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Content Creation: What It Is and Why It Works for Small Businesses

By | 08.26.21

Content Creation: What It Is and Why It Works for Small Businesses

Content creator— it’s a title often used interchangeably with social media influencer. Maybe you’re thinking, “No way, not me! I don’t have 10k followers.” That’s fine! The truth is as long as you can write a blog or post on social media, you’re a content creator. Just remember, we’re all about producing quality, especially when your business is on the line.

When you’re starting a business, you want to get as many eyes as possible on your brand. In the past, that looked like paying for ads. Now, social media has created a nearly free way to reach even more potential customers. Plus, when it comes down to it, content creation allows you to compete with larger companies.

Content Creation is at the Core of Marketing

We’re all forward thinkers here. No one wants to feel like their way of reaching their audience is dated. This is exactly why it’s important to continue evolving with your customers. They aren’t looking for newsletters and fliers in the mail. Let’s be honest, those are the first things to get tossed. By posting online, you’ll reach your audience 7 days sooner than the postal service.

This is the time to connect with your customer. Your target audience will see thousands of messages in a day. Make sure yours sticks by creating compelling content that is relevant to your business and valuable for your audience.

Uncover Various Forms of Content

Content marketing isn’t one thing. Rather it’s a whole host of online materials. No matter the format you choose, it should be designed to inspire interest in your brand, product or service. Here are the formats to consider:

Blogs

These high-quality, well-written pieces should spark your audience’s interest. Be sure to double-check your writing and sources to avoid killing your credibility. You’ll want to make a post every few days, and always include a call to action. Optimizing your blog can be done by using relevant keywords and other SEO tools.

Companies with blogs produce 67% more leads monthly than companies that don’t.

Listicles

Here are 12 reasons listicles will change how you market yourself. Not really, but you get it. People enjoy a good list. They’re easy to write but don’t be fooled, you can’t just throw something together. You still need to ensure you’re providing value to your target audience.

Your lists should have an introduction and conclusion. And for the sake of not confusing readers, make sure the number you use in the title matches the number of items in your list. Feel free to make it as long or short as you’d like, but include details. Those detailed sentences are an easy opportunity to add in some SEO keywords.

eBooks

If you’re looking to share a healthy chunk of knowledge, an online or downloadable eBook is the way to go. Increase lead generation and grow your email list by asking for the reader’s email address before providing access. An eBook provides solutions; meaning they demand time, research, and well-thought-out writing. Making it the perfect way to boost your credibility and put you at the front of your customers’ minds.

Infographics

Easy-to-digest and fun to look at, infographics are a great way to present your customers with statistics, research, and data. Be sure to use your business’s branding while effortlessly delivering relevant information about your company. Because 90% of the information processed by the brain is visual, infographics keep your audience engaged while providing important insights.

Video

Video has become king in recent years, as evidenced by the massive uptick in TikTok users. It’s a way to increase shares and comments while driving traffic to your website. Now, social media platforms like TikTok and Instagram allow you to share behind-the-scenes and instructional clips that don’t feel like work. Just make sure you’re answering questions your audience has, providing solutions, addressing pain points and staying industry-relevant. Take full advantage of these videos by adding a CTA at the end and even embedding them into relevant blog posts.

Guides

Instructional content is meant to go in-depth and share your expertise. Make sure the layout and design are easy to read. If your audience can’t follow your guide, they’re likely not going to reach out to use your service. On top of a clean design, you’ll want to make sure the writing is clear, concise and precise. Include images, graphs and other illustrations to help drive home what you’re explaining in your writing.

Case studies

When you want to show potential customers how your business can solve common pain points and challenges they face, case studies are the way to go. They vividly illustrate how your brand’s products and services are the answer. By showing proof of your success with your customers, you build trust which is a great start to fostering a strong relationship.

This form of content creation requires research and a bit of colorful writing. Don’t look at this as a case study but rather as a success story. Did your organizing business transform a doctor’s office and improve their productivity? Put it in a case study to show potential clients what you’re made of.

Getting to the Bottom Line

You want your business to be profitable, especially after the unexpected shift 2020 brought for small businesses. No one wants to spend hours mulling over content in vain, so let’s get to the bottom line— getting creative and strategic with how and where it’s published will maximize your company’s marketing efforts.

Content marketing costs 62% less than traditional marketing and generated approximately 3 times as many leads.

So how can you confidently measure the effects of your efforts? Take a look at the revenue your company brought in compared to what was spent. Let’s say Claudia’s Cleaning Service pushed out blogs, listicles, infographics and videos. Excited about the traction a video was gaining, she shared it on social media and spent $600 while boosting it for the month. That month, between all her content marketing efforts, Claudia made a return of $4,000.

To calculate her content marketing ROI, we find the difference between her return and investment:
($4,000 in sales – $600 for content) = $3,400
 Then divide that by the investment:
3,400/600 = 5.6x (or 560%) return on investment.

Of course, keep in mind this is a formula for the total investment. The return was from all of her efforts and not a single blog or video. If your business is not spending money on boosting your content, there are other success metrics like KPIs, or key performance indicators, that can help.

Base your KPI on the content-type:

  • Blogs: Site traffic, unique visitors, time on site, bounce rate, exit rate, mobile and desktop visitors, page views, page views per visit
  • Videos: Views, average view duration, subscribers, shares, comments, traffic source
  • Social Media: Amplification rate, followers, conversion rate, post reach, return on engagement

Or base it on specific goals:

  • Brand awareness: Site traffic, page views, video views, document views, downloads, social mentions, referral links
  • Engagement: Comments, likes, shares, retweets, forwards, inbound links
  • Lead generation: Form completions and downloads, email and blog subscriptions, conversion rate
  • Sales: Online sales, in-person sales, reporting
  • Customer loyalty: Percentage of content consumed by current customers, retention or renewal rates

Regardless of how you track, do it regularly rather than once a month. By keeping an eye on how your content is performing you can better analyze it, and that knowledge helps to optimize your content’s performance.

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