Psst. Want to hear a secret? There’s a difference between advertising and marketing.
No one is a big fan of advertisements. That’s why we install pop-up blockers, record TV shows so we can skip the commercials and set strict rules on our email programs about what is and isn’t “junk.”
Marketing, however, is a horse of a different color. We don’t mind getting sucked into a video, sharing an infographic on social media or reading a how-to article on a blog. (Sometimes, we even enjoy it.)
So what’s the difference between advertising and marketing? Content. Without it, you’re simply trying to sell a product or service. With it, you’re still trying to sell a product or a service, but you’re also educating, informing and entertaining your audience, building your brand and establishing yourself as an authority in your industry.
Content is more than just a blog or social media post, though. Here are four other small business content types you can use to get your message across:
Most of us lead busy lives, and that means we don’t always have the time to hurdle walls of text and weave our way through lengthy pillar content pieces to find what we’re looking for.
Enter infographics. Colorful, easy to digest and informative, an infographic gets straight to the point. Bonus: They’re easier to share than your typical blog post, reach 54 percent more people and cost much less to do it — 4 cents for an infographic versus $1.77 for a blog post!
For everyone who loves the bits and pieces that infographics offer up, there’s another who wants to embark on a more in-depth exploration of what you have to say. e-books fit the bill.
Don’t balk at the word “book.” This isn’t meant to be a 300-page bestseller. An e-book is commonly used as a lead magnet to get information on a potential customer, which can later be used to tailor your marketing strategy and close the deal. Just pick a topic and write about what you know best. If it’s cohesive, easy to read and includes a strong call to action, it doesn’t matter whether it’s 10 pages or 100.
Pretend you sell yo-yos. Offering a free download of your latest e-book, 27 Super-Secret Yo-Yo Tricks and How to Perform Them, makes the customer feel like they’re “getting” something in return for their email address. And, since you can’t do yo-yo tricks without a yo-yo, there’s a good chance that you’ll (eventually) make a sale.
By now, we’ve catered to the ones who want to read a little and the ones who want to read a lot — but what about those with a master’s-degree level of curiosity?
If your product or service was a college degree, a whitepaper would be your thesis. Incredibly in-depth, informative and far less casual than an e-book, whitepapers are … pretty boring, actually. They’re full of charts and graphs, heavily researched and can takes weeks or even months to write.
So why put in all the work? Because a well-written whitepaper puts you head and shoulders above the competition. You’re not just an authority in your industry, you are the authority in your industry. What’s more, you provide incredibly valuable information that’s not easily available anywhere else.
People who download and read whitepapers also tend to be ready to buy. Use your whitepaper as a gated resource to obtain their information and follow up to seal the deal.
Some people just aren’t readers. They don’t have the time, energy, or desire. But that doesn’t mean they’re unreachable.
Podcasts have experienced an explosion of popularity in recent years. Audio-only podcasts can be listened to while commuting, on lunch or at the gym, and they can convey the same information as text-based small business content without all the cumbersome “text.”
You can answer a question, speak about your latest product or service, share customer testimonials or just read a popular blog post out loud. Be sure to make your call to action clear and share the podcast on your website and social media pages. Publish a transcript of each podcast for those who prefer that medium.
Small Business Content That’s Right for You
From normal content strategies like blogs and videos to unique strategies like whitepapers and podcasts, there’s a way to reach everyone. It all comes down to finding out what mediums resonate best with your audience. Value-oriented content allows you to stop advertising and start marketing!
Need some help developing powerful small business content that gets results? That’s our job! Email Mischa Communications today and let’s create something amazing!