The traditional way of marketing is no where near as effective as it once was. The public have been inundated with every kind of direct marketing method, from tv commercials to email marketing, with so much is now being viewed as spam, lowering its effectiveness. Because of this, most marketing attempts by a small business are simply being ignored, and so new ways to reach out to customers must be sought and they must alter the way they market. One very effective way is through content marketing.
Content marketing deals very much with education rather than ‘here’s my product, this is what it can do for you’. Instead, it sets out to educate the potential client, and often without any mention of the product or service provided. Its aim at this stage is to communicate with the customer, build a relationship with them and ultimately earn trust.
One of the most effective ways to content market is using a blog as a vehicle. With a blog, the small business can write short articles that address certain problems, and then provide solutions to them. The ultimate solution is of course by purchasing the product or service, but the customer is lead to make that decision themself. In other words, no direct marketing, but the idea is put into their minds, and through educating them, they themselves come to the solution.
A plumbing business is a very good example of how this strategy can be used and work. The plumber will have his regular site, with services and products, but also attached to this, he should have a blog to create informative articles that will help and educate potential customers on a variety of issues. Not only are the articles helpful, informative and educational, but they also provide many extra potential doorways into the site.
Another excellent reason for the small business to blog is to retain business. It is far harder to market to new customers than it is to keep existing ones. By creating new, relevant and interesting content to the blog, the small business is able to pull back previous customers to the site. How? One way is through social media. Another is via emailing them with news of a new post. Whichever way is chosen, if the content is of good quality and relevant to the customer base, they will return. And each time they return is the chance for a potential sale, or at the very least, keeping the business in their minds.
So, why does a local business need a blog anyway? Simply to educate their customer base, to build a relationship of trust, and to keep the lines of communication open to them. Traditional marketing techniques are not working as well at present (they may improve as less businesses utilize that method), but for now a small business must have a blog attached to their website. Above all, the blog must updated regularly with relevant content, and must give the customers advice, education and build up trust.