In our recent introduction to content marketing, we talked about the established and ever-growing trend of publishing content as a means of drawing more potential customers to your front door – virtual or physical.
Marketing has taken a sharp left turn in recent years away from the old broadcasting style of communication and toward more customer-focused tactics. This provides big benefits from both a human and a search engine optimization standpoint for your business – especially if you’re on a budget. You might not be able to afford a TV or radio spot to get your name out there, but you can probably afford to start a blog and a set up a few social media profiles.
But once you do have a few outlets ready through which to offer up your newly minted content, you have to get down to the business of actually sharing some. And not just every now and again, either. You need to be sharing relevant, valuable content several times a week if you want to really grow your exposure and your business. With that in mind, you might be feeling a little intimidated. But don’t worry, there are lots of different types of content you can create, and a lot of it can be repurposed if you do it right.
5 Content Types You Could Be Sharing Tomorrow:
1. Blog posts. This is a great place to start, because it’s simple and inexpensive (sometimes free). If you are considering a content marketing strategy for your small business, we’re going to assume that you already have a website up and running. If not, that is where you need to start. (Go ahead, we’ll wait.) There are a number of website hosting services that offer a blog app (Webs is one) you can easily set up. Once you’re ready to go, start posting articles that you think would be relevant to your potential customers.
If you run an auto body shop, don’t just start post about your pricing and services. Instead, write out your top 10 tips for maintaining a pain job. Someone who cares about their car is far more likely to search the web for those terms than for your specific business. But you can believe that when they DO need bodywork done, they’ll remember where they read that helpful article.
2. Tutorials. The point of content is to get your name out there in connection with something that is relevant and shareable, so more people will see you and associate your business with that valuable tidbit.
If you’re a florist, think about starting a Pinterest board where you share step-by-step tutorials on making floral arrangements for your home. It’s knowledge you already have, so it won’t take long to create it, but it could be incredibly helpful to someone who’s hosting an important family dinner. When they need flowers for a bigger special occasion, or know someone who does, they’ll think of you.
3. Photos. This can be one of the easiest and most fun types of content to share. Most likely, you’re doing something at your business that’s worth photographing. Snap a few pictures and get them out there on social media where people can find them – and more importantly – share them. Do you have some great before and after shots of a home you recently staged? How about a photo album of the women whose hair you’ve cut? If your business happens to BE photography, this is so easy it’s almost unfair. Photos are one of the most shared items on the web, so put yours out there!
4. Videos. No, not your product videos or ads you’ve done for your business. Remember, we’re trying to help people live their best lives here (or at least offer something relevant). Videos can offer how-to advice, give a tour of a location, or just plain show something amazing. Now, if you want to share something amazing bear in mind it should still apply to your audience and feel authentic. Posting videos of puppies all day won’t serve you well in the end if you own a restaurant. But if you happen run a small veterinary practice, you are in luck, since the Internet pretty much exists because of cats. As for the restaurant owner, create a video of your chef showing viewers how to cut an onion properly and you’ll do just fine too.
5. Whitepapers & Ebooks. This might not sound as exciting as the video idea, but a large portion of the people who are searching the web for things are looking for information. If you have access to research about your industry, or can perform some original research of your own, sharing it in a whitepaper or ebook that you can publish online is a great way to get your name out there as a thought-leader. That kind of credibility can go a long way not only with people, but also with search engines like Google.
What kind of research might a small business have? Maybe you’re a real estate agent, and you could offer insights about selling a home in your current market. Or perhaps you run a dental practice and have years of data about how oral health affects overall health. Maybe you’re a pediatrician and could write an ebook about childcare. The possibilities are endless – you just have to get creative.
Hopefully your head is swimming with ideas right now about all the different kind of content you can share in order to draw your target audience in and endear them to your brand. Now get out there and start creating!