The Best in Small Business Content Marketing Plans

Aaron Haynes
Oct 22, 2019

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5 Examples that Show You How to Do It Right

Think content marketing is a “big business” strategy? Think again. Content marketing is the trend that businesses at every level are using to get ahead.

Content marketing is a form of marketing designed to avoid direct advertisement while promoting a brand by providing entertainment or utility. It can take the form of videos, blogs or social media posts.

It has quickly become one of the main marketing strategies for small businesses, and for very good reasons: It’s effective, affordable and customers prefer it.

It’s Confirmed as Effective

There are lots of places to advertise online, but content is one of the best.

People are confronted with more ads in their daily lives than they ever have been before. They’ve adapted by blocking them or learning to tune them out.

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It should come as no surprise that over 70% of customers would rather learn about a company through an article than any advertisement. And they act on that: businesses with a regular blog generate 126% more leads than those without them.

The best minds in marketing, relying on their own internal data, have already begun responding in big ways. 76% of marketers are in the process of increasing their content marketing budgets.

It’s Affordable

Content marketing costs around 60% less than outbound marketing. When the same budgets were used, content marketing was found to also generate 3x as many leads.

In fact, it’s one of the cheapest types of marketing out there. A great content strategy can come down to a single video, infographic or guide. All that matters is that you produce something that’s valuable and authentic enough to be worth promoting.

Your Customers are Desperate for It

Customers may hate to see advertising but they want to find you. Almost half of people would prefer to support a small business over a large one. They don’t even mind if that means paying more! All they’re waiting for is for you to reach out to them in an authentic way.

Easier said than done, right? Maybe not. As you’re about to learn, the internet is rife with small businesses that have risen to the top because they knew how to do content marketing right.

Dollar Shave Club

Fun, Affordable Video Content

How small is your business? Is it “no employees at all”, small? Because that’s where Dollar Shave Club was at when they made a video that took the web by storm. With the video below as their only major marketing investment, they generated nearly 10 million views.

What it is and Why it Works

It’s one video. The company spent less than $5,000 to make it, maybe because that’s all they had at the time. It’s pure proof that content marketing doesn’t require an army of consultants or a large recurring budget.

As for why it works? That’s easy to understand watching it one time. It’s quick, descriptive and attention-getting. The entire concept of the business and the value of the product is explained in a funny way by relatable actors. It’s a model that anyone can follow to success.

Jeni’s Splendid Ice Cream

Useful Guide Content

The last item may have given you the impression that content marketing is most effective when it comes out early enough to set the tone for a brand. Then, Jeni came along with a business that was 9 years old and managed to revitalize the entire thing with one piece of content marketing.

Specifically, this piece—

Jeni's Splendid Ice Cream Guide

What it is and Why it Works

You may be wondering, “why would someone who sells ice cream want to show people how to make ice cream?”

At least one answer is that it works. Jeni’s recipe book ended up on the New York Times bestseller list. In short order, her business became of the fastest-growing ice cream businesses in the country.

Additionally, a guide like this is a great way to prove your expertise and—through the careful and complex processes—reveal to someone why they’d just as soon have a professional handle the work.


Educational Infographics

Believe it or not, there was a time when didn’t have the long reach and big reputation it has now. When it started, it was struggling for both attention and legitimacy. Now, it’s one of the best content marketing brands out there.

The foundation it has was built on the colorful, informative infographics like the one below.

What it is and Why it Works

Infographics have become very popular as a content marketing asset because of how effectively they convey lots of information in an understandable way. Mint mastered the art of infographics very early in their history and they built their reputation on hundreds of them.

Infographics can work for anyone, but they’re particularly vital for small businesses who want to build an aura of expertise. Data-based businesses can use them to show off the effectiveness of their operations.

Imperfect Produce

Bite-size Blogs

Imperfect Produce started tiny with a brilliant concept: Buy the produce that’s too “ugly” for the supermarket showroom and pass the savings on to their customers. That’s a concept that can work by itself, but what really carried them forward was the power of their micro-blogging game.

Large and attractive images are matched with topics that help educate customers or drive their appetite. The topics are always short and simple-to-understand, like the example, below.

Article link:

What it is and Why it Works

Sure, you know what blogging is, but you wouldn’t be alone if you thought it was too outdated to serve as an effective content marketing technique. Here’s your proof that it works, along with an action plan to do it right.

You don’t need to build the longest or most-detailed content. Just focus on meeting the most basic needs of your customer. Give them something that they munch through in a few minutes and make sure they can access it through all of your social media channels.

River Pools

Eager Education

River Pools was just a local brick-and-mortar business in serious trouble when they dipped their toes into one of the most cost-effective content strategies out there: Q&As.

River Pools

What it is and Why it Works

River Pools set out to simply answer every single question that a customer could ask. It started with blogs (See, even more evidence they still pull weight!) Over the years, these blogs added up to a massive collection that has become part of a permanent learning center on the website

This turned out to be an even more effective strategy than they might have imagined. It was only a few years later than Google began to richly reward question-based keywords. Now, this strategy isn’t just promising, it’s necessary.

Where All Content Marketing Strategies Come Together

You may have noticed that there is a common theme to these content marketing ideas. You don’t need a video team or a professional graphic designer. It’s enough to be able to meet a need.

If you can entertain, educate and empower your audience, you’ve found a content strategy with promise. After that, it’s a matter of using your social media to direct the audience to the pieces that you’ve created. That’s a topic for a different time.

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