There’s not a single good formula for figuring out what types of content are going to help your marketing efforts. Most of the small businesses we work with are enthusiastic about featuring new content on their websites, but then the reality of writing a blog post every week or actually creating a video hits home.
We’ve realized more and more how important content is – and we are now offering more services to help our clients have good online content, on a regular basis. But how do you know if this is what you need to have? Or whether it will prove to have value? A few factors can help you decide.
Are you speaking to a highly technical and knowledgeable audience?
If so, you may need to have something to back up your claims of being an expert. Regular blog posts, video blogs and white papers can all help establish your expertise online, where people may be forming an impression of your knowledge without first meeting and talking to you.
Do you need people to find you in a competitive industry?
You may need to look at what your competitors are doing and, frankly, do it more or better. Most small businesses need to rank high in search engines so that when people do search, they find quickly. Your business also needs to make a good first impression on people who do visit your site. Most people in need of a service will look for your website EVEN if you have been personally recommended. And if you’re selling something, odds are that people will look to buy – or at least, shop – online before they come to your physical location. Good content will help you be found in search engines and will impress potential customers once they do come to your site.
Can more content help customers make a buying decision?
If you sell products in your store that need a bit of an explanation, or you want to encourage people to try a new service, online content can help people make decisions about doing so. A blog post about a new item can bring in customers who want to check it out. You can direct customers to your site to watch a video about your new service and read frequently asked questions (FAQs) about it. People are becoming more and more comfortable reviewing online content to make these buying decisions.
Does the time, effort or money spent creating content pay off with increased sales?
It may not be easy to figure out if increasing your blog posts from once a week to twice a week will bring in $1,000 of new business. But you should be able to see some improvements in your leads or inquiries from well-done, consistent content after just a couple of months.
You may decide to track:
- increased traffic to your website or to specific pages on your website
- increased time spent on your website (interacting with your online brand!)
- more leads from your online form
- more calls where prospective customers mention they found or saw your website
- more blog comments (if you choose to allow them)
- increased sales overall
Don’t forget about your return on your investment. If you’re selling an item that makes a $1 profit, you would have to sell a lot to pay for your increased content costs. But if you charge an average of $3,000 for services to each new client, you don’t have to get a lot of additional sales to make it worthwhile.