How to Use Content Marketing for Small Business [7 Tips]

How to Use Content Marketing for Small Business [7 Tips]

Small business marketing can be challenging with a limited budget or a small team. However, content marketing allows small businesses to reach new audiences and expand brand awareness without an advertising budget.

But where do you begin? Do you try to create a viral post on social media or start a weekly blog? The answer depends on your audience and your goals.

This post offers tips and ideas to help you create a small business content marketing plan. 

What is content marketing?

Content marketing refers to indirect methods of promoting your business by sharing valuable content that isn't self-promotional. It’s all about creating interesting or entertaining content that builds a connection with your audience.

For example, a makeup brand might share makeup tutorials on social media. Or a running apparel brand might send a weekly newsletter with fitness tips. 

The most common types of content marketing include:
  • Blog posts
  • Social media posts and videos
  • Online quizzes
  • Free resources (like ebooks)
  • YouTube series
  • Email newsletters
  • And more

Benefits of content marketing for small businesses

Content marketing has many benefits for small businesses, including:
  • It builds brand awareness with a low budget. Content marketing tactics, like writing SEO-optimized blog posts and posting organic social media content, can help you reach new audiences without an advertising budget. It takes time and resources to create but can gain traction with a relatively low spend.
  • It drives traffic to your website. Content marketing helps customers discover your brand in various ways, such as a Google search or a video on social media. Then, the content can drive them to your website to learn more about your business. This journey, from your content to your website, can help boost traffic and capture new potential customers.
  • It creates evergreen content. Evergreen content doesn't tie to a specific date or event, and it keeps working for your brand long after you post it. For example, let's say a hair salon publishes a blog post about how to care for color-treated hair in the summer. This topic will be relevant every summer, and with the right keywords, readers can find it years after you publish it. As long as you audit and refresh content regularly, it can continue to promote your brand. Plus, it’s less work than creating new content.
  • It helps you stand out from competitors. Content marketing is a great way to showcase your expertise and position yourself as a thought leader in your industry. For example, if your brand creates helpful video tutorials, this can make a huge difference to customers when choosing between competing businesses.
  • It helps you build customer relationships. Nurturing customer relationships is vital to customer retention, which affects your bottom line. That's because it's about 5x more expensive to gain a new customer than to keep an existing one. Content marketing helps you nurture these relationships by providing useful or interesting content to your existing customers.

Content marketing ideas and tips for small businesses

Let's go over some tips and ideas to leverage content marketing for your small business.

1. Create a content marketing strategy

Before you start to draft and publish content, take a step back and create a plan. Creating a content marketing strategy with defined goals and tactics will help you get the best results. Plus, creating a plan will also give you a chance to consider your audience’s preferences and be intentional about content creation.

Follow these steps to create a content marketing strategy.

2. Focus on a few channels to start

It can be tempting to cast a wide net, posting content on every channel available. But this can be challenging with a small team. Plus, a more strategic effort will result in better customer engagement.

If you're just getting started with content marketing, focus on 1 or 2 channels. Then, you can expand to new ones later as your resources grow.

Choose your channels based on your target audience and where they prefer to consume content. For example, 78% of Gen Z consumers report using social media to find new brands. So if this is your main audience, start by creating short-form video content on social media platforms.

3. Create a content calendar

Once you have your strategy and channels, it's time to create a content calendar. 

Start by planning the content you need to create (or refresh) in a defined period, like the following quarter. Next, set a final due date for each piece. Then, work back from that date to create deadlines for writing, design, and review. This process will help you:
  • Plan content around important dates, such as events, product launches, or holidays
  • Allocate resources and get a view of your team's workload
  • Assign tasks to team members or contractors
  • Coordinate with other departments to support each other and promote content
  • Decide whether to take on last-minute requests
Need a starting point for your calendar? Check out our email marketing calendar.

4. Repurpose content for multiple channels

Many marketing teams live by the motto "work smarter, not harder." That's because it takes time and resources to create marketing content, and once you have a great piece of content, you want to make the most of it.

Here's where repurposing content comes in. This tactic helps you get more miles out of the content you produce and reach different audiences on different channels.

For example, if you write an insightful blog post, share the most important points in a social media carousel. Or if you produce a YouTube video, use short clips to promote it on social media.

Not sure where to start? Check out these tips for repurposing content.

5. Experiment with different content types

It takes trial and error to find the content types that resonate with your audience. Plus, content trends and audience preferences evolve constantly, so brands must keep up to keep customers engaged.

So experiment with different content types to find out what performs best and don't be afraid to jump on new trends. This will help you engage your existing audiences and reach new ones.

Some content types to try include:
  • Short-form videos
  • Infographics
  • Blog post formats (like listicles, reviews, guest posts, and essays)
  • User-generated content
  • Podcasts
  • And more

6. Collaborate with other teams to promote content

Depending on the size of your business, you might do everything yourself or have a small team working on different parts of the business. If you work with a team, clear communication is vital to align on content initiatives and promote your content. For example:
  • Send the sales team your new blog posts to share with potential customers
  • Share your top-performing social media content with the email newsletter team to promote it
  • Get the event planning, social media, and email marketing teams together to brainstorm how to use content to promote an upcoming event

7. Find your niche

Your unique value proposition, or what sets you apart, attracts audiences to your business. So lean into it and carve out a niche for your business on your marketing platforms.

For example, if your business conducts original research, publish your findings in a blog post or create an ebook. This will make your content stand out and showcase your expertise, generating trust in customers.

Also, listen to customer feedback and create more of the content they like. Do they love your recipe videos on Instagram? If so, consider turning them into a regular series. 

Pair your content marketing strategy with Twilio SendGrid’s email marketing

Content marketing and email marketing are a winning combination: content marketing helps you reach new audiences, and email marketing allows you to keep in touch with them and build stronger relationships. 

Now that you have a content marketing strategy, you just need the right tools to help you engage your customers across channels. With Twilio SendGrid, you can capture new customers with email sign-up forms and stay in touch with automated emails.

Plus, with tools like our email templates and drag-and-drop editor, businesses of all sizes can design and send engaging emails, even if your teams don’t know how to code.

Sign up for SendGrid for free to get started. 

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