Not only is content management driving marketing efforts these days, but CM is big business—providing work for lots of people along the marketing and customer service pipeline.
There are many types of content—but first, what is it? Here are a couple of points to keep in mind:
- Content takes many forms and is used throughout a small business, or organization.
- High quality content is important. The days of copying articles from other websites and posting it up on your own site are done.
- Content gives you the chance to create, nurture, and maintain contacts with customers, and future clients.
So, content marketing is pretty much the business of using different types of content to get your message across to your audience, and even, to your competitors.
Content marketing is mostly conducted online—helping you attract targeted leads. Maybe you remember buying bulk mailing or email lists? The days of casting a big net to see what swims into it, are done too. Content marketing means crafting a unique message for just the right kind of customer.
Types of content that could help—and how you use it
If you are an entrepreneur, it is likely you run a pretty small shop. Small- to medium-sized businesses cannot afford a whole team of marketing people on the payroll.
Since marketing is now the bigger part of sales, blending these efforts is essential. Consider outsourcing your marketing needs to a specialist you can use to create a targeted content marketing strategy—and execute on it. Outsourcing is also a super idea for creating content, because an outsourced specialist knows how to write, and create, the content you want.
While you need to deeply engage in developing a marketing strategy that works best for your small business, this does not mean you have to create the content. As I have said many times before, only do the work that only you can do.
Basically, your focus as a small business owner is to create interesting, focused content, make sure it is optimized for the web, and manage social media channels. What you do depends largely on your budget, your goals, and your audience.
Here are some different types of content that could work for you:
- Education: Consumers are doing their research before first contact with your product or service. They may have visited half a dozen websites and done some reading before they landed on your website. Offering good quality, compelling information that helps them make the right choice is the first step toward selling them on your product or service. Consider tip, or fact sheets, “How-to” pages, and links to offsite resources either that you authored or that you believe are authoritative on the subject.
- Short and long form information: A blog is a great way to serve many aspects of your business. Whether you offer information, create and communicate your company culture, discuss a recent customer service issue you solved, launch a new service or highlight an older one—a blog is an effective communications medium that serves you as long as you serve up fresh, high quality content. Feed your CRM machine by offering longer form content that is accessible only upon registering with name, email and other details that help you create a consumer profile. Create visually interesting, informative white papers and other materials that offer a look at your product, industry, or what is currently trending.
- Service: Include case studies, tutorials, YouTube content, testimonials, step-by-step, and other material to help potential customers understand exactly what value you offer, and why it will work for them. Be sure your customer service is transparent and speedy—think Amazon.com.
- Make it interesting: Don’t think the only thing you can use is a blog and text. Use infographics, podcasts, livestreamed video, cartoons, animation, slide share and more. Invite guest blogging and learn about user-generated content to help convert leads to loyal customers.
There are different kinds of content that could be right for your business. You don’t need to use everything, but you’ll want to mix it up to keep your audience—and customers—interested.
The most intriguing content in the world won’t mean anything if you do not have a strong marketing strategy, the right value proposition, and the message that puts those together in an unbeatable way.
I use experience, software , and know-how to help my clients succeed. I work with small business owners to create the message, and the business climate, to give your business the boost it needs—and the profit you want.
When you want to dig in to more money at the end of each month, give me a call at 585-633-7563.
Yours in profit,