How To Start Using The Benefits of Content Marketing To Your Advantage
You’re full of knowledge, why not share it? As an expert in what you do, you know what you’re doing—that’s why you’ve created an entire business around what you love and what you’re good at.
Share what you know with the people who already care about your brand. Teach them what you know for with free information and help them solve a problem. And share your knowledge with the people who aren’t loyal followers … yet. Make them want to follow, buy, and share what you have to offer. This is all possible with content marketing.
There are so many benefits of content marketing, ones that drive sales, ones that build your credibility, ones that attract new customers. But what is content marketing exactly and how do you start making content valuable for your brand? Let’s dive in.
What Is Content Marketing?
Creating valuable content means creating valuable information. Using content marketing is all about developing and sharing knowledge that is relevant and interesting to your brand. When you take what you know and use your brand’s realm of expertise to attract new and existing customers, you gain their loyalty. Turn one-time customers into repeat buyers.
What’s your brand an expert in? Locally sourced ingredients? Bicycle equipment? Whatever it is, the content you put out to your targeted audience should be closely related to your field of expertise. In other words, you’re using content to educate the people you’re selling to. Then they can get to know you better and can trust you enough to continue (or start) doing business with you.
It’s an ongoing process that has to be part of your overall marketing strategy. Content marketing helps your brand take a stance, share what you know, and own the space that you’re in. Share your stuff and help your loyal people.
Content Marketing vs. Copywriting
Small business content marketing is all about the information. Content gives deeper information about your brand and about the field you’re so invested in. Sharing branded knowledge is all about educating and entertaining your audience to improve their lives and solve a problem.
Content comes in the form of blogs, podcasts, videos, and social media as a vehicle to drive attention to a brand and its products or services. On the other hand, copywriting is the long-time copy on your landing page, headlines, and sales sheets. The benefit of content marketing is that it’s not a sales pitch like copywriting is. Content goes more in-depth than any copywriting you’ve done for your brand.
Although they’re different kinds of writing and have different purposes, content marketing and copywriting both work together to drive traffic to a brand.
8 Types of Content That Isn’t Just Blogs
When we think of content marketing, the first thing that probably comes to mind is blogs. While blogs are a fantastic medium to use for content marketing (of course we’re fans of blogs, we wrote this one), there are so many more small business content marketing ways to explore.
Video content marketing is the latest and greatest. Providing valuable content to your audience through video is a favorite among brands and audiences. Why? 1. Video is fun to make. 2. Who would choose reading giants blocks of information when they can watch and listen to it instead?
Create videos for your latest social media campaign, or film a case study about one of your awesome clients.
Showing (in addition to telling, in this case) is always the way to go when the opportunity presents itself. Designing infographics is a great way to educate your audience about a topic clearly through images, graphics, and visual data.
Mock-up a “This Is How X Works With Y” infographic to lay out the elements of the information. Then it’s crystal clear and easy to understand.
What better way to tell people you’re good at what you do than by showing them? Giving real-life, proven examples of what your brand has successfully done in the past adds value to what you have to offer. And it demonstrates hard work and results too.
Write up case studies to highlight the uses and history of the products or services that you offer.
Long-form content is a great way to provide further in-depth information to your audience. Remember that content is different than copywriting. An eBook shouldn’t be a lengthy ad that focuses on selling your products. eBooks will include useful information that’s comprehensive and gives ‘em all the material they need to solve a particular problem.
Write a 5-10 page gated eBook for your website and require an email to access the content. Then you can deliver valuable information to your audience and later target them with email marketing.
People are suckers for lists. What feels better than crossing something off of your lists? Consumers make them for themselves. They print already existing checklists for a particular situation. Whatever works for them.
Write out a checklist that’s relevant to your brand to give your customers. For example, as a plumbing company, you could develop a seasonal checklist. It could remind customers to drain their sprinkles when the cold weather hits, repair any leaks or damaged pipes in the spring, etc.
Not all content has to be your information either. Conducting interviews with industry experts is a great way to provide interview content to your audience. Either write out the Q&A, videotape or record audio from the interview
It’s perfectly OK to let content that you deliver to your audience be from someone else. Your following will still find value in the information and trust your (and your interviewee’s) expertise. And you’re probably learning something new and bettering your industry knowledge too.
Podcasting (and listening to podcasts) has become increasingly popular in the last couple of years as well. Recording information on your own podcast (or being a guest on someone else’s) gives you the chance to be the literal voice of your brand.
Whether your brand develops a podcast of its own or you’re a guest on someone else’s, delivering industry insight audibly makes it easy for your audience to comprehend your information.
Next time you have the opportunity to guest speak on a podcast, whether the host is part of your audience or not, take it. Sharing your knowledge with people outside of your brand and its typical audience can give you the chance to pull outsiders in too.
And then, of course, the second most popular type of content other than blogs. Social media, whether it’s Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, Twitter, or whatever platform your brand feels is most appropriate, is a great way to share content and engage with your audience.
Because social posts tend to be on the shorter side of the content types, you have to make sure to really nail down what you’re trying to say. Here are some tips when it comes to posting on social media.
Make sure that your copy and your images (if applicable) are interesting and catch the eye of your audience. Write copy that is engaging. And engage back. Reply to comments, follow and know the people who are loyal to you and engage with your audience’s posts.
Related Article to Learn More About The Benefits Of Content Marketing
The Complete Guide to Content Marketing For Small Businesses
The Top 5 Benefits of Content Marketing
Using content marketing is great for customers, and every brand’s audience loves seeing and learning from quality content with well-thought-out information. But what makes content marketing so beneficial for us as brands? Why is it necessary to set aside the time to focus on creating content when we already have hundreds of other responsibilities on our plates?
