Small business owners are often required to wear multiple hats, and there are those that fit better than others depending on the expertise and comfort zone of the business owner. Often, as a small business owner you might feel uncomfortable taking over the role the chief marketer. Online marketing’s growth has added nuance, complexity and power to small business marketing. Many people are familiar with ways that they can use to market their businesses online such as through social media and mailing lists. However, they are unsure of the manner in which they can make them work together or how to integrate the efforts of each in maximizing achievable results. According to the Content Marketing Institute (CMI), many marketers in the field of the business-to-business and business-to-consumer are in the middle or lower ranges of being effective in understanding how the integration works. What this means that such a field can make professionals beleaguered and the hopes for small business owners can be very slim.
What is Content Marketing?
Having been an advisor to small business owners that are starting up and those that seek to expand their reach through various strategies, as Stanley Meytin, I know exactly the reason why content marketing has to be steered by the business owner. As a small business owner having social media presence alone means that you are already a content marketer. Content creation is more not traditional advertising that is considered repulsive and interrupts potential customers to invite them to make a purchase or use your service. Content creation involves engaging in meaningful conversations that sell the brand. The aim of content marketing is drive traffic to official sites or landing page, motivate the visitors to spend more time there and finally convert them into clients. I advise people to always have content that is relevant to the wants and needs of the target audience. Content is anything and everything that as a business owner you put out there for people to engage with. It can be a picture, a video, a research article, a blog post or a podcast. The sky is not even the limit for the nature of content that small business owners can use to reach to their clients.
What Content needs to be Created?
Stanley Meytin advises small business owners to focus on making three decisions that will help them determine the kind of content they need to create. The decisions are:
- The topic
- Format to be used
- Platforms to employ
The answers to the above decisions will not be made haphazardly but will require a little bit of work. First of all, listen and track the audience you are targeting and the competition you are going up against. Here, the topics used, formats and platforms employed will give a pointer to the direction that can be taken. Secondly, ask the current customers, who also happen to be the most valuable source for a small business. The customers form the best base for the content marketing strategy. Ask them what they would like to learn more about the product or service being offered and the format of delivery they prefer. The last part involves planning. Once the previous stages have been successfully conducted, you will be equipped with several questions, topics and potent content ideas that are ready to be brought to life. These, coupled with a solid understanding of the online consumption and sharing habits of you target audience will enable you to create great content that will generate meaningful leads.