When you hear the term content marketing, what do you think of? Possibly writing articles or posting blogs comes to mind, or maybe even designing a really cool infographic. You’re not wrong to think of these things. In fact, we always hear the same old argument about how we should be focusing on creating unique content like articles, blogs, and infographics to help build organic links and draw more customers to our business.
But what if you’re a small business with a limited budget? Is spending time and money on writing an article or designing a new infographic the best way to use your resources? Will it really convert leads into customers? There’s actually much more to content marketing than spending hours producing just one single piece of writing. Content is limitless and it is everywhere. By the time you get to the end of this post, you’ll never think of content marketing the same way again.
Finding content everywhere
Having a very restricted view of what content is will only restrict your results. As a small business owner, you need to be creative and constantly thinking outside of the box (this is probably why you started your own business in the first place). So why not extend this creativity to content marketing as well? You can find content everywhere and in everything. It’s in your employees, in your customers, in your products and services, and even in the menus on the tables of your restaurant or the cups you serve your coffee in at your café. When you start to think of content like this, there are no limits to where you can find it. Just take a look at some of the examples that follow.
Finding content in your staff
Your employees know the ins and outs of your business like the back of their hands. Why not showcase their expertise to your customers in the form of content on your website and social media pages? For example, a local pub could film a short video on how their chefs make their famous beer-battered fish and chips or a local bookstore can post their staff’s favourite books of the month. It’s a win-win situation: your employees will feel great about contributing and your customers will experience the “human” side of your company.
Finding content in your customers
Content can also come in the form of reviews or recommendations from your customers. There are thousands of review websites online such as Urbanspoon for restaurants or Tripadvisor for vacations. You can highlight these positive opinions on your website and social media pages.
Not too long ago I was sitting at a small locally owned cafe close to my house when a lady spilled her drink all over herself and the table she was sitting at. Not only was the customer embarrassed (who wouldn’t be?) but she had just spilled her delicious vanilla bean latte everywhere. One of the employees cleaned up the mess and made the customer a new latte free of charge (even though the customer said she would pay for it since it was her clumsiness that caused the mishap).
I’m sure that customer will return and will not only tell her friends and family what happened, but may also even write a review online. This just goes to show that customers can be great content creators for your business too!
Finding content in your products/services
Without your products or services, you wouldn’t have a business. Why not use them to create unique content that will get your company noticed? Even something as simple as a cupcake can be a content gold mine. For example, let’s say you own a cupcake shop. You can use holiday themes like Christmas to turn your current red velvet cupcakes into Santa’s hat cupcakes. With social media platforms like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Pinterest, your customers will take pictures of these delicious creations and post them on these sites for all of their friends to see. That’s instant (and free) content creation.
Finding content in your store
Even your own store can be a content creator as well. Something as simple as posting pictures online of the creative design or layout of your shop can start a conversation. You can also tie your physical store with its online presence by having your Twitter or Instagram handle (or even a hashtag) stencilled onto the wall. This gives customers an opportunity to engage with your business online while sitting in your shop and it’s a great way to get people talking about you.
As you can see, content marketing doesn’t have to be limited to blogs, articles, and infographics. There are many ways to create exciting content for your small business that are unique and memorable. The best part is that they don’t require you to spend a fortune!