Small business is the backbone of the American entrepreneurial spirit. Starting with nothing and creating something successful is a very rewarding experience. Nurturing it and making it your own is what sets small business apart from corporate America.
Years ago, it was easy to get the word out about your business. TV, radio, newspaper, the Yellow Pages and direct mail all were cornerstones of small business marketing. That is far from the case today.
The effectiveness of traditional marketing is a shadow of what it once was. Consumers skip through commercials with their DVRs, shun FM and AM radio for satellite and Internet radio, get their news from Facebook and Twitter, and often toss the Yellow Pages directory into the recycle pile as soon as it arrives. What is a small business owner to do?
Content Marketing to the Rescue
The great news is that today, small business owners have more control and power to connect with interested consumers than they have ever had before. It is no secret that consumers are turning to the web when they research a purchase. It is the job of the entrepreneur to place their business in front of these consumers. Content marketing to the rescue!
What is Content Marketing?
According to the Content Marketing Institute, “Content Marketing is owning, as opposed to renting media. It’s a marketing process to attract and retain customers by consistently creating and curating content in order to change or enhance a consumer behavior.”
A less-formal definition is this: “Traditional marketing and advertising is telling the world you’re a rock star. Content marketing is showing the world that you are one,” – Robert Rose
There are dozens of reasons that content marketing makes sense for small businesses, but here are what we believe to be the five most important ones.
1. Content Marketing Brands Your Company As an Expert
As quoted above, you can show the world that you are a rock star through content marketing. You can use words, images, videos and podcasts to demonstrate why your company is the best at what it does. You can answer questions that consumers ask and provoke interest in things that they may not be aware of. Content marketing allows you to be the hero by solving consumer problems. All of this adds value to your brand and your status as an expert.
2. Content Marketing Has No Limits or Rules
With content marketing, you can tell your story without traditional limitations or rules. You are not limited to a certain number of column inches or 30-second spots. Your message does not get lost among the dozens of other pieces of mail competing for your consumer’s attention while walking back from the mailbox.
You do not need to follow strict guidelines or even be politically correct! You can be yourself and set the tone for your company. You can show clients what they can expect when doing business with your company. It is your content and it is your business. You own both and can do whatever you like. That means being careful with how you use this invaluable tool, though, because you can completely alienate a segment of the market in an effort to enhance your credibility with your target demographic. We tell our clients to allow common sense to be their guide … pushing the envelope can certainly backfire!
3. Content Marketing Puts You in Front of Hot Prospects
Traditional marketing puts you in front of potential clients who may have zero interest in your offerings. They were not thinking about you or your company before the commercial aired.
Content marketing places your message in front of clients who are actively seeking information about what you do. If they have landed on your website or YouTube video, it is because they are actively searching out information. Perhaps it is to make a purchase. If you provide great content and present your company as an expert, you may just earn the chance to make the sale!
4. Content Marketing Broadens Your Reach
All forms of traditional advertising have geographic limits. Whether the radius of the broadcasting tower or the zip codes selected for the mailing, traditional techniques are only going to reach prospects in a specific area.
With content marketing, the world is your market. You are no longer limited to 10 square blocks in downtown Chicago. Properly executed content draws clicks and eyeballs from all over the world. And local business owners often find that their target market expands by many orders of magnitude once their content starts to produce results.
5. Content Marketing Continues to Produce Results
This is one of the most attractive aspects of content marketing. Stop paying for a TV campaign and it stops showing up on the nightly news. Stop paying for radio spots and you will no longer be heard on the morning drive. Stop paying for a newspaper ad and it’s gone. This is not the case with content marketing.
Content that you pay to produce today (either with money or sweat equity) will start working for you as soon as it is published. It will attract attention on social media and in your email blasts. But it doesn’t end there. That is actually just the beginning.
Once indexed by the search engines, your content will continue to produce results for years to come. It is yours forever and it does not go away, and the beautiful thing is that you only paid for it once! And, if you continue to add quality, relevant content to your site, YouTube channel or social media outlets, it will continue to cast an ever-growing net to capture interested eyeballs and create new clients for your company. Content marketing is an asset, not an expense. Does any other medium promise or deliver this?
What to Do Next
If you own a small business, you need an effective content marketing program. Many companies can make this a reality and we encourage you to seek out a qualified company with expertise in your industry to help you.
If you happen to be the owner of a 12 volt, mobile enhancement, truck accessory or window tinting business, you should contact my company: 1sixty8 media. Our team is made up of award-winning store owners and installers, writers, and SEO specialists. We have walked in your shoes for over 100 combined years. We know your business. We take the hassle out of content creation for your mobile enhancement company. We do all of the work so you are free to focus on what you do best: Run your business.
For more information, please contact us today!