Content Marketing for Small Business
The simple truth is that marketing your business today is different than it was 5 years ago. Are you sick of hearing this statement? Well, get over it, and let me tell you why….
Two things have become almost universal with consumers:
- the ubiquity of Google search
- the prevalence of mobile devices
Don’t take my word for it.
Go outside and observe people. [Really]
Stop reading this post. Look up from your own screen and walk around your office. Or take a walk outside. What do you see? People looking down at their screens. People driving and texting (scary). People tapping, typing, pinching and pulling on their smartphones on the street. These trends are not specific to any demographic segment. When my seventy-year-old inlaws from Vermont feel comfortable hopping on their Chromebook and doing a Google Search, this is indicative of the transformative power of Google search.
So how does a small business get more customers through their doors?
How do you create more foot traffic, more shoppers, more transactions?
The honest answer…it is complicated
Search engine optimization (SEO) and search engine marketing (SEM), social engagement (Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, Youtube, Pinterest) are all important. But here’s one of the trade secrets…..it takes multiple channels. It takes an ecosystem of content. This content should be visually stimulating (images, video), it should be short-form or micro-content (Email, FB posts, Instagram, Twitter) it should be long-form (blog posts, landing pages, articles, downloadable PDF’s).
All of these types of content should be published on a regular basis. Your customers are consuming content on their iPhones and Android devices like never before. They are experiencing your company through social media and bite-sized pieces. Ultimately, this ecosystem generates inbound interest which converts to customer leads and ultimately customer transactions (conversions). Inbound marketing is the term used to describe the new reality of marketing.
We believe this seismic shift in marketing has already occurred. Honestly, it’s been happening for 15 years. Traditional broadcast networks such as TV, Radio, Print, Outdoor (“push” channels) are declining in audience size. Digital properties such as Google, Facebook, YouTube, Netflix and Amazon are replacing them with (“pull” channels”). Customers like you and me are choosing when, where and how to watch content. The saturation of mobile devices and ubiquitous internet connectivity has made it easy to find what we want, when we want.
With inbound marketing, the underlying hypothesis is based on this notion that customers would rather find your content by themselves (pull) versus being force-fed these artificial messages in a locked-down TV format (push).
We agree that customers have infinite choice and therefore you need to create interesting and unique smaller pieces of content which will draw people to your business.