Content marketing – is there a buzzword trendier?
Content is all the rage right now. It’s proven its effectiveness, and we’re seeing plenty of medium and large businesses jumping in head first.
But what about small businesses? Companies without huge budgets and dedicated staff – can they craft top-notch content and find success via this new(ish) channel, too?
You bet. If you’re thinking about diving into content marketing for your business, here are six examples of other small businesses who are killing it with content marketing and reaping the benefits.
1. Pic’s Peanut Butter
Our first small business content crush is Pic’s Peanut Butter. They’re on social media like a lot of small businesses, but they’ve managed to take their social presence to the next level by truly branding it.
If you look at their Instagram feed, the images all seem to go together – they establish a cohesive style of photo that projects as part of the company’s brand. In addition to the style of photograph, the content behind them is consistent, too. Followers can always expect to find recipes or easy to follow instructions accompanying the mouthwatering images.
Construct a consistent style and brand around your social media profiles. Don’t just publish one-off posts from time-to-time – follow a cohesive strategy.
HelloFresh’s blog is what the pinnacle of understanding your customers looks like. They know that their customers are foodies who enjoy cooking. They live for finding new recipes, experimenting with exotic foods, and putting fresh twists on old standby dishes.
On the blog, HelloFresh caters to this exact audience. They’ve built a beautifully-designed go-to digital locale where their customers (and, more importantly, people just like them) can always expect to find new and exciting recipes to try.
Content marketing is never about you. Successful content starts by asking what information will be valuable to your target audience. Mentions of your own product, if you include any, must all stem from a place of providing value to your customers.
Unlike the first two examples, MoveHub opted to create versatile content that can live anywhere – instead of their own content hub. They’ve created a number of well-designed infographics that combine data with visual imagery to tell a powerful story.
The beauty of infographics is that they can be curated and shared on hundreds of other websites, in addition to MoveHub’s own blog. That’s not just good for SEO – it also allows MoveHub to tap into the unique audiences of each of those different sites, expanding their potential reach and growing their following.
You don’t always need to build a home for your content. When you create insightful linkable assets that other websites can’t help but share, you open up a world of opportunities to reach new people you may have otherwise missed out on.
TheSkimm made a big splash in the content world when they first launched for one reason: they made use of a content channel that’s really popular but often overlooked. Email. We get millions of emails every day, but how many do you actually want to read?
By combining a new audience (Millennials) with a well-worn and reliable medium (email), theSkimm was able to grow their audience in record time. Subscribers sign up because they want to be informed about current events but don’t have the time to read 25 long-form articles each day. It’s a pain-point, and theSkimm solves it.
Don’t be afraid to buck the trend. While everyone else is going on about blogs and resource centers, your audience might be craving something different. Give it to them.
Monetate built a great blog, but so do plenty of businesses large and small. What makes them different? They’re writing about things no one else is. We talk about "thought leadership" blogs all the time, but how many of them are truly driving thought in their industries?
While many of us are rehashing what the current landscape of the market looks like, true thought leadership blogs like Monetate are busy imagining what the market of tomorrow will look like – and helping us prepare for it.
Don’t be just another shout into the digital void, and don’t publish a blog just for the sake of publishing a blog. Show your expertise. Use your voice to shape your industry and help customers understand what to expect from tomorrow.
6. Dollar Shave Club
Okay, so they’re not that small anymore, but Dollar Shave Club was a tiny business when they began marketing through videos like the one above. When the first video started gaining ground online, it was a much needed breath of fresh air. It’s humor and lack of formality stood in stark contrast to how competitors had been advertising for years.
By utilizing online channels like YouTube (instead of traditional TV spots) and creating content radically different from the industry big guys, Dollar Shave Club gave a proverbial finger to the establishment – a sentiment that resonates really well with their young audience.
Don’t blindly follow industry leaders just because they’re seeing success. Buck the trend. Do things a little differently and create content that both appeals to your audience and sets you apart from industry mainstays.
Content Marketing for Your Small Business
It’s easy to think content marketing is a big business’s game – but it’s just plain big business. Small businesses everywhere are finding success by jumping headfirst into content marketing, and they’re making waves in the industry, too. Why not yours?
Share your favorite small business content engines with us in the comments!