Solve people’s problems, don’t just sell

February 24th, 2012

Solve people's problems, don't just sell

Small businesses need to build up a reputation of being a go-to store to help solve the problems of customers.

Word-of-mouth and social media are increasingly playing important roles in the world of shopping, but in order for these to be used as effectively as possible, firms need to be interesting and relevant, business expert and entrepreneur Alex Pratt stated.

The first place to start is a website – rather than just listing endless products and services, shoppers need to be able to find the answers to their questions on it.

"So concentrate on searches rather than selling. You've got to really know what you sell and be able to really add value to the customer and not just be selling a product," he advised.

The best way in which small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) can explain to customers how their product or service can solve a problem and why they should therefore buy it is through content marketing.

As the ContentPlus infographic explains, content marketing is the creation and sharing of copy to engage the target audience, encourage them to buy a service or product or to take another action and to promote ideas.

How does small business content marketing work?

If, for example, a customer is searching for kitchen design ideas and an SME sells units, splashbacks and other related items, having a well-written and interesting article on its site about kitchen design – with appropriate keywords included – can help push the firm up Google SEO results, as well as provide value to the reader.

However, rather than just promoting products, businesses can explain how a new kitchen can boost a home's value, or offer informative ways how space can be maximised. This ties in to Mr Pratt's comments – explain how a company can meet the needs of the consumer.

The ContentPlus infographic cites Get Satisfaction figures, which show interesting content is one of the top three reasons why people decide to follow brands on social media websites. In addition, 70 per cent of individuals like to see what a firm is all about by reading articles, rather than adverts, a Consumers' Attitudes Toward Custom Content study by GfK Roper Public Affairs & Corporate Communications discovered.

Further advice about small business content marketing can be found here:
How small business content marketing can boost ecommerce efforts
ContentPlus infographic: why quality content is the lifeline of SMEs
Why should I use YouTube as part of my content marketing efforts?

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