Entrepreneurs have no shortage of options when digitally marketing their small business. From website banner ads to Google Adwords to remarketing campaigns, small businesses have a glut of options that enable them to get their brand in front of potential customers. But how much of an impact do these traditional means of advertising really offer?
Digital media has bombarded consumers to the point they have become incredibly selective about what they actually pay attention to. This has created an environment where consumers find it incredibly easy to tune out traditional advertising.
Today, consumers demand a price for their attention. While they are still willing to listen to what brands have to say, they now want to be entertained during a sales pitch. This is one of the reasons why content marketing has seen enormous growth over the last year.
According to the infographic “The State of Content Marketing in 2017” from the content marketing firm PointVisible, 73 percent of B2C and 70 percent of B2B brands planned on increasing their content efforts in 2017.
Unfortunately, too many brands still believe that content marketing can work as a quick fix to their advertising problems. The same graphic found that only 25 percent of B2C and 22 percent of B2B brands felt like they were successfully achieving their content marketing strategy goals. In truth, running a successful content marketing strategy requires a lot of hard work and effort. Failure to realize that will leave a business in the 70th percentile wondering why their content marketing strategy isn’t working as a solution to their advertising woes.
Fortunately, our team at Local Fresh has a few ideas designed to help improve your small business’ content marketing strategy.
Provide Value, Not a Sales Pitch
Advertising has the reputation for providing biased information where marketers overstate the value of their products in order to convince the consumer to make a purchase. Content marketing turns the idea on its head by offering information the consumer can actually value. The best type of content offers your target audience something they need or helps them solve a problem they have.
For example, go to Prego’s website and you’ll find dozens of recipes listed that range from quick meals for the kids to holiday themed dishes. While each recipe calls for the use of Prego pasta sauce, the consumer can freely substitute whatever brand they choose.
Another brand, The Home Depot, offers visitors to their website a series of DIY videos for common home improvement projects. Teaching your audience how to do something themselves may seem a little counterintuitive for a brand that offers its own contracting services, but while The Home Depot may miss out on a little business, this type of content helps to build brand equity in the eyes of the consumer.
As a result of providing consumers with content of value, shoppers are going to be a little more predisposed to buying Prego when selecting which pasta sauce to have for dinner, and they will turn to The Home Depot as their trusted source of information – and hardware supplies – when tackling their next home improvement project.
Make Your Story Compelling
We all love a good story, especially when it involves a human element we can all connect to. A brand, just like your favorite uncle, can tell an engaging story that will enable it to better connect with its target audience.
Take the Dollar Shave Club for example. When their viral YouTube video hit the internet back in 2012 it told a simple, relatable story. Razors are incredibly overpriced and we all know it. As the little guy, we’re fighting back against this outrageous price gouging by offering you, the consumer, incredibly effective razors at an affordable price. As a small business, we’re even helping to create jobs for people like you.
This simple story led to 12,000 subscriptions within 48 hours of the video’s release, which has now been viewed over 25 million times. Last year, the Dollar Shave Club was purchased by Unilever for $1 billion in cash.
While the success of Dollar Shave Club is remarkable, every small business has its own story to tell. From why you decided to open your own business to the people within the community you employ, your story can resonate with your audience if you have the conviction to tell it openly and honestly.
Develop, Measure, and Repeat
While you should always strive to develop the best content possible, that’s not all that matters. You also need to create content that actually succeeds at helping you achieve your content marketing goals. Whether that’s driving more traffic to your website, increasing sales, or helping to establish your brand as a thought leader in your industry, you won’t know if the content you’re producing is helping you meet that goal unless you track and measure your results.
In your goal is to drive more traffic to your website, Google Analytics can be an invaluable tool for measuring success. If you want to improve sales, tracking any spikes in sales after releasing new content can be easily measured using a variety of dashboard tools that come with your eCommerce website design.
Once you understand which types of content are helping to meet your stated goals, double down and create more. If a certain author routinely receives a lot of clicks and comments, ask them to create more posts. If a particular infographic receives a high number of downloads, you’ve found a niche in which your company’s content can further explore.
Develop content that resonates with your audience, measure its success, and repeat the process again. That’s the secret to a solid content marketing strategy.
Local Fresh Can Help Develop Your Content Marketing Strategy
As a form of advertising, content marketing is anything other than a quick fix solution. However, that doesn’t mean your small business won’t start seeing results if you take the time and energy to creating a successful campaign.
Local Fresh can help your small business determine the goal of your campaign, and then help you experiment until we find the best results. When we find the one that performs the best, we run with it and make even more compelling content that will help your business to grow. Click here to find out more about what Local Fresh can do for you.