What is content marketing and how can it help my small business?

From the huge corporations right down to the small one-person business, everyone seems to be scrambling to build an effective online presence.

And with everyone vying for attention and the competition getting tougher, one thing is emerging as a clear and growing trend: cheap traffic-building tricks and spammy advertising tactics are out–and quality content creation is in.

If you’re looking to take your business to a whole new level, then content marketing is an effective strategy that you can start implementing right away. The question you are probably asking is: what is content marketing and how can it help my small business?

Content Marketing Basics

Content marketing is simply creating useful, valuable content – in any form – distributing it, and attracting people who are looking for the information you share. But it doesn’t end there.

It’s also about educating and entertaining your readers so that you can convert them into customers, who eventually become advocates.

It’s Similar To Networking

Interestingly enough, the principles of content marketing are very similar to networking, which has always been one of the most cost-effective and practical ways to grow your client base.

Now that technology has paved the way for this kind of strategic marketing to be taken online and massively amplified, you can make use of blogs, articles, podcasts, and videos to get your brand out there.

All you need is expertise, the right technology, and an effective strategy – and you can potentially reach millions of people from all over the world and sign them up as customers.

It’s All About Adding Value

But there is just so much content out there that it’s easy to scroll past it in the stream of noise. So how do you make sure that your content is worth reading?

A lot of companies (big and small) are confused about how to promote their business online; there’s so much confusion about SEO, keywords, platforms, and tools. But the key to content marketing that works is based on delivering on one main promise: adding VALUE to your reader.

Value is what attracts an audience, converts readers into loyal customers. The content you create should never be self-serving, it needs to be created with the intention of helping people find the answers they are looking for.

Being generous, rather being guarded about the information you provide, lays the foundation for good content that keeps readers coming back for more.

How Do I Get Started?

So how, you are probably asking, can you call it marketing if you are giving away all the good stuff for free? And how can you possibly make any sales if you can’t promote your products and services in your content?

Once you understand the principles of creating a basic campaign, you’ll see that there are lots of opportunities to monetise your expertise through content.

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Gina Romero

Gina Romero is a community builder who harnesses technology to drive the success of women entrepreneurs. Working with corporate partners, local organisations and government agencies, Gina creates initiatives that strengthen the regional startup and SME ecosystem. She is the Founder of Connected Women.

Read Gina's recent interview on 'How One Woman Is Bringing Opportunity To More Women In Southeast Asia'.

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