Content marketing for small businesses? We need to talk!
Chances are you’re working on a shoestring budget, to tight deadlines, so every decision you make is limited by your scope for producing new content.
But, according to new research from G2 Crowd, it sounds like many bosses aren’t doing themselves any favours when it comes to content marketing for small businesses.
Its third quarterly report of 2017 suggests many small business owners are yet to shift out of the 20th century in terms of advertising.
24% still invest significant sums in newspaper ads or billboards (the marketing equivalent of arranging a birthday bash by carrier pigeon), and just 19% have got to grips with Google AdWords.
Despite the benefits of content marketing in establishing small businesses as authorities in their field, with a recognisable persona and voice, bosses are still choosing to focus on other areas. For example, 47% intend to increase IT expenditure over the coming year.
Diverting some of this cash flow towards content marketing could pay dividends. These are just some of the ways small businesses can use content marketing to generate returns on a limited budget:
- Conduct interviews with senior staff to find out more about the company history and ethos, then simply type these up to tell your story or create a ‘day in the life’-style piece.
- Create one weighty long-form piece or guide, then use the research gathered to create numerous related pieces that all link back to add authority (read up on ‘hub and spoke’ content marketing).
- Use free social media and email marketing tools (such as HootSuite and MailChimp) to push your content out to people who’ve shown an interest in your brand.
- Fresh content is awesome for getting more eyes on your site – but, repurposing old content can also be an effective way of drawing in visitors.
Use these handy tips, and content marketing for small businesses might suddenly seem a little more achievable – even with limited funds.
Clicks vs. conversions in content marketing
Popular opinion has it that ranking first on page one on Google for a particular search term is a sure-fire bet when it comes to scoring a huge volume of clicks.
However, Marketing Ninja’s research suggests that up to 30% of sites listed on pages one and two of Google’s SERPs will not receive a click. And, in terms of click-through rates, you can see that even the top spots are scoring only relatively meagre returns:
So, whilst a top Google ranking is still seriously important, it doesn’t guarantee the effortless flow of revenue that’s been suggested in the past.
Generating traffic should still be a key consideration. However, converting more of these visitors into customers is what will ultimately push your business to the next level.
Content marketing is among the most effective ways of dazzling your visitor from their first visit, helping them buy into your brand, start purchasing and come back to you for more products at a later date.
Here are a few ideas to help you increase conversions with content marketing:
- Make sure your web copy is tailored to tell your brand’s story and emphasise the aspects that set you apart from others in your field.
- Check your content provides clear instructions that guide customers conveniently through the sales funnel.
- Post regular blogs and how-to guides that show you understand your audience and want to help solve their problems.
- Adopt a social media presence with a defined ToV to promote your website and blog content, as well as reach out to customers directly.
With Marketing Ninja’s research showing how difficult it can be to get visitors into your virtual venue, it pays to make sure they’ve got everything they need to commit to purchase once they arrive.
Spotted in the news…
Google has launched a new site that lists the most popular search terms relating to a variety of different topics – from the French election to the Champions League.
The most illuminating record relates to the top trending international ‘How to’ queries. The top 10 included how to: tie a tie; kiss; get pregnant; lose weight; draw; make money; make pancakes; write a cover letter; make French toast; and lose belly fat.
Aren’t we an amorous and hungry bunch? But, in all seriousness, this is a great new tool that content marketers should be utilising to optimise their content like a pro.