Content Marketing for Local Businesses
When it comes to advertizing your online business, content marketing is one of the simplest and most effective means of reaching new customers. This is because people, since the dawn of civilization, have been creating content including on the walls of caves, stone tablets, scrolls of papyrus and later on with newspapers.
The Internet, however, is a different medium than traditional print, but it still is based on the same principle that good, interesting content is what pulls in readers and keeps them on a page. Of course, having the ability to reach hundreds of millions of people around the world instantaneously certainly helps. Over the years the rules have changed somewhat as the Internet has gone from something of a high tech Wild West scenario to a more reformed version that we see today.
And with this refinement (and search engines like Google) the emphasis has shifted somewhat from keywords and more toward content to provide readers with actual quality material. For the past several years, Google has been shifting its emphasis towards quality content in its search engine results and today content marketing has become more prominent than ever. It is little wonder since it is designed to lead readers to the best quality content available for the search parameters that have been placed.
When this is focused on local businesses, quality content is also quite important as many SEO strategies for community-based businesses emphasize high quality content. Every day, content marketing is growing as one of the primary advertising tools on the internet.
Social Media Impact
With the rise of social media sites like Facebook which current has more than 1.5 billion users worldwide, there is more emphasis on local business advertising. In fact, the majority of advertisers on Facebook are small to medium-size businesses that have found a powerful niche in creating good quality content for use on their social media sites.
In addition, the numbers revealed by Facebook as well as other social media sites confirm that for small businesses to break out and get noticed, the emphasis has been on creating solid, high quality content which separates them from the pack. With this new emphasis, the shift has been away from the hard sales pitch and more towards informing and educating the consumer through the use of content.
Of course, how small businesses achieve the goal of sales through content must be directed by an intelligent, effective marketing plan.
How to Create Good Content that Markets Your Business
What Do People Want? This may seem rather obvious, but it is surprising how disconnected some businesses are when it comes to creating excellent content. There is a difference between what the business wants to promote and what customers want to read. So, the first step is finding out what the customers are interested in and then crafting the content so that it includes what they want to read along with the information that businesses want to get out.
In addition, the content itself can be in traditional text or images (or video which has really grown in the past few years). In addition, using different forms of content adds variety and interest to your business efforts. From posting customer testimonials to the results of body shop work to creating funny, entertaining videos that reach new potential customers, the emphasis on creating what people want to see is a very powerful tool.
Bring What You Know to Everyone
When you post your content online, you are adding to the knowledge of potential customers. So, putting it in formats such as the company blog, a social media site or even independent article sites can be quite effective in bringing a new, informative messages to the people. The great advantage is that posting quality, informative content on a regular basis starts to build interest in potential customers that will in turn create more web traffic.
Statistics show that when businesses post quality content on a daily basis their customer web traffic grows. This means that people who regularly read your content are telling others about it because of the quality and interest that it offers. This can lead to developing a brand where what small businesses publish helps expand their popularity and thus bring in even more interested parties.
Pay What is Needed
While everyone loves free postings, the truth is there is a market for paid postings. Known as pay-to-play, this is a genuine reality on social media platforms where small businesses will pay $50 or even more just to promote posts that they have made on their Facebook page. While for many small businesses it can be expensive, the truth is that the payoff can be considerable in reaching new customers.
Consider that some advertisements which promote content can reach thousands of people which means that even if just a fraction respond, that represents a powerful return for an investment. Depending on your business, the results from ad promotions on social media sites can be considerable.
Overall, it is getting tougher to promote content on the Internet because of competition, but the results are still successful enough that many small businesses invest heavily in this form of advertising. Gone are the days when businesses could simply post a series of keywords on their websites and try the hard sell approach to their products. Today, having effective, interesting and informative content makes all the difference. In some ways, things are better today than before since good content builds upon itself as more people become interested in the products or services that a business might offer.
In the end, it takes good content to create repeat customers which are the heart of any successful small business. Effective content marketing can result is many successful returns as you building your reputation through paid and organic means of building up a customer base.