Here are 4 bulletproof benefits that your small business will get out of quality content marketing:
1. Increases Visibility
Some of us have a serious love-hate relationship with Google. With ever-changing algorithms and constantly re-learning how to make the SEO gods happy, keeping your brand visible on the internet is difficult and frustrating. Good news is, content marketing does wonders for visibility.
Because Google is made for (and obsessed with) providing users with the information they’re looking for, Google loves content. Sharing content that is ripe with knowledge, clustered keywords, and answers to user questions can push more traffic to your site than one of the 10 most congested cities in America.
With numerous features on social media, sharing links back and forth, and great SEO, the traffic your content is generating will improve lead generation and increase the visibility of your blog pages, website, and the actual products or services you’re selling.
2. Builds Credibility
As an expert in your field, you have quite the bucket of knowledge when it comes to what you do. When you have a loyal audience and a following that wants to know more, they’re interested in what you do and what you have to offer. One of the greatest benefits of content marketing is that you have the opportunity to share your knowledge with them.
Sharing valuable information builds your authority and credibility among your audience and among other people in your industry. As you build your pool of content and your credibility, you position your business as an expert and experienced professional.
This is crazy beneficial for your brand. Your competitors (or small companies within your field) will look up to you for further knowledge, support, and brand expertise. And your audience will feel confident in purchasing from your brand because they know that you know what you’re talking about.
3. Opens Up A Wanted Conversation
Engagement is huge when it comes to brand loyalty and developing a larger audience. Customers are interested in your products and, therefore, are interested in your content as well (or vise-versa). Supplying your audience with industry-expert information opens up a channel of communication about what you do and what you can offer.
This conversation is possible because content is interesting—much more interesting than a boring TV ad or newspaper clipping. Content marketing is all focused around the free value that consumers can get to solve their problem or learn something new. As someone curious about what you have to offer, your information is interesting to them and is something they can put to use, which makes them more likely to contribute to the conversation.
Great content that builds a conversation around your brand also allows you to control the conversation. You are the one deciding what to put out there for people to see and learn from, therefore you have control over what is consumed and what is talked about.
4. Drives Sales
The whole point of any business is to create as many sales as possible, right? Content marketing does just that. Even before someone becomes an actual purchasing customer, many members of your audience begin their relationship with your brand by becoming regularly connected with your content.
As content-consuming customers, your audience begins learning about what you do and how are able to provide value to their lives with your content. They are interested in what you have to give them content-wise and become loyal to the information you have to offer. Then, after becoming content loyal, these types of consumers could decide to move along with your brand even further and become purchasing customers.
It’s not all about ads, web copy, and sales pitches. Content marketing is a great tool that drives sales as well. Make time to strategize and develop content that is worthwhile and put the valuable tool to use. You’ll be surprised at how much it helps your sales and your overall brand.
Content Case Study
As the summer sets in, it seems the entrepreneurial spirit is heating up faster than Reno blacktops. We’ve received quite a few calls from startups who are aiming high, but we’re finding each potential client is held up by a lack of content. They needed the benefits of content marketing that our strategies had to offer.
If you read our previous post, you know this means they’re also trudging forward without a branded messaging strategy or content marketing campaigns. We had a chat with three of these ambitious entrepreneurs and looked closer at their content needs.
1. Portable Drug Tests to the Rescue
Reno scientists have developed a pocket-sized drug test designed for medical marijuana cardholders and weed weekenders who need to keep their recreational use on the down-low. While the idea has good intentions, the product has unfortunate potential to be roped in with artificial urine and other less-dignified, novelty drug test passing products. Their content needed to attract the upper-middle class working person, and from an ethical standpoint, shouldn’t target those in high-stake working conditions (contractors, pilots, police, etc.).
2. With Legalized Marijuana Comes the Statewide Cannabis Expo
With the recent surge of marijuana sales in Nevada, we knew a cannabis expo was close behind. Sure enough we got the call from a pioneering weed whiz with a lofty plan for a statewide cannabis expo in Nevada, specifically in Reno. With just a few more logistical details to iron out, the expo is looking more and more like a sure thing. The ugly side of that coin is simple: the expo is missing the branding and messaging strategy found in content marketing campaigns.
With something like a cannabis expo, it’s easy to rely on the product (i.e. marijuana) to manifest a brand. But this only invites the ENTIRE reputation of marijuana to speak for the brand, which doesn’t work. If this expo wanted to be more than “just another weed expo,” it needed content backed by a solid messaging strategy and brand to set it apart.
3. Inviting Guests to the Wild West
A new local team of event decorators is gearing up to establish themselves in the Reno/Tahoe area. They contacted us because they had a niche idea for an event decorating business and they needed the right content to show how they’re unique in the event planning field. Unlike traditional event decorators, this team had a huge collection of Western-style antiques and one-of-a-kind pieces to bring an event to life.
With high-end ideas and a unique process, we saw how these decorators could thrive with the right content to support their fresh ideas. Otherwise, their detail-loving, antique-collecting spirit could easily be misconstrued as disorganized and cluttered—and that’s not the reputation you want to create for yourself in the event industry.
Buy Us A Beer
Small business content marketing can be tricky. Where do you start? What type of content and channel are best for your brand? Content wise, where will you attract the most people?
Developing a content strategy, following through with the content you’ve promised your brand you’re going to create, and bringing in the benefits of content marketing can be hard when you have so many other things on your plate. As a small business owner, you might just need a kickstart to the process.
Content’s good, so is beer. Let’s get the conversation rolling and strategizing juices flowing together. Buy us a beer, we can help make it all happen.