Small businesses need to ramp up their online efforts and go one step further than having just a website.
While having a site is important – especially if it is an ecommerce platform that enables customers to buy products and services at any time of the day – SMEs need to make more of an effort and deploy a content marketing strategy.
This ensures ideas and content are shared and promoted, whether it's through social media, blogs, search-optimised articles or infographics. Copy should engage internet users and encourage them to take action – such as becoming a loyal customer or sharing content, thus increasing the SME's social media presence.
As the ContentPlus Anatomy of Content Marketing infographic explains, six out of ten Facebook or Twitter users are more likely to recommend a brand they follow, while blogs boost website visitor numbers by 55 per cent.
However, not every small business has switched on to the importance of content marketing.
SMEs lacking in content marketing efforts
A new BaseKit Digital Dinosaurs report has noted 64 per cent of small firms think their website is 'adequate,' with 11 per cent saying their site is 'poor and embarrassing'.
Just 22 per cent of those questioned have a website that can host a blog, only a quarter can accept online payments, less than a fifth of sites are optimised for SEO and 19 per cent of small businesses have websites that can be integrated with social media.
This poor social media integration comes despite the fact that more than a third of small companies use Facebook to secure new business. If an organisation obtains new customers through social media, who then click on a website only to find it poor, badly-designed and inconvenient to use, their efforts could be wasted if people are put off by an ineffective online presence.
On the other hand, if a website is engaging, filled with interesting and relevant articles and blogs that can be shared on social media, and performing well in search engine results, businesses can not only attract customers from various sources, but also retain them.
Further small business content marketing advice can be found here: