Learning Hub | Content Marketing

Content Marketing For Small Businesses: Three Great Examples

July 1, 2014 | Jon Teodoro

What the heck is content marketing?!

Content marketing for small businesses is a hot topic in the online marketing world. So what exactly is content marketing? Content marketing is defined as the following:

“Content marketing is a marketing technique of creating and distributing valuable, relevant and consistent content to attract and acquire a clearly defined audience – with the objective of driving profitable customer action”

So why use content marketing? The answer is simple: the digital age has opened the doors for mass content consumption. Every time you see someone’s head buried in their phone or eyes glaring at the computer screen for hours, they are most likely on Facebook, reading the news,  or researching information, etc. – which are all forms of content consumption. As you are reading this blog post, you are consuming (our) content.

Content marketing has been perpetuated by social media networks and the ability to share information with your friends, which if interesting enough, will reach their friends, and their friends’ friends, and so on. The viral potential for your content to reach thousands of even millions of people is real, but your content marketing strategy and timing, among other things, must be optimal as well.

So how can a small business use content marketing to “drive profitable customer action”?

To increase your likelihood of success in content marketing for your small business, you must begin with the end in mind. Ask yourself, “what is the specific action I want my customer to take after reading my content?”. For example, you may want users to subscribe to your mailing list so you can stay connected with them.  Some other common end goals for businesses is to aim for users to download an e-book or print out a coupon. Or maybe you want to jump the gun and aim to drive sales from your content marketing efforts. Regardless of action you want your customer to take, clearly defining your goals is essential to a successful content marketing campaign. After you define your goals, you will have a better understanding of what resources, content, and medium to utilize to get the most out of your campaign.

To further illustrate the importance of content marketing and to give you a better idea of how to use it, check out how these three great companies are using content marketing to grow their small businesses.

  1. The Waffle ShopThe Waffle Shop is a Pittsburgh, PA-based breakfast joint that took content marketing to the next level by broadcasting a live-streaming talk show with their customers – right in the middle of the restaurant! The show has multiple formats in which anyone can come to the microphone and talk about literally anything, which makes for a very interesting broadcast. This outside-the-box strategy not only attracts customers who want to eat delicious waffles, but also drives traffic to the business for those who simply want to spectate the live shows. Click here to view an example of a live broadcast.
  2. Chinese Drywall Health EducationAlthough it may not sound like a very exciting topic to subscribe to content about, the Chinese drywall problem was a legitimate health hazard for thousands of Florida homeowners. Because of this, Roberts and Durkee, a run-of-the-mill law firm, used content marketing to become the de facto consumer advocate for victims of the Chinese drywall problem. By launching a website, ChineseDrywallProblem.com, Roberts and Durkee was able to effectively reach out to Floridians online by publishing regular and consistent updates about the reality of toxic Chinese-manufactured drywall. This resulted in tremendous business opportunities for the firm.
  3. Lauren LukeLaunched in 2007, Lauren Luke started selling make-up products on eBay as a side income to supplement her day job as a taxi dispatcher. To help boost sales, Lauren began creating original make-up application videos and posted them on Youtube. Five years later, Lauren has accomplished unbelievable heights in her business ventures by having her own brand of make-up which is exclusively distributed by Sephora, She has also created a bigger following than make-up giant Estee Lauder on Youtube – all without spending a dime on traditional advertising. Check out an example of some of here content at her website: LaurenLuke.com

As you can see by the above examples, no business is too small to benefit from content marketing. All you need is some creativity, consistency and a strategy to execute.

What are some other examples of local businesses in your area taking advantage of content marketing?