Content marketing is no doubt a powerful tool for small business growth and better brand recognition.
The results speak for themselvesᅳ89% of those who implement content marketing strategies see positive results.
But with an abundance of low-quality, generic content (and short attention spans), creating impactful content in today’s world is a real challenge.
Despite these hurdles, content marketing remains an economical choice, costing 62% less and producing three times more leads than traditional marketing methods.
To get the most out of your content marketing efforts, it’s crucial to understand what type of content you should be creating and marketing.
Here are 10 content marketing ideas for small businesses that you can apply to start seeing real-world results.
#1: Start a Podcast
Small businesses often struggle to reach their target audience and stand out in a crowded digital landscape. That’s where podcasting comes in—it actually changes the game.
Think about it: there are 2.4 million podcasts and millions of listeners globally. This presents a massive opportunity for small businesses to connect with their audience in an intimate and engaging way.
For example, let’s say you run a bakery. You can create a podcast series on baking tips and share recipes, behind-the-scenes stories, and even interviews with customers who have a sweet tooth.
If you choose to start one, here are two simple tips to help make your podcast a success:
- Invest in high-quality equipment from the get-go to ensure clear audio and a professional presentation.
- Promote your podcast on your website, social media channels, and leverage other marketing materials to drive traffic and attract new listeners.
Remember, podcasting is about storytelling and building a relationship with your audience. When you deliver value and engage with them, you’ll establish a loyal following and achieve your content marketing goals.
#2: Take Inspiration From Competitors
As a small business, it’s important to stay ahead of the competition and deliver top-notch content to your target audience.
One way to do this is by observing what others in your industry are writing about and creating something more valuable.
Analyze the top blog posts from your competitors, and find ways to improve upon them. The reason these posts were successful for them is likely because they resonate with your shared target audience.
Here are three strategies to make your content stand out:
• Go Above & Beyond: Take the original concept and expand upon it. If your competitor covered 25 simple tips, you publish 30 advanced tips. Try providing more in-depth analysis to truly stand out from the crowd.
This not only shows your expertise and adds credibility, but also gives your audience access to super-helpful content.
• Stay Current: While a popular blog post from years ago may still perform well today, it may contain outdated knowledge. This gives you the opportunity to update it with more recent information and gain more brownie points in the eyes of Google.
• Enhance Presentation: Visual elements can help your content get more engagement and shares. Adding an infographic to a text post or incorporating relevant images every 100-200 words can give you an edge.
#3: Leverage User-Generated Content to Grow
Small business owners are always searching for new ways to grow their brand and connect with potential customers. User-generated content provides a unique opportunity to do just that. By utilizing the experiences and opinions of your customers, you can elevate your brand and reach new audiences.
For instance, let’s say you own a clothing store and one of your customers posts a photo of themselves wearing one of your outfits. Repost this photo on your account, tag the customer and not only show appreciation for their support, but also showcase your clothing to their followers, potentially attracting new customers to your store.
Ready to get started? Here’s a simple, five-step guide:
- Encourage customers to share their experiences with your brand through social media, email or other platforms.
- Look out for positive reviews, testimonials, and photos shared by your customers.
- Share these experiences on your website, social media accounts and marketing materials.
- Respond to comments, reviews, and feedback in a professional and timely manner to show appreciation and strengthen relationships.
- Create user-generated content campaigns like photo contests or product reviews to engage your audience and grow your brand.
By incorporating user-generated content, you establish trust, showcase the impact of your brand, and reach new audiences without spending a fortune. It’s a win-win for your small business.
#4. Tap into Your Support Team’s Expertise
As a small business, your support team has a unique advantage—daily interaction with your customers. They possess valuable insights into what your audience wants and needs, and these insights can be utilized to generate fresh and engaging content ideas.
Incorporating input from your support team into your content marketing strategy offers numerous benefits, including:
Direct Access to Customer Pain Points: By asking your support team for ideas, you gain access to the challenges faced by your customers, allowing you to create content that addresses their specific needs.
Efficient Market Research: Involving your support team in the content creation process saves time and resources, as you can gather valuable insights without conducting extensive market research.
Authentic and Credible Tone: Your support team’s input can help establish trust and credibility with your audience, leading to increased engagement and conversions. You can also understand customer emotions towards a particular feature and tailor your content accordingly.
Stronger Collaboration: Collaborating with your support team can strengthen the relationship between the two teams, resulting in a cohesive brand message and improved customer relationships.
When you work with your support team for content ideas, you ensure that it is relevant, engaging, and connects with your target audience. They can provide a fresh perspective and valuable input that can take your content marketing to the next level.
#5. Leverage Event-Based Content
As a small business, you need to keep your audience engaged and interested by tailoring your content to align with significant events and occasions.
By creating valuable content pieces on timely events at your company or the industry, you can showcase your products or services in a relevant context and drive customer engagement.
Here’s how to create event-based content that resonates with your audience:
Research upcoming events: It’s important to stay informed about significant events happening in your industry or that are relevant to your target audience. These events could be industry conferences, holidays, sporting events, or other special occasions.
Knowing what events are coming up, you can plan your content accordingly and make sure it’s ready to go when the event happens.
