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September 17, 2013

Content Marketing — Turning Small Businesses into the ‘Big Boys’

If you’re like most small business owners, you’re constantly fighting three battles:

  • You’ve got tons of competition;
  • There are a limited number of customers out there, and you’re struggling to find them;
  • You have limited money to play with.

Basically, this means you have to come up with ways to make your business stand out — all without spending an arm and a leg.  Well, cue the angels strumming harps and the clouds parting, because there IS a way to do both.

All you have to do is succeed at content marketing.

I know, I know, content marketing has become a buzz term as of late.  However, it’s not some passing fad.  Instead, it’s a bonafide way to turn your small business into the cream of the crop.  In fact, if you do it correctly, your small business will be right up there with the big boys.

How is that possible?

Whether they have one employee or 1,000 employees, all businesses share one very important responsibility — to make life easier for their customers.  Whether you brew coffee, sell car parts or dryclean clothes, potential customers want to know how working with you benefits them. By publishing content that showcases your expertise, you can do just that.

Let’s say you run a small business that fixes computers.  If you started up a blog that explained ways to prevent spyware from infiltrating people’s hard drives, wrote about the pros and cons of the newest processor to hit the market and gave out tips that could help make computers last longer, anyone who read your blog would see that you really know what you’re talking about.  Thus, they’d be a whole lot more likely to call you when their own computer needs a pick-me-up.

Of course, your small business blog isn’t going to generate a ton of exposure all by itself.  If you want to become one of the big boys through content marketing, you’ve got to venture off your site, too.

Luckily, this isn’t hard to do.

All it takes is a little research to find some great guest blogging opportunities.  (Want to find those opportunities for free?  Simply become a member of My Blog Guest and Blogger LinkUp.)  By getting your name and your website’s link on authoritative websites in your industry — along with an informative piece of content that shows just how much you know about the subject — you’ll wind up getting more exposure than you ever thought possible.

Best of all, there are more guest blogging opportunities that you ever thought possible. That’s because there are probably a variety of niches that relate to your small business.  By tapping into all of them, you can get your name out in front of people who never would have heard about you otherwise.

For example, if you own a small interior design firm, talk to the local hardware store about writing a guest post for their website.  If you write about the latest home renovation trends, that’s something that the hardware store’s customers will be interested in — and if they want some expert help to tackle any of those projects, they’ll know you can be of service.

The bottom line?

Publish truly great content both on your own site and off, and you’ll have more people seeing your name.  You’ll have more people linking to your website.  You’ll have more people talking about you on Facebook and Twitter.  You’ll rank higher in the search results.  You’ll make your mark on the World Wide Web.

But what about the expense?

Ah yes, the third challenge we talked about. You may be inclined to think that content marketing can only generate big boy results if you have big boy money to spend.  However, nothing could be further from the truth.  In fact, content marketing is the ideal choice for small businesses, because you can succeed with virtually any-sized budget. And, the money you spend will provide long-term benefits.

Like what?

Let’s say you publish a great article that offers a detailed analysis of one of the developments in your industry.  That article will be on the Web forever — meaning that people will be able to read it six hours from now, six months from now and six years from now.  It’s common for content marketers to still get traffic from pieces they published months or even years prior.  Consider it the gift that keeps on giving.

Even if you pay a professional content writer to create the article for you, if it’s good enough, it should be able to pay for itself over time.  After all, if the article fetches enough extra traffic — and your sales copy is good enough to turn those additional visitors into buyers — the money you spent on it was well worth it.

That’s the exact opposite of paid advertising.  If you’ve been spending a chunk of your budget on banner ads or PPC ads, you’re only going to see results for as long as you keep paying the bills.  Once you stop forking over your money, those ads are going to disappear.  You’ll never be able to benefit from them again, unless of course, you start paying for them again.

When you think about it in terms of dollars and cents — the true benchmark for any business — you just can’t beat content marketing.  It’s the perfect way to give small businesses a bigger reach.

Nicole Beckett prides herself on helping small businesses succeed on the Web. If you want to make the most out of your content marketing efforts, visit Nicole and the team at Premier Content Source.

10 Responses to “Content Marketing — Turning Small Businesses into the ‘Big Boys’

    avatar Hussvamp says:

    Great post ! The secret to content marketing boils down to three things: creating great content, making sure it gets found in search engines, and promoting it to your followers.

    So glad you liked it! 🙂

    I’m going to modify one of your three things just a little bit. Instead of just making sure it gets found in the search engines, make sure it gets found by your target audience. Publishing content on authoritative sites in your niche (either as a guest post, or simply sharing the link on something like BizSugar or Inbound) is a GREAT way to get your expert message out in front of the people who need to see it!

    avatar logo design says:

    Content writing is one of the most important aspects of internet marketing and advertising, but your content should be very keen and effective and it should explain your products and services. For this purpose you should hire some professionals to write perfect content which can help you to get good traffic as well as business.

    Thanks for chiming in! 🙂

    You’re right — content marketing is one of the biggest keys to success. Luckily, you can do alot more with it than just explain your specific products and services, though. There are all kinds of topics and developments that relate to the niche you’re in, and you can write about them ALL — whether it’s an in-depth analysis of the latest law change or a short post that addresses some of the new trends in your industry. The great thing about content marketing is that you can do virtually anything you want with it. The sky is the limit!

    avatar Deepa says:

    Great Post .. Liked the concept of content marketing .

    Thanks! Glad you enjoyed it 🙂

    avatar Richard Imus says:

    Excellent article! I am impressed with the examples given and sound advice. I plan to put this into action on my website and blog. Thank you for taking time to help.

    Thanks so much for the kind words, Richard! Seeing business owners take action always brings a smile to my face! 🙂

    Wow Nicole, I am one of those computer fixer-upper types and back in February my partner set me up with a blog and gave me some tips on SEO. So I ran with it posting valuable content with text, pics and a video here and there and BLING with a ton of work my enterprise Windows COmputer OPimization is on the first page of Google and Bing and several other search engines in a field of huge competition (in the millions)! SEO can be accomplished free of charge but work is involved. SPN is part of my continued action plan to maintain first page status. Thanks a bunch!

    What a great success story, Nate! It really is amazing what great web content can do, huh?! I wish more people would do what you did. That way, the web would have a lot more useful information — and a lot fewer “tricks”, “tools”, and “techniques” designed solely to manipulate the system!

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