There are so many things to consider when running a small business, and marketing is probably one of the last things on your mind. Marketing is so important for your business, however. You can read up on the basics of marketing in our Marketing 101 article. Once you know the foundation of what to do, you can start to focus on what specifically is driving people and getting results, which right now is content marketing.
When you think of marketing for your business, you most likely think of ads: billboards, radio ads, etc. Maybe you think of images or videos on social media or your website. All of those things are good, but they are getting tuned out more and more. Consumers are trained to turn away from and be annoyed by traditional marketing strategies. What people do like, however, is content. Becoming an information resource for your customers is more valuable today than pitching a deal to them. This idea is the basis of content marketing.
It may seem pointless to produce written content that doesn’t specifically tell people to come to your business, but becoming a trusted advisor is what draws many people in. Continuing to create content after a person has become your customer helps with retainment. How can you succeed at this?
You don’t have to throw your brand in someone’s face for them to remember you. If you are a landscaping company, instead of saying, “Come on down and experience Billy’s great service!” which reads as nothing more than a sales pitch, write several articles about lawn care. Write about how to take care of your plants, different types of grass, etc. Write about the topics that your customers are interested in. If they are looking for landscaping, they are obviously interested in the subject. Becoming a consistent advisor on the topic will make them think, “I wonder what Billy’s Lawn Care has to say about this?” The consumers will grow to trust you and eventually many of them will want to do business with you.
Set Yourself Apart
Look at your competitors’ websites and social media pages. What are they not talking about? Is there an obvious hole that your knowledge could fill? Being the only trusted expert on a subject will drive considerable traffic to your business. If your customers are asking you questions because they can’t find the answers online, then put the answers online! Anything that displays your expertise above the competition is a good thing.
Tell your customers a familiar story. Are you a plumber? Everyone has had a clogged toilet or a leaky faucet. Write about those things. If a consumer can relate to you and feels like he or she is being spoken to directly, they will be more inclined to use your business.
Write Shareable Content
You’re now considered an expert, and people want to feel like experts, too. Write content that they will want to share with their friends. You can even say it directly, “Share this if…” Upbeat, happy content and content that teaches you something are very shareable items.
Change It Up
Now that you have some great content and have gotten some results, don’t think you’re finished. To retain your new customers, you have to remain that trusted advisor. A never-changing website will get old fast. Continue to produce content and change up your page.
Now you know how to attract and retain customers through written content. The benefits of content marketing cannot be denied. Get out there and write!