Content Marketing for Small Businesses: Are You Cashing In?

There’s no better time than right now when it comes to content marketing for small businesses.

content marketing for small businesses
Photo by Kraftfolio

Here’s an idea of how far we’ve come: more than a century ago, John Deere, in the first known instance of content marketing, began publishing a periodical of helpful information for farmers, their key customer base.

Now imagine what an undertaking that was; plenty of capital was spent on paper, printing and mailing the journal. In the 21st century, delivering useful content to potential consumers is about as easy as clicking the “submit” button on your business blog or social media management system.

Prior to Web 2.0, the rules of content marketing were less evolved, employing scattershot delivery techniques and sales pitches that were more hype than anything else. Today, we’d likely call those crude attempts spam. Though the barrier of distribution has been knocked down by the Internet – no more printing up magazines – there’s a new sentry at the gate.

Google’s algorithms know the real deal from bluster, and will reward or punish them respectively in search rankings. Want to cash in on content marketing? Your content can’t be a loose smattering of keywords or other irrelevant junk; instead, think of yourself as a journalist, uncovering the sort of information and sage advice that will not only “brand” your brand, but help consumers make smarter decisions about your wares.

Think of a musician or small home recording enthusiast, concerned that her bargain basement microphone does no justice to her velvety baritone. In her quest for something better, she happens upon an online article detailing just the sort of microphones to use for keening falsettos, rich, muddy basses and even velvety baritones.

As this article is hosted on the site of a recording gear retailer, she’s not only got the information she needs to make an informed purchase – she’s also come up on the most convenient avenue available to actually make that purchase right away. So too must your small business, whatever its nature, provide content that’s worthwhile to your core consumers, arming them with the essential knowledge they’ll appreciate – and all the while, driving sales in your direction.

What’s the Word: If some inquisitive fellow were to walk into your shop off the street, what sort of friendly, motherly insider know-how would you regale him with about your services or the items on your shelves? Take that same tone when writing for your blog, social media postings, or on your company’s website, and your small business will do content marketing the right way and cash in on all that it has to offer.

Three Benefits to Blogging for Business

We previously talked about the importance of consistent and frequent business blogging to build your company’s brand. Today, we’re going to discuss the benefits of business blogging.

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Three Benefits of Blogging for Business

Why should I start a business blog?

According to a Business2Community.com article, “How Blogging Helps Companies Generate Leads Online: The Date Speaks,” B2B and B2C companies that publish blog posts generate considerably more leads per month than those that don’t blog.

According to the article, B2B company blogs generate about 67 percent more leads. B2C companies get 88 percent more leads. Overall, businesses that share blog posts have 55 percent more website traffic.

What are the benefits of business blogging?

Below we identify three primary benefits of starting a business blog.

1. Drives website traffic
The Business2Community.com article goes on to state that the more blogs you post, the more indexed pages you’ll have for search engines to show in their results. This will substantially help your search engine page rankings.

As a result of the Google Panda update in 2011, search engines now favor fresh, original content. The more original content you share via posts, the more you’ll be “rewarded” by search engines with higher page rankings.

2. Increases brand interest

Blogging creates a snowball effect of higher page rankings, more online visibility and, eventually, more leads and sales. The more you blog over time, the more people will start to see mention of your brand. This, in turn, creates interest in your products and services.

3. Builds credibility

It’s something about seeing online articles that makes us identify the authors as credible resources. This human tendency works in your best interest.

The more free tips and advice you share via your business blog, the more people will start to think you really know what you’re talking about. They’ll return to your website often for recommendations and tips. The ultimate goal is to build a strong contact list that you can eventually convert from leads to clients.

What’s the Word: Studies show that building a business blog can have a positive effect on your brand. However, frequency and consistency are important for the success of your blog. Be sure to create a blogging schedule that will be comfortable for you to maintain.

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Struggling to Keep Up With Your Blog Posting?

Can’t seem to keep up with your blog posting? Consistency and quality content are critical for blog success. So if you’re not blogging enough, you won’t see much benefit from your efforts.

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How Often Should I Post Blogs?

So, how often should you post blogs?

HubSpot, a popular all-in-one marketing software provider, surveyed businesses and found that 100 percent of companies that blog multiple times per day generated a customer from their blog compared to 90 percent of respondents who blog daily and 69 percent who only blog two to three times a week.

Now does this mean you need to kill yourself to blog multiple times per day? No. Post to your blog as often as you can. Can’t do multiple posts each day? Shoot for five days a week. Can’t blog five days? Go for three. Still too much? Shoot for at least twice a week.

If you find yourself writing and posting blogs less than weekly, try hiring a professional freelance writer to keep your blogging more consistent.

What’s the Word: When it comes to blogging, it’s best to publish as often as you can come up with quality, compelling content for your readers.

How often do you post to your blog?