No matter how many of your competitors are online, investing in great content related to your industry is one of the best ways to make your business stand out from the rest. Don’t believe us? Here are 7 reasons why your small business needs online content now.
Let’s be honest; if you’re not online, your business basically doesn’t exist. Here’s why. We’re not saying traditional offline marketing techniques are fruitless. In fact, when done properly, they can be very effective. Unfortunately, they’re often not enough anymore. People do not go out to the high street as often as they used to, and when they do, they have often researched what they are buying online first. In today’s retail world, your business needs to have a strong online presence in order to be accessible. The online content you present via your website serves as the cornerstone of your business. It houses all of your most important information and allows customers to quickly interact with your brand. Whether you’re a local coffee shop or a boutique fashion store, you need to have an online presence so that customers can quickly connect with you and find out more about what you do. From your address and opening hours to individual product descriptions, online content can include everything your customers need in order to understand what your business is about.
Any business owner worth their weight knows the importance of building a strong brand. Try this; think of soda. What comes to mind? Most likely, you thought of brands like Coca Cola, Dr Pepper, Schweppes, etc. These are companies that have mastered their branding strategy. And, by being online, so can you. Online content can range from a blog post or marketing copy to images and infographics. All this material, when presented properly, allows your customers to get a clear picture of what your brand represents.
Having a strong brand puts you on the path to building trust and credibility which is important for any business, be it a multinational or a local brick-and-mortar store. And, in today’s retail environment, the best way to build up your brand is by publishing great content online. The internet is full of cheap (or even free) ways to publish great content and push it out to your target audience. All you need to do is get online! Once you’ve established a strong brand and you continually invest in producing strong branded online content, you’re working towards building something very powerful!
Credibility is a key ingredient to success in any industry, and having an online presence is a key ingredient to building that credibility. Think about it like this: 20 years ago, if you needed a plumber, you’d look to the Yellow Pages. You trusted the publication and knew that businesses listed there were likely to satisfy your needs. Today, the internet has replaced the Yellow Pages. People trust in businesses that they can find information about online. After all, wouldn’t you? Good online content does more than just tell your customers about you. It tells them why they should trust you. Unfortunately, in today’s environment, you can’t just expect to be good at what you do and hope for word to get around without the help of the internet. But with the help of blogs, social media platforms like Instagram and Facebook, and more, you’re able to show your audience that you rule, not just tell them.
4. KEEPING UP WITH THE TRENDS
In case you haven’t noticed, shopping trends have changed. Today, you can window shop from the comfort of your couch in your underwear, all thanks to the internet. And the businesses who embrace these changes and use the internet to publish content about their products, services, and industry are the ones that will last. As we said earlier, offline marketing techniques aren’t useless. They can be very powerful. But you’re living in denial if you think online content won’t add to the value of your marketing campaigns.
Today, the entire retail world is online trying to attract customers by investing in complex content strategies, and you need to do the same.
5. SEO AND TRAFFIC
Every business wants to get to the top of the search results in Google, Yahoo, and Bing. That’s why SEO is such a huge industry. In order to maximize your chances of getting found via Google and other search engines, you need great online content. If you’ve read at least a little bit about online marketing, you’ll have heard the phrase “content is king.” Well, regardless of how cliche it sounds, it’s true. Having great online content is one of the most important factors in attracting traffic. Let’s imagine you’re a local coffee store in Boston, MA, USA. Keywords related to that business (such as “Boston coffee,” “coffee store Boston,” “best coffee in Boston,” etc) attract roughly 1000 searches every month. Other keywords score much higher.
While you can spend countless hours and dollars on various SEO hacks, you’re never gonna get a slice of that pie without investing in great content. That’s because content is at the heart of usability, and usability is at the heart of SEO. Think of it this way: Google wants to give people the best information relevant to their search. It uses metrics like bounce rate and countless others to determine how good a piece of content is. By investing in great content that’s relevant to your niche and spreading it online, you’re telling Google that you’re the best resource for information on your given industry. And that ultimately translates into better search rankings and more traffic
6. RIVAL THE COMPETITION
Regardless of your industry, your biggest competitors are online. In fact, all your competitors, big and small, are likely to be online. Let’s use our coffee store example again. A quick Google search for “coffee store in Boston” produces a vast amount of results. Sure, not all of those results are going to be completely relevant, but a lot of them are. With this much competition online, you’re probably wondering how you could ever make your brand stand out. Well, content is one of the most effective tools for doing so. By investing in online content, you have the opportunity to outshine your competitors, regardless of how niche or local your business is.
7. DO BUSINESS ROUND THE CLOCK
The internet never sleeps. Instead, it’s like a 24-hour showroom where customers can shop, buy, research, etc. Great online content allows you to harness that potential and essentially engage with your audience around the clock. In today’s digital world, people no longer have to head to a physical store to shop. We’re not joking when we say the future of shopping is online; recent statistics show that over 50% of consumers prefer online shopping.
Whether they’re browsing your product catalogue, reading your latest blog post, or simply jotting down your physical address to swing by at a later date, having great online content allows you to interact with your customers on all levels 24 hours a day. So as you can see, there is a definite need to start producing unique and high-quality online content for your business. It is a worthy investment. Remember to bookmark our blog for more articles like this.