The Value of Content Marketing for Small Business

EAG, April 17, 2014

content marketing for small business as a word tag cloud in blueChances are you’ve been inundated with blog posts, Facebook ads and unsolicited email pitches hammering away at the importance of content marketing… how it impacts new and prospective customers, affects your website’s search results and even helps you attract new employees.

The truth of the matter is, there’s a lot of truth to the matter. But is content marketing really something that small or mid-sized businesses need to worry about? Or is it reserved as a tactic for big businesses with mammoth budgets and seemingly infinite resources? Let’s start from the ground up.

What is content marketing, really?

The Content Marketing Institute says it best, “Content marketing is a marketing technique of creating and distributing valuable, relevant and consistent content to attract and acquire a clearly defined audience – with the objective of driving profitable customer action.”

In a nutshell, it’s thought leadership combined with relevance for your customers. It’s interesting and engaging material that knifes through the existing ad clutter found in traditional and online media. As consumers, we’ve become desensitized to television and radio commercials, magazine and newspaper ads, direct mail offers and even online display advertising.

Content marketing serves as a conduit to reach your audience on an individual level, keeping your business top-of-mind when purchase time rolls around. It also positions you as a thought-leader in your industry, adding value to both your personal brand and your company brand simultaneously.

So, what kind of content should I create?

Sharable and discussion-worthy content comes in a lot of packages. Let’s review the top six content marketing options:

1) Blog content: One of the best outlets for your content is your own company blog. How better to promote thought leadership than timely, consistent distribution of industry insight and professional analysis via your own website. *Note* Integrating images and video into your blog posts can help drive engagement also. More on that later.

2) Press releases: Have something really newsworthy and timely to share? Press releases are a great channel, even if the only outlet available to you is PRnewsire or a similar online distributor.

3) Case studies: Did you solve a big problem for a client? Does your business have a track record of helping customers save time or money? If so, it may be worth writing a case study. Not only is this great content to share, but also it can turn into sales collateral for your team to share with future prospects.

4) White papers: If you have a unique and detailed perspective on a technical topic, white papers are a great piece of content to invest in, especially if your target market requires a deeper understanding of technology or solutions before purchasing.

an Example of a gifographic as a content marketing tactic5) Infographics: Some people are visual learners. Infographics are a great way to take a big bucket of disparate statistics and information and tie them together visually. Smart marketers are now using animated gifs to create “gifographics” to further improve the user experience. Click on the great example shown here to get a better idea of what this looks like.

6) Video: This can be the most time consuming and expensive content marketing endeavor, but it also boasts an incredible return. Video marketing is growing, and with good reason. Good video is shared aggressively, and also gives you a unique footprint in the search world. YouTube is the second largest search engine in use today, with more searches each month than Bing and Yahoo! combined.

So I created some really killer content. Now what?

The old saying “if you build it, they will come” is partially true, but why risk it? If you’ve invested time in creating great content, even more time should be invested in sharing it. Content aggregation outlets like Stumble Upon and Biz Sugar are valuable tools, as are your company’s social media properties (Facebook, LinkedIn, Google+, etc).

However, some of the greatest return comes from outreach campaigns. One-on-one prospecting of news outlets, webmasters and bloggers; find people who would benefit from your great content. If your customers are there, you want to be there. Small business owners are always pressed for time, but without this critical element of content marketing, your return may not exceed (or even equal) your input.

Content marketing is a “must-have,” not a “nice-to-have” in the digital age

The line above says it all. Content marketing is one of the most important tools in your arsenal to grow your business and stay relevant. This is especially true as it pertains to impacting search results. In fact, many search marketers have made content marketing their cornerstone as opposed to simply trying to acquire links. If you want to geek-out on it from a search perspective, this video from Moz is pretty interesting.

Is there a phrase that aligns with what your customers look for? More importantly, is there a burning question that you can help your customers answer? Great content focused around that phrase or question is the best way to impact search engines, bringing you organic traffic made up of your most likely customers. (It’s not quite as simple as that… you’ll still need someone versed in search engine optimization to develop your internal and external link strategy, your content calendar and the back-end tagging of pages and images. But those resources are always readily available).

Finding a great content marketing partner for your business

For most small, mid and growth-stage business owners, tackling this task internally might be too daunting. Even finding time to organize your thoughts into a working content strategy might require a herculean effort in your jam-packed schedule. Luckily, outsourcing this function is popular (and profitable) for business owners and marketing managers. Great digital marketing partners have fantastic copywriters, amazing graphic artists and strategic thinkers capable or helping you create and distribute content in a manner that provides a steady stream of business to your digital doorstep.


