Content marketing guru Neil Patel very aptly explains Content Marketing as “a long-term strategy that uses content (in a variety of formats) to build a stronger relationship with your audience, capture their attention, improve engagement, and improve brand recall”.
Patel goes on to explain that while traditional advertising is designed to get something from the audience, content marketing is all about offering value and sharing useful information with the audience to build trust.
But exactly how actionable is content marketing for small to medium businesses? Let’s take a look at some interesting examples that build – and built – the brand recall of SME’s and startups and are enhancing their growth.
Happy Earth People
South African health food producer Happy Earth People is making inroads in the health food aisles of some of South Africa’s top retailers. Their product line is complemented and enhanced by a comprehensive content marketing strategy originating from a blog where they share their own, and influencers’ expertise on healthy eating and living.
The Allergy Clinic*
Another example is The Allergy Clinic in Johannesburg, which shares engaging content about allergies on their blog. The information does not punt their services, but informs and empowers readers who either suffer from allergies or would like to know more about them.
The clinic shares its content on their Facebook page, where followers’ engagement and shares further distribute their information and enhance their brand recall. This, in turn, drives traffic to their website, leading to further conversions in terms of prospective patients seeking treatment for allergies.
Life insurance startup BrightRock has grown into a force to be reckoned with in the South African financial services industry, so they can no longer be seen as a small or medium-sized business. However, they have followed a widely acclaimed content marketing strategy that grew with the company since they went to market as a new entrant in 2012.
One of the central mechanisms in their strategy is The Change Exchange, where people share their stories and experiences about life’s most significant changes. The content is entrenched in their brand’s purpose: To help their clients navigate change in their lives.
The content centres around four key “Change Moments”: Parenting (Starting a family); Careers (Landing that job); Marriage and Life partnerships (Tying the knot) and buying or renting a home (Making a home). They also produce video content consisting of interviews, conversations and even comedy sketches about change. They also form content partnerships with respected media titles and influencers to expand their reach and maintain the credibility of their content.
Eco-conscious brand, Sealand Gear is not only innovating by manufacturing bags out of old yacht sails, billboards, and other waste materials but also through a comprehensive content marketing strategy. Their online content – and its quality – also clearly reflects their intention to become an international, eco-friendly business, and it’s a key driver in their sales.
They use predominantly long form, written content in their blog. Moreover, Sealand Gear’s content focuses on the need for conservation and upcycling. Their blog post about understanding plastic makes for interesting reading.
In addition to their written content, Sealand Gear also showcases their team, production line and products through short, easy-to-make video clips, encouraging a human connection with their brand.
Who would have thought plumbing provide for informative, engaging content? We don’t know much about Ken’s Plumbing, a small plumbing business based in Greenville, South Carolina. But their blog is fascinating!
Some examples of topics covered in their blog and social media accounts include: Bad shower habits that ruin your plumbing; How to stop mould from growing in your bathroom; Natural bathroom cleaner recipes; and How to conserve water in your garden.
None of this content overtly punts Ken’s services, but he gains invaluable credibility and brand recall by sharing practical content that adds value to his audience’s lives. Check out his website and social media activity on Twitter and Facebook.
So our point is …
Whether you have a budget for it, or not, content marketing strategy remains a viable way to build awareness around your business. Yes, your budget will determine the scale of your approach, but it all starts with sharing interesting, information and stories connected to the purpose of your business.
If you don’t have the bandwidth to create content, consider outsourcing it. Look out for a content marketer who can produce unique, customised content that is connected to your business’s purpose and adds value to your brand. If you do it right, you are likely to see the dividends in your bottom line over the long term.
* The Allergy Clinic and BrightRock are clients of IndieContent.
Do you know of any other small to medium businesses with kick-ass content marketing strategies? Please tell us more about it in the comments below or drop us a mail at email@example.com.
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