In recent weeks, I've come across way too many "brocureware" websites, many of them belonging to small businesses. These static, bare-bones websites don't have a lot going on, and don't have much to offer a web visitor or a potential customer. When small businesses first started putting up a website, simply having the website may have been enough. That's just not the case anymore if small businesses want to get found and want to have an edge over their competition.
Having a website is no longer enough to do that. It is content creation that will take small businesses to the next level, whether that's content creation through business blogging, brand journalism, article marketing, or any sort of combination of content marketing techniques. It's understandable that many small businesses may have trouble creating enough quality, engaging content. It's also understandable that some small businesses may want to avoid content marketing all together, especially if traditional forms of marketing have worked for them in the past. It's also understandable that small businesses may not have the time or the human capital to create content on a regular basis. However, those are excuses to avoid content creation, and small businesses stand to lose when they avoid content creation.
Content Creation Progresses the Buying Process
Nowadays, people start the buying process by looking for information online. These people recognize that they have a problem that needs fixing/solving, but are still looking for the right solution and the right company to help them. If all you have on your website are an "About Us" page, a Contact page, and a page or two about the services you provide, you really arent' providing the information people need to help them through a buying process. If the problem is a leaky faucet, and all your small business website says is that you fix leaky faucets, that's not enough. Content creation can show potential customers that you've fixed leaky faucets successfully before (shown in a case study), that you know the best ways to fix a leaky faucet (shown in a few blogs posts or in white paper), and that leaky faucets need to be fixed as soon as possible (shown in a fact sheet or in a checklist).
Content Creation Builds Brand Awareness
In order to get found online, people need to be able to find something. To learn more about your business, they need something from which to learn. That's exactly where content creation comes in. Static websites just don't show up at the top of search engine results like they used too. The competition is too fierce, and those that are creating content are the ones that are being rewarded with top spots in search engine results. It's not enough to be optimized and to be online. Small businesses need to have something for people to find online. Brand awareness means having something worthwhile for people to be aware of, and engaging, quality content is one of the best ways to build that awareness.
Content Creation Generates Leads
It's the one thing every business wants: leads. Without leads, it's really tough to make sales and to stay in business. But, generating leads is also tough, and content creation can help with that by turning your website into a lead generator. Static websites don't generate leads because it's tough to learn from a static website who your web visitors are, what they need, which pages they looked at, and it they are actually interested in what you're offering. By creating content on a regular basis, gathering that information is much easier. You know that those you download your content or read your blog posts are at least interested in what you have to say or to offer on that topic. If someone wants to know the best ways to fix a leaky faucet, and that person downloads that white paper, you know that they might have a leaky faucet. You know that they just might need your services.
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