Post-lockdown, after spending two months at home, Sheela and Deepti met at a cafe. This was their first face-to-face interaction outside the household in weeks. While they were sipping their coffee, Deepti was excited to share the news of her new venture. Being a brilliant cook, she had started a home baking business. But unfortunately, the marketing part of the business was often neglected, and hence, she struggled to find new customers.
“I have big dreams but a small budget. I am also worried about the lack of resources to get the required outcome. I wish to do something more for my business and look for a workable model. Maybe you can help me, Sheela”, said Deepti in a worried voice. Sheela worked as a Content Marketer in a reputed digital marketing company. She understood Deepti’s concerns and calmed her down. “You are not alone. Many small businesses are sailing in the same boat. Regardless of your struggles, it would be best if you stand out from the pack. This means you need to think differently than your larger competitors,” said Sheela.
Today, the consumer has several options to purchase and discover information about any product or service. Therefore, your branding, marketing, and sales touch points need to connect with the prospective buyer and convince them to get on board. But how to achieve this? The answer is with Content Marketing. It can work as one of the most effective, popular types of marketing with smaller budgets.
In addition to calming her friend’s anxiety, Sheela spoke about her experience with small businesses. She said,” you do not require a big budget to make huge sales compulsorily. All you need is to create high-quality content to make an impact”.
Sheela further explained the difference between the content marketing strategies of small and big companies.
A small company follows the same basic marketing cycle as a big company. However, things like budgets, staffing, creative approaches, and communication techniques vary hugely between them. As a small business owner, you need to strategize and scale your requirements as per your budget. Your ads and posts need to deliver immediate and measurable market action. The balancing act needs to be studied, learned, and implemented to get the desired results.
Deepti was clueless about Content Marketing strategies and how they could promote her home bakery business. She wanted to learn more about creating great content, promotion, and increasing her social media shares to foster brand awareness.
The good news was that Sheela had the experience and knowledge to guide her.
On further discussions, Sheela highlighted some Content Marketing strategies to promote Deepti’s home bakery business
- Sheela emphasised creating blog posts or articles
Your starting point of strategy should be writing blog posts. If your topics are relevant to the target audience, it is highly searched. Once it reaches high ranks and is visible on the search engine, then visitors click on it. However, blog posts and articles need to be useful and engaging to attract readers. The Internet is a big place, so your blog needs to stand out by presenting new information, helping your potential customers, or entertaining them. So, if you want to know what strikes a chord with your target customers, ask them what they’d like to know. You can also write about your latest products and talk about the trends in the bakery industry.
- She spoke about the importance of Influencer Marketing.
As a startup or a small business, you might not have a large audience. So, it is crucial to build it by Influencer Marketing. Let’s see how it works? Influencers have a good number of followers, and they are adept at creating content that resonates with their audiences. They know to create high-quality content on a low-cost budget. This aspect of content marketing is known as media skills. Based on the words of Joe Pulizzi, the Founder of the Content Marketing Institute, “you can build it, or you can buy it. So, Influencer marketing is buying it. Bigger enterprises generally try to build “it” by hiring a team of content marketers. But, with the right influencer, you can achieve the same effect for your business. Try to find influencers that are talking to your target audience and partner with them.
She talks about creating Interactive content.
The best way to engage with customers is to ask them to do something, i.e., to have a call to action. You can create a series of interactive tools on your website to keep people engaged and generate more leads for your business. For example, take a survey of your baking products. This will give you an idea about what your potential customers want, what you have to do to make it happen, and add new business goals.
Sheela states the importance of using Storytelling to connect with customers.
Did you know? People remember stories 22x more than facts and figures alone, and, thus, Storytelling can boost conversion rates by a significant 30%. This is because people love to see, read, or hear stories, and it creates a human connection based on empathy. Thus, successful businesses are built on compelling stories. Every company has a story to tell, and you can use it to share your journey of being a home baker. You don’t require a big budget for it. All you need is simple images and words to spark the emotion.
- Think about your audience. Create and promote content accordingly.
Most marketers get so focused on posting content every week that they lose sight of content marketing’s ultimate goal, i.e., to build an audience. So, spend time thinking about your audience and produce the content that is relevant to them. To achieve this, you must conduct in-depth research, create a buyer’s persona, and understand its journey. Also, you need not go where your audience is not. That means don’t feel bad about skipping LinkedIn if your audience is in the age group of 10 to 15 years. In short, pick your battles carefully and allocate your resources wisely.
- Think about writing long-form content
GrowthHackers’ “10-second rule” talks about the importance of creating short, concise content. This is because lengthy content always has the risk of losing consumer interest and becoming irrelevant. However, the new research states the opposite. Google rewards brands that post in-depth, long-form content.
Following are the benefits of long-form content for small businesses:
- Long-form content performs well every time and provides higher Google search rankings.
- It generates more site traffic and attracts people looking for more information about a topic. This builds more brand authority.
- It is also a powerful tool to boost credibility, earn customers’ respect, and get more content marketing campaigns.
- Long-form content may feel like a significant time and money investment, but it lowers Inbound Marketing costs. It separates your brand from the competition and generates business leads for a longer period, maximising the investment’s potential returns.
Sheela also provided examples of effective Content Marketing strategies by small businesses.
Forks Over Knives
The company delivers healthy, chef-prepared meals to its customers. A few years back, to capture the food industry’s attention, they started producing a feature-length documentary. Don’t worry; they did not spend on hiring a TV crew for filming. Much of the content was far less ambitious and more comfortable to replicate. So, what made the content stand out? Apart from the fact that it was well-researched, the credentials of the author played a considerable part. Michelle McMacken, MD, a board-certified internal medicine physician and an assistant professor of medicine at NYU School of Medicine, genuinely became a trustworthy voice on the subject matter.
The following article got shared on Facebook more than 33000 times.
By no means a small company anymore, Airbnb’s content marketing has propelled it into one of the top spots in the Tourism and Hospitality industry. Started in the founders’ living room, Airbnb is currently a highly profitable and popular site with millions of bookings worldwide. Their blog is filled with content about business ownership and places to visit across the globe.
Dollar Shave Club
Dollar Shave Club released a $4,500 video about their no-employe, small-budget company. And within two days, they had 12,000 new customers, more than 9.5 million views, and more than 100,000 new followers on their social media platforms. Even today, they continue to produce great content, with humorous and educational blog posts on fashion, skincare, and saving money.
Deepti was convinced and decided to take help from Sheela for her business promotion. Like Deepa, as a small business owner, you would also want to carve out your piece of content marketing history and write your own success story.
Executing content marketing for small businesses is one thing, but getting measurable results is something else. So, to make sure your content marketing efforts pay off, you need to create content that attracts customers and helps you retain them. What you need is a robust content strategy agency or content creation agency to achieve your marketing goals. Contact us. We will help you grow your business fast with our content marketing services.