I own a small business. Many of the people I meet do as well. They have legitimate concerns in the first five years that their business could fail and will do whatever they can to survive the startup phase. In 2019, small businesses are facing the digital age. If you don’t have an online presence, you may as well not exist. If you haven’t set up a website or landing page with one or two social media platforms to share links and messaging with, you are invisible to today’s consumer audiences. Let’s look at some statistics.
Studies show that between 70-80% of people research a company online BEFORE visiting the small business or making a purchase with them.[i]
Out of that 70-80%, people cited the website design as the number one factor in determining a business’s credibility. They can form an opinion about your business in .05 seconds. This first impression will make or break the decision to get to know your brand, your service or product, and your value to the consumer. This is why you need to find a great web designer. But amazing design needs to communicate an idea.
Unfortunately, the small business that you hired to build an incredible website doesn’t always have a writer on hand to tell the story of your business, the services you offer, or the many reasons why your product performs better than your competitors’. Get a referral or research and hire a content writer. They can create an eBook, email copy to stay connected to your visitors, or a blog article that educates or entertains them while building trust and establishing your reputation.
Fabulous copy is useless on an amateur website. You need both aspects to work together to create a consistent branding image and message. This will inspire a consumer to use your solution to their problem by telling them you understand their pain and can fix it faster, easier, less expensively, or more creatively than your competitors.
Your website must include landing page text for downloadable tips and How-to guides used to entice visitors to share contact data for future engagements. You are not just making sales but a brand identity that creates a bond between you and the customer. Your content must be uniquely your own.
If you own a business or run a department and don’t have someone specifically designated for writing and editing, you are hurting your business. It’s not a task to be passed from yourself to other employees already working hard at what they do best. If you treat your content with a greater level of importance, you will rise above your competitors who don’t.
Note: An in-house content marketer helps describe your business goals, the content to achieve them, and how to spread your message and brand awareness. They assign tasks, develop timelines for copywriting and publishing, and tracks results to make necessary changes. A content writer or copywriter focuses on the message and produces valuable pieces of information and promotion across website pages and social media platforms. They evoke emotion, describe solutions, or tell a story. Visitors want to connect on a more personal level with the businesses, products, and services they choose. Writers insert keywords, categories, and tags using a specified style and tone. An outsourced digital marketing partner can provide both services using their own team or affiliates.
Going into 2019, 32% of small businesses invest in social media only, 17% capitalize on search engine optimization (SEO), 25% devote their budget to digital marketing, and 26% use email marketing to target consumers.[ii]
To get started, ask yourself these questions:
- Which adjectives best describe our brand?
- Should our tone be serious, educational, funny, inspirational, or something else?
- What type of content should we publish?
- Should we also share external articles and links?
- What are the requirements for guest posting and backlinking?
- How often should we publish? Daily, weekly, monthly?
- How often do we want to repost or repurpose content?
- Which platforms are we using? A website blog, mobile, forums or publications, social media sites, podcasts, video, webinars, or live events?
- Who gets login information, handles consistency for each channel, solves tech issues, and provides customer responses? [iii]
Finding research topics and ideas for your material will be an ongoing project as your business launches new products, services, and advantages over the years.
[i] Betsy McLeod, Blue Corona, 2018. https://www.bluecorona.com/blog/29-small-business-digital-marketing-statistics
[ii] Betsy McLeod, Blue Corona, 2018. https://www.bluecorona.com/blog/29-small-business-digital-marketing-statistics
[iii] Content Marketing Institute, 2015. http://contentmarketinginstitute.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/03/MasterClass_Workbook_Final.pdf