The decline of the yellow pages left a major advertising void for small businesses. In the past, they could always fall back on a yellow pages ad to help market their business. The yellow pages understood this, and greedily charged exorbitant rates and forced 12-month agreements on their customers. Those business practices ultimately led to many clients fleeing for digital marketing, and the yellow pages have been in virtual freefall ever since.
But not every small business left the yellow pages, and those that stayed are now stuck in a tough spot. What other options do they have? How can they continue to market their companies without breaking the bank?
Fear not, small business owner. I have the perfect solution for you: content marketing.
Now, I know what you might be thinking. Whoa, whoa, whoa, I’m not some computer whiz here. I can barely use the internet to pay my credit card bill, now you want me to rely on it to market my company?
But rest assured, you don’t have to be some kind of expert hacker to make use of digital marketing. It’s a lot easier than you think. But before we talk about that, let’s discuss why content marketing is a smart choice for the small business.
You’re not marketing to yourself
Sure, you might not be very computer proficient – but your customers are. Whether it’s on a computer, tablet or smartphone, Americans now rely on the internet for dozens of daily tasks. And if you want to reach them, you need to go to where they are: the internet.
Whenever the modern consumer has a question, where do they go to find the answer? More often than not, they do a Google search. With Google, they have access to all of humanity’s collective wisdom online. Sure, usually they’re searching Google to find out if the Golden State Warriors won tonight or to check the weather for tomorrow, but they have the ability to find any answer they need online.
Therefore, if a customer needed to find a local business, where do you think they would go first? They would look to Google. And if you’re not utilizing content marketing strategies, your business isn’t going to show up in the search results. But if you have a competitor that has embraced digital marketing, their website will.
Content marketing isn’t as complicated as you fear
So hopefully you now realize that content marketing is a smart choice for your business. I already know what your next question is: can I afford it? Fortunately, content marketing is very affordable, and will almost always be considerably cheaper than yellow pages advertising.
To put it as simply as possible, content marketing focuses on attracting customers to your business’ website through the use of relevant content (namely, blog articles). The content must be relevant so it shows up in search results for your potential customers – they then click on the article and go to your website.
Once there, you use content once again to turn the visitor into a lead. You do this with “content offers,” which are basically more in-depth versions of your blogs (usually in another format, such as a white paper or short eBook). These content offers have to be more in-depth because you’re going to ask the visitor to submit contact information in exchange for them. Once they’ve provided that information, you can now get in touch with them and they’ve become a lead. Pretty simple, right?
So how much work is involved on your part to make this happen? At minimum, you need a business website (which you should really already have) and someone on staff who can write some blog articles and content offers. That’s it. Of course, this is only the bare minimum – there are plenty of tips and strategies to help you be more successful at content marketing. You can learn a lot of these things by reading through our blog, and if you want some hands-on assistance, feel free to contact us anytime.
But the bottom line is, you can afford content marketing and you can make it work for your business. In this digital age, don’t let the world pass you by. You need to be online to stay competitive, and content marketing can help you accomplish that without too much trouble.