No one wants to be sold to. So how can a small business get the word out to its target audience without turning them off? Two words: content marketing.
Content marketing is a marketing strategy used to attract, engage, and retain an audience by creating and sharing relevant articles, videos, podcasts, and other media. Rather than a sales pitch, you provide your target audience with consistent, valuable information that establishes your company as a trusted source. This approach establishes expertise, promotes brand awareness, and keeps your business top of mind when it's time to buy what you sell.
To get results with content marketing, you must consistently create indispensable content for your target customer. The key is to position your company as the leading expert in an area relevant to your customers and create content that’s different from what everyone else is doing. By creating and sharing content that answers the questions your customer is already asking, you’ll educate your leads and prospects about your company’s offerings, show your audience how your products and services solve their challenges, and create a sense of community around your brand.
Ready to get started? Social Media Examiner recommends the following strategy to help you figure out why you’re doing content marketing, what kind of content makes sense for you, and who your audience is:
- Identify your sweet spot. This is the intersection between your audience’s pain points and your skills and expertise. You’ll also want to think about exactly who your target audience is and what delivery method will work best to reach them, whether that’s a blog, podcast, videos, or white papers.
- Find your “content tilt.” How will you differentiate your content from what else is out there? You might do this by focusing on an audience no one else is targeting, finding a new platform or delivery method, or positioning your story differently than your competitors.
- Choose a platform to focus on. Start with one core platform based on your audience and content type and focus on that platform for the first 9-12 months.
- Build an audience. Focus on your base and build a following. Once you’ve created a minimum viable audience, you can consider expanding to an additional platform.
For more information about this and other topics, consider registering for the NaperLaunch Academy workshop series or scheduling a one-on-one appointment with a business librarian or NaperLaunch coach.