If you’ve ever sat in a job interview – or interviewed potential employees for your own company – you’ll have heard this question; where do you see yourself in five years? If you view your small business as an individual, it’s worth asking the same question. What do you have planned? Do you even have a plan?
The number one priority should be to add value for your customers; regular prods to remind them you’re there, providing entertainment, valuable new – or old – information, and above all, the reason why you should be their only choice for your product or service. Well-written content should be front and center of your small business marketing strategy.
You have reservations about outsourcing to a stranger? Of course you do. I bet they’re as follows:
- They don’t know my business – that’s very true, but they have the one advantage that you will never have; they can see your business with outside eyes, the strengths and the weaknesses, and best of all, they can see exactly what you should be focusing on that will give you the edge over your competitors.
- I can write this myself, so don’t need a content marketing specialist to do it for me – you may well be able to provide good content, but a specialist can do it quicker, and has the dedicated time to spend on researching trends, finding case studies elsewhere, and most of all, thinking from a customer’s eye view. They also have more time than you, leaving you to get on with running your business.
- I’m doing fine just as I am – and that may be the case for now, but what are your future plans? At the very least you want to retain the customers you have, and you’re probably also keen to increase revenue without necessarily increasing your workload to go with it. All the more reason to embrace effective content marketing as part of your small business marketing.
Let’s say that engaging with your customer base is the problem; they buy from you, they like you, they maybe even send you a glowing email testimonial about how you provided exactly what they wanted with the best possible customer service, and they’ll definitely use you again in future. And then they don’t come back. Why? Because they’ve forgotten you. They’ve forgotten you because your competitor across town just seems more interesting – they’re engaging with customers actual and potential on social media, and through regular blogs or e-newsletters. In a nutshell, they’re there in a way you aren’t.
Right back at the beginning of 2016, Forbes had plenty to say on what content marketing strategy should look like, and to guard against content fatigue. Their recommendation to build an ‘audience persona’ is further backed up by this 2015 story in British newspaper The Guardian, which reported that 57% of consumers felt far more positive towards companies that provided content specifically for them, as opposed to 10% who felt engaged with advertising.
Entertaining content that drives web traffic to your company is a more effective small business marketing strategy than pure advertising – in short, adding value, not noise. Try it today, and watch your customer engagement turn into revenue.