25 Responses

  1. free vbucks says:

    My partner and I stumbled over here from a different web page and thought I might as well check things out. I like what I see so now i’m following you. Look forward to looking into your web page again.|

  2. Its like you read my mind! You appear to know so much about this, like you wrote the book in it or something. I think that you could do with some pics to drive the message home a bit, but instead of that, this is magnificent blog. A great read. I will definitely be back.|

  3. We absolutely love your blog and find a lot of your post’s to be just what I’m looking for.
    Do you offer guest writers to write content available for you?
    I wouldn’t mind producing a post or elaborating on a lot of the subjects you write concerning here.
    Again, awesome web log! asmr 0mniartist

  4. Very good article! We will be linking to this particularly great article on our website.

    Keep up the great writing. asmr 0mniartist

  5. 0mniartist says:

    I am genuinely delighted to glance at this website posts which consists of lots of useful facts,
    thanks for providing such information. 0mniartist asmr

  6. says:

    Hello just wanted to give you a brief heads up and let
    you know a few of the images aren’t loading correctly.
    I’m not sure why but I think its a linking issue.

    I’ve tried it in two different browsers and both show the same results.
    0mniartist asmr

  7. Wow that was odd. I just wrote an really long comment but after
    I clicked submit my comment didn’t appear.
    Grrrr… well I’m not writing all that over again. Anyways,
    just wanted to say wonderful blog! 0mniartist asmr

  8. Do you mind if I quote a few of your posts as long as I provide
    credit and sources back to your blog? My website is in the very same area of interest as yours and
    my users would truly benefit from a lot of the information you present here.
    Please let me know if this okay with you. Cheers!

  9. it asmr says:

    I read this article fully concerning the comparison of most up-to-date
    and previous technologies, it’s remarkable article.

  10. asmr the says:

    Hello there! This blog post couldn’t be written much better!
    Looking at this post reminds me of my previous roommate!

    He continually kept preaching about this. I most certainly will send this post to him.
    Pretty sure he’ll have a very good read. Thanks for sharing!

  11. asmr an says:

    This site was… how do you say it? Relevant!!
    Finally I’ve found something which helped me.

  12. on gamefly says:

    I was able to find good information from your articles.

  13. asmr in says:

    I think this is one of the most significant information for me.
    And i’m glad reading your article. But should remark on few general things,
    The web site style is wonderful, the articles is really
    great : D. Good job, cheers

  14. scoliosis
    Hurrah! After all I got a webpage from where I be capable of really get useful information concerning my
    study and knowledge. scoliosis

  15. scoliosis
    Do you have a spam issue on this blog; I also am a blogger, and I was curious about your
    situation; we have developed some nice methods and we are looking to
    swap techniques with other folks, be sure to shoot me an e-mail
    if interested. scoliosis

  16. free dating sites
    Wow, fantastic blog layout! How long have you been blogging for?
    you made blogging look easy. The overall look of your site is excellent,
    as well as the content! dating sites

  17. dating sites
    Howdy! Someone in my Facebook group shared this website with us so I came to look it
    over. I’m definitely loving the information. I’m bookmarking and will be tweeting this to my followers!
    Outstanding blog and amazing style and design. dating sites

  18. in asmr says:

    I love what you guys are usually up too. Such clever work and
    reporting! Keep up the excellent works guys I’ve added you guys to blogroll.

  19. You are so awesome! I don’t believe I have read through anything like this before.
    So nice to find someone with genuine thoughts
    on this subject matter. Really.. thanks for starting this up.
    This site is something that is required on the internet,
    someone with a bit of originality!

  20. Hello, I enjoy reading all of your post.
    I wanted to write a little comment to support you.

  21. Hello! Do you know if they make any plugins to
    assist with SEO? I’m trying to get my blog to rank for some targeted keywords but I’m not seeing very good gains.
    If you know of any please share. Cheers!

  22. is scoliosis says:

    I constantly emailed this website post page to all my friends, because if like to read it after that my
    links will too.

  23. Wow, this piece of writing is good, my younger sister is analyzing these kinds of
    things, so I am going to convey her.

  24. This is a very good tip especially to those new to the blogosphere.

    Short but very precise information… Appreciate your sharing
    this one. A must read article!

  25. says:

    Hi, everything is going sound here and ofcourse every one is sharing information, that’s genuinely fine,
    keep up writing.

Tell Us What You Think