As a Canadian small business owner, one of the biggest challenges you have is getting more leads to help grow your customer base. You know potential customers are out there — they just don’t know about your business. This post will provide tips for content you can share online to bring in new customers.
Content marketing can be a very affordable way to find new clients.
In this article you will learn what content marketing is, tips on where to start and why every business should use this low-cost strategy to connect with new customers.
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So, what is content marketing?
Content marketing is the practice of producing articles, videos and other content that potential customers will find interesting. It comes in many forms:
- Articles posted to your business blog.
- Pinterest boards.
- YouTube videos.
- Social media posts.
- Facebook Live video streams.
- Even user-submitted content, like photos submitted to a photo contest.
All these can be used to generate leads and awareness for your business. In most cases, such as with social media marketing, your only investment is the time it takes to create your posts, infographics or videos.
Where to start?
One of the biggest challenges I find many businesses have when it comes to content marketing is they’re unsure what to write or talk about. Here’s a great tip for content writing to help get you started.
Start by answering the three most-asked questions you get from new customers.
You could answer questions by using your blog, addressing each question in a separate post. A blog post is a short write up on your website that can also include pictures, links, contact information — even a call-to-action (e.g. “Schedule your free consultation now”).
Let’s use a dog grooming business for example.
One question could be “How much does it cost for grooming?”
Within this blog post, you could explain your business’s pricing for the different breeds.
Another tip for content is to draw attention to your post use eye-catching pictures, maybe of a cute puppy getting groomed. A few great websites to find free pictures to use in your posts are Unsplash, Pixabay and Pexels.
Another question: “How long does grooming take?
For this one, let’s try a different format by using a video to provide the content, answers and lead generation. The video could be recorded then uploaded to YouTube and social media channels like your business Facebook page or Instagram.
Another excellent option for video is a Facebook or YouTube live stream. A live stream is when you broadcast your video in real time.
You can live stream using most smartphones.
You could stream yourself washing and grooming a dog (use your own pet to avoid potential liability or permission issues). Or you could answer viewers' questions. Video live streams are a great way to engage with potential customers.
Once the live stream has ended, you can save the video and add it to your website — possibly to a blog post about grooming.
My friend, Brian Fanzo has some great tips on content like this, along with the gear he uses to live stream like a pro.
And a third question: Do you provide any unique services?
Here again, you could publish a blog post or even a series of posts to explain these services. Be sure to include photos and a link to your online scheduler or Contact us form.
Tips for content: How often should you post?
Ok now that we have an idea of the kind of content that drives leads, many businesses wonder how often they should post or share videos, etc. To start, I would recommend posting a fresh piece of content at least once a month.
It’s important that potential customers see new content regularly, as it helps to build recognition.
A couple more tips for lead generation through content:
Plan your postings in advance
Use a calendar to map out the topics you plan to publish over the next six months. Plan more posts during the season or time of the year when your product or service becomes in high demand.
Distribute it far and wide
So you’ve written an awesome blog post or have a YouTube video on dog grooming. Now it’s time to get that content in front of more readers or viewers. Try sharing it on social media channels like Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn. The more exposure it gets, the better.
Captivate them with content
In closing, you now have a number of tips for content that brings in new clients. No matter what format you use to get the message out — be it a blog post, video, social media, podcast or monthly newsletter — always remember to include a way for the reader or viewer to contact you.
This could be a link to your Contact us or lead generation form or your business address with an invitation to stop by next week during your shop’s free giveaway.
Stick with it and you’ll learn what many others already know: content marketing works.