Providing valuable content to your target market is a great way to boost your business's web presence.
People have become accustomed to a constant barrage of internet advertising, from spam in their email inboxes to "sponsored" social media posts to banner and pop-up ads on every website. With such information overload, people have also become accustomed to tuning out all of that extraneous information.
So when customers are apt to ignore online ads, how can you effectively market your screen printing shop's message online to attract new customers and grow your business? By creating a content marketing strategy that gives your target customers the information they seek while subtly alerting them to your products and services.
It's true that content marketing can be complex, which can intimidate and put off small business owners. But content marketing doesn't have to be overly complicated, and creating a content marketing strategy for your screen printing shop doesn't have to be overwhelming. With a little content marketing know-how, you can create a content marketing strategy that will help you spread brand awareness, attract new customers and grow your shop.
What is Content Marketing?
Before you can create an effective content marketing strategy for your screen printing business, you have to understand what content marketing is.
Simply put, content marketing attracts customers to your business by providing them with the information they're searching for online as it relates to your business.
The content can come in virtually any form, including:
- email newsletters and updates
- downloadable resources
- website landing pages
The content itself can focus on nearly any element of your business, but the most important element of the content is that is has to be valuable to your target customers.
Why Content Marketing Works
Content marketing works in two ways. First, it attracts customers to you by providing valuable and insightful information. Second, quality content related to your business's website can increase your website's search engine rankings, which makes your business more visible to potential customers.
Appealing to Customers
When you're seeking to attract customers, content marketing helps you cut through the noise of advertising by providing potential customers with content they're seeking. When those potential customers visit your site and consume your content, it establishes your brand as an industry expert. When they're drawn to your site time and time again, it grows your brand awareness. By publishing content on multiple platforms, it puts your brand name in front of your customers regularly so when they need products or services like the ones you offer, your brand is the first one that comes to mind. Content marketing can also lead to sales conversions. If a potential customer is searching for an answer to his or her question and one of your blogs, videos or website pages offers an answer, you're more likely to land that customer's order.
Here's an example: Say your screen printing shop's niche is creating promotional supplies for local businesses. You publish a blog about providing memorable promotional items that make an impression on clients. One of your target customers searches "How to make an impression with memorable marketing gifts" and finds your blog. At the end of your blog, that person sees links to some of your more unusual marketing items. You've likely converted a blog visitor into a customer.
Boosting Your Search Engine Rankings
When it comes to internet search results, having rich content boosts your webpages' rankings by appealing to the programs used by search engines to rate relevant sites. When these programs perform automatic searches to improve search results, they check the returned webpages for content related to their search terms. Having in-depth, quality written content, and extra content like videos, improves your website's performance in these searches. Websites that have content that is overstuffed with keywords or isn't relevant to the search lose their rankings.
And of course, improving search engine rankings should be the goal of any business. Any time your website moves ahead of a competitor's website in search engine rankings, you earn the attention of some of their customers, and the chance to convert them into sales.
How to Create a Content Marketing Strategy
The biggest mistake businesses make with their content marketing strategy is to create content without having a strategy behind it. Like any type of marketing, seeing a return on your investment requires a well thought out strategy that clearly identifies your marketing goals and the path to achieving those goals. Know how much content you're aiming to publish, who is going to be responsible for creating and uploading the content, and how you're going to measure the success of your content.
Consider Your Target Customers
Determining what content you will provide your customers, and what media channels you'll use to deliver that content, requires putting yourself in the mind of your target customers. Think about your target customer profile. What information would they be looking for online that would relate back to your products and services? Would they be most likely to read a blog, listen to a podcast or watch a live video?
Look for Content Topics That Are Valuable and Unique
In determining your strategy, you also need to do a little espionage. Do some internet searches on the content you're considering. Look at your competitors' online content to see what they've posted and how it's been received. The goal is to provide information to your customers that is both valuable and can't be found anywhere else. Your customers might be likely to search "How to design a t-shirt graphic", but if dozens of screen printing shops have already written blogs on that topic, publishing content on that topic is unlikely to improve your search engine results and attract potential customers to you.
Promote Your Content
Once you create and publish your online content, don't just let it lie! Content isn't enough to grow your web traffic and sales organically. You've got to promote the content you've creted. Publicize it on your social media accounts; send out links in your email newsletter; seek attention from websites that appeal to your target customers. Even the most interesting and informative content won't help your business grow unless potential customers are able to find it.
How to Get Started with Content Marketing
Content marketing can seem like a bit of a rabbit hole for small businesses. There's a lot of content that can be created and a lot of platforms on which you can create and promote content. Don't feel like you have to do everything at once. Start small, focus on quality and see what resonates with your target audience. Over time, as you see success in your content marketing strategy and get a feel for what works best, you can grow your content marketing strategy, along with your shop's online presence and success.
For more tips on how to effectively market your screen printing business, check out these other blog posts:
Or download our free eBook: A Guide to Successfully Marketing Your Screen Printing Businessscreen printing business, screen printing industry, screen printing marketing