Small business owners often lack a generous budget to invest in marketing. This problem creates a vicious circle, in that minimal marketing means less awareness of your products and services, which in turn means less profit coming in.
What is content marketing?
Content marketing relates to materials which do not brazenly advertise a product or service. While it does promote a business, it also offers something more such as information and inspiration. Content marketing includes:
- Written content (site pages, blogs, and FAQs etc)
- Videos (not commercials)
- Social media posts
Why is content marketing so valuable?
For a long time, marketing departments across the world have invested in paid search to help promote their business. While the results of paid search can be advantageous, statistically speaking the traffic approaching your site organically is much more cost-effective. One piece of high-quality content can attract new users to your site again and again, whereas paid-search requires continuous investment. Also, those who click onto your site as a result of organic content are three times more likely to convert. This is ultimately because people value helpful content rather than pushy ads.
How to practice cost-effective content marketing
Any business with an online presence should consider how a content marketing strategy could benefit them. Thankfully, even the smallest business with next to no marketing budget can put some ideas into practice straight away. Here are some actionable ideas:
1. Start a blog
If you already have a website, use it to publish a regular blog. Consider the kind of people you want to market to and what your customers might want to read, and then write about it. The fact is you already have more expertise in your respective field than many readers will, so your insights and advice will be valued. If you don’t have a blog, there are several cheap – or even free – platforms out there that you can use to publish one.
Any person or company can create a page on social media sites like Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and LinkedIn. These are free unless you want to promote yourself with paid advertising. By having a presence on social media you can share your knowledge, tips, and products to a wide audience in an instant. Posts on social media are a great way to spread awareness via quality content because anything that gets posted can be shared around the world quickly and simply. While there’s no guarantee that your social content will ‘go viral’, you can certainly spread the word about an upcoming event or new product with ease.
3. Produce videos
Even if you don’t have the budget to produce a sophisticated YouTube video, a simple personal video taken with a phone can be very effective. Today’s smartphones actually enable just about everyone to create a high-quality video, so make use of yours to produce short, fun video content to help promote your business. Ideas could be taking a video of your product being used, some fun how-to videos with tips and instructions relating to your service, or even personal videos showing a company event.
4. Promote UGC (User-Generated Content)
More and more companies are also seeing the value in UGC (User-Generated Content); sharing pictures, videos, and text about your products and services that have been published by your customers. Potential customers will be able to easily relate to your other consumers and will appreciate seeing ‘real people’ using your products rather than seeing scripted adverts. Using UGC is a fantastic marketing strategy in that you don’t have to spend any time and money in producing it or even promoting it. Social etiquette dictates that you should give credit to the producer, but that’s about it. Usually, your customers will be pleased that you have shared their content, so promoting it is welcomed by everyone involved.
Why you should prioritize content marketing
There is ample evidence to suggest that the effectiveness of the low-effort, high-cost marketing strategy of paid search is taking a downward turn. A considerable proportion of internet-users today actually have ad-blockers in place, which not only stops paid ads from being visible, but it also demonstrates consumer frustration in seeing so many ads in the first place. Considering this, the creation of authentic and helpful content marketing is a must.
This post was written by professional writer Sarah Richards. Sarah regularly contributes to Essay Writing Service UK’s blog and a variety of other business publications. If you’d like to get in touch with her, find her on Twitter.