Importance of Content Marketing for Service-Based Small Businesses
The (maybe) not-so-good news: you really do need to be prioritizing content marketing if you own a service-based business.
The GREAT news: you don’t have to be a great writer to pull this off!
In fact, because of the fact that you provide a service, video content can be prioritized over written content marketing – to a degree at least.
First let’s discuss why content marketing matters so much to this type of business, then I’ll show you a few ways to do it:
*Why* You Need Content Marketing
When someone is looking to hire a service provider, knowing that person is truly an expert in their field factors greatly in the decision making process. This is true no matter the industry. (Assuming, of course, we are not talking about tire-kicking price shoppers who we don’t want to work with anyway right? Right.)
They don’t want to give their hard-earned money to just anyone. They want a professional who will be able to solve their problem.
So as the service provider, you are offering two things:
1. A solution to their problem
2. Peace of mind
Anyone can say “I’ll provide [insert solution tasks] and you’ll no longer have [insert customer problem],” but whether or not the potential customer believes and then hires them is a different story.
The way you convey your expertise and trustworthiness, whether you are a solopreneur or the CEO leading a team, is through well-crafted, original, and informative content.
Snappy taglines and advertising have their place, but more than ever people want to hear from people, not words perfected and refined so extremely it comes across an automated press release or an AI bot wrote it. Authenticity has reigned supreme for a while and it only continues to be that way.
Just look at how the conversations on LinkedIn have evolved. It’s not about the perfect post, but rather starting a discussion and that requires your views & expertise as the spark.
After all, when two things are priced the same, people buy from the brand (service or product) they know, like, and trust. That trust is built faster through content marketing created with your perspective, expertise, and personality at the forefront.
*How* To Do Content Marketing Well
So you’re now on board with why you need to create content and put it out into the world. Great! Now let’s talk about ways to do it well:
If you like to write…
Start (or restart) your company blog! Look at the top questions you are asked by customers and prospects and turn each one of them into a blog post with the answers you provide every time.
Then share that beautiful content through a newsletter, single email to your list, or social media posts.
If you do NOT like to write…
Follow the same guidance as above, but record your answer as a video. Host the video on your chosen platform, Vimeo or YouTube are my top recs and here is how you choose which one to use, then embed it into a blog post.
NOTE: Loading your video directly into your website will slow it down and hurt overall user experience, which leads to higher bounce rates and lower search rankings. Always host videos elsewhere and embed!
You’ll still need to do some writing to kick off the post and provide search engines with words to crawl, but it’ll be SO much less than a full post on its own.
When it comes to the content, stick to what you know.
And I mean know, like backwards and forwards, and six ways from Sunday. Even with the best research, people can spot when something sounds off.
You want your content to come across as professional and educated, but also like a human wrote it. Particularly in the age of AI, ChatGPT and the like when so human connection is needed even more than ever.
The same is true for writing presentations and in-person (or virtual) talks. Loosen up a bit, have some laughs, and be slightly more conversational, yet professional.
The more you can come across as a human and not a computer spewing facts, the faster you will get your audience to move from “know” to “like & trust” with your content marketing efforts.