Small businesses have it rough at the beginning. If no one knows that you or your product or service exists, how are you going to succeed in an ever-changing and competitive market?
Small businesses do not have a plethora of options available to them. Lack of funds, experience, knowledge and trained staff are a few of the hurdles that they must overcome. Traditional marketing aka paid ads on the internet is obsolete as more than 615 million devices now use ad-blockers. That’s 11% of all the people who use the internet.
You might think that there’s no way a small business can make itself heard amongst its larger, established competition without using traditional advertisements. You’d be right if it wasn’t for this nifty little thing called content marketing.
What is content marketing?
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Content marketing is a subtle type of marketing which is used to create and distribute valuable and consistent content to attract and retain a targeted audience with the goal of profitable customer action.
To summarise the above, content marketing provides relevant content which benefits your target audience with the goal of growing your business.
Content marketing versus Traditional marketing
Many people hate it when a product is pushed onto them. If someone walked over to you and started talking about reading their company’s blog, wouldn’t it feel intrusive and annoying to you?
However, if one of your friends asked you to read the same blog, you’d be more likely to try it out because you trust your friends more than a generic company. This is the same reason why many companies collaborate with popular YouTube channels. Content marketing aims to create this trust between a consumer and a company.
What are the benefits of content marketing?
The goal of any marketing campaign is to grow your business. Content marketing comes with a few benefits in addition to growth like-
• It builds brand awareness and trust
• It reaches an audience that avoids advertisements
• It keeps costs down
• It improves customer retention rates
• It increases customer referrals
• It increases traffic to your website
• It supports your other marketing tactics
• It increases sales
How does your business get an edge over your competitors?
1. YouTubers are 2018’s celebrities
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Reaching out to a famous YouTuber to talk about your product or service in their video is a great way to get people to try your product. Established YouTubers like Unbox Therapy, Austin Evans and Linus Tech Tips are the celebrities of today with each of their videos averaging well over 500,000 views. An example of content marketing is evident at 5:35 of this video on Unbox Therapy. Big YouTube channels have subscribers that trust their opinions making YouTube a great platform to market your product.
2. Quality over quantity
A lot of new businesses make the mistake of trying to post too much too fast. Your audience is more likely to stick around if the content you are posting is relevant and of high quality. It is better to post a few good articles per week rather than clutter your audiences feed with useless or low effort posts.
For example, posting a few well thought out and well-presented vegan recipes is a recipe for success because it gives your customers something to look forward to.
3. Livestream workplace activities
Streaming fun activities that your audience can engage in subconsciously tells your audience that you are a friendly and approachable entity. Bonus points are earned for using the same staff members to conduct each live stream. Activities can range from anything like a behind the scenes to a how it’s made or even to a fun game that you can play with your viewers. The only limit is your imagination, the possibilities are endless.
4. Reddit and Quora are your best friends
Communities like Reddit, Quora and similar sites have huge, active user bases. By chiming in with your 2 cents, you can contribute to discussions while indirectly marketing your product to people. You must be careful while you do this because Reddit hates direct marketing.
Learn the ins and outs of Quora and Reddit and you will be better equipped to find the communities who need your products and services.
Example – It’s a good idea to frequent /r/telescopes if you are selling telescope lenses because people are actively looking for telescope suggestions there.
5. Embrace new as well as old technology
In the early 2010s, television manufacturers tried their best to market 3D TVs without much success. Eventually, they stopped production effectively killing the growth of the technology for the mass market. A firm called WOW!!!3D has taken that technology and adapted it for the modern-day consumer.
They have created a tempered glass you can stick onto your iPhone which turns the entire display into a 3D viewing media powerhouse. The technology is very interesting because you can view 3D images and videos without the use of a pair of 3D glasses. This Indian based company has taken what was effectively dead technology and innovated with it.
Innovations like this have huge, untapped marketing potential. Being on the lookout for new as well as old technology can make your content stand out from the crowd.
6. Add value to your customers’ lives
By creating and curating content that will enrich the lives of the people who follow your product page, you create a sense of trust and loyalty which will keep your consumers coming back for more.
Your customers must feel like their lives are getting better after coming back to read your blog or watch your video. A cleaning company that posts quick fix cleaning tips like how to wash a coffee stain from a white shirt in 5 minutes is going to have a lot of people regularly coming back because those people feel like their lives are getting better from watching or reading the cleaning company’s content.
7. Use social media
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In the same vein as connecting to YouTubers, connect to pages which have a lot of active followers on social media to try and promote your page or content. Social media has millions of daily active users and is a content marketers dream.
A lot of your competitors might already have established themselves on social media. The trick to creating a relatable persona online is to use friendly and casual language. Don’t imitate your competitors’ posts, innovation is what will make you stand out here.
It’s 2018 and there isn’t a compelling argument as to why any business would shy away from content marketing. Content marketing is a great way for new businesses to compete with larger brands and it’s something your customers are looking for.
It doesn’t cost much, it’s always generating web traffic and when done right it doesn’t come off as an obnoxious advertisement.
Feature image credits: Pexels