For local small business owners, content marketing is more than a trendy marketing buzzword. Content marketing — or using content (blogs, videos, social media posts, etc.) to market your business— can be a highly effective part of your overall online marketing strategy.
Content marketing can work for almost any type of local business. Whether you’re an accountant, a contractor or a retailer, incorporating content marketing into your online marketing can help you accomplish several goals:
- Build brand awareness of your business in the local marketplace
- Promote you as an expert in your industry and community
- Generate "buzz" about your business
- Attract prospects to visit your business website or contact your business
Adding content marketing to your online marketing mix
The cool thing about content marketing is that customers actually like it — that is, if you do it right. Here’s what customers want to see from your content.
Informative: Nine in 10 consumers in a recent study agree that brands should provide value-added information to their customers. What exactly does value-added information mean?
- 77.3% of consumers want details on how to get the most from the product or service.
- 73.4% would like information on different ways to use the product or service.
- 46% believe brands should provide education around topics related to the product or service.
Accurate: In a study by Adobe, consumers ranked accuracy as the overall most important quality that content can have. Make sure to proofread the content you create and share, checking for mistakes, grammatical errors or typos. If you don't have someone in-house who can create quality content for you, there are plenty of marketing writers who can handle the job; check out sites like Freelancer.com or Guru.com to find one.
Mobile optimized: It doesn't matter how informative and accurate your content is if it's too slow to load or if customers can't see or use it on their mobile device. Half of consumers in the Adobe study say they will abandon online content if it takes too long to load (47%), if they can’t interact with it on their device (45%), if the images won’t load (44%), or if the content doesn’t display properly on their device (34%).
Online marketing next steps
Now that you know the basics, the following online marketing tactics will take your content marketing up a notch:
- Use search engine optimization. Your content should be optimized for search with relevant keywords that your target customers look for. Use these keywords in headlines, title and image tags, subheads and body copy. As a local business, using location -related keywords, such as the name of your city or neighborhood, should be part of your SEO too.
- Always include a call to action. Whether it's a blog post or a tweet, your content marketing should urge prospects to do something that moves them one step closer to becoming customers. That could be visiting your website, calling your business for an estimate or stopping by your location.
- Boost your results with pay-per-click (PPC) advertising. PPC advertising is a great way to target local customers. Find out more about using content marketing and PPC advertising together.
Once your content marketing starts generating leads, be sure you have a lead management system in place to follow up with them. LeadStream can help with that—as well as with SEO, PPC and all the other elements of lead generation.