Building a successful business is tough, but even once things are up and running, the work isn’t done. Most small businesses then have to focus on attracting customers, maintaining and growing revenue and setting themselves apart from competitors. With 71% of consumers saying they are turned off by sales content and 85% of internet users ignoring paid ads online, content marketing can be the best way to reach them.
But with small business budgets and resource being tight, how can you efficiently create content that reaches your customers for less? Here, we go through four tips to help you easily generate engaging content to promote your business, for less – and even for free.
1. Cross-post your content on different platforms
When it comes to articles, rather than just having them hidden away on your website blog, you should also republish on your social media profiles such as LinkedIn - this will help boost your personal brand, and in turn market your business.
LinkedIn recommends using their platform to create and share engaging content with relevant audiences. As they state: "The more long-form posts you publish, the more credibility you’ll build, and the stronger your professional profile will become." You can do this by treating LinkedIn like a blog itself. This step-by-step guide on how to upload your first LinkedIn post can help you get started.
Even if you think you might struggle with creating the content, tools like Snip.ly can help. It adds a call-to-action pop-up box in any link you share, so you can direct more traffic to your acquisition pages. It offers a free trial for 14 days.
2. Have customers create content for you
It’s not just online reviews that can help to get customers doing the hard work for you. Collating and posting User Generated Content (UGC) is a great way to source content to post, but also to engage and grow your customer base. Plus, with 92% of consumers saying they trust user generated content more than traditional advertising, it can be incredibly powerful.
Set up relevant hashtags about your brand to encourage customers to share new content that can be reposted. You can also monitor social keywords to see people have already posted about your business. Just make sure that you get permission from the user to repost their content, to stay compliant with Digital Rights Management laws for social media.
3. Let visuals drive your content
Images should take the lead in your content mix. An easy and engaging way to do this is through creating and publishing infographics that showcase your business' unique selling proposition. If you have some understanding of Adobe Illustrator, these free vector kits can help you create an infographic at zero cost. If you’re not sure where to start, websites such as Visual.ly are a good source for inspiration, with examples in their portfolio pages for you to reference.
For thought leadership content on LinkedIn, video proves most popular, with more than half of the audience (54%) saying it’s one of the best formats for it. Similarly, video drives more engagement than any other content form on Instagram and is 10 times more engaging on Twitter, too. But you don’t have to create big-budget advertising epics to be successful. For most people, the videos that are less "polished" feel more authentic.
You shouldn’t just save video for social media either. HubSpot’s research found that just using the word "video" in your subject line for email marketing increased opens by 19%.
4. Launch an engaging email newsletter
If you’re an e-commerce business or have any kind of online service to offer, you should already have a wealth of customer information available. Providing everything is GDPR-compliant, you send out email communications to these customers who have opted in and keep them engaged with your brand.
With companies such as Wix ShoutOut and MailChimp, it’s easy to design creative email templates. Both services will let you send 5,000 and 1,200 emails a month, respectively, for free. MailChimp even offers a free design guide that walks you through the best templates and call-to-action to promote your message.
When you're ready to upgrade your free trial for these marketing tools to a paid subscription, you could consider an American Express® Business Card, which gives you up to 54 day payment terms¹. That way, you'll have more working capital to use for longer – and can spend it on growing your marketing reach or other business obligations.
Find out more about American Express Business Cards.
- The maximum payment period on purchases is 54 calendar days and is obtained only if you spend on the first day of the new statement period and repay the balance in full on the due date.