Business owners know that forming a relationship with clients is one of the first steps to success. Doing a good job of that usually leads to a sale for you, along with a great reputation and referrals. Here’s how content marketing can help.
Content Marketing for Small Businesses
Let’s not get ahead of ourselves. First, how do you find your clients? How do you open the lines of communication, demonstrate your expertise, and also get to know your target audience? That’s what marketing is all about. In particular, content marketing can be one of the best ways to address all of these goals. Even better, it can be utilized online to access an enormous digital audience.
How Content Marketing Works for the Small Business Owner
The first thing you need to know is that the over-65 crowd have become enthusiastic users of the internet! According to a Pew Research Center analysis of Bureau of Labor Statistics data, 73 percent of this demographic are online. More than half (53 percent) own smartphones, and that number is steadily growing.
And what are they doing online? Those over 65 gravitate toward social media platforms such as Facebook, in order to stay in touch with family and friends. They also search for health information, travel guides, or blogs related to hobbies and interests, and enthusiastically enjoy YouTube.
With regard to your audience, these activities provide an opportunity for you. Provide the content they’re searching for, and you open the door to a new relationship with a new client.
What Kind of Content Works Best for Small Business?
Blogging is content, but so are videos, infographics, pictures, social media posts, podcasts, and more. Essentially, “content” is anything you produce and distribute. That goes for printed materials, too, but digital content offers a much wider range of possibilities with a practically unlimited audience.
But that doesn’t mean you can produce just any old content and begin to attract your target demographic. In order to be effective, content should be:
- Relevant – it must appeal to your target audience’s values, interests, or needs (which you should research before creating content)
- Valuable – it must answer their questions, entertain them, or provide information that is helpful
- Consistent – it must speak in a consistent voice and present a stable image of your brand, and it must be delivered regularly so that your audience can depend on you
The Typical Content Marketing “Process”
Remember the four steps of the buying cycle, and every potential client could require a different timeframe to advance through the steps:
- Your target demographic gains awareness of their need; in this case, that they need to make some decisions about their Medicare plan(s).
- Next they research to learn about their options, enrollment deadlines, rules, guidelines, etc.
- Now they begin to compare the options that they’ve uncovered through research and match those with their budget and priorities.
- Finally, they make a decision and purchase. You’ve gained a new client/customer.
Content marketing appeals to people who are in stages 1-3 above… BEFORE they have reached a buying decision. That’s why it is so critical to your success online.
Essentially, content marketing helps you jump the line in front of your competitors. You reach potential clients while they are still in the “funnel” of the decision making process. You have the opportunity to provide value and form a relationship before they finalize their purchase.
For more information on content marketing and how it relates to small business, contact us. We can answer your questions and provide you with more examples of how this process works in detail.