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How Can Small Businesses use Content Marketing to Grow their Business?

by Mene Achor
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All growing businesses need visibility, and content marketing is a great way to get that started. Gone are the days when marketing was advertised through salesmen alone. Now, a more effective means of product/service marketing is done through social media in the form of content marketing. This has become even more commonplace in contemporary times, following the rise of content creators and social media influencers. 

With the rise of social media, a vast majority of people around the world are constantly consuming content across Instagram, Tiktok, X(formerly twitter), and other platforms. Businesses, both big and small, are maximizing this new reality for profit, as content on social media travels both fast and wide. As a small business owner, it is pertinent that you must not be left out, because future and even present day marketing is closely tied to the ‘battle’ of content. The price? Your attention… then your pocket.

Like everyone else online, your business can also participate in the vast network of content creation, turning viewers to customers by telling compelling narratives about your business and your product via video, audio and written form. So much of these narratives spark up engagement for future conversations. This article will take you through the rudiments of content marketing and the ways small businesses owners can utilize it for profit.

What is Content Marketing, and How Does it Work?

Content marketing is a marketing strategy that engages an audience by creating and sharing engaging and relevant materials online, usually tailored towards a certain demography. Through content marketing, your small businesses can establish a certain level of professional expertise online and engage prospective customers. The goal is to turn these customers to consumers of your goods or services.

At the heart of content marketing is the narrative and experience sold to prospective customers. This narrative is usually told in a way that recognizes your potential customers needs and how the product or service can solve those needs. Content marketing can come in various forms, with visual content being the most popular form. 

Creating content is not often as easy as it seems. The required steps may differ depending on the kind of content you intend to create. Regardless of form, however, it is important that you ask certain questions when developing content. Some of these questions are: 

  • What is the purpose of the content? 
  • Who am I writing or preparing this content for? In other words, who is my audience?
  • What kind of results do I want from this content? 
  • Does the content answer possible questions consumers may ask?
  • What platforms will be more suitable for my content?
  • How can I work towards ensuring the content is distributed at a defined time?

Why is Content Marketing Relevant for Small Businesses?

Statistics show that 72% of B2B marketers and 70% of B2C marketers use content marketing due to it’s huge ROI. Usually, small businesses have not gained the visibility they need to reach their target audience. Good content marketing strategies bridge the gap between prospective consumer and producer of said service. What do we mean by “good content”? 

Your business has a purpose and a set of values. Good content effectively communicates the value the business is offering, and the place of the consumer in the value offered. Your businesses unique value must also be communicated through the tone of your content. This is where the emphasis on a narrative, as discussed earlier, comes in. 

In this age of marketing, it is easier to reach more people through social media than it is to reach them physically. Whatever the unique value of your business may be, it will not make a significant impact if it isn’t communicated properly. Lacking quality content can drown your business visibility within the crowd of bigger, already established businesses that offer the same product.

Steps to Create a Content Marketing Strategy for Business Growth

So how exactly can you leverage content marketing for your small business? Well, small businesses should have a few basic steps in their content marketing strategies in order to boost business performance.

Ensure Your Content’s Form Complements Your Business Service

The digital age ensures that we have information at our fingertips, all the time. This content can appear in different forms such as audio, text, and images or videos. Different content formats cater to different learning styles, and so the form that a piece of content takes is important. Currently, short form video format offers the highest ROI in content marketing.

As a small business, the form your content takes should complement the product and services you deliver. For instance, a product-based business will most likely capture the nature and the effectiveness of their services in written and video format. A service-based business can be effectively marketed both in audio and video form. A beauty brand, for instance, would be better appreciated in video format.

Ensure Your Content is High Quality

No matter the format it takes, your content should be high quality. This means that it should be able to grab the attention of and provide value to your target audience and give them a pleasant experience. You can optimize said content with marketing tools and strategies such as SEO (Search Engine Optimization) and SMO (Social Media Optimization).

Create Marketing Content Within Your Budget

Creating quality content requires that you think first about the effectiveness of the narrative your business intends to pass. Then, you can decide how best to create that content within your business budget. For video or audio content, you can save costs by improvising with gear you already have such as phone cameras and tripods. Remember that your content must stay relevant in the niche your business belongs to.

Set out Specific Key Performance Point Indicators for Your Content

A Key Performance Indicator is a type of performance measurement businesses use to measure the success of an organization or its activity. As a small business, it is very important to know what your KPIs are and how they are relevant to your business content. This should be done with your business size and goals in mind.

It is also important that you don’t think of your content’s performance outside its scope. Although your goals may be ambitious, try to keep it within a limit and not go beyond or below what the required target is. Your KPIs should be in line with the projected revenue needed either to sustain the business or to boost expansion. Whatever the case may be, as a small business, it is important to keep your content in line with your business goals.

Create Room for Customer Feedback and Engagement

Content marketing is not a one way thing. At the core of it is the need to engage prospective clients and participate in conversations around your industry and the products and services you render. You should make this option available to customers before, during and after they use your product. Creating an avenue for this kind of communication helps your business understand its customers and how effective your products/services are. This customer feedback is an important part of market research.

Customer engagement also demonstrates credibility, as it happens publicly for everyone to see.

Seek to Build a Market Community Through Your Content Marketing Platform and Keep Them Constantly Engaged

Community building in content marketing is important. Community building helps your business’s ability to retain customers. Content marketing can aid your business in building a community around its niche. This can be instrumental in boosting sales and customer trust. As a small business, this community gives you an idea of what your current and potential customers need.

Conclusion

The age of social media has given small businesses a bigger chance of being visible in their respective niches. Creating relevant content showcases your products and values. It also ensures that your small business can engage freely with existing and potential customers within their niche audience on the internet. This leads to growth and visibility within the business space. However, you should always ensure that content is created within your budget. Don’t forget to measure your growth with those KPIs!

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