Content marketing can be a cost-effective way for small businesses to build engagement and spread awareness of their brand.
Speaking to the Sydney Morning Herald, marketer Scott Bywater said small businesses should shift their marketing focus from selling to educating. "The key is to think about what your target market really wants," he commented, adding that how-to guides or interviews can portray a small business as a trusted industry thought leader.
Brenton Tong, head strategist of Financial Spectrum, added that relevant content is key for small businesses who hope to leverage free social media platforms such as Twitter and LinkedIn.
His advice is to offer social media followers value in the form of content. "It could be entertaining, it could be insight into something they would not normally get insight into, it could be useful information that will provide them with knowledge," according to Mr Tong.
Entertain, educate and engage with content
Some experts suggest an 80/20 rule when it comes to sharing content on social media. They say that if a brand entertains, educates and engages its audience for 80 per cent of the time, they can get away with being more sales-orientated for the other 20 per cent.
Interesting content is one of the top three reasons people follow brands on social media, while boring and repetitive content is one of the biggest causes of unfollows.
However, for small businesses the most important thing is not necessarily to have lots of followers – they want paying (repeat) customers. The good news is that content plays a critical role in conversion. Research shows three-quarters of marketers say compelling content drives successful social media campaigns, which are a factor in closing sales.
Six in ten companies found customers via LinkedIn, 53 per cent did so through Twitter and nearly seven in ten secured customers through Facebook interaction.
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