In this day and age, content marketing efforts must be genuine. Source: Shutterstock

In this day and age, content marketing efforts must be genuine. Source: Shutterstock

The simple guide to effective content marketing for small businesses

AS CUSTOMERS get smarter, and competition intensifies, content marketing gets harder. For small businesses, however, this could be more of an opportunity than a challenge.

Small business owners typically are less cautious about their image, tone, and voice. As a result, they can afford to be spontaneous, authentic, and original — almost effortlessly.

In contrast, bigger organizations have a series of checks and balances in place to avoid any piece of content from contradicting the company’s overall vision and mission, often making it hard for marketers to create something that is fresh and resonates with audiences immediately.

While content marketing offers plenty of benefits to small business owners, the reality is that it can help forge a genuine connection with customers, boosting recall and impacting revenues directly.

In a world with ad-blockers constantly rendering even the most subtle search and display ads ineffective, content marketing can make a world of difference.

Here are three tips for small business owners looking to up their content marketing game and creating content that really delights customers:

# 1 | Don’t be afraid of videos

Videos are great. They’re engaging, effective, and if creative enough, can reel-in audiences for several minutes at a time.

Small business owners such as car or laptop repair shops can create videos that show how things are done, what to watch out for, and just provide so much advice — all of which earns the confidence of customers.

Rossmann Repair, for example, an independent (Apple) Macbook repair shop has amassed nearly 1 million followers by creating exciting video content on YouTube.

# 2 | Use multiple platforms

Content marketing usually involves using some social media platform partly if not wholly.

However, many new content marketers tend to stick to traditional platforms such as Facebook and YouTube. Although this isn’t a bad idea for many small businesses — it might be a good idea to avoid putting all the eggs (content) in one basket, especially because it doesn’t cost extra to use multiple platforms.

For brands catering to young audiences, for example, content marketing efforts might be diversified, using platforms such as Snapchat or TikTok just as much as Facebook and Instagram.

# 3 | Stay real, be helpful

In order to be most effective, content marketers need to stay real and be helpful. That’s what really helps boost content and helps it go viral in a community.

Gordon Ramsay Restaurants are a good example of this. Their YouTube channel started about four years ago and has nearly 50,000 subscribers now.

With plenty of authentic content showing what food at the restaurant looks like and how it’s made, it has definitely made a mark on customers.