How to Do Cost-effective Content Marketing for Small Businesses
Good content marketing establishes you as an authority in your field, builds trust with customers, creates valuable backlinks organically through shares, boosts your search engine ranking, and helps you harness the power of social networks to improve your reputation and get more traffic for your business site.
Blog at least three times a week. Blogging helps you reach new customers, boost search engine rankings, become a thought leader in your niche, increase customer awareness for your brand, and build a community of followers. Also, your top content is more likely to go viral if you turn it into blog posts.
Write guest blog posts. Guest posting on popular blogs in your niche brings you traffic, builds backlinks organically, establishes you as an expert, and helps you connect with new audiences as well as with other people who do what you do. Since Google’s 2012 algorithm updates, guest blogging has been, for most marketers, much more effective than article marketing.
Publish an eBook every once in a while. The eBooks that are most popular on the Web cover a topic in-depth, provide plenty of tips, advice, facts, and statistics, and include images/tables/graphs. It’s a good idea to keep your eBooks short and to the point—that is, under 40 pages long.
Write articles and publish them in good article directories. Although article marketing is not what it used to be, it still works for those marketers who use it to do indirect marketing, by winning the trust of customers with valuable content offered for free.
Create compelling case studies. By making short case studies of only a few pages, describing how one of your products or services has helped a customer, you build credibility and market yourself in a subtle way. Customers are more likely to buy from businesses that provide case studies.
Hold a webinar every once in a while. Webinars are online seminars presented as live events in which employees from your company and other experts you might invite discuss topics of importance at great length. The most popular webinars tend to be educational.
Record weekly or monthly podcasts. To create podcasts you need some basic recording equipment, an interviewer (presumably you) and a customer or an expert in your field with whom you can discuss a hot topic. Podcasts are useful because many people who otherwise don’t have the time to read your articles can listen to them while they are driving or jogging or housecleaning.
Create white papers. Explaining complex subjects in detail and often including original research, white papers establish you as an expert in your segment, and they can be used as the foundation for your ongoing marketing efforts, because you can turn their key findings into blog posts, guides, infographics, and tweets.
Record videos. Video how-to / case studies / interviews are extremely popular on the Web, whether they are posted on your website, social sites, or YouTube channel, and they are well-regarded by search engines as well. Many users prefer to view a video than to read an article.
Content marketing remains the most effective way for small businesses to gain more exposure on the Web, improve their search engine ranking, and ultimately boost their sales. It does require time, or money (if you use freelancers), but in the long run it always pays off.