When it comes to marketing your small business and generating awareness of your brand, content is king. In other words, you no longer buy people’s attention with advertising; you have to earn their attention by creating original content that is either educational or entertaining.
Content provides value to visitors and builds trust in the brand among users, prospects and influencers. A recent survey of B2B marketing conducted by MarketingProfs shows that brand awareness, customer retention and lead generation are the top reasons for content marketing.
What is content?
Content can mean a bunch of things to many different people, but it generally includes reports, books, blog posts, webinars, presentations, videos, case studies and more.
Some content you produce may be lead-generation focused, like a report or video about common pains that your target audience has, along with a solution. For example, say you develop and sell software used by interior designers for space planning. You could feature a report on your website called Top 10 Tricks for Better Space Planning. When someone downloads the report, your marketing automation system sends a sequence of emails that speaks to benefits that interior designers seek when looking for space planning software, which drives them to a live product demo on your website.
Other types of content focus more on brand awareness and are purely informative. In this case, the topic is one your target audience thinks about within the sphere of their role—which serves to substantiate your thought leadership position in the industry.
In this case, you could have a blog post titled “2012 Forecast on Colors in Interior Design.” This content is more for brand awareness since the design software doesn’t necessarily help users choose colors; however, it’s a topic that’s important to your target audience of interior designers. You’ll see traffic increase as it potentially attracts people to your sales funnel and, more importantly, the quality of your leads will improve because those who are educating themselves and consuming your content are more interested than the casual tire-kickers.
How do I create content?
Once you’ve gotten past the reasons for why, the next question is “how.” It’s no surprise that producing engaging content is the biggest content marketing challenge, as revealed in the same poll conducted by MarketingProfs showing B2B marketers’ views on content marketing.
Your content needs to be timely and relevant to your target audience, while at the same time supporting the leadership position you want in the minds of your target market. A good rule of thumb is to think about the type of information your audience is most likely to consume and which channel is best to showcase it.
Feeling overwhelmed? It’s best to start somewhere and build your library one piece at a time. Before you know it, you’ll have built a body of work that raises your brand equity and trust among target audiences and that serves to generate leads and raving fans.