Small businesses often think that they can’t afford to do content marketing or, if they can, they can’t afford to compete with their big business counterparts.
This couldn’t be further from the truth. While the money that you have to work with may differ, the fundamentals of content marketing are the same whether you’re a Fortune 500 company or a startup small business. Content marketing, in many ways, requires more time than money.
In fact, small business content marketing has some advantages over big business. Let me explain what I mean on some slightly different terms.
I’m a big fan of indie music and small singer/songwriter acts that sort of fly under the mainstream radar. I could give you a list of some of my favorites, but I wouldn’t be surprised if you said, “I’ve never heard of any of those people before.” Most people haven’t. But the fans they amass are typically fiercely loyal to them and so share their music with everyone who will listen. For example, all of my friends and family have heard about Butch Walker because I haven’t shut up about him in fifteen years.
Something else I love about these kinds of bands? They get large followings on social media sites, but not so large that they’re untouchable. Most of them are tweeting and posting to Facebook themselves, as opposed to having an assistant do it for them. They’re interacting with fans and a lot of them are so grateful for every single one because they don’t take fans for granted the way a large mainstream act might.
I hope you see where I’m going here and how it relates to content marketing for small and big business. There are certain benefits to being a small business when it comes to content marketing, and though money may not be one of them, it doesn’t mean you can’t do a heck of a job with what you’ve got.
3 Major Advantages of Small Business Content Marketing
Ability to know your audience on social media…
It’s arguably easier to build closer relationships with your customers, clients, and prospects when your numbers are smaller. Because you can get to know them a bit better, you can learn a little bit more about what they want and need from your content.
Let’s say a larger corporation gets between 100 and 200 new followers on Twitter every day. Are those corporations going to send each of those followers a quick tweet to thank them? Will they reach out at all short of maybe replying to a complaint? Some will, but many will not. They’ve got too much on their hands to read all of their incoming tweets.
On the other hand, if you’re getting 10-20 new followers every day, that’s a much more manageable number. You can interact with your following. Take a look at what they’re tweeting about or posting to Facebook and see what kind of conversation you can strike up. In short, you have the ability to be more genuinely social.
Whereas some big businesses will pay a lot of money to use monitoring tools to learn what their prospects had for breakfast that morning, you’re in a position to strike up a conversation with them about it. The more time you invest into building these relationships organically, the more you increase your chances of having the kind of fiercely loyal following that will tell everyone they know about you.
…and use it to tailor your content
You were probably wondering when I was going to bring this back to straight content marketing, but don’t worry. I wouldn’t leave you hanging like that.
When you leverage social media or regular in-person interactions (something else that’s tough to come by with big businesses) to get to really know your followers, you can use that information to tailor your content. Like I said before, maybe you can’t afford tools to monitor in incredible depth, but you have the power of conversation at your fingertips.
Let’s say you’re a local sporting goods store, and you see a few occasional customers on Twitter talking about a fishing trip they’re taking this weekend. You chime in, and pretty soon, through natural conversation, you discover that one of them has some questions about some of his fishing equipment.
Hello, tomorrow’s blog post.
So you write a timely blog post about the Fisherman’s Top 5 or something pertaining to the conversation, and you’ve answered their questions and met their needs. Keep in mind, those were questions and needs they didn’t even know they had until they were talking to you.
And when you share that content across your various social media platforms, you’re more likely to see it shared around because you’ve built such an engaged following.
This sort of ties in with everything else I’ve said, but it’s really the key here. With big businesses, things can tend to feel impersonal. You can’t connect a name with a face because there are so many faces, and even when you can, it’s hard to really get to know that person. So the content can often feel, for lack of a better word, cold. There’s just not a lot of character to it.
On the other hand, there are countless small businesses whose leaders are jumping right in when it comes to content marketing. They’re writing their own blog posts and interacting with their clients and prospective followers on social media sites. They’re answering questions through video blogs. In short, their fingerprints are all over the content marketing efforts.
In conclusion, these may not seem like really profound points. That’s because they’re so simple and so obvious, but yet so overlooked given that so many small businesses think they can’t compete with big businesses when it comes to content marketing. Don’t get me wrong: there are big businesses that do a really fantastic job of content marketing in a personal way. But this is really the space where small businesses have an advantage. They have the ability to jump right in, be personal, get to know their following, and generate the content those followers want and need.
Surely there are more advantages than I’ve listed here. What else do you think is a major plus for small business content marketing? Let us know in the comments!
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