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January 16, 2018 (Updated: February 28, 2020)
In the past, it was seemingly impossible for small businesses to compete on a level playing field with large companies, partly because of their limited marketing budgets. However, things have changed in the digital age. With the widespread adoption of the Internet and mobile technology, businesses of all sizes can now reach a virtually endless pool of potential customers without having to invest large sums of money in marketing.
According to HubSpot, about 79 percent of people who shop online spend at least half their shopping time doing research on their desired products. As a small business owner, you can take advantage of this consumer purchasing pattern to attract more customers by providing the type of content they are looking for. Effective content marketing is the key to attracting, engaging, and converting customers. It won’t only help you gain more customers, but also higher-quality customers who trust and recommend your brand. Here are a number of reasons your small business should go big with content marketing.
Take Advantage of Organic Search
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The advent of search engines has dramatically changed the business landscape and shopping behavior. With an increasing number of shoppers doing product research on search engines, businesses are investing more in search engine optimization in order to improve their visibility. Content marketing can help you gain prominence on search engines because it satisfies one of the main criteria for search engine ranking. Google and other search engines give rank precedence to websites that contain a large amount of quality content. If you keep adding content to your website on a regular basis, you’ll increase your search-engine visibility over time.
Generate Quality Leads
Generating leads is the purpose of most marketing endeavors. One of the best ways to increase leads is to publish content on websites that are related to your niche. Such websites can be blogs, social media sites, magazines, journals, specialized article directories, or others. This content marketing tactic enables you to attract consumers who are actually interested in your products or services. Once they visit your website, you’ll offer them more quality content that converts them over time. Posting an article or blog post in another website is like having a marketing representative out there driving traffic to your store.
Establish Your Brand Identity
It’s important not to underestimate the impact of branding on the buying decisions of consumers. While you need to have a substantial amount of content, you should also make sure that the content has a unique voice that aptly represents the nature of your business and your brand identity. For instance, if you’re selling children’s products, it isn’t a good idea to fill your website with highly-technical articles or blog posts. When it’s properly done, content marketing can help you create an ideal brand identity that gives your target consumers a greater sense of belonging.
Another great benefit of content marketing is that it can turn you into an authority in your field, which will lead to greater customer trust. By publishing quality niche content on your website and other sites, you’re showing your target audience that you can provide reliable information and advice that can help them solve their problems or make better buying decisions. In other words, you’re establishing yourself as an expert in your niche. Since people trust experts, you can expect to gain more loyal customers as you publish more authoritative content.
Keep Your Website Fresh
Even if you have a highly-effective off-site marketing strategy that drives hordes of visitors to your website, your small business won’t realize its true potential if you can’t keep your customers coming back. One of the main reasons people don’t return to a website is because of stale content. Unless you’re satisfied with being a one-hit wonder, you should frequently update your site with fresh content. By doing so, you’ll be able to keep satisfying your customer’s need for information, build long-term relationships with them, and stay relevant in a constantly-changing world.
Improve Social Media Marketing
With social media becoming an increasingly popular communication platform, you can’t overlook social media marketing if you want to stay abreast of your competition. Great content can spread like wildfire on social media websites. By constantly posting fresh content on social media and encouraging your followers to share it, you’ll be able to attract the attention of consumers that you were previously unable to reach. Social media is also a great platform for building and strengthening relationships with your customers.
Enable Easy Performance Analysis
Content marketing is a long-term process. You need to tweak and update it constantly to ensure that it continues to deliver the desired results despite changes in trends, tastes, and consumer behavior. With the wide availability of business-performance metrics, it’s easy to evaluate the effectiveness of different aspects of your content marketing strategy. You can also find out whether your content is appealing to your target audience by reading comments and feedback. Content can be easily adjusted to achieve specific goals, making it an ideal marketing tool in today’s fast-changing world.
Achieve Higher Return on Investment
One of the most important benefits of content marketing is that it can deliver a higher return on investment than most other marketing methods. According to an infographic by Demand Metric, content marketing generates three times as many leads as conventional marketing while costing 62 percent less. It’s an especially suitable option for smaller businesses and startups with a limited marketing budget. With a good content marketing strategy, you can potentially reach as many consumers as a large company. While you can save substantially with this form of marketing, it’s essential that you invest enough effort to make it work.
With its high return on investment, customizability, and effectiveness, content marketing has become the go-to marketing strategy for numerous small businesses and startups around the world. From blog posts to infographics, it gives you an extensive variety of weapons to turn your small business into a big success.
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