The goal of all marketing is to turn prospects, or leads, into sales. To this end, small businesses can benefit greatly using content marketing tactics in 2021. Below are five ways content marketing can help your small business become a market leader.

Create a Plan

The four rudimentary steps to create a content marketing strategy begin with the goal of making potential customers aware of what you have to offer. Evaluating the specifics of your industry will help you strategize the types of content you deliver to potential customers. Take the time to see what other small businesses in your arena are doing.

Once potential customers have found you–through your efforts–you need to guide them into accepting your product, or service. The final stage in your plan will be to create a long-term relationship with your client. Do not limit yourself by thinking you may only do business with someone once. For example, in real estate, your goodwill and expertise will be shared by happy clients.

Content for Each Stage

“Emails, blog posts, social media campaigns and events are a few of the ways you can draw potential customers to your website” , says Julia Markle of ClothingRIC. “A website that is stingy with information cannot become the industry leader.”

A better way is to help your customers with tips and hints and general information that will cause them to return to your site many times.

Keep your content specific to your business and never mention subjects that foment discord, like religion or politics. If you are in real estate, create checklists your customers can use when they are buying a home. Post blogs about home maintenance issues and if possible, include suggestions for professional services. Content marketing depends on keywords so make sure you understand how they are used. Also add reviews and other social media blurbs that mention your company.

Become the Expert

The development of trust between you and your clients, and potential clients, will depend on how you present yourself. Highlight your knowledge in your area of expertise and visitors to your site will sense they can trust your business acumen.

Content marketing allows you to share facts and anecdotes that present your information in a positive manner while providing education. When you establish authority in your field, clients will visit your site often and use it as a standard for comparisons. This type of content in a newsletter, blog or story format creates a strong bond between you and your clients.

Let Your Content Grow Your Business

Whether you’re a real estate marketer or in another industry, your content establishes trust with clients and potential clients, and this gives you the opportunity to grow the business exponentially through referrals. Do not underestimate the arc of influence any one of your clients may have. A single client with 200 friends on their social media site multiplied by as few as 200 visitors to your site yields a potential of 40,000 looks.

For example, if you’re in real estate and you publish an awesome guide to real estate investing for your audience, you’ll be sure to bring in more traffic because of the quality of the post.

If even a quarter of those visits results in your content being shared, you are in a stellar position to bring more people into your sphere. Most people enjoy sharing new-found knowledge and the exponential growth rate that sharing on social media platforms generate can be astronomical. Make sure your content is easily shared by including clearly marked share buttons. Keep track of the shares your content receives and add that data to your on-going forecasting tools.

Content Style

“Charts, numbers, and statistics may give your customers data,” explains Alex Reynolds of EMUCoupon. “But for genuinely good content, present the data in a palpable manner.”

It’s important to Incorporate facts in an entertaining story by interjecting them as a way of explanation. Write content that is humorous or relatable to ensure site visitors will share it with their contacts. This way, your content might go viral and bring in thousands of visitors. Stay away from content that is negative or derogatory. In 2020 almost everyone is looking for stories that make them laugh or remind them of something familiar. If your content reflects happy emotions or unique and funny tales about mishaps that end happily, visitors to your site will be more likely to share. Remember, content marketing is what drives business to your site and the wider your reach the more leads for you to turn into sales.

Content marketing is not just about cute stories. The information you glean from your content like most asked questions, who is sharing your content and contacts made, can give you a better understanding of your market. This is the data you must keep track of. The key performance indicators that are extracted from this data will allow you to evaluate your content marketing strategy and make alterations as needed. Some of the things to look for are:

  • Search engine rankings
  • Social media sharing
  • Subscriber growth
  • Quality and number of leads
  • Website traffic
  • Sales

Of course, this list should be modified to the specifics of your small business.

Small businesses benefit from content marketing and the goals prescribed by a clearly defined marketing strategy. Use these tools to continue growing your business, especially in these uncertain times.

Evelyn Johnson is a full-time cat lady and a part-time blogger. I write about business, technology, social issues and pretty much anything that’s in the now. Twitter Handler: @EvelynJohns0n

Content marketing stock photo by weedezign/Shutterstock