Content marketing can be a very effective part of a long-term marketing plan, particularly for service businesses. This is why 70% of marketers actively invest in content marketing. It is, especially, one of the most cost-effective forms of marketing a small business can do. We’ve talked about that here already, so I won’t go into all that now. Suffice it to say, content is a good thing.
Of course, one of the major downsides of content marketing is that you have to produce the content. This is easy for big companies, who, on average, have one to three people working on their content programs – but it’s admittedly a bit harder on a small business owner with their hair perpetually on fire.
How can a small business owner make a content marketing program work?
The key comes down to a few quick content marketing tips:
- Produce the kind of content that is easiest for you (whether blogs, vlogs, podcasts, or infographics). This will keep you from procrastinating as much
- Share information that you’re an expert on, so you don’t have to do a ton of research.
- Set aside a bit of dedicated time every week/month (whatever your cadence is) to get it done.
Next, stop spinning your wheels about content topics. Yes, we know that’s harder than it sounds, but to help, we’ve put together some content starter ideas for you.
Five Brainstorming Ideas to Help You Produce High-Quality Content Marketing
First, before we launch into the thought starters, remember our game rules. First, the key to good content is to share information that people care about. Second, do not sell. This is not a time to talk about how great your product is. This is a time to provide people with information.
Now, ask yourself:
- What are common questions you get from customers related to your industry? Answer them, one blog at a time. You can use this for a series of blogs on Frequently Asked Questions in your industry. For instance, people always asked us the difference between SEO and SEM, so we wrote a blog on it.
- What little-known facts can you share about your industry? I just discovered that sinkholes are a real insurance risk in Florida – a fact that I would never have guessed, but would matter to me quite a bit if I owned a home in Florida. Education your audience on stuff they don’t know, but should. Just make sure these little-known facts are interesting to your customer base. Don’t geek out so much that you lose people.
- How does what is going on in the world affect your industry? It’s always a good idea to pull your topics from the news. If you are a Realtor, for instance, it’s probably a great idea to write about how Covid-19 has (or hasn’t) affected the homebuying market. At an HR Consultancy I once worked with, we wrote an article on Pete Carroll’s management style and how you can put his technique to work in your own organization—right after the Seahawks won the Superbowl. Needless to say, it got a lot of engagement.
- What seasonal tips can you provide? Think about seasonal events, and how they may affect your area of expertise. If you’re an electrician, for instance, now is a great time to talk about safety when installing Christmas lights – and possibly even how adding an additional electrical circuit can protect your home. The bonus on this one is that you can use the same content in following years. It’s always a good idea to reshare your content!
- What decisions do potential customers struggle with while they are buying? Before you call me out on this one, let me state for the record that I’m not suggesting that you write a sales blog. But there are often parts of the buying decision that you can help with by breaking them down. Ultimately this will also help them make the decision when they buy from you. For instance, if you sell shoes, you may want to produce a quick video on how to correctly fit your shoes. Or if you sell windows, you can write a blog that outlines the important points people will need to know to make the right decision for their home, such as the benefits of vinyl vs wood frame.
These are just a starting point, of course. But do some quick brainstorming out of these five though starters and you’ll find you have a year’s worth of monthly content in no time.
Before I sign off, I have just one more important piece of advice: don’t make this harder than it has to be! Once you get in the hang of it, you’ll find your rhythm and be off and running in no time.
Happy small business marketing,
Katie & Theron
At Urban Sherpa Marketing Co. we offer marketing advisory, strategic planning, and services for small businesses and startups, including content marketing. Our goal is to make high-quality marketing possible for every business, no matter the size. Think of us as your outsourced marketing department, strategic marketing adviser, or even your phone-a-friend marketing lifeline. We specialize in building efficient marketing programs to grow your business without blowing the bank.
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