You know that marketing your business is a must but SMEs are often hampered in their efforts to connect with their customers by constraints such as budget and time which put options like paid or online advertising out of reach. At the same time, traditional forms of advertising are no longer as effective as they used to be. And cold selling is out… How many ad blockers do you use when you’re online to make sure you’re not forced to read a paid-for advert when surfing the web?
The solution to marketing your SME in our digitally-focused world? Content marketing (otherwise known as inbound marketing). Content marketing involves creating valuable and relevant content to share with your target market. It’s about offering your customers something of value (rather than just a hard sell) to encourage them to enter into a relationship with your business and develop beyond a one-time customer into a loyal fan. Want to know more about content marketing? Read this.
Reasons why your SME needs content marketing
1. It’s so much better than the hard sell
People are bombarded with thousands of marketing messages every day and the last thing they want is to handle another a cold call or endure a hard sell along the lines of “here’s our product, buy it”. Research shows that today’s consumer wants value – they want what they buy and the businesses they engage with to offer them something more than just a service. They want information, relevance and a relationship. If your target customers interact with your business on multiple digital platforms (and they should), they don’t always want to hear about the latest deal but they do want to hear about solutions to their problems. Well-crafted content can give them that and more, and they won’t feel like they’re on the end of a cheesy sales call.
2. It’s cost-effective
SMEs tend to have restricted budgets when it comes to marketing initiatives but content marketing is one of the most cost-effective ways to get your message out there. Even when you outsource your content marketing (which you absolutely should do), you will sill spend less and get better ROI than with traditional forms of marketing – 62% less according to the research. Plus it generates three times more leads than paid advertising. Highly targeted email campaigns are a case in point – these are a chance to offer your target market well-designed, thoughtful content that will add value to their experience and encourage their awareness and commitment to your business. And the reach can be massive.
3. It can help establish your expert status
Heard of the term ‘industry leader’? Your business doesn’t have to be a multinational to gain status as an expert in your industry. What it needs is a solid reputation and good reach. And content marketing can help you get there. Sharing relevant content can help you establish a digital presence that exists beyond the initial piece of content. That content can live online, be accessed by your target market again and again and be shared within their circle, increasing your sphere of influence. Establishing your business as the expert resource for others to search and share works to build brand awareness, encourage trust and establish long-term relationships.
Give your customers what they want, using the best possible tools for the job – that applies to marketing as much as it does to services and products. Our advice? Content marketing initiatives do best when they are aligned with a clear marketing strategy and managed by an expert digital marketing team. Talk to us – we can help you create stellar content marketing campaigns designed to grow your business.