Content Marketing for New Business Owners: What it is and why it's important
When you start your business, you know that content marketing is important, but you may not be sure how to go about it. Or, quite possibly, you didn't know that it was a thing.
Well, let me be the one to tell you, content marketing is one of the most important and valuable ways to find customers and sell your product or service.
But which platform should you promote on? How often should you post? What should you write about? And why is content marketing the best way to promote your business?
All these concerns are questions I had when I was first starting out, so I would love to walk through step by step which platforms are best to promote on, why it's important, what to write about, and how to go about content marketing. So let's dive in.
So first, what is content marketing and why is it important?
According to a resource dedicated to all things content-marketing related, they define content marketing as:
The goal for content marketing is to provide valuable content to attract a certain audience. This includes information your audience would gravitate toward and resonate with. The other keyword there is consistent. Your audience wants to rely on you to give them content that can help them, and when you're providing that content consistently you're building one of the most important things with your customers = trust. This is how content marketing works best.
First off, you need to know your audience
The most important part of content marketing is knowing who you're talking to so you can know what to talk about. Sounds simple but this can be a tricky step.
For instance, when you say "I offer photography services to young families" you're providing content for those people. So you can offer information about topics they would be interested in, such as:
When to Do a Newborn Session
How to get Ready for Your Family Photos
Dressing a Big Family: What to Wear for Family Photos
All of these topics would interest your potential customers.
This isn't only important to know what to write about, but it's also important to know because you want to speak their language.
For example: If your audience is photographers, you would want to talk about lighting, F-stop, white balance, and lenses. Obviously, people who aren't photographers won't connect with what you're talking about, but you don't want them to. You're speaking to photographers, so don't be shy about talking only to them.
NOTE: It's also important to know how your audience speaks. This dictates the language you use. So, think about who you're talking to, how they would talk, and how you can help them when thinking about content marketing.
Channels for providing content marketing
There are many platforms where you can provide content marketing and I've listed only a few:
Social media platforms
Instagram is an awesome platform for any business but especially the visually creative types. You can easily show your work, your photos, or your knowledge using this platform. I've seen some people use this platform to provide mini blog posts where they provide a ton of value in the space they're provided. This is a great platform to do this. If you need some ideas for what to post about, check out this post where I give you 50 content ideas to boost your Instagram feed.
Even though you only have 160 characters, you can still drop some value bombs on this platform. You can also direct people to more information or resources as well. The life span of a tweet isn't very long, so showing up often and consistently is the key to this platform.
You have a lot of opportunities to share your knowledge in Facebook, whether it be on your business account or your personal account. People check out both when they're interested in learning more. Share something helpful and give them a way to learn more.
Having a blog is one of the best ways to content market in my opinion. It gives your audience something to come back to when you post consistently, people can rely on you to offer helpful resources and you have complete freedom to share all your knowledge.
Podcasts are quickly gaining speed to become the new blog. Podcasts are fun to listen to and very easy to digest. Podcasts are a great way to communicate with your audience on a more intimate level, as weird as that may sound. You can communicate tone, inflection, and personality with this platform and it's a great way for your audience to get to know you better.
One of the most underrated and not yet mainstream platforms is video. This platform really gives your audience the best way to get to know you cause they can both see you and hear you. Video can be done many ways, through Facebook live, Instagram stories, or a YouTube channel... people love seeing you and hearing from you and I believe video is something every business owner should start doing – I need to get better at this myself!
Another one of the best forms of content marketing is email marketing. When you have an email list you're speaking to people who have already agreed to hear from you, who want to know more about what you offer and who will for sure receive what you're offering. They may not open the email every time, but you know that they received it. For more information about getting started with your email list, check out this post.
How to know which platform to promote on?
Every business should go with email marketing. Having a newsletter list gives you access to people who are already interested in what you offer and you can cater what you sell to this fan base.
If you have a visual-based business such as art, design, or photography, I highly recommend Instagram. This visual platform is your best opportunity to show off your portfolio, your work, your process, and your style. Posting 2-3 times a day is optimal but not required. The more often you post, the more chances you have to reach your ideal audience and show more of your work.
For the non-visual businesses such as copywriting, coaching, social media strategist and developing, I recommend Twitter and LinkedIn. These platforms are great to show your expertise, your resume and your knowledge with other professionals and your ideal audience.
Any business can use a blog, a podcast, or video to promote their business. Each platform is a great way to show your expertise and attract your ideal audience. If you're the extroverted type, video would be a great showcase for your personality. Introverted types may go for something less intimidating like podcasting or blogging. Blogging is great for anyone and for those who would want to repurpose their content later on down the line. Using old blog posts you could use them in a variety of ways later on.
Last but not least
Like we mentioned in the very beginning, your content should not only be valuable, but it needs to be consistent.
Consistency is the one way you can provide your audience with a way to trust you. Each platform is different and consistency varies from one person to the next but think about what works best for you in your situation. Think about how often your audience is on which platform and plan accordingly.
If you can only blog once a week, blog once a week. If you can only post to Instagram once a day, then do it once a day. Getting started takes baby steps. So start small and work your way to more often and posting on more platforms.
I hope this post was helpful as you start to think about how you can market your business through valuable content for your audiences. Let me know what you think!
What do you find hard about content marketing?
How are you incorporating it into your own business?
If there is one thing you could master when it comes to content marketing, what would it be?