When small businesses first embark on content marketing efforts, they often question if it’s still of value because they struggle to find topics they feel are relevant to their readers. Keeping in mind that your content should be helpful to your readers, our favorite suggestion is to find out what questions people are asking and create content to answer those questions. You can take it a step further by finding out your customer’s pain points and offering solutions in your content. Helpful content marketing is still vital for small business websites.

First and foremost, please don’t stop marketing

Economic times might be challenging now, but how you approach marketing remains the same: you should not stop marketing during tough times even though that’s what a lot of companies do to cut costs. Be smart about your marketing spend, and make sure you can see an ROI from your efforts, but don’t stop! There’s a lot of historical data that shows how companies who not only forged ahead with marketing during challenging times but even doubled down on marketing, came out well ahead when things got better again. Business owners savvy enough to think long-term will make their marketing message stand out and remain top of mind when consumers are ready to spend again. Another reason to keep marketing efforts intact is the affordability of marketing during an economic downturn. Regardless of the economy, people are still continually seeking quality information to help inform them and educate them. That’s what your content marketing should do.

What kind of content can you provide your customers with?

Your customers are likely feeling the economic pain as much as you might be, as are your vendors. Think of how your content could help them. What kind of ideas, tips, or solutions can you provide to help your customers get through this? One company that partners with local eateries started promoting specials, carryout services, and special menus to help their restaurant partners. You can bet they’re thankful for the additional exposure to potential customers during this time. Or perhaps you can get creative with your current offerings and partner with one or more of your customers for a packaged solution that can help your customers and their customers.

Become a catalyst of word-of-mouth advertising

Want to be helpful to your customers or vendors? Now more than ever, referrals are gold. Maybe it’s time to introduce a vendor to one of your clients (or vice versa). Do you have other vendors they may find useful, like a custom metal fabricator, lighting installation specialist, or medical professional? You might even create a content piece that each can use for their own social channels; now, your company name is in front of even more eyes! We regularly introduce our clients to each other to see if there is any synergy there; you never know what might work, and your customers look at you as someone who just helped bring in more potential business during tough times. They’ll remember it down the road, and perhaps you’re the company that is top of mind when someone they know is looking for a service or product. Give them a reason to refer your company to others.

Find other ways to leverage your content marketing

Now is the perfect chance to try and reach people in a new way. If you’ve been waiting to open a new social media channel, start a podcast, or otherwise find a new way to reach your customers with good content, this is the time to do it. Experiment and find your groove in new ways. Step beyond blogging and try these new outlets for your helpful content!

Tough times can paralyze small business owners but look at this as an opportunity to shine! Need some help brainstorming? Strategic Marketing Services provides intelligent marketing for small businesses. Let us help create quality content marketing for your website!

Patty Hughes
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