Content Marketing for Small Business: What You Need to Know

Emma Siemasko on Content marketing,


More and more small businesses are using content marketing to create interest, generate leads, and convert web visitors to paying customers.

According to research from Demand Metric, content marketing costs 62% less than outbound marketing and generates 3x as many leads. For small business owners, content marketing is an inexpensive way to lead online visitors down a sales funnel.

But what is content marketing, and should you use it as part of your marketing strategy? The answer is yes. Here’s why content marketing is a great option for small businesses.

What is content marketing?

Today’s consumers are bombarded. They see and hear traditional advertising everywhere - on TV, radio, and billboards. When they go online, there are even more ads, but they can use ad blockers to filter out the noise and interruptions of push advertising.

The online ecosystem has put consumers in the driver’s seat.

Small businesses use content marketing to connect with prospects and customers. Rather than forcing people to look at an ad they don’t want to see, content marketing draws people in. Businesses use content marketing to encourage trust and build brand awareness through educational articles. They encourage action through eBook downloads.

Here are a few examples of small businesses putting content marketing to use:

Birchbox a beauty subscription service has a digital magazine full of helpful makeup and hair tips. Prospective customers can get relevant lifestyle content for a subject that interests them.

Grasshopper a virtual phone system for small business has a resource center with tips on how to start and run a business. Budding entrepreneurs will be interested in the content about how to get funding, do their taxes, and market their new venture.

Canva a simple image creation tool has a blog called “Design School” which contains articles and interactive tutorials on design. Those exploring the world of design can get helpful info from Canva’s blog.

Ultimately, content marketing provides an inexpensive way to attract customers and lead them through your sales funnel.

The foundation of a content marketing strategy

The best content marketing strategies have a sales funnel at their core. When you create a strategy, you want to be sure that you understand your sales funnel, and are ready to create content for each step in the process.

For example, here’s how you can weave a content marketing strategy and sales funnel together:

1. Attract visitors and build awareness

Blogging on subjects of interest, and providing answers to customer’s biggest problems will attract visitors to your site. When consumers learn about you through well-written, educational content, they’ll be more likely to trust you.

2. Convert visitors to leads

It’s nice when people visit your website, but you want to make sure you’re able to capture their information. You can offer a free eBook for people to download in exchange for an email address. You can also encourage people to subscribe to your blog for email updates.

3. Nurture leads to customers

Once leads have declared an interest in your brand, you need to provide them with the information they need to become customers. You can send out educational emails about your industry or product to encourage them to sign up.

Content Marketing Funnel

Getting started with content marketing

Many small business marketers know that content marketing is a viable strategy, but struggle with how to get started. It can be overwhelming when you see so much to do, but it’s always good to dive in and try something.

Here are the recommended steps for getting started:

  • Step 1. Identify problems your audience is having - Figure out what problems plague your audience most. Go beyond problems they’re having with your product, and think more holistically about their biggest challenges and how you can help solve them.

  • Step 2. Present solutions in compelling content - Once you know the problems your audience is facing, you should present solutions in blog posts, eBooks, videos, or other forms of content. If you’re not a great writer or particularly creative, you can always hire an expert content creator to help you out.

  • Step 3. Develop a promotional strategy - Just because you create great content doesn’t mean your audience will see it. You need to develop a promotional strategy that outlines how you plan to get your content in front of people. This strategy might include link-building initiatives, paid promotion on social media, or through an established email list.

  • Step 4. Analyze results - Once you’ve begun publishing content, you need to analyze results. Keep in mind that it can take a long time for content to make an impact. Be sure to measure time on site, general website traffic, as well as which channels people come to your content from.

Content marketing for small business

Content marketing allows a small business to bring people in. Rather than going out and finding each new customer, you can use content marketing to generate interest and get the right people to come to you.

More and more small businesses are using content marketing to create interest, generate leads, and convert web visitors to paying customers.

