Why content marketing is a must for all small businesses

Kerry White

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March 24, 2021

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4 min

Content marketing: Be more like Ron Weasley and less like a contestant on MAFS

Around 1 in 7 small businesses fail because of poor or inadequate marketing.

While this statistic also considers traditional marketing (newspaper, TV and radio advertising, for example), it goes without saying that more and more people are engaging with digital media than ever before. So it makes sense that any business which fails to embrace digital content marketing is ignoring a large chunk of their potential customer base.  

What exactly is content marketing?

There are two forms of digital content marketing: paid and organic. Paid digital marketing includes things like Facebook ads and sponsored Instagram posts. Organic content marketing is where you produce content like blogs, social media posts, email campaigns, ebooks, podcasts and videos to reach your target customers.

While paid digital marketing can offer quicker results, many people are starting to tune out of the ads they see on their social media feed because they often seem forced, inauthentic and purely profit-driven.  

Organic content marketing may take a little longer to gain traction than paid alternatives, but it’s the perfect way to share your authentic voice, build a sense of community around your brand and engage fully with your ideal customers.  

Organic content marketing allows you to tell your story, without people thinking you’re just out to make sales. Of course, that’s the ultimate goal, but it’s much harder to do that nowadays without first making your potential customer feel truly understood and valued.  

With so many small businesses online nowadays, people have an almost endless choice when it comes to where they choose to spend their money. They are far more likely to go with the brand they feel ‘gets’ them.

So how do I find my target customers online?

Quality is key when it comes to content marketing, both in terms of the content you produce and the type of customers you are reaching. Having hundreds of thousands of followers is all well and good, but if they never actually engage with you, let alone make a purchase from you, the numbers don’t really mean a thing.  

It makes more sense to put yourself in front of your ideal customers, those who are more likely to buy from you. That’s why it’s so important to get to know your customers inside out. Spend time researching them and develop a target customer avatar (a fictional persona that represents their interests and qualities) so you know exactly who you are communicating with, be it via your blog, your web copy or on social media.  

People can spot a fake a mile off. Why should they invest in your business if you’re not even willing to spend the time to get to know them?

Photo by Rain Bennett on Unsplash

The importance of storytelling

Customers also want to know your story. That tells them a lot about you and can be a deal-breaker when it comes to whether or not they feel aligned with you. Your story doesn’t just mean how you started your business, or your own personal background, although that certainly comes into it. Your story is your business. Your values, your beliefs, your staff, your goals, your dreams, your location, your community, your sense of humour...

The guys over at Digital Marketer say you should think about the customer journey as a relationship. If you are on a first date with someone, you don’t ask them to marry you straight away (unless you’re contractually obliged to as a contestant of Married At First Sight, of course). It takes time to build a relationship with them. You’d want to know all about them and vice versa before you came anywhere close to making that kind of commitment (think a relationship timeline more aligned with Ron Weasley and Hermione Granger).

If you expect your potential customers to buy your product or service on the first date, you’re probably going to come unstuck. You need to woo them before they are likely to commit to investing in you and your business.  

Organic content marketing is the perfect way to develop that relationship with your ideal customers whereas paid content can come across as a little desperate – like most MAFS contestants. Especially if you are only churning out paid content without any organic content.

Not sure where to start? Feeling a little overwhelmed with all the digital marketing info out there? Let us be your guide. Get in touch with us at hello@larkbranding.com.au to discuss your needs.

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