Written by Rich Kahn
For small and local businesses, it can be hard to stand out against larger nationwide brands. However, content marketing can help your small business attract attention, and for relevant niches in your industry, too.
Content marketing is a marketing approach that involves creating and distributing relevant and valuable content to your prospective audience in the hopes of driving a consumer action, and it has numerous benefits for small businesses. It can give you the opportunity to not only expand your company, but also to build your reputation and establish a place as a trusted leader in the industry.
Content marketing drives inbound traffic to your site. When potential customers have a problem or a particular need, they’ll search for a solution. Having that solution, whether it be information, a helpful guide or even entertainment, means customers are going to visit your site and possibly turn to it in the future for additional solutions.
Audiences love when content feels tailored to their interests or particular needs. In fact, that’s why custom content is favored by up to 68% of consumers. By creating custom content for your site that tailors to your target audience’s needs and interests, you’ll be building their trust and solving their problems.
If you’re consistently publishing fresh and unique content on your website and promoting it on social media, you’re creating more opportunities for your target audience to see your name and content. Plus, if you’re pleasing your audience, they’ll be more likely to spread the word about your small business to their followers and friends, which helps you reach even more people.
But, content marketing can also help build your link popularity. If what you’re producing is quality content, people will link back to you. It can be difficult to rank against bigger companies as a small business, but building link popularity can help your online visibility, so your website and content will rank higher on a search results page.
This partially goes without saying, but the more people you have visiting your site and viewing your content, the more likely they are to convert into leads and eventually customers.
Even for small businesses, customers rely on blogs and website content when they’re making purchasing decisions; people like to know as much as they can before they buy. Plus, creating content relevant to your company’s product or services helps your audience truly understand what they will gain by doing business with you.
It’ll also help you become a trusted leader in your industry, and consumers buy from people and businesses they trust. With content marketing, you’re quite literally showing your audience and customers that you know what you’re talking about, which makes you seem like a safe bet to buy from.
The more you establish yourself as well-educated in the industry, the more they’ll look to you as an expert or authority, especially if you provide your audience with high-quality content that genuinely helps them.
Earning the title of thought-leader is always a good thing, because then you’re in a position where people not only listen to what you say, but they turn to you first for the answers they need.
For small businesses, this is especially important. It shows your audience that you’re just as knowledgeable as the bigger brands, but you can also provide customers with the more personal, small business experience.
If you create interesting content, your audience is more likely to respond to it, which opens the door for you to engage with them directly. This gives you the opportunity to further delight your readers by either continuing to entertain them or answering a specific question they may have.
Beyond customers, though, it also gives you the opportunity to engage with other industry leaders to discuss topics you’ve also written about. This can broaden your network and help you build stronger connections with other leaders, which allows you to establish yourself as an authority in the industry as well.
Content marketing for small businesses can prove to be more cost-effective than more traditional forms of marketing, especially if you can generate the content yourself. Lead generation through inbound content marketing tends to cost only half of what businesses usually spend on outbound marketing. Spreading your content through social media and email, posting it on your website or contributing to larger sites to get your name out there are all either low-cost or free.
Plus, inbound content marketing means the customers are coming to you, so it’s more efficient than traditional outbound forms because the consumers are already aware and interested.
View the original post via Entrepreneur here.