Effective Content Marketing for Small Business
In Part 1 of this blog series, we looked at what is content marketing and why it is increasing in popularity as a marketing tool for all kinds of businesses. Just to recap, content marketing includes but is not limited to:
- web page copy
- blog posts
- free ebooks
- customer magazines
- slide or powerpoint presentations
- audio interviews or podcasts
- video demonstrations
- Pinterest boards
In this post, we look more closely at what tactics can be used as effective content marketing for small business in Australia. We also look at what other factors your should consider when deciding what types of content marketing could work for you.
What types of content marketing are other Australian businesses finding effective?
It’s always interesting to know what other local businesses are finding effective. Keeping in mind that you will need to develop a tailored content marketing approach based on your business needs, you don’t always need to reinvent the wheel if you can access information and research on what’s working right now.
The Content Marketing Institute publishes regular reports on Content Marketing for major markets worldwide. Their Content Marketing in Australia 2014 Report lists the top 10 tactics that Australian content marketers have used in the past year, ranked in order of effectiveness (as rated by the content marketers they surveyed).
Which forms offered the most effective content marketing for small business?
The top three most effective forms of content marketing for Australian businesses are ranked as:
Interestingly, the form of content marketing that is ranked as the most effective is possibly one of the longest established forms of digital marketing – enewsletters.
One of the reasons enewsletters are so effective is that they deliver your marketing information to a database that has opted in to receive it (NB if they haven’t chosen to receive your newsletters you could be in breach of the Spam Act 2003!). This makes the recipient much more open to receiving marketing communication from you, particularly if it is useful and not too ‘sales-y’.
The other beauty of newsletters is that they require little action or effort on the part of the customer – apart from opening and reading of course! Once they have opted in to receive your information, your enewletter can arrive regularly in their inbox, maintaining and building your customer relationship until they are ready to purchase (and of course, after purchase for repeat custom). If you are not sure where to start with your customer enewsletter, check out our Enewsletter packages.
The second most popular method is interestingly, in-person events. Many people may not think of these as content marketing, however content can take many forms including presentations and even the spoken word. An example of an in-person event that could work for a small business is a presentation or seminar hosted by a real-estate agency on ‘How to select an investment property for the best long term returns’. The content developed for this workshop or presentation could be repurposed in multiple formats such as newsletter article series, blog posts and research reports.
Research reports are the third most popular tactic rated in this report, and are often favoured by B2B organisations. The Content Marketing in Australia 2014 is one example (you can see the full report here). Another form of research report is the ‘white paper’, a persuasive document that usually describes business problems and how to solve them and is often favoured by technical businesses. Often, reports and whitepapers are offered as ‘gated content’ on a business website. They are available for download when prospects enter their name and email address, so that the business can add their name to their marketing database.
What other factors should you consider ?
So now that we’ve looked at what is working for other Australian businesses already implementing content marketing tactics, how will you decide what forms of content marketing would be most effective for your small to medium business?
There are a few basic things to consider before you commit to putting a content marketing program in place.
What in-house resources can you draw on?
What resources or talents do you have available within your business that could be channeled into content production?
- Do you have a staff member who is very clued in on social media or someone with a great writing style, who could be given content development tasks as part of their role?
- Do you have team members that go out to jobs in progress who could film interesting footage that relates to the delivery of your product or service?
Keep in mind that you can always outsource some of your content production such as blog writing or video production if you can’t access these resources in-house.
What’s your commitment level?
Content marketing is a long term strategy and like most forms of marketing, it requires a well planned and sustained approach to be at its most effective.
Consider how committed you are to using content marketing in your business. What time and/or budget can you realistically invest over the long term to make it happen (some content will be more resource intensive or costly to produce than other forms)?
Have a ‘full and frank’ discussion with yourself, your business partners and your staff about the organisation’s commitment level before you start to ensure you’re all on the same page.
Play the long game
As a strategy, you may not see the results of content marketing immediately. However, if well thought out and executed, your investment will gain momentum and keep reaping results long after traditional forms of advertising such as print or radio ads have been forgotten.
What are your customers’ information search preferences?
Hopefully, you already have a good idea of your organisation’s target markets and demographics. This will have the strongest influence on what kind of content you produce.
You not only need to consider who your prospects are, but how they like to research and make decisions on their purchases.
Researching your customers’ information preferences
- Internet searches are often a starting point (which will turn up blog posts, other web copy and videos with the right keywords).
- Others may start their search by asking their community via social media such as Facebook or on special interest forums.
- Searching on platforms such as Pinterest, Instagram or LinkedIn are yet another way prospects may commence their search.
Consider whether you have a highly visual product (fashion, interior design, landscaping) or a very technical product that needs more in-depth discussion (IT infrastructure, machinery).
Choose your vehicle
Once you have considered this, you can narrow down the best forms for content for promoting your product or service. This handy matrix developed by PRWeb investigates some of the types of content that you could consider utilising.
So where to next with your small to medium business content marketing?
If you do decide to go ahead and incorporate content marketing into your marketing mix, you’ll need to do so with a plan.
In Part 3 of this series, we’ll look at how to develop and implement a Content Marketing Plan for your small to medium business.
Need a recap?
Not sure what content marketing really is? Check out Part 1 of this series, What is Content Marketing.
Have you starting thinking content marketing could work for you?
Contact us on 0404 086 140 if you need some advice, or request a free consultation below
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