Content managers are always trying to stay on top of current marketing trends and one up their competition. In today’s crowded market, this can be a challenge. According to a recent report produced by MarketingProfs and Content Marketing Institute, 91% of B2B marketers and 86% of B2C marketers report using content marketing as a part of their overall marketing strategy. Effective content marketing for small business is about using the right keywords, increasing SEO, and getting your business on the first page of a Google search, right?
Not completely. While all of those things are important, they’re just part of the equation. Showing up on page one will help drive traffic to your website but that’s only half the battle. You want them to stay there, browse around and ultimately, convert. The crux of content marketing for small business is about connecting with your customer and providing them with what they want. So how do you make your business stand out from the crowd? It’s time to get personal.
What Does This Mean?
Getting personal with your customers is about more than “Dear NAME” at the beginning of an email. Everyone important in their life knows their name. They also know what your customer likes, what their lifestyle is and what they need to be happy. These people are a trusted part of your customer’s inner circle and their everyday life. This is what your business needs to be to your customer.
Content marketing for small business isn’t just about promoting your products or services. It’s about establishing your brand as a trusted source of valuable information while giving your customer a strong sense of familiarity. They need to feel you have a genuine interest in their happiness and well being. It’s about building a relationship and just like any other relationship, it starts with getting to know each other.
How you present yourself or your business is a crucial first step in building customer relationships. The “About Us” page is one of the most visited pages on a website and the perfect place to tell your story. Unfortunately, producing effective and quality content for this page often falls to the bottom of the priority list.
The “About Us” page needs to be more than just “Here we are and this is what we do”. Its purpose is to connect with visitors and give them a reason to care about you or your brand. Because this is usually the first page a potential customer visits on their path to deciding to do business with you, the “About Us” page is where you make your first impression. Use a conversational tone and let them see a bit of your personality.
Get to Know Your Customer
Using easily captured demographic and geographic data is a great place to start. While this is an important part of getting to know your customer, you’re merely scratching the surface. It’s about understanding their behavior.
Let’s use a vacation concierge service as an example. Which service pages are visited more frequently? Destinations? Attractions? Personal services? The most visited services are the ones you should be chatting up on social media or featuring in your newsletter. What questions are people asking? The answers to those questions should be answered concisely in your website content and explored in depth with a blog post. Are they asking for services you’re not offering? If it’s possible, maybe you can consider including these services into your offerings. Understanding what your customers want and then providing it is a great way to create lasting relationships.
On the flip side, one of the best ways to damage a new or existing customer relationship is to constantly bombard them with too much or irrelevant information. You need to determine which behaviors require a response. When a potential customer visits your website and provides their email, a brief friendly welcome email is sufficient. Rather than giving them a rundown of everything you offer or immediately trying to sell them, just let them know you’re glad they are interested in your business and you look forward to assisting them in the future.
Once a visitor has created an account profile or taken other specific actions on your website, you will learn more about them. This will allow you to send a more personalized email that focuses on their particular interest, making them feel like you understand who they are and value your relationship with them. If they don’t take any action, you can follow up with an email to let them know you’d like to get to know them better and encourage future engagement.
Either way, be sure to let some time pass between emails or you may find them unsubscribing instead of converting. There is no hard fast rule about this. How long you should wait between emails may vary depending on your business but remember, no one likes to have their inbox flooded with emails from a single company.
Be Authentic – Establish Trust
When creating content either on-site or off-site, remain true to who you are and what you stand for. People are drawn to brands they can relate to or those that provide a reflection of themselves and their lifestyle. Authenticity encourages engagement and cultivates brand loyalty, even converting customers into brand advocates, in some cases.
Being authentic means connecting with people in a natural and human manner while still speaking from a place of authority. It’s a delicate balance but can be achieved by letting your personality come through in your content. Even adding humor or showing a little vulnerability will make it easier for people to relate to you and your brand.
Authenticity is also vital to establishing trust among your customers. Provide reliable and accurate information that solves a problem or makes their life better. This instills trust and strengthens both your customer relationships and your position as an authority in your field or industry. Today’s consumers are more savvy about recognizing clickbait and false value propositions. In the highly populated e-commerce and digital marketplace, authenticity and trust will give your business a much needed competitive edge.
Don’t underestimate the power of video when it comes to content marketing. Visual content is one of the most popular forms of content marketing for small business. Cisco reported video traffic made up 73 percent of all internet traffic in 2016 and it’s expected to increase to 82 percent by 2021. You or your team can create a video to tell your story or make “How To” videos your customers will find valuable.
According to Google, 86 percent of YouTube users watch videos to learn something new and more than 70 percent watch videos to solve a problem with their studies, jobs, or hobbies. How-To videos are the most popular video category on YouTube, making them a great way to connect with your customers and build relationships.
Much like personal relationships, business relationships change over time. The key to maintaining and preserving those relationships is to let your customers know you still care. Continually listening to their needs through social media, industry news and publications as well as your website will allow you to refocus your content and remain relevant in their lives. Complacency is the quickest way to ruin any relationship. Be attentive and provide your customer with current information they’ll consider valuable.
Effective Content Marketing for Small Business
Now that you understand the importance of getting personal with your content marketing, does that mean you have to do it all yourself? Absolutely not! While effective content marketing for small business may come naturally for some business owners, others may need a little help. Creative Click Media can capture your voice and help you make that personal connection to take your content marketing to the next level. We are a full-service digital marketing company, equipped to help you with any of your market needs. Ready to get started? Let’s talk!