Small business success is dependent on a variety of factors. But effectively marketing your business is a key contributing factor. This is especially true when we consider that 20% of small businesses in the United States fail within the first year. (Bureau of Labor Statistics) As a small business owner you can’t wait for customers to find you – you need to find them.
Content marketing is a low-cost, high-reward tactic that helps small businesses kick off their marketing efforts without eating into their limited budget. It is also an effective long-term strategy to keep leads and sales coming long after a business has reached its stride.
To illustrate the point, here’s everything you need to know about content marketing, and how it can accelerate small business success.
How content marketing accelerates small business success
The goal of small business marketing is to generate brand awareness and create leads who ultimately become customers. Time and money are the most valuable and scarcest resources of a small business.
Content marketing provides an effective method for quickly sharing helpful, valuable information to your ideal customers without the associated overhead costs of traditional advertising.
Content marketing costs 62% less than traditional marketing and generates about 3x as many leads. (DemandMetric)
Not only that, content marketing reduces your sales cycle because you are investing time in education prospects long before they become a lead.
B2B marketers who blog received 67% more leads than those who don’t. (Hubspot)
Of course, content marketing is only as good as what you put into it. So how exactly does it work? And what sort of content marketing strategy do you need to have in place to see returns?
The basic steps to building your content marketing strategy
Before starting the process of building a small business content marketing strategy, it’s important to do some research on your target audience so that everything you create is catered to reaching the right people.
Why should you develop buyer personas?
Small businesses will find that their marketing and sales efforts are more effective if they develop buyer personas. Buyer personas are fictional, generalized representations of our ideal customers. They help us better understand our customers (and prospects), and make it easier for us to tailor content to their specific needs, behaviors, and concerns.
The strongest buyer personas are based on market research as well as on insights we gather from our actual customer base through surveys and interviews. You can learn more about developing buyer personas in our article, “How to collect valuable insights from buyer persona interviews“.
What types of content marketing should you create?
When you think of “content marketing” what types of content come to mind? Often people will think of blog posts, websites, and social media. But other forms include print media (brochures, case studies, press releases), video (tutorial videos, webinars), audio (podcasts), and so much more.
It takes time to create content so you don’t want to create every type of media when you get started. Instead, think of your audience and the best way to reach them. Is your target audience young people who spend hours watching Tik Tok videos? In that case, you should focus your attention on creating videos for Tik Tok or Instagram. But if you’re selling an expensive SaaS product to professionals you might want to create detailed tutorial videos, blog posts and share case studies on your website.
How do you develop a content marketing strategy?
Once you have created your buyer personas, and know what kind of content you can create with the resources you have, it’s time to create your content marketing strategy.
Small businesses are more successful with content marketing if they create content within a campaign so that you’re not spreading your resources too thin. Here’s an example of what your content marketing strategy might look like:
Content Marketing Campaign Example
Business Goal: To increase the number of influencers in our network
Campaign Goal: Highlight the success and benefits of our existing influencers
Campaign Timeframe: Q1 (Jan 1, 2021 – March 31, 2021)
Content Goal: Create 2 blog posts, 1 case study and 5 social posts per week. 1 video per month. Content will include interviews with existing influencers, tips for influencers wanting to increase engagement, skill tutorials for latest social media features, and feature a case study of how working with our company has made X a better influencer.
Content Strategy: Conduct keyword research for influencer marketing topics. Create a content calendar. Schedule social posts. Etc.
Now that you know why and how content marketing accelerates small business success, it’s time to start creating content! For a small business, content marketing holds the key to creating an effective marketing and sales strategy that will bring long-term results and high visibility to your business. If you’re interested in learning more make sure to subscribe to our newsletter for more content like this.
To help you get started, dive into our case studies to learn more about how content marketing can be used to accelerate small business success.