Content Marketing: an Introduction for Small Business Owners

For many small business owners, getting a brand online with a basic website is often hard work enough. Whether you do it yourself with a website builder, or you hire a web design company to do it for you, it can be tough to demonstrate everything your business offers in a single web page.
However, simply having a website for your business is not enough. If you want to increase the competitiveness of your brand and get customers coming back to your website, you need to invest in a content marketing strategy. But what is content marketing, and how can you get started?

What is content marketing?

As the Content Marketing Institute writes, “content marketing is a strategic marketing approach focused on creating and distributing valuable, relevant, and consistent content to attract and retain a clearly defined audience — and, ultimately, to drive profitable customer action.”
Simply put, content can be used to engage customers and encourage them to visit your website and enquire about your services. Content can come in the form of a blog post, a social media post, a free book download or a video, and there are increasingly more methods of using content to sell.

What are the benefits of content marketing?

The benefits of content marketing for small businesses are endless. Writing highly informed, engaging content on a regular basis will keep visitors coming back to your website time and time again, which ultimately increases brand awareness and puts you in the mind of potential customers.
What’s more, content marketing can be used to sell your products and services. If you’ve launched a new book, for example, then you can write a blog to discuss the benefits of your book, the reasons why people should buy it and other products or services that could complement your new book.
Content marketing can also be useful for helping to bring organic traffic to your website, and helping you rank on search engines such as Google.

This is known as SEO – search engine optimisation. If you write content that users are searching for, you’ll be more likely to show up on results pages for those particular queries (for example, your blog entry on ‘5 great books to read if you want to work in construction’ may appear if a user searches for ‘construction books’). Although there are costs involved with writing content, it’s a relatively inexpensive method of promoting your business and can offer long-lasting results – especially when you write evergreen content.

How can you get started?

If you’ve already got a website, then the chances are that you’ll have a blog section where you can upload new content as and when it’s ready. Set aside time to put together your thoughts and write content that you think potential customers would want to read. Be sure to ask for feedback and advice from colleagues and existing customers, and then post it as and when it is ready.

You can then post this content on social media networks like Twitter and Facebook to drive traffic to your website, and ask people to leave comments so that you can engage with them on a one-to-one basis and get them to come back to your website again.

Wrapping up

Content marketing sure is a buzz word in the digital marketing world, but it’s a relatively simple concept that can be used by small business owners to build their brands online. Whether you write the content yourself, or outsource your content marketing to a third party, you’ll be able to welcome new customers to your website and make your business more competitive. Good luck.

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