How Small Businesses Can Leverage Content Marketing to Attract Customers
Having a website is a valuable asset for your business. No longer is your business limited to a specific region as you can leverage search and social media platforms to reach a worldwide audience.
Consider the following social media statistics:
And these are just statistics from social media networks.
Google alone processes billions of searches each day with no signs of slowing down anytime soon. These traffic figures are the same reason why more companies around the world are increasing their digital marketing budgets.
A recent study shows that a significant majority of Fortune 500 companies now maintain social media accounts and are active on Twitter and Facebook. What’s most surprising is the growth of these companies that now blog compared to five years ago.
According to previous reports, only 16 percent of Fortune 500 companies were blogging five years ago. Now, 171 companies on the Fortune 500 list publish a corporate blog, with 79 percent of the corporate blogs showing fresh content, taking comments and offering RSS feeds and subscriptions.
More companies are starting to catch on that blogs are a marketing tool to attract and acquire customers. But successful online marketing starts with content.
Consumers are increasingly influenced by search and social media. Leveraging these mediums through content marketing provides numerous opportunities to increase brand awareness and attract new customers. Small businesses can also benefit by leveraging the following tactics into an SEO and social media campaign.
1. Start Blogging
There is a reason why a large number of some of the biggest companies in the world have a blog. They allow businesses to directly engage with their visitors and attract targeted traffic from the search engines. Valuable content is also more likely to be shared across social media networks, resulting in even more exposure.
Blog topics can focus on anything from frequently asked questions to concerns that customers may have. One way to identify what your potential customers are searching for is with keyword research. This can easily be done using the Google AdWords Keyword Tool by analysing keywords that are relevant to your industry.
Monitoring social media networks is also a good way to identify topics to write about. The advantage of blogging is threefold:
- It attracts traffic from the search engines
- It positions your company as an authority
- It builds trust with potential customers
Providing valuable content is easily one of the best ways to engage with your audience and attract new customers.
2. Send Newsletters
Offering a newsletter for your visitors and customers to sign up builds even more trust with your audience.
Newsletters can be used to:
- Offer deals and discounts to loyal customers
- Keep in contact with customers about new updates
- Perform market research
- Test new products and offers
Your website should have a newsletter form that encourages readers to sign up for new updates.
3. Contribute Content
Having a strong presence online involves more than having a blog. Being mentioned by local publications or well known sites in your industry further cements your credibility and increases brand awareness.
Making this happen involves the following steps:
- Compile a list of relevant websites or local publications
- Build relationships with editors or authorities in your industry
- Pitch them about new ideas to contribute content or guest posts
- Contribute some of your best content with a link back to your website
- Repeat the process
This requires a significant amount of effort but it also potentially means acquiring more customers.
4. Provide Comprehensive Resources
Websites that provide comprehensive resources are in a much more advantageous position compared to those with little content. Providing useful content is an effective way to build your authority in the search engines and become a trusted source of information.
Resources can be in the form of blog posts, case studies, tutorials, guides and videos. These resources should be easily accessible online and be keyword optimised to attract search engine traffic. Combined with social media sharing icons, these pages can get even more exposure online with the right audience.
5. Engage on Social Media
Implementing the above is likely more than what your competitors are probably doing. But to really take it a step further, you need to be active on social media networks. Sharing valuable content and interacting with your audience gives you even more of a competitive advantage over those who simply ignore these platforms.
Is all of this required to succeed online? Not necessarily. But those companies that implement content marketing are often more successful than those who do not. The key is to just start and to always be on the lookout for new opportunities to market your business.
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