Plan ahead: Once you have a list of upcoming events, it’s time to start planning your content. This means scheduling your content in advance so that it’s ready to go when the event occurs. Make sure to allocate enough time to create high-quality content that resonates with your audience and ties in with the event or occasion.
Customize your messaging: The key to successful event-based marketing is to customize your messaging so that it ties in with the event or occasion. That would involve reframing your content and messaging to highlight how your products or services can add value to the experience.
To give you an example, a clothing retailer could create content showcasing summer outfits for graduation ceremonies or a bakery could promote special treats for Mother’s Day.
With this strategy, you can effectively connect with your audience and increase brand awareness.
#6: Use Social Listening
Social listening – it’s a content marketing strategy where you keep a watchful eye on your brand’s social media presence. Gaining insights about your target audience and industry is the ultimate goal.
Small companies often miss out on the benefits of social listening. But it’s a tactic that can truly transform their content marketing efforts.
Consider this scenario – a small coffee shop employs social listening. They observe that customers frequently complain about long wait times during busy hours. With this information in hand, the coffee shop can launch a focused content campaign. They can address the issue and promote their less busy hours as a solution.
Here are two practical tips to make social listening work for your small business:
- Stay informed by tracking relevant keywords and hashtags in your industry. This keeps you up to date with industry trends and customer opinions.
- Respond to customer feedback and engage with followers. This helps build strong relationships and improves customer satisfaction.
Remember, social listening isn’t just about observing – it’s about actively engaging with your target audience and using the insights to enhance your content marketing strategy.
#7. Give Your Followers a Behind-the-Scenes Look
If you’re looking to strengthen the connection with your audience, consider showcasing the person behind your brand by providing a glimpse into your day-to-day operations.
For instance, if you’re the owner of a florist shop, why not invite your followers to witness the beauty and artistry of creating stunning flower arrangements?
Share the magic of selecting blooms and the process of turning them into a magnificent display.
Here are some tips for maximizing this approach:
Introduce your team: People love to see the human side of a business. Highlight the unique talents and skills of your employees, helping your followers build a personal connection with your brand.
Be open and honest: Discuss the challenges and obstacles you face in running your business. This fosters trust and credibility with your audience.
Demonstrate your process: Host live stream sessions where your team works together on projects, unveils new products, or participates in team-building activities.
Treat your followers to a story: Amuse your followers with interesting stories about your company’s history, its origin, and some of the quirky events that have taken place along the way.
#8: Refresh Your Old Content to Stay Relevant
As small business content marketers, your goal is to reach as many people as possible with the limited time and resources that we have.
One way to achieve this is by repurposing your content to reach more customers across different channels. Old content can still have value, but it needs to be updated to stay relevant and engaging.
With the fast pace of change in many industries, it’s essential to keep our content up-to-date in order to reach the right people and make an impact.
Here’s a simple 5-step process to update your old content and make it relevant again:
- Review your content — First go through your content directory and identify which pieces of content need to be updated and why.
- Research the latest changes — Gather new data and information relevant to your content. Make a note of all the changes, and new updates.
- Update your content — Add the latest information and make any necessary changes to your content.
- Optimize for search — Ensure your updated content is optimized for search engines. That means, include relevant keywords in the fresh content as well.
- Schedule republishing — Choose the right platform and schedule your updated content to be republished.
With this process, you can breathe new life into your old content and reach new audiences. And, keep your existing audience more informed about your industry.
#9. Try Content Curation
Small businesses tired of the same old content flooding the internet can shake things up by harnessing the power of curating content. It’s not just about sharing others’ work, but bringing together the best from multiple sources and presenting it in a way that adds value to your audience.
Curating content can help you establish thought leadership, build trust, and showcase the latest and best in your industry. Although starting a curated content strategy can seem like a lot of work, it’s a proven way to grow your business.
A few tips to get started:
- Select sources wisely, focus on relevant and high-quality sources that align with your brand and audience.
- Put your own spin on things, bring your unique perspective and add value to the curated content.
- Spread the word, promote your curation on social media, newsletters, and your website to show your expertise and drive traffic.
- Keep track of the content you’ve curated and the sources you’ve used to avoid duplicating efforts and to make it easier for you to share the content in the future.
- Encourage your audience to share their thoughts and opinions on the curated content.
#10: Survey Your Customers
As a small business marketer, you have the chance to take your marketing efforts to the next level by getting direct feedback from your customers. As you ask them what topics they’re interested in learning more about, you can create content that truly resonates with them.
Not only will this give you a better understanding of your customers’ needs and preferences, it can also help build a stronger connection with them.
To get the best results, try two techniques: a single-question poll or a comprehensive survey.
The former is quicker and less demanding for customers, but yields limited information. The latter provides a deeper dive, but requires more customer participation.
Maximize the impact of your survey by following these tips:
- Make the form brief and focused
- Use clear, precise questions
- Get permission before sending
- Offer incentives for completion
- Relevance to customer needs is key
- Follow up with a thank-you to those who participated.
Content Marketing Ideas for Small Businesses – Conclusion
We hope that you found these content marketing ideas for small businesses useful!
Clio Websites is a full-service website design and marketing company in Calgary. We have vast experience in responsive website design, website maintenance, WordPress development, and SEO. Clio offers free consultations and free website evaluations and we receive glowing reviews from our clients.
Our team is always happy to answer any questions regarding these suggestions, so please contact us.