One of the best ways to engage with potential customers online is to create “content” and post it on your website, social media, and YouTube. This helps attract prospects to get engaged with your company’s products and services. People love fresh, original content, and so do search engines such as Google. According to a recent study, content marketing is on the rise.
The study in BusinessBolts.com found that 74% of small business reported plans to increase their content marketing efforts in the coming fiscal year. Content marketing creates an especially valuable type of relationship between companies and their customers. Site visitors enjoy the material. Companies have the chance to build their relationship with the consumers of their material, which can result in sales on-the-spot or in the future.
Contrasted with traditional advertising where viewers are bombarded with flashy enticements to give away their hard earned cash, content marketing gives back to the visitor. Informative articles and blog posts, entertaining Facebook and Twitter content, videos, images, eBooks and whitepapers all provide the viewer with something in return for their time. And for the most valuable information, visitors are often willing to opt into an email list and give the company their contact information.
Many businesses are already creating their own content anyway, so using it to market their company is not much of a leap. For example, every time a dance studio takes a photograph of a dance class or shoots a video of a performance, they are making content that can be used for online marketing.
Often, this content is easy and inexpensive to produce, which further explains content marketing’s popularity in the small business sector. The BusinessBolts.com survey showed that the majority of small businesses spent less than $100 cash on content marketing per month and only 11% invested more than $500 (this question did not appear to take into account employees’ time). By creating content that is highly shareable, companies are letting their contacts spread the word for them, inexpensively.
Expect to see an increased focus on articles, social media, blogging, videos and email newsletters as online marketing continues to gobble up the business landscape. Though few businesses may identify themselves as “content marketers,” most are already applying some sort of content marketing in their business strategy. Only 4% of small businesses reported no intention of using the practice in the coming year according to the BusinessBolts.com study.
With the new focus on content and an ever increasing number of ways to spread it, businesses have an opportunity to separate themselves from the pack by producing quality content. This is the new age of internet marketing, so get your creative juices flowing, have some fun and grow your business by giving back to those who give to you.