In my eight years as a content marketer, I’ve been fortunate enough to help lots of companies grow. Some of my favorite memories involve helping a small business win big over their larger competitors.
Along the way, I’ve picked up many tips to help improve how your small business approaches content marketing. Let’s take a closer look at how to do content marketing for small businesses the right way.
Why Small Businesses and Content Marketing Make a Perfect Pair
Before we start jumping into strategies you can start using today, I wanted to quickly cover what makes content marketing for small businesses so beneficial. Here are four beneficial reasons why content marketing works so well for smaller companies.
You Don’t Need a Huge Budget
Understandably, most small business owners are operating within the confines of a tight budget. With that in mind, you don’t want to spend lots of money over several months without seeing results. Fortunately, you won’t have to worry about that with content marketing.
Content marketing remains one of the most budget-friendly types of promotion out there. (link)Research from Content Marketing Institute shows that content marketing costs 62% less than outbound marketing and generates three times more leads.
Gain a Massive Audience
The end goal of most marketing campaigns is to grow a company’s audience. If you’re looking to find an untapped audience source, look no further than the internet. The Telegraph reported that people now spend 24 hours per week on the internet. That’s an entire day out of each week!
With people spending so much time online, a content marketing strategy is a great way to ensure your business starts showing up wherever consumers are.
Businesses everywhere have to deal with some type of competition. While you can’t snap your fingers and make the competition disappear, you can become more authoritative than they are. As someone working for a small business, how can you do this? By having a content marketing strategy!
Take a moment to put yourself in the shoes of your typical customer. This person is searching for a solution that your company and its competitors can solve. With that in mind, the potential customer starts searching for information online.
With the right content marketing strategy, your brand’s website appears in all or most of these searches. Thanks to your brand’s content marketing strategy, your company appears much more authoritative than others. In turn, this helps build trust for your company among consumers.
It Doesn’t Look Overly Promotional
When determining a marketing strategy, it’s good to walk the line between being informative and too promotional. Fortunately, content marketing is a great way to market yourself without being too “salesy.”
Instead of hyping up the public in a 30-second commercial, content marketing gives you much more time to inform and connect with an audience.
11 Content Marketing Strategies for a Small Business
Now that you’ve learned about why content marketing is so beneficial for small businesses, it’s time to move onto strategies. I chose these exact strategies because they’re the best for small businesses. Follow these strategies and you should begin seeing rankings and traffic both start increasing.
1. Create a Blog
One of the best ways to begin a content marketing campaign is by creating blog content. You might be asking “what in the world is a blog?” A blog is simply a website that acts as a type of online journal or “weblog” (what blog is an abbreviation for).
If your company already has a website, you have everything you need to start a blog. One of the best things I can recommend here is to avoid overthinking, especially in the early stages. Start with a few topics, get ready to type, and see where it ends up. Before posting it, don’t forget to run your content through a grammar checker like Grammarly or the Hemingway App.
2. Make Infographics
Another great way to boost the results of your small business content marketing efforts is by creating infographics. While the name might sound complicated, it’s a term given to images with text and statistics. If you’re remotely handy with Photoshop or a web-based photo editor, you can probably throw something together in about an hour.
So, why are infographics so popular? One reason is that, in the digital age, people want information fast. Instead of reading a long blog post, infographics can give your reader what they need in a matter of moments. Also, infographics are great for other companies in need of fast content. Therefore, you can get a lot of backlinks and social shares from creating infographics.
3. Use Interviews as Content
There’s nothing like learning more straight from an expert. With an interview, you’ll gain insight straight from someone’s mind. Considering that, interviews are excellent parts of any small business content marketing strategy.
You can choose to reach out to experts in your industry. If you don’t have the time or connections to do that, have someone interview you. While working in an industry, you’ll gain a lot more valuable insight than you might think. After publishing your interview, you might be surprised to learn how many people want to read your insights.
4. Start Making Videos
You don’t need a million-dollar advertising budget to start a video marketing campaign. Thanks to the popularity of the internet, almost anyone can make and upload a video. Certain companies want to present their information with a mixture of humor and information. Other businesses need to be less lighthearted and more serious with what they present.
Regardless of how you deliver information in videos, the point is to make this a part of your marketing strategy right away. Oberlo reports that (link) 85% of internet users enjoy watching online videos.