According to research from Demand Metric, content marketing costs 62% less than outbound marketing and generates 3x as many leads. For small business owners, content marketing is an inexpensive way to lead online visitors down a sales funnel.

But what is content marketing, and should you use it as part of your marketing strategy? The answer is yes. Here’s why content marketing is a great option for small businesses.

What is content marketing?

Today’s consumers are bombarded. They see and hear traditional advertising everywhere - on TV, radio, and billboards. When they go online, there are even more ads, but they can use ad blockers to filter out the noise and interruptions of push advertising.

The online ecosystem has put consumers in the driver’s seat.

Small businesses use content marketing to connect with prospects and customers. Rather than forcing people to look at an ad they don’t want to see, content marketing draws people in. Businesses use content marketing to encourage trust and build brand awareness through educational articles. They encourage action through eBook downloads.

Here are a few examples of small businesses putting content marketing to use:

Birchbox a beauty subscription service has a digital magazine full of helpful makeup and hair tips. Prospective customers can get relevant lifestyle content for a subject that interests them.

Grasshopper a virtual phone system for small business has a resource center with tips on how to start and run a business. Budding entrepreneurs will be interested in the content about how to get funding, do their taxes, and market their new venture.

Canva a simple image creation tool has a blog called “Design School” which contains articles and interactive tutorials on design. Those exploring the world of design can get helpful info from Canva’s blog.

Ultimately, content marketing provides an inexpensive way to attract customers and lead them through your sales funnel.

The foundation of a content marketing strategy

The best content marketing strategies have a sales funnel at their core. When you create a strategy, you want to be sure that you understand your sales funnel, and are ready to create content for each step in the process.

For example, here’s how you can weave a content marketing strategy and sales funnel together:

1. Attract visitors and build awareness

Blogging on subjects of interest, and providing answers to customer’s biggest problems will attract visitors to your site. When consumers learn about you through well-written, educational content, they’ll be more likely to trust you.

2. Convert visitors to leads

It’s nice when people visit your website, but you want to make sure you’re able to capture their information. You can offer a free eBook for people to download in exchange for an email address. You can also encourage people to subscribe to your blog for email updates.

3. Nurture leads to customers

Once leads have declared an interest in your brand, you need to provide them with the information they need to become customers. You can send out educational emails about your industry or product to encourage them to sign up.

Content Marketing Funnel

Getting started with content marketing

Many small business marketers know that content marketing is a viable strategy, but struggle with how to get started. It can be overwhelming when you see so much to do, but it’s always good to dive in and try something.

Here are the recommended steps for getting started:

  • Step 1. Identify problems your audience is having - Figure out what problems plague your audience most. Go beyond problems they’re having with your product, and think more holistically about their biggest challenges and how you can help solve them.

  • Step 2. Present solutions in compelling content - Once you know the problems your audience is facing, you should present solutions in blog posts, eBooks, videos, or other forms of content. If you’re not a great writer or particularly creative, you can always hire an expert content creator to help you out.

  • Step 3. Develop a promotional strategy - Just because you create great content doesn’t mean your audience will see it. You need to develop a promotional strategy that outlines how you plan to get your content in front of people. This strategy might include link-building initiatives, paid promotion on social media, or through an established email list.

  • Step 4. Analyze results - Once you’ve begun publishing content, you need to analyze results. Keep in mind that it can take a long time for content to make an impact. Be sure to measure time on site, general website traffic, as well as which channels people come to your content from.

Content marketing for small business

Content marketing allows a small business to bring people in. Rather than going out and finding each new customer, you can use content marketing to generate interest and get the right people to come to you.

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Content Marketing Resources


How to Create a Content Strategy to Drive Each Stage of the Sales Funnel

Content can dramatically impact the success of your organization’s marketing if matched to the experience your ideal customer is having with your business at each stage of the sales funnel.

Content Marketing Statistics

Content marketing as a process is found to generate three times as many prospects as outbound marketing, while costing 62% less. See how businesses are using content marketing, their level of success and opinions.