A dynamic website that offers relatable, useful content for visitors can make your small business shine. In fact, offering unique content that gives users and clients information, tips, and tricks that can enhance their lives, or inviting new customers to experience your brand can give your small business the leverage you need to compete against big-box stores or national brands.
To make sure that your website is working for you, meaning as a key tool to grow your business instead of just hanging there with a list of your services and contact information, you need a strong content marketing plan. But not sure where to start? Well, we can help.
What Is Content Marketing?
Maybe your paid ads are not working as well as you hoped, even though you're using the right targeting software and working within Google algorithms. For a small business, spending money on advertising or visibility that isn't getting results is highly frustrating and maybe an expense you can't handle. Content marketing, from your social media presence to readable, relatable blogs, is the solution.
Content marketing, according to marketing guru Neil Patel, is "a long-term strategy that uses content (in a variety of formats) to build a stronger relationship with your audience, capture their attention, improve engagement, and improve brand recall."
Essentially, content marketing is the story of your brand and your passion.
Why Is Content Marketing Important to Small Businesses?
The main reason that many shoppers are turning to small businesses that fit their needs better, rather than national big-box stores or service providers, is that small businesses are in sync with their niche and a vital part of their customers' community. This is you and your passion and awareness of a vital need that your friends and neighbors have.
Content marketing is your story and your opportunity to share why you started your business and some special behind-the-scenes that your customers might enjoy. For many small business owners, the reason that they developed their brand is often out of their personal passion and having a depth of knowledge in their niche.
This resonates with your customers and allows you the chance to give them valuable insights into your product, whether it's the best way to groom a dog, classic yet trendy clothing that suits your body, or what you need to maximize your tax return.
How Can Content Marketing Influence Customer Trust?
Effective web content introduces unique opportunities for companies to build and strengthen customer relationships. By sharing actionable and informative content that’s relevant to your target audience, your business becomes something more than simply a seller of products or services. You’re a problem solver, a trusted resource, an improver of lives. And demand for businesses to step into those roles is growing, too.
Maintaining a steady stream of quality content also better positions your organization as an industry leader. When it comes to satisfying a need, customers are more likely to turn to businesses they know can remedy an issue they’ve encountered. The content you serve up acts as a kind of resume for why customers should proactively seek out your business in those situations.
You likely will not be surprised to learn that leveraging content to develop trust requires more than a little strategy. The content you share should address pain points, deliver solutions, and most importantly, deliver value. High-quality content is a key to alerting customers they should count on your business.
How Can I Develop Better Web Content?
Your content marketing efforts will rely on your business model and your target customer base. If your primary customers are people looking for a quick drop-in for the best cup of coffee in town, then Twitter or Snapchat might be the best way to share content, such as featured beans or a loyalty program. If you provide a service, such as massage or physical therapy, then a vibrant website that details the science behind your technique, paired with "teaser Tweets" might be your best bet.
Many small business owners are in business for their niche, not in business to be a social media influencer or a gifted blog content writer. However, hiring professionals to post on social media for you or to craft dynamic, engaging blog content can help you tell your story in a relatable, clickable way.
Be transparent about your brand, and about your mission. New customers might be curious to explore a small business, but the consistency of national brands might make them hesitant to shop with you. By offering yourself as an authority in your niche, you can help new clients understand your expertise. This is especially important for businesses that deal with important aspects of a customer’s life, such as real estate, car servicing, or insurance.
What Should I Avoid on My Small Business Website?
Your copy should start soon, and fast. The design of your website should highlight the copy that you present, not the other way around.
The same goes for social media. Instagram can be your best friend if you have tangible goods, such as food or clothing. You can include beautiful photos of your work along with a short blog post on that platform. For those that offer services, Facebook might be a better option. While you can post photos—and you should—this social media site allows you to post relatable, useful content or teasers about your blog entries on your website.
Avoid using the wrong type of media for your message. Make your brand relatable, not stiff, and don't be afraid to show your personality and passion. When people shop locally and choose small businesses, they're choosing you, personally, because of what you have to offer.
Using great content can add leverage to your small business and allow you to compete with larger brands. Be unique and offer your clients and customers content that resonates with them, showing your expertise and giving them reasons to buy from you.