Before the pandemic, we were often asked what the #1 thing was that small businesses lacked in regards to marketing. Our answer? A digital presence.
That is not so much the case anymore. People have now found ways to move their businesses online. Those who had not been aware of how important being findable online is, are now very aware in this new business-scape we live in.
So, what is the #1 thing we now see that small businesses lack? The creation of valuable content that is designed to sell without the salesy-ness! And that is what content marketing is all about.
What is content marketing?
Content marketing is a way of telling a story and engaging people with your brand, while not specifically promoting your product or service. Yet, the point of the content is to do just that. You just frame it in a way that is focused on the consumer and not on you.
This style of marketing has been trending for several years. In fact, many marketers predicted in 2020 that content marketing would continue an upward spike. Indeed it has, and is a go-to strategy used by companies large and small.
Why is content marketing important?
Consumers are spending more time now than ever online, so this is a prime opportunity to engage people who are already searching for your products or services. People are willing to invest time in your content to get to know you and vet who you are.
Benefits of content marketing are:
- Brand awareness – being recognizable and memorable so when people need your product or service they know you are the one to call.
- Lead generation – reaching new people through online searches and shares because your content is findable and consumable.
- Engagement – getting people involved because what you have to say is interesting or entertaining.
- Sales – because you are consistent about creating compelling content so people know and trust you.
- Lead nurturing – piquing the interest of someone and keeping them connected so they become your customer when they are ready.
What makes content valuable?
One of the first steps in starting a business is knowing what problem you are solving for consumers, and that they WANT the solution you are offering. This is the angle to keep in mind when you create your content.
Consumers don’t want to hear about you, they want to hear how you can help them. When creating your content, think about HOW you are helping people and SHOW them that through your content.
A common misstep we see is when experts talk at expert-level, failing to realize not everyone else is an expert. You need to break content down into digestible chunks that someone with little or no knowledge of the topic can understand. If someone doesn’t understand what you are saying, there is a slim chance they are going to engage.
Algorithms love engagement.
Most algorithms are designed to measure user engagement and uniqueness of content. Getting people involved with your website and social media has lasting effects on the distribution of your content.
For example, the more engaging a social media post is, the more an algorithm will distribute it to people’s newsfeeds. The more website traffic a site gets, the more it will show up in someone’s top search results.
When you create content that engages people through likes, shares, and comments – and they spend time reading it – it triggers algorithms to mark that content as valuable and is more likely to continue to show it to people.
The culture of giving is important.
With so many online resources available, you want to be one of them. Giving micro offers to people – things that are small but impactful – is a great way to keep people coming back for more. It is also a way to display your expertise in your given field, making you a relevant thought leader.
Here are some ways to do that…
- Social media posts
It’s important to remember that people consuming your free content are already engaged, so keep them in your sales funnel however you can. One of the benefits about offering free content is that you can collect someone’s contact information and add them to your mailing lists. This is a win for them and for you.
To learn how to optimize your website for fundability, click here.