By Marc Prosser

Content marketing is creating and distributing content that your target audiences will want to consume (read, listen, or watch).  Instead of advertising your product, content marketing is designed to share your expertise, knowledge and insights. Content marketing seeks to educate rather than promote. There are a few basic assumptions behind content marketing:

1) It is easier to “market” content than a product. (When you open a magazine, are you more likely to read the advertisements or the articles?)

2) If you are able to connect with potential clients by providing them content, your chances of doing business together increases.  At a minimum, their awareness of your brand will be higher.

Why is content marketing great for small businesses?

Small businesses can create great content! In fact, it may be easier for a small business to create great content than a larger company.  For example, a small business might have much more freedom in style (for example, be able to take a more conversational tone) or be able to write a more opinionated article than a larger company.  Also, a small business can target a much more narrowly defined audience for their content than a larger company, allowing them to create a more detailed and / or useful article. Bottom line, small businesses have some advantages in content marketing over their larger competitors.

Example Of Targeting: The search term “press release format template” receives about 70 search per month according to Google. For a big company, it would hardly be worth creating content to capture these visitors.   However, this is meaningful traffic for my business and we created the following article to rank for that that term.

Content Creation Is Not Easy & Requires An Investment Of Time
Developing ideas for content, researching those ideas, and putting those thoughts together in a coherent presentation takes time. Creating a single article can take anywhere from a couple hours to a few days! While you certainly can pay someone to write an article, a really great article which is going to impress and capture the attention of your target audience is probably going require direction and input from you!

Why does my business create content in 3 different ways?
The short answer is it’s more efficient! Creating a text article, a slideshare presentation, and a YouTube video takes about the same amount of time as writing two different text-only articles. Basically, you get to use your research and idea development three times, saving tremendous time.

Wait a minute?! By creating three different versions of the same content aren’t you reaching the same audiences over and over again, and not getting any more exposure than had you published just a text article?
No (reason 1), potential clients like to consume content in different forms. Personally, I am a reader and like text. My business partner on the other hand, prefers to listen to podcasts. Many people love slideshare presentations, because they tend to focus on the main points with a minimum of superfluous words. Bottom line, different potential clients are going to look for different types of content.

No (reason 2), you get better distribution and more chances to be seen by creating content in multiple forms. By creating a video, you can appear in the second largest search engine in the world, YouTube. By posting a presentation on slideshare, you get your content visible on a site that has around 200,000,000 page views per month. If those benefits weren’t enough, creating slideshares and YouTube videos also get you more exposure in Google’s search engine.

No (reason 3), having content in multiple forms can make your site stickier. On Fit Small Business, we like embedding the slideshare and YouTube video on the  article page. Typically, we like to put the slideshare on the top of the page, so a person looking to “run through” the high points of the article can quickly engage. After going through the main points, they can find more details by reading the article or by watching the video. As a result of combining these various ways of consuming content, we believe that visitors stay on our site longer.

Here are a couple of examples for articles in which we have YouTube videos and slideshares:

The Size Of The Coin!
When my business partner was first discussing why we should use slideshare, he used the metaphor of a coin in a pond. If you want your content (the coin) to make a big splash (gain more attention), you need to increase the size of the coin. By creating slideshares and YouTube videos, you increase the size of the coin.

Marc Prosser is the publisher and co-founder of Fit Small Business. Prior to starting Fit Small Business, Marc serves as the Chief Marketing Officer of a well known company in the financial services space.