5. Create Webinars
Small businesses can also start gaining more of a market share by creating webinars. If you were unaware, the term webinar is another way to describe a video seminar. You don’t need an expensive video recording set up to achieve this goal. All you need to do is choose a topic, promote your webinar, and be there when it’s time for it to begin.
6. Consider Content Partnerships
In the business world, a lot of good things can happen from a partnership. With that in mind, you can skyrocket the results of your small business content marketing plan by partnering with other companies.
First, start by looking at any companies in your industry that your brand currently works with. You might find that these companies are utilizing their own content marketing strategies. If so, consider reaching out and asking about creating content to publish on their blog or vice versa.
If you don’t have these types of partnerships right now, start working to establish them. To do this, search on social media and search engines for keywords relevant to your industry. In a short amount of time, you should begin finding lots of potential companies to reach out to.
As I’ve often mentioned, the reach out email should be short and sweet. Mention who you are, what your company does, and if they would be interested in a content partnership. When this type of partnership happens, make sure you’re able to post their content on your website as well.
7. Create a Content Gameplan
As you begin thinking about your small business content marketing strategy, you’ll start coming up with lots of ideas. To avoid forgetting something important, it’s wise to create a content gameplan. This is simply a way of listing out all of your content ideas.
After doing this, you can begin to structure articles around topics. It’s also helpful for companies who want to be visible for certain seasonal terms. As an example, most retail companies expect to do more business during the holiday season. Considering that, these companies will start preparing holiday-related content months in advance.
8. Gain Insights From Social Media
It’s understandable to feel stumped when it comes to finding small business content marketing ideas. If this is happening to you, it’s time to visit social media. No, I’m not saying this is the time to watch cute animal videos (ok you can watch a couple). Instead, use social media to gain insights as to what your target audience is talking about.
You can start doing this by logging into your social media accounts and finding out more about your brand’s current followers. This type of information includes their age range, location, and what other brands and topics they care about.
Source: CF Digital Group
To take things further, you might consider purchasing a social media listening tool. Many companies offer this as a monthly or yearly service. If you have the budget for it, social listening is a great way to uncover what your audience wants. After learning more about the questions and concerns your audience has, you can create content based around these topics to help them out.
9. Don’t Forget to Visit Reddit
If you haven’t started using Reddit for ideas, it’s time to start. On this platform, Reddit’s users have quite a bit of power. Each user can either upvote or downvote the content that appears on this platform. This is great for allowing you to instantly learn about hot topics within your industry.
10. Ask for User-Generated Content (UGC)
One of the most powerful ways for a small business to market itself is with user-generated content. This is content that your audience generates for you. Have you ever seen a company on social media that shares posts from their fans? This is a great example of user-generated content.
Not only is user-generated content an effective type of marketing, but it’s also incredibly cost-effective. Essentially, this type of marketing generates free content for your company. If your brand doesn’t have this content coming in, I’ve got several tips to help change that.
The first way to get more user-generated content is by checking for what already might be out there. To do this, start typing in searches on popular social platforms revolving around your brand. If you start seeing your brand’s product or service being mentioned (or pictured), you have user-generated content. To get even more, think about dropping a comment or leaving a like. This is a great way to start turning customers into loyal brand fans.
There are many other ways to encourage people to post user-generated content, here are a few of my favorites:
- Holding contests on social media
- Feature UGC on your company’s website
- Always engage with your audience
11. Answer Your Audience’s Questions
Who doesn’t love showing off their knowledge from time to time? You can do this and strengthen your small business content marketing strategy at the same time. To do this, look for popular question and answer websites. My current favorite is Quora.
There’s no real catch with this method. All you’re doing is looking for relevant questions that people are asking on Quora or other question websites that you can answer. You’ll only need to make an account and start helping others with answers.
The key to success with this method is to not be too promotional. Start by answering a few questions without inserting a link to or mentioning your business. After you begin building trust, you can go ahead and throw a link to your brand in there.
This is also an excellent way to increase the power of your small company’s SEO (search engine optimization) results. Considering how popular most of these types of websites are, Google often gives them a lot of favor and ranks these pages highly.
As we can see, content marketing is a great way for small businesses to get their respective names out there. Are you looking for more tips to help your small business with content marketing? Make sure to think about visiting my recent post about content marketing tips for law firms.