Content Marketing – Powerful for Local Businesses

EAG, February 7, 2012

Our search world has changed. Results pulled in from Google, Bing and Yahoo are now all content-related, so it’s the job of search engines to provide users with results that give them the information they’re looking for.  The better the results returned to the user, the more users will use them.

But relative content isn’t just to boost search engine preferences. Did you know that content still reigns supreme when it comes to businesses building relationships with people?

It’s called content marketing, and it allows consumers to get to know you before they ever pick up the telephone or submit that inquiry form.  Your content can help them in making a decision, or save you time by prequalifying that prospect. And truthfully, who doesn’t need to save a little time?

Consider the following statistics reported by the Custom Content Council:

  • 90% of consumers find custom content useful
  • 61% of people feel better about a company that delivers custom content and are more likely to buy from that company

Why does content matter?

When we look at the value of the internet and what we enjoy most about it, we see that it primarily comes from the ability to read and share the knowledge that we gain: content. Social media marketing is a prime example. Social media is all about sharing ideas and information – providing your customers and prospective customers with relative and interesting content and value. Without content, what will you share?

Content is especially powerful for local businesses due to the way that search results are cultivated now. In 2009 Google introduced personalized search. So now when you type in search parameters, the results are based on your personal search activity for the last 180 days and order the results accordingly. For example, since consumers often search for local information, many times local results are returned on page one. If you are local to a user and you have the most content out there, you can increase your search engine rankings on your key products and services with search optimized content.

What does this mean for my business?

Developing and utilizing useful content for your business isn’t a quick-fix, it takes time and effort.  It’s the one thing that most small business owners dread and develop anxiety about. You mention content marketing and the eyes glaze over quickly.

“What will I write? “
“When will I find the time to write?”

Ok, hold up. If the only thing holding you back from content marketing is time, know-how and ideas – stop. Think of content marketing just like you do other marketing strategies: If you lack the time, the know-how, creativity and ideas – you ask for help, right? You can also ask for help when it comes to content marketing, but let’s evaluate what you need help with.

Content marketing consists of:

  • Strategy
  • Process
  • Content Production
  • Distribution
  • Analytics

First determine what you can and want to do. Perhaps you have the ideas, but aren’t sure of how you are going to produce the content. Or maybe you just don’t know where to start, so you need help with strategy and process. You also may be one of those companies that just need help with all of it – and that’s ok too.

When sitting down with clients to discuss content marketing, we always make it clear that no matter what you outsource, you must actively participate in the process and commit to it for it to be a success. You’ll be needed for input, thought leadership and authenticity. We can handle the rest for you.

Effective use of content marketing is key for any size business. But knowing what your business has to offer and using the tools at hand to get the right message in the right hands at the right time is what will make your business stand out in the crowd.

 

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