Content is one of the most valuable assets your business has when it comes to online marketing. And while content marketing for small businesses can seem challenging, it’s the content you create that helps drive people to your website, and then, once there, aids in selling the products or services you offer. It helps with ranking in search engines and plays a big role in your success in social media marketing as well.
Content helps create your digital footprint. That directly impacts your local search rankings and your share of Google visibility. In other words, content helps your prospective customers to find you when they search online for a business like yours.
It’s an important goal to create a content marketing strategy. That’s simply a number of interlocking pieces of content that help to solidify your company as the expert in the topic in your area. These pieces can target a range of benefits – including increasing leads.
7 Types of Content to Focus On
It’s common for small businesses to be unsure what to write about or produce in general. Most companies don’t realize how much information they have to share with their prospective customers and the industry as a whole. Consider these key areas.
#1: Authority Content
Small businesses need to position themselves as the leader in their industry within their local market. Authority content allows you to do this. It aims to provide resources and solutions to viewers. This may include content that’s based on highly credible sources or is a comprehensive piece that breaks down into subtopics to thoroughly explain a concept.
The key to authority content is ensuring it lets the reader know you know what you’re talking about and have the solutions to their problems. It’s content they want to read, share, and even hold onto to access again later because of its value.
- Provide an in-depth report on the current “state of things” from your view.
- Create a detailed article on innovations improving your industry or business.
- Create an article that outlines specifically how to solve a problem.
#2: Downloadable Content
Providing content that’s downloadable allows your reader to come back to it time and time again. When something can be downloaded like this, it creates a sense of value and importance. People often think they are getting it for free as a perk. Yet, it is also one of the best ways to get email addresses. When you secure email addresses from your clients in this way (with all the proper agreements to do so), you’ll be able to market your products and services to that person on an ongoing basis. That may mean sending them updates on your products, promotional information, or special insights like a newsletter. Email marketing is a powerful tool to get repeat sales, too.
What can you offer as a desirable download?
- Consider a how-to checklist.
- Create an ebook on how to safeguard their home from risks related to your field.
- Provide a free guide on the benefits of using your services (to save money, improve security, etc).
#3: Educational Content
People don’t like to be sold to. That is, they want to learn and get the information they need to make decisions and gain insight. Educational content helps them to see you’re an expert while also giving them key information in a single location they can reference. Many people start out looking for solutions to their problems online and then turn to the professional offering them the information they need. To do this, share tips and helpful advice with your audience in a way that’s going to help them. This type of content helps you to achieve domain credibility and enables you to create backlink opportunities for your site especially if you are using these pieces on other websites or publications.
- Plumbers may wish to share insights into how to spot leaks or reduce their water consumption.
- Lawyers can offer an insightful guide on what to do before filing an insurance claim or what not to do in a family argument.
- Provide a tips guide to improving health, such as a chiropractor’s guide to reducing back pain.
#4: How-To Content
How-to content can sometimes seem out of bounds for service providers. Why give away what you want them to get from you through a paid service? You don’t need to go that far, but you can provide information that helps people see what their options are and how to get the most from working with you. How-to content like this helps establish your brand and authority. It also helps to create a link between your company and your reader.
Consider a range of how-to pieces. You can write articles and blogs, but you can also use video or infographics to take your content to the next level. This can often help you to really showcase your marketing skills and provide content people can easily digest and use to better their situation. Walk your viewer through the steps.
- Create a video that shows how to use a product or service you offer. Your customers will be able to see the value and ease of using this service to solve their problems.
- Provide a how-to article about spotting damage on a roof after a storm. Go in-depth about what people should do, and then encourage them to report problems to you for a solution. Provide a how-to infographic that explains the various strategies for building income in retirement if you’re a financial planner.
- Create a blog that outlines what to do to treat a wound on a pet if you are a veterinarian. Include photos to demonstrate steps.
#5: Video Content
As noted, video content can be a very helpful tool to marketing success especially online. People don’t want to read blocks of text. They want to see what you’re talking about and who they may work with if they choose to work with you. Video lets you communicate a lot of information in a simple format. You don’t have to be a professional or even be on camera to make it work, either.
Use video content to get shares. Communicate information in short clips of just a few minutes. Then, get people to engage with the content. If they like what they see, should they call you? The key to remember here is that this video content should be educational and informative. It’s not the place for sales or promotions (leave the TV commercial-style videos at home). Connect with emotion, interest, and storytelling when possible. Video content is the most engaging type of content you can create.
- Use video to create a behind-the-scenes look at the company – how do you do what you do?
- Use a short video to describe a complicated legal matter in a simple way, such as explaining what an estate plan is or how to set up a retirement account.
- Provide video that breaks down exactly what the customer can expect if you come to their home to provide a service such as jetting their water lines or upgrading their electrical system.
#6: Social Proof Content
Social proof content allows you to put your customers at the center of your marketing efforts. In short, social proof helps people to see that what you are saying is true and accurate. For example, if a family member likes something or buys a product, that’s going to help solidify opinions of your products and services with others. It’s about recommendations and going above and beyond just a review.
- Collaborate with other local businesses and organizations.
- Get further accredition. That could be an industry-recognized association like the BBB.
- Build trust with business credentials. Showcase your education and training as well as associations you belong to within your industry.
#7: User-Generated Content
What if your customers and readers could help you with your marketing? Encouraging them to promote your business for you is another valuable way to build your brand and online presence. That could be anything from reviews to videos they submit. The goal is to encourage new customers to view this content so they gain a bit more confidence in working with you.
- Ask your existing customers to write a review of their experience with you.
- Invest a few minutes with your best customers to create a video about the experience of working with your business.
- Use images and content from what people say to create an infographic about what you’ve done for them – use this to help showcase the range of work you can provide.
Manage Your Workflows with an All-in-One Platform
That’s a lot of content to create. How will you manage it all and not spend all of your time working on it? You can streamline content marketing for your small business in a variety of ways. To do so, attend a demo of the Surefire Local Marketing Platform. This intuitive platform allows you to manage the entire workflow process in one place. That’s from the initial idea phase to publication. You can use it to create, review, and approve all content to ensure brand consistency and effectiveness.
You’ll also have access to reporting giving you a way to measure the relevance and value of your content by how people engage with it, view it, and share it. Learn just how effective your content is and make updates to get the best possible results possible.
Reach out today to learn more about the Surefire Local Marketing Platform.