Content marketing is another small business trend with big future
By Leanne Hoagland-Smith January 18, 2014 12:36PM
Leanne Hoagland-Smith. | Provided photo~Sun-Times Media
Did you know 50 percent of U.S. small businesses do not have a website?
According to Yodle, in June 2013, 52 percent of small businesses surveyed did not have a website. In 2012, the U.S. Census Bureau revealed 75.2 percent of the 14,441,089 businesses surveyed did not have a website.
Without a website, the evolving trend of content marketing is probably new or foreign to many small business owners. The lack of a website affects passive income and business sustainability.
In basic terms, content marketing is a marketing strategy and tactic where relevant information is both created and distributed. The end results of this action are the same as in any marketing strategy:
• Attract attention
• Build relationships with ideal customers
Blogs are probably the most common channels for distribution. Article directory sites as well as other social media sites can also be distribution channels for relevant content.
Content marketing has evolved into content curation where small businesses collect, organize and display relevant and quality information within a specific genre or area of interest. Currently even content curation has taken another direction through “newsjacking.” This next direction is using current news and events and integrating them into your content marketing efforts.
For example, a newsjacking article might be entitled “Create Your Own Super Bowl Sales Team.” This article would be displayed in the blog during the week before the Super Bowl.
All of these content marketing actions can direct people through hypertext links to specific pages within your website where you have the opportunity to offer some solutions providing you passive income. By using additional technology you can have customers purchase white papers, assessments, eBooks, etc. through an online payment process such as PayPal. Another passive income strategy is being an affiliate for websites such as Amazon or Google AdSense.
Your content marketing efforts and passive income provide additional time to create sustainable solutions. Sustainability is truly more than just being “eco-friendly” or “green,” but about maximizing your efforts thus allowing you to realize a positive return on your investment.
Of course with these three trends of content marketing, passive income and sustainability, your small business needs a viable website. From my small business coaching experience, more than 90 percent of small businesses with a website have a non-functional website.
These websites are not search engine-friendly or search engine-optimized. And in many cases those who provide website services including marketing firms charge big bucks and produce little results.
Yes trends, changes in direction, are continually happening. No longer can small business owners or sales professionals ignore these trends or claim ignorance unless of course they wish to be out of business within the next few years.
P.S. Shout Out – Paul Williams of Big Dog Trucking (freight brokerage firm) in Merrillville and Douglas C. Mogck a wealth management adviser for Northwest Mutual are two local small businesses that continually work to build sustainable economic growth here in Northwest Indiana.