to rank top in search results, conversion becomes easy.
14. Convert people right before they are about to leave your website with exit intent pop-up forms.
The goal of any content marketing strategy for business should be to convert visitors into paying customers.
It is a very good strategy to get a confused audience interested.
Your content marketing must catch people’s attention and trigger their interest to take a purchase step before they leave your site.
15. Earn shoppers trust with a website rating, review tool
Have you ever thought to purchase an item from a new source, the most effective way to convince you to make the purchase are the ratings from those who have previously purchased that product?
Ratings are like a third party point of view. It is a good customer- a prospective customer communication channel.
Testimonies and reviews from customers are more solid than brand promises.
Hence it is important to set up website ratings.
16. Get more testimonials by following up with happy customers to ask for reviews
It is not just enough to set up an avenue for review.
You should also follow up on your customers after any purchase is made and subtly convince them to send a review about the satisfaction derived from it.
17. Get people who are on the fence back to your online store with cart abandonment emails
Some prospective customers might add your product to their cart while still considering if they should proceed with the purchase.
Send them emails to remind them about the product and encourage them to proceed with the purchase.
18. Offer coupon discount
Organize promos and discounts for your customers to insight their interest in making quick purchases.
You can distribute your coupons through different means to drive sales.
19. Take note of the client’s personal preferences and needs
Each individual has a unique taste peculiar to them. It is your duty to identify the needs of your audience and work towards satisfying them.
This information can be gotten through feedback surveys, ratings, and regular engagement with your audience.
20. Get feedback using surveys
With a simple tool like SurveyMonkey, you can easily gather details about customer experience and learn the areas you should improve to serve them better.
21. Use analytic tools to evaluate your marketing
With tools like Google Analytics, you can easily get information about your targeted audience and use this information to learn more about them to help make better decisions.
22. Use explainer video
We explained earlier that videos remain one of the most important content types.
Videos are great and fun ways to communicate ideas without boring your audience.
You can use videos to explain certain concepts relating to your business or clarifying your audience about certain aspects of your business.
23. Organize a webinar
Dedicate time to teach your audience leveraging on the internet and boost the business-customer relationship.
Your webinar can last for hours and even days, depending on your availability.
24. Do a podcast
A podcast would enable you to give an in-depth analysis of a topic and makes your audience feel closer.
This is because they can hear you in a more expressive means.
11 Ways to Create a Good Content Marketing Strategy for Small Businesses
Your strategy is the plan you have mapped out to adopt in your pursuit of content marketing for business growth.
There are numerous ways to create a good content marketing strategy.
Nevertheless, I have selected 11 very essential and easy ways to go about creating your content marketing strategy for business.
- Set your mission and goals which should include timing and expected success level.
- Establish Your KPIs (Key performance indicators) as this helps you know when you have achieved your goals.
- Know and understand the audience you’re targeting including their demographics and psychographic.
- Assess your current position to enable you to measure your success.
- Figure out the best content channels adequate for your audience and use them as your primary medium.
- Decide on content types suitable for your audience as well as your brand.
- Identify and allocate resources.
- Create a content calendar to serve as a guide to achieve consistency.
- Create content, putting your findings into consideration.
- To properly distribute and market your content, use the right SEO practices to rank your webpages on search engines, and create awareness.
- Measure the results of your strategies and effect changes where necessary.
Why Choose The SEO Hive Digital Marketing Agency?
The SEO Hive is a goal-oriented and result-focused content marketing agency, highly knowledgeable, and experienced in positioning businesses on the right track for rapid growth.
This is achieved by growing business websites through search engine optimization (SEO) to enable it to rank top on search engines.
Unlike other agencies, The SEO Hive digital offers full marketing services including; SEO, content marketing, web design, Social Media Marketing, Pay Per click services, and all other services required to increase business awareness and guaranty conversion.
While several agencies are static, The SEO hive finds new and adopts changing and effective trends to drive positive outcomes for businesses.
The SEO Hive is determined to ensure your business growth, build a reputation for your brand, establish online authority, and top your competitors even when you’re new to the game.
We give the best offers at the most affordable prices.
This can be likened to using one stone to kill multiple birds.