For small businesses, content marketing can often be left a little neglected. Unless you started out blogging before you became a business owner, the thought of producing consistent, quality content on top of the actual work in your business is just overwhelming. The reality is — I get you. I write content for a living and writing or producing my own always seems to end up at the bottom of the list. However, I’ve got three really good reasons (for me and maybe for you) why focusing some energy on content marketing is worth the time.
Before we get into that, let’s just define content marketing real quick. Loosely, content marketing involves producing content that markets your business (worst definition ever right). This means blog posts, youtube videos, newsletters, social media posts etc. that share your products, services, your personality or related information.
So, why content marketing? While there are probably a 1000 reasons why, I’ve boiled it down to three really compelling ones.
It builds authority
Before people buy a product or connect with a service, they often do some research online. This research often comes in two distinct forms; looking for advice or how-to’s to DIY their own solution OR searching for the right business, person or product to solve their problem. When you share relevant and useful content online, you build your own authority in that space. If someone is looking for assurance that they’re hiring the right person, content provides that assurance. When you share expertise in your arena — people see you as an expert!
Let’s jump back to those looking to DIY for a minute. It may sound counterproductive to provide information that almost puts you out of a job — like how to’s or systems that are part of your own process. The reality is that a small glimpse of your process doesn’t discount your expertise! For many people (me included), looking up the DIY process or learning more about what’s required for a task or item highlights how difficult or time consuming it really is! For the people who get the glimpse or kick-off they need from your content and go about their merry way — great! They are not your clients or customers now, but at least they know who to think of next time.
It helps people find you
So we’re all obsessed with SEO, social media and being easy to find online for our prospective audience, right? Well, content marketing can be your answer to this.
If we take building your SEO (search engine optimisation) profile so that you come up further up in the page on Google, written content is king. When you write blog posts and add them to your website, not only are you sharing helpful information with your current audience, you’re increasing your chance of being found by new people. For example; if you run health retreats for women, writing content about self-care, meditation, natural health and the benefits of health retreats will get you showing up in more places. If a woman who fits your audience is feeling run down, googles self-care and finds your article, she’s also shown your health retreats. If you only ever added things to your website about your health retreats, it’s likely only active seekers of those retreats with find you.
It’s not just all about blogging, content marketing might also mean creating youtube videos or sharing really awesome social media posts. Both these things also help you be found! As well as being able to reshare things on your website or to your email list, these external platforms already have people on them who may not even be looking specifically for you. Don’t get me wrong, it can be hard to get noticed in any place. But you don’t need a huge audience to make an impact, you just need the right audience. Sharing good content fitting with your brand and personality can be a way to make this happen!
It connects with your audience
Most people get into business to make an impact. Content marketing provides you with longer form or regular ways to connect with people and make an impact in their lives. Even a really good website only shows a small facet of your personality! People love people, so when they read/see/watch your content and get to know you better they can build a better relationship with you.
Personally I’ve followed people for years because of their content marketing. What keeps me around? A mix of personality and value. I feel like I know some of the podcasters I listen to or emails I’m subscribed to, and when they release new programs or have openings in their services — I’m so much more inclined to buy. I’m sure you’ve got these people too, personalities or friends or other businesses who you connect with online and love everything they produce.
In most industries, it’s a crowded marketplace. But that doesn’t mean there isn’t a place for you to show up and make a connection with others. Content marketing helps you stand out in a way that’s unique to you and your business.
How are you going to use content marketing in your business? It’s best to start small, don’t feel the need to post every day, blog every week or become YouTube famous. Consider your ideal client or customer, what would best serve them is probably a good place to start.