Is your small business using content marketing? “What’s content marketing?” you might ask? Basically, content marketing is the hot new buzzword for something businesses have been doing quite a while: marketing themselves by creating content that gets noticed by prospective customers.
Content, which includes the information on your website, blogs and social media, can mean just about anything that customers read, and creating quality content is one of the best ways to get your business noticed. Why? First, good quality content attracts the search engine spiders, meaning your website will rank higher in search engine results when your customers do searches online for what you sell. Second, good quality content gets read—and remembered, adding to your reputation as an expert in your industry. Third, useful content is more likely to get shared with others in the reader’s social networks, spreading the word about your business far and wide.
Marketing Profs and the Content Marketing Institute just conducted a new study of how North American businesses are using content marketing and found that some 86 percent of B2C companies are using it. They’re not just playing around, either; the average company uses 12 different content marketing tactics, and even the smallest companies in the survey used an average of 12.
The list of tactics respondents could choose from included social media, websites, e-newsletters, videos, blogs, in-person events, articles on other websites, mobile content, mobile apps, print magazines, case studies, print newsletters, infographics, research reports, webinars, podcasts and white papers. Clearly, some of these tactics will work better for your business than others, but all of them are within reach of even the smallest business today.
If you’re not implementing content marketing in your business, what’s holding you back? An inadequate budget was the most common challenge mentioned by B2C content marketers in the survey (52 percent). They also struggled with producing content that engages users (49 percent) and simply producing enough content to meet the demands of their many outlets (52 percent).
Content marketing isn’t easy, but it is effective. Some simple ways to get started if you haven’t already:
These are just a few ideas to get you started. The experts at SCORE will have many more. If you don’t already have a SCORE mentor, visit the SCORE website to get matched with one and get free business help 24/7.