Are you tired of reading about the strategies that big companies carry out to succeed on the Internet? Don’t you have the enormous amount of resources that these companies sometimes seem to spend in order to succeed? Would you like to know how you can afford a marketing strategy that works on the Internet? Welcome to the definitive guide to content marketing for SMBs and SMEs.
There’s something that really frightens any small entrepreneur who wants to start marketing their business. Where do I start? What works? And what doesn’t? These or similar questions give you the feeling that your head is about to explode. If you are an SME or self-employed with a website, it is obvious that your concerns about marketing have only just begun.
Content Marketing: You will hear this phrase at some point in your journey to find the marketing strategy for your business. It’s not especially new in the world of digital marketing, but it may sound like new to you. You’re probably wondering, what is this about content marketing? Is it worth exploring this avenue?
What is content marketing?
There are many definitions of what content marketing really is. Some are even erroneous, like all those that confuse content marketing with inbound marketing. I will pull Wikipedia to make a first approximation:
The idea behind content marketing is to create content for your target audience that leads them to a purchase or a lead. This content always refers to your business (or niche, if you prefer). It may seem like a mess, but I’m sure you’ve used it at some point without being aware that you were marketing content.
For example, if you go to a shoe store your objective is clear: to buy shoes. Therefore, the people who work in the shoe store are not going to try to sell you a suit or a dress. They will focus on your goal by helping you find the shoes that best suit you.
Content marketing is similar to this. You create content (written, visual or audio) that is focused on the interest of your audience and that is relevant to your business. It doesn’t matter what business you’re in.
What are the benefits of content marketing for SMEs and the self-employed?
The million-dollar question (and the one you’re still reading this post about) is: Can an SME or a freelancer really take advantage of content marketing? The short answer is: Yes, you can. Although the way to approach this marketing strategy is different from that of large corporations, there are 3 big benefits that both large and small companies can get if they practice it properly.
Publicize your company or business
No doubt any entrepreneur will agree that he would like his business and the dedication to take it forward to achieve some notoriety. Content marketing can help even a small business gain some of that attention that you always work hard for (and, of course, deserve).
Building a reputation as a reliable company
Depending on the type of business you’re in, your first contact with a potential customer probably won’t be face-to-face. Even if it is, having relevant informative content on your web blog will help your customers trust you.
One thing we often forget in digital marketing is that we are launching promotions to real people with busy lives and varied interests. Nothing different from how we are ourselves in reality (although sometimes the day to day of our business makes us forget it). In fact, no matter what the size of your business, it’s proven that content is a crucial aspect in building trust with those who don’t yet know us. Don’t you believe it? Here’s a tip: 61% of customers prefer companies with online content tailored [to their interests].
Why do so many people prefer this? Simple: Because they are human. They feel, are curious and need to trust companies. But they can’t do it if they don’t have arguments on which to base that trust.
Relevant and valuable content about your business will give you an image of authority and reliability to your potential customers. This will not only make them buy from you, but also repeat the act of buying by becoming loyal customers.
SEO and engagement in social networks
If you run a local business (i.e., your clientele comes from the area you’re physically in), you’ve already noticed how saturated Google searches are. Getting positioned on the first page of the search engine by the keywords that you think your potential customers use can be a very complicated task in this saturated market.
What is certain is that it is an almost impossible mission if you do not contribute content on a regular basis to your website. Properly done, consistently publishing and high quality content on your website or blog can increase and rank in search engines. Thus, your visits increase the chances of becoming potential customers for your business.
To see, the positioning in search engines is not something that is going to happen overnight. Even Google wants to know if the content you offer is worthy of their trust before rewarding you with a good position in the search engine. Google’s algorithm is constantly changing, so the rules of the game are constantly changing. However, over the years, content that brings added value has always been well valued by Google.
The other great benefit of content marketing is that it gives you the opportunity to take competitive advantage in social networks. As you create your content, you’re also building your brand and people want to be part of the brands they like. Another tip: Interesting content is one of the top 3 reasons people follow brands on social networks.
No matter what you do, well used social networks are always beneficial for business. If you combine a good social media strategy with a good content marketing strategy, you will be on the right track towards a successful campaign. One way to take advantage of this synergy is to make it easier for people to share your content through their social network profiles. If they like it, they will share it and make you reach more people.
How to start your content marketing strategy for SMBs and freelancers
Discover your audience
Defining your target audience will help you to define the objectives of your content strategy. It is important that you always remember that the content you create should be specifically for the target audience of your business and not for anyone who exists in the world.
If there is one thing that I encounter frequently in my day to day with clients is that the vast majority do not know how to define who their ideal client is. If you’re in this situation too, don’t be afraid. I leave you a link to an entry in Antonio Martín’s blog where he explains it perfectly.