Summer is heating up, but you might feel like things are cooling down for your small business. Customers are on vacation, or just don’t seem interested in what you have to offer. Unless you have a truly seasonal business, though, there are marketing strategies you can use to bring them in the door or drive them to your website.
One of the most effective of these strategies is content marketing. That means you put your knowledge into creative blogs, videos and social media posts and then share them online with current and prospective customers. If done right, content marketing can help build relationships with your current customers and maybe even motivate them to share your information with their social circles. It can also help you attract the attention of potential customers by providing information that can be useful in improving their lives. While receiving this information, prospects become more aware of your business and realize that you have a treasure trove of information you are willing to share with them.
Characteristics that are often present in great content marketing pieces are powerful stories, honesty, personalization, quality and visual cues. “Big” business has grown quite adept at these tactics – remember “Share a Coke” or Hootsuite and “A Game Of Social Thrones”? Sure, they might have a lot more resources and people than you do, but that doesn’t mean that you can’t be successful at content marketing, too. Here are some content marketing ideas you can use to spread your knowledge and build your business:
• Put Out A Newsy Newsletter: Customers like to know what is going on with your business, especially if you are in a retail environment. It doesn’t have to be formal – just be sure to include lots of helpful info and tips on new items, product uses, and current promotions. You never know when somebody is going to be looking for the exact item that you offer, so increase your chances of grabbing their attention with a regular e-newsletter. Make their shopping job easier by letting them know you have exactly what they need!
• Encourage Engagement: Since visitors to your business are probably going to be using their smartphones anyway, why not come up with creative ways to get them to share your business with their friends? Encourage the instant testimonial, ask them to post a quick video with the product they just bought and explain how they plan to use it, or offer a perfect “selfie spot” with your business prominently displayed. Then put the best of these on your own social media outlets to get twice the exposure.
• Keep Your Blogs Current: Sharing information is one of the best ways of building bonds, but many small business owners are remiss when it comes to updating their blogs. They may start out with a bang, but wear out easily as they realize they have to write or post something every week, if not more. But you have to keep your blog current to keep your customers interested, and also to help boost your online search results. Google and other search engines simply do not respond well to websites with static content or old information. If you can’t write something fresh yourself, pay someone else to do it, invite guest bloggers to contribute content, or ask your customers to provide stories. Once a piece is uploaded to your site, be sure to share it on all of your social media outlets as well for additional exposure.
• Get Your Hollywood On: The online world loves a good video, so be sure to include plenty of them in your content marketing strategy. Put them on your website to explain product uses, or upload a quick Facebook video to talk about your produce or service. It doesn’t have to be professional, but it does have to be real.
If you want to learn more, the Content Marketing Institute has some great insights and strategies you can use to build your business online. Just remember that consistency is imperative. Once they get used to receiving quality information, they will come to rely on it…and you!