There is no question that content marketing works. The more content you publish, the more traffic your website will typically receive. And, for a small business, that traffic translates into sales and brand exposure.
Without a solid content marketing strategy, your business could miss important opportunities for success. Content marketing offers endless benefits for small business owners. Not only does it offer solutions to customer problems, but it’s great for your SEO efforts and can position you as an authority in your field.
Different types of content will help you connect with different types of customers. This increases your reach and allows you to catch people at different points of the customer journey, so think about the needs of your audience before building your content marketing strategy.
Let’s look at the five types of content every small business needs to publish now to enhance your reputation and increase sales numbers.
Faq Guides That Answer Common Customer Questions
No matter your industry, customers will have questions that need to be answered. Create content focused on answering the most commonly heard questions. As users search for answers, they will look to your content for support.
Answering your customers’ common questions can have a range of benefits, for example:
- It can boost your search engine rankings for queries relevant to your business
- It can make life easier for your customer service team
- It can help build trust with your customers and show you understand them
- It can help people to make more informed purchasing decisions
Do some keyword research to find the questions you should be answering with your content. This can help you to create SEO-friendly content that will allow you to reach your target audience through the search engine results pages. Make a list of these questions and brainstorm content ideas that will help you to target them.
Another way to figure out what questions to answer with your content is through product reviews on Reddit, Amazon, and other forums related to your industry. Sometimes customers will ask questions within their feedback, and you can use these questions to guide your content production.
How-to Guides That Show Off Your Skills And Knowledge
A how-to guide provides information on how to perform a task using step-by-step directions. This content can target relevant keywords, address your customers’ pain points, build trust with your target audience, and position you as an authority in your field.
You can create written how-to guides with video tutorials to sit alongside them to get even more eyes on your content. Generating visual content will make it easier to market your business on Instagram and other social media platforms, too.
Choose an essential process for your target audience or answer a common question with a step-by-step process to help your customers complete specific tasks. Be thorough and provide details that allow the reader to understand the process steps better.
Let’s take a look at an example of this type of content to give you some inspiration.
Bankruptcy Canada, a bankruptcy support service, knows that filing for bankruptcy can be confusing and sensitive for its clients. So, they created a comprehensive how-to guide that breaks up the bankruptcy process and answers common questions customers have about each step. Their guide is easy to follow and offers the reader a complete overview of the bankruptcy process, and it addresses a specific concern that their target audience has.
Take a look at the detailed, easy-to-follow table of contents on the left side. This makes it super simple for readers to find the exact information they need. It also assures the potential client that Bankruptcy Canada can help with the complicated process with a clear call to action at the end to contact their experts to assist with filing bankruptcy.
Remember that your how-to guide isn’t a sales pitch. It’s meant to inform your reader and prove that you are a leader in your industry. Save your call to action for the end of the piece to prevent customers from thinking your information isn’t genuine.
Ultimate Guides That Show You’re An Industry Expert
Ultimate guides make great additions to any digital marketing strategy because they position you as a thought leader and industry expert. They answer all of the questions someone might have and provide an abundance of information that a searcher may need on a particular topic.
Ultimate guides also foster trust and communicate authority because they dig so deep into a specific topic that matters to your audience. They make it easy to target keywords and will save your customer service team a lot of time, too, because of all the common questions they can answer. You can develop ultimate guide topics by reviewing customer questions and doing keyword research to identify the most popular issues and trends.
Let’s take a look at a company that has created a great ultimate guide to help their audience and rank higher on relevant search engine results pages.
Techdee has an ultimate guide that offers advice on how to plan an event. They divide their content into seven steps, making the information easy to follow and flow well for the reader. And, because it focuses on event planning, it will attract readers from multiple industries that host in-person and online events.
Choose a topic that applies to multiple industries and addresses key concerts your target audience may have. Logically organize the information, as well, and make it easy for readers to find what they are looking for.
On the other hand, Cisco Umbrella, a cloud security service, has created an ultimate guide to DNS Security to explain what it is and why customers need it now. This content provides general DNS security knowledge and moves to answer common questions like “are DNS servers secure?” and, finally, why their DNS services are the best available.
Notice how Cisco Umbrella lets the reader know when their content was last updated, too. This helps build credibility and tells users the information is accurate and up to date. They also use engaging and informative graphics that help clarify the information for readers.
You can do the same to ensure your customers know that you are updated on the latest trends in your industry and that the information you present is timely and relevant.
Buying Guides That Help Customers Make Informed Purchases
Buying guides offer in-depth information on selecting the right product to suit a buyer’s needs. They guide the reader through the purchasing process and give suggestions on how to tell whether or not a product will be the right fit for their intended end-use.
They help customers make the best decision when making a purchase, which leads to better reviews, fewer customer complaints, fewer returns, and less work for your customer service team. Here are some tips on how to produce a practical buying guide:
- Focus on providing engaging and educational content
- Maintain a neutral tone
- Include customer-friendly images
- Include product links
- Keep the content updated
Buying guides are meant to catch people in the decision stage of the sales funnel. They are essential to giving customers a gentle nudge towards making a purchase with you. This content also builds your authority and shows that your company cares about its customers’ well-being.
The structure of your buying guide will depend on the level of knowledge you expect your audience to have. Here are five different types of buying guides and how they are designed.
|Type Of Buying Guide||Content Description|
|How-to shopping guide||
Buying guides can be loaded with keywords and tailored to hit multiple sales funnel stages. Consider mixing and matching different types of buying guides to create an ultimate buyer’s guide that can help your customers make sound decisions while building trust in your brand.
Free Tools That Address Your Customers’ Pain Points
Everyone loves free stuff, especially if it’s helpful and fulfills a need. Free resources are a potent marketing tool for certain types of businesses.
They allow you to show what you can do and give potential customers a sample of what they can expect. Free resources and tools build loyalty among your target customers and are very shareable, which means they are fantastic for building links.
Backlinks are pivotal for SEO because they act as a vote of confidence from another site, meaning they let search engines know that others can back up your content.
There are many different types of free tools a business could create and offer, such as:
- Digital clip art
- Printable items
Focus on offering free tools that will address customer pain points. These resources should be easy to use and provide a solution for an issue you hear about from customers time and time again.
For example, Vencru, a bookkeeping app, offers a library of 10 free templates aimed at helping small business owners generate common accounting documents that may be confusing without the right background knowledge.
Notice how they encourage the user to share these “free Excel accounting templates” with friends at the bottom of their free tool list. This encourages visitors to share the document and tell their friends where they found this helpful tool.
To access the resource, users must enter their email address and name. This tactic offers a great way to build your email list and support your email marketing strategy by generating a list of qualified leads.
Design free tools that are valuable to your target audience and promote them through your social media outlets. Track which resources have the most shares and downloads so you can generate more content geared towards those needs.
Remember, just because it’s free doesn’t mean you aren’t gaining anything for your business. Brand exposure and lead generation are huge benefits that will make your content strategy incredibly effective.
When working to grow your small business, high-quality and diverse content is a requirement. Its success depends on you having a solid content marketing strategy.
Define your customer personas and generate content for your digital marketing strategy to attract users and help your website rank higher on relevant search engine results pages.
If you’re looking for more strategies to grow your small business, check out Techdee for more articles on content development and valuable business advice.
Author bio & headshot:
Adam Steele is COO and co-founder of Loganix, which is an SEO fulfillment partner for digital marketing agencies and professionals. The company provides the SEO services that businesses need to grow and achieve their goals. If you enjoyed this article, you can find more SEO guides and templates on the Loganix blog.