Imagine your marketing strategy as an intricate puzzle. The finished image is going to be amazing: it’s the vision you have of a thriving business, known and trusted among your customers and respected in your industry.
There’s just one thing: you’ve got a glaring hole in that image because you are missing a piece. It’s a space of paint-chipped table surface showing beneath your beautiful vision. Worse, it’s right in the middle of the design, causing there to be an instantly noticeable gap.
The missing piece? It’s content marketing.
First, let’s address some of the reasons you may have steered away from content marketing:
“I’m a small business. Content marketing is for bigger companies.” Small businesses need to place a priority on content marketing as much as larger companies. People love to hear from a local business. It’s the same reason you would rather buy a brand your friend recommends than the one that always gets a five-star review.
“What would I even have to say?” Oh, plenty. It starts with thinking through the common challenges and frustrations that people in your industry have. Or you could talk about a hot topic, weighing in with your thoughts. You could make a video, showing behind-the-scenes activity at your company. The possibilities are endless.
“I don’t have any extra time.” You’ve got a job, and content marketing isn’t anywhere on your list of priorities. It should be. You’re about to learn the benefits of content marketing, and by the time you’re finished reading, you’ll wonder how you could ever put it off another minute.
The secret to good content marketing is not to focus on selling. Instead, you should think about adding value. When you’re thinking about your target audience, you’re trying to produce content that solves a problem or gives them information they need.
Companies that miss the mark with content marketing almost always fail because they see their blog post, infographic or social media profile as one big opportunity to sell. If you’re ever tempted to write a blog called, “5 Reasons You Should Buy From Me” or any variation of this, toss it out. You’ve missed the point.
Instead invite the audience into a fun, relaxed environment where they might learn something new or solve a challenge.
Once you’ve begun creating content marketing materials that add value to your prospective customers, your puzzle will be complete and you may begin to see some exciting things happen:
You Might Be Referred to as an Expert. If you produce a weekly post on social media that offers a little-known tip, don’t be surprised if people begin asking you for advice. You will also be the first company they think of when they decide to make a purchase because they already trust your expertise.
Perfect Strangers Might Act Like You’re Friends. Content marketing has a way of helping your audience feel they are getting to know you and your brand. They’re seeing videos of you, reading your social posts and hearing your voice on a podcast. It’s no wonder you’re racking up a nice following. It shouldn’t be a shock when this relationship-building aspect of content marketing begins translating into sales.
Your Website Will Be Buzzing. Your search engine rankings are heavily influenced by your content marketing activity. Search engine optimization (SEO) favors frequent updates to content, the inclusion of images and video and the use of keywords, but these are just the beginning. There’s a whole science to SEO, but it’s enough to know that when you begin investing in content marketing, you’ll see more traffic on your website.
You’ll Take it to the Next Level. At first, your visitors may be accessing free blogs or they may decide to follow you on social media. Eventually, they may be willing to exchange their contact info for access to a white paper or an e-book. Now your relationship is getting closer and soon you may see a sale.
You’ll See Repeat Business. Content marketing isn’t just for increasing new leads. It also provides your existing and past customers with valuable information that shows them how much you appreciate their business. You might send out a regular email newsletter that occasionally includes a promotion for loyal customers or you might give them early access to a new product.
At SJC Marketing, we are in the business of helping companies like yours complete their marketing puzzles. We would love to hear about your vision for your company and where you would like to head in the future. Let’s talk about how we can help you get there!