In the content marketing game, prospective customers value familiarity and trust over content alone.  The content you place on your site isn’t designed to sell the products or services that you offer, it’s to actually sell you and what you are to the potential customer.

Lately, content marketing has been getting more attention, as many owners of small businesses all over the world are finally discovering, or in this case, re-discovering, this form of marketing.  Because of this, they are getting a huge advantage over those other companies that aren’t utilizing content marketing practices.

A huge advantage that a small business owner can have over industry giants is that you are able to get more personal with your target audience than they can.  Since you’re a small business, you possess a face, a voice, and a personality that larger companies and businesses don’t have.  How is this possible?  It’s easy.  You talk to your customers.

An excellent way to get a feel for how the best practices are being done around the industry is to see what others are doing that is causing them success, and follow that.  This way, you can pick and choose among the cream of the crop of content marketing tips from the industry experts.

Use Your Own Space

When you want to publish your content for others to view, do it on web real estate that you personally own.  This can include self-hosted websites, as an example.  Using social media in a business sense is a great value to you to help spread your message using cheap media channels.  Why use social media?  You want to use it to get people to come directly to your site.  Once there, they can be putty in your hands.  Using the right content, you can achieve a greater level of subscribers and/or customers.  Social media can be used to help market to others what you want them to see and hear, and for mingling and chatting with our customer base.  This is where you can go to talk directly with your audience.

 “Before you create a single piece of content, think about where that content will live and how audiences will get to it. Effective content marketing takes work. You’ll need energy, thought, and time to create good content. This means that nearly all of the content you create needs to live on a domain you control, using a platform you can do as you please with. That means you’re not producing the bulk of your creative content for Facebook, Twitter, or Google+, and you’re not publishing on a “website in 20 minutes” solution that forces you to use someone else’s domain. If your domain isn’t, you don’t own your platform. If you can’t publish what you please, with the wording, sales messages, and images you please, you don’t own your platform.”

 – Sonia Simone via

Do Your Best To Help The Customer

When you are focusing on content marketing, the last thing you want to do is to put up nothing but hype.  The goal of marketing your content is to develop a good relationship with those who are looking to be potential customers.   Trust is a big issue here.  To build the all important trust between you and them, you talk to your customers by answering questions and offering clear and trustworthy information.

If the message you’re trying to get across includes the product or service that you offer, then by all means, reference that.  But the last thing you want to do is to sound like and advertisement.  If it does, you’re not doing content management.  You’re doing sales and advertising.

Trust isn’t obtained by pushing sales.  You can only get sales by being open and honest with others and truly helping people who need that help.  How you get your message across to help your target audience well depend on your audience.  Will you tell personal stories?  What about entertaining them?  Or simply informing them?  Just don’t push that sale.  Short of that, the possibilities can be astonishingly endless.

 “Content marketing is not just about amplifying your message to your customer, it is about helping them find what they are looking for. Discover your customer needs by searching what they are looking for online and what they are saying about your category/sector. Provide them with a program to meet these needs, whether it directly impacts your business or not. Your audience will find the help useful and you will become top of mind when they are looking for someone in your sector. And don’t forget the power of the face to face contact or ‘just asking’ the question.”

 – Kaitlin Walsh via

Write About What People Want

There is one thing you have to understand about successful content market before you right a single word of content – It isn’t about you!  Written content is never about you.  It’s not about the company you represent.  It’s not what you like.  It’s about what your customer wants.  If you make it about anything other than the customer, boom, you’ve lost trust.  Lost trust equals a lost customer, which equals lost business.

 “Your content should always have an audience in mind. That means you should have their needs in mind, too, not your own. Remember, content marketing should provide something valuable to people. So although you may want to write about how terrible your day was or how someone should do something about the lines at delis in grocery stores, that’s not the kind of thing people will want to read. They want to read something that’s written about the things they’re thinking about. So ask yourself what concerns and delights your audience, then go from there.”

 – Blaise Lucey via

Create Content For Everyone

When you’re writing content for your business site, one strategy is to branch out from the normal niche and try targeting readers in a wider variety of related niches.  Naturally, this doesn’t mean you should go outside your core demographic.  Content writers need to realize that people do have more than one interest.

A reason for this is that your readers have friends.  Sit back and think about the possibilities of the connections that you could make with more potential visitors to your site if you have a wider variety of things to write about.  If a current reader of your site spots an article or blog post that you’ve written that might spark some interest in one of his friends, your reader will tell his friend about the written content.  This could mean another potential site conversion for the books.

 “The cardinal rule of content marketing says that you need to create content for your ideal reader in order to attract the right leads and customers. Most companies follow this to the T, no matter how niche their industry is. So even though their content is excellent, it does not get seen by too many people. Content marketing success takes time and I suggest that you create content for readers other than your ideal reader so that it attract more traffic to your website and social media pages. Instead of focusing on creating just one type of content for your target audience, create some popular content to service other readers.” 

 – Jessica Davis via