As a small business owner, there are so many potential marketing opportunities. Knowing which ones to invest in and which ones to leave well alone often come from experience.
Whilst investing in social media might seem like a great idea, it only works if you have something to say and you have the time to manage your profiles – answering questions, responding to comments, posting up new and engaging content, and ensuring that customers have access to reach you are all important factors.
The same could be said for any potential marketing platform. They only work if you have the time, effort, and in some cases, the expertise to deliver a return on investment (ROI). Any marketing decision you make, especially when you are starting out, should be based on ROI. What will you get back for every dollar you spend?
One of the most effective marketing channels when it comes to delivering ROI is content marketing. That’s because content marketing often serves many masters. As well as being a great standalone tactic, content marketing is also great for search engine optimisation (SEO), social media marketing, and digital PR. One piece of content can be used across multiple channels, helping to increase the overall value of that piece of content and hopefully deliver a positive ROI.
But what is content marketing?
According to Content Marketing Institute, “Content marketing is a strategic marketing approach focused on creating and distributing valuable, relevant, and consistent content to attract and retain a clearly defined audience — and, ultimately, to drive profitable customer action.”
Instead of pitching your products or services, you are providing truly relevant and useful content to your prospects and customers to help them solve their issues.
Content marketing is used by most businesses today, from major global corporations to small start-ups.
It encompasses many different facets including blogs, videos, podcasts, whitepapers, infographics, newsletters, email marketing, social media posts, and more.
As a small business owner, you might not have the budget to create fancy videos, or the creativity to design your own infographics, however, it is likely that you are an expert in your field and you can write helpful blog content to help prospective customers to learn more about your industry. You can also create a newsletter to keep prospects and current customers informed and up-to-date about the latest developments in your industry, or your latest product release.
Content marketing is great because it covers so many areas. One blog post can be published on your own website, repurposed for sites like Medium, shared on social media platforms and even outreach to news outlets if what you are writing about is newsworthy. That’s a lot of potential reach and a lot of potential return from just one piece of content.
There are many great examples of content marketing campaigns out their that you can take inspiration from. Whilst some of these ideas might have been put together on large budgets, they may well spark an idea that doesn’t have to cost the earth.
Here are some great examples of content marketing from some of the world’s leading brands.
Spotify might not be the first brand you think of when you think about content marketing. Most of us just enjoy listening to music through their app, however, we have all no doubt received their annual Spotify Wrapped feature – a roundup of all the music you have listened to throughout the year as well as a curated playlist, especially for you.
This is a great example of personalised content that generates huge engagement thanks to the option to share your playlist on social media. The ROI comes from the social interaction and reach, encouraging more people to sign up for Spotify.
The online gaming and sports betting industry is saturated with brands based in countries across the world. One of the leading brands is Betway. They have leveraged content marketing in order to deliver value to their customers and prospective customers.
Realising that many online betting sites offer very similar services, Betway diversified into content marketing, providing gamblers with expert tips, in-depth guides to major sporting events and insights from leading sports stars. This content not only adds value to customers but also expands their SEO keyword list, helping them to rank for more keywords and drive more brand awareness.
Colgate is well-known as one of the leading toothpaste and teeth care brands in the world. Whilst their products are extremely popular, they wanted to take their brand awareness and brand loyalty to the next level.
Keyword research would have told them that there are thousands of people searching every month for teeth care related queries such as “what are the stages of gum disease” or “how to cure bad breath”. As a leading authority in the industry, Colgate turned to content marketing to create a series of helpful guides in their resource section that are designed to help people to find out more information about dental hygiene and potential issues that develop. This is something that can be easily replicated and whilst you might not have the same authority as Colgate, you are no doubt an expert in your field so it’s all about getting your name out there.
Content marketing is an essential part of any successful marketing strategy for small businesses. From email marketing to social media, work out which channel is likely to deliver the best ROI given the amount of time and financial investment required to manage each channel.
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