This is a guest blog written by Emma Carter
Many small business owners struggle with online marketing. While competition can be expected in any business, when it comes to the online environment, it can seem endless. With this in mind, how can a small-scale entrepreneur make a mark in a competitive market?
First, you need to examine your strengths. If your online shop has a blog or an online marketing campaign, you are already at an advantage.
Social media presence should also form part of your website design strategy. There are various ways of optimising your content, such as:
- Updating your website
- Creating a memorable brand
- Writing blogs that are relevant and helpful to readers
- Creating innovative marketing campaigns
Unfortunately, randomly choosing one idea after another in the hope that one will eventually hit the mark is a risky policy. When it comes to your site content, it is essential that you adopt a smart strategy as this will help ensure that your efforts won’t go to waste.
Use Content Marketing
Let us imagine you have a professional and user-friendly website, and your social media posts are generating interest. You are also noticing substantial traffic coming to your online store. You are now at the crucial stage of turning curious visitors into loyal and repeat customers. So, how can you achieve this goal? The answer is content marketing.
This strategy involves online businesses creating and sharing materials that promote their brand while building interest in their products and services. Your content can include:
- Blog posts
- Social media updates
- Videos and images
You don’t have to make a direct sales offer to people as this might drive them away. Instead, you can attract potential customers by using organic methods.
Is content marketing effective?
There is no point in spending large amounts of money on expensive ads aimed at a wide audience if you only attract a few customers. Instead, you need to engage potential customers who are already interested in buying your products and services. All you have to do is establish your brand as something that is reliable and trustworthy.
For example, if you are a plumber, people probably won’t need your services every week, but if they develop a leak in their home, your name should be the first to pop into their mind. Think of content marketing as a means of building grassroots support for your business.
Create amazing content
Blogging has been proven to increase website authority. However, writing good content can take time. Some experimentation may also be necessary as you develop your own style and voice. Make sure that all your efforts are focused on how to appeal to your audience and potential customers. If you are just starting to create content, it is advisable to stick to the basics first.
1. Use your strengths and passion
Creating or writing engaging content can be difficult for those just starting out. It is imperative that you only write about products and services that you feel passionate about. Remember, if your readers and audience can sense that you care about what you are presenting, their response is likely to be positive.
This is also an opportunity to harness your passion while boosting sales. For example, going back to the plumbing example, you could write a blog about the history of water pipes. This type of topic will not merely educate your target readers but entertain and intrigue them as well.
You should also play to your strengths. For instance, if you possess excellent visual skills, you could use a social media platform such as Pinterest to showcase your business. If you are not good at writing blogs, you could hire someone to do it for you.
There are several types of content marketing that you can focus on while delegating the other tasks to the professionals. This will ensure that you provide high-quality and relevant content to your audience and readers.
2. Create evergreen content
Evergreen content can remain fresh and relevant to readers for a long time. The benefits are numerous, especially if it is optimised for social media platforms. The advantages include:
- Raising your company profile on search engines
- Attracting potential customers to your website
- Informing people what problems your products and services can solve
- Sharing your content on social media and enjoying free advertising
- Building your online authority
You can consider this to be a one-off investment that will continue to generate interest for a long time to come. However, you may wish to update your old content every once in a while to ensure it remains relevant.
3. Post content regularly
Writing insightful blogs is a step in the right direction. However, a single piece of content is often buried among other competing information. This means that your target audience will probably become distracted and forget all about your business offer. The challenge is to make your blog memorable enough to increase your website’s traffic.
The solution is to write and post content regularly. You should update your blogs and then remind your audience via social media updates. This process will take time, but it will help people to instantly recognise your brand. You also need to gain your customers’ trust if you want them to open and read your posts. Make sure you let them know that the content is valuable and not a hard sell of your products.
Providing regular and relevant content is the key to developing a loyal customer base. It is certainly a process that is worthy of your time.
Besides creating good content, online business owners need to make it easy for their audience to access it. You may wish to offer your customers a subscription opportunity or ask them to sign up to your newsletters. In this way, you can request their email address. You can then compile an extensive email list and use it as a powerful marketing tool. You won’t have to search for potential readers as you will be directly targeting leads and customers. Remember to make sure that you create relevant and useful content as this will enable you to keep your ad campaigns focused on your target market, leading to increased revenues.