As a small business owner, you’ll no doubt always be looking for new ways to promote your products and services. In the good old days, you might have printed off a bunch of leaflets and had them delivered around town, but now, you’re more likely to take to social media and ask your friends and family to share your new business venture. Both are effective in their own right.
Another way that you can promote your small business online for free is through content marketing – that is, blog posts and other forms of content that engage an audience and encourage them to buy from you. Below, we’ve rounded up just a few of the reasons why the technique is so effective.
Boosts your SEO
Perhaps the single biggest benefit to content marketing is SEO. Search engines love high-quality content that provides an audience with something truly engaging and valuable, so if you can go out of your way to deliver super impactful content, you’ll be rewarded with high ranks.
That’s because SEO is all about content – in fact, research shows that sites with more pages and words per page are more likely to rank well on Google than smaller sites, so keep blogging! Just remember to think about the topics you want to cover before you start writing so that you can conduct some keyword research to optimize your content and get ahead of the competition.
Another commonly overlooked benefit to content marketing is the authority. If you’re writing really valuable material, giving your audience information and advice, then they’ll see you as an authority in your niche – and be more likely to come back to your site time and time again when they require more help or resources; and they might even tell their friends or link back to your website from their own blog. Making a great first impression really counts.
Just think – if you write a blog for your business and you become an authority within your niche – that is, people know who you are because of your great content, you’ll likely be the first choice when people are looking to buy something within your niche. And being an authority can lead to other things – you could become a speaker, a columnist or even release your own ebook based off of the success of your blogging.
Provides you with original social content
Finding fresh, engaging content to share on social media day in, day out isn’t easy, especially if the majority of the content you find was created by a competitor. Indeed, if you’re only ever linking out to third-party sources from social media, then you’ll lose lots of traffic to news outlets, magazines and even your competitors. By creating your own content, you’ll have lots of new things to share on social media, which will not only expand the reach of your content, but it’ll push more people from social to your website, cutting down on lost traffic and conversions.
Serves as a sales funnel
Convincing people to click through to your website, and then to buy a product or service, can be hard work. You can use pay-per-click to target ready-to-buy consumers and create sticky landing pages to increase conversions, but a simpler idea is to use the content. Once you’ve established your blog as an authority and you’re driving traffic from search engines and social media, then you’ll have an audience that checks out your new posts whenever they go live. And rather than offering them free content for nothing in return, you could encourage them to sign up to a mailing list, which you can then use to promote your products and services directly. Content can be a great ‘first step’ into a successful digital sales funnel, provided it’s properly optimized.
There’s no denying that developing an effective content marketing strategy can be hard work, but the truth is that once you get going, it’s not so bad. Get started on producing high-quality content for your blog, and you’ll start to see incredible results in the near future. Good luck!
About the Author
Max Greene is the Managing Director of Muffin Marketing, a UK-based marketing agency specializing in content marketing, social media and search engine optimisation. When he isn’t working on campaigns for clients, he loves binge-watching Netflix shows and walking his dog.