Why didn’t anybody tell you how much you needed to know about marketing to make your small business a success? You knew you were good at your job, had great organizational and people skills, and thought you would be able to handle the financial aspects of business, but this marketing has got you stumped.
It seems like it should be easy enough to place ads in the local telephone book or newspaper, but now you’re hearing about online marketing and content marketing – what does all that mean? They have to do with how your business is seen online. Today’s consumers turn to online resources for their buying needs. If your business isn’t online, they might not take the extra step to find you. You’re expected to provide information that will educate them on your product or service, or show them how to improve something in their life. According to the Content Marketing Institute,
“Content marketing is a marketing technique of creating and distributing valuable, relevant and consistent content to attract and acquire a clearly defined audience – with the objective of driving profitable customer action.”
While pay-per-click marketing revolves around short, paid advertisements, content marketing creates organic results by propelling your business up the search engine ladder. An important component is participation in social media. Effective content marketers have been known to distribute their content on as many as seven social media outlets in order to reach and educate the widest audience possible. Most of this distribution is free to you, only involving the time needed to create the content. Your internet presence is increased, making it easier for customers to find you. The best social media locations to start are Facebook and Twitter, followed by some informative YouTube videos.
After you establish a strong social media presence, you can start adding articles to your website, and sending out e-newsletters to your target list. A blog like this can be helpful in maintaining regular contact. Once you’ve got the basics covered, you can explore more advanced strategies like infographics, ebooks, and mobile apps.
The internet is the new “phone book” for today’s small business entrepreneurs. You’ve got to be there to let people know your business exists. Once you have a website presence, though, you need to use content marketing to drive visitors to it. Those small businesses which take the time to implement a well thought-out strategy are rewarded with an increase in quality, inbound leads and potential sales.
Take The Next Step for Your Small Business
Content marketing can help any business grow, but you can also think about adding a new service or changing directions completely. One great opportunity is the growing field of college financial aid advisement. The CFAA Training Institute provides an insider’s education on the college financial aid industry, along with marketing advice and tips.