For a number of years, we’ve been discussing the importance of content marketing with our white label SEO reseller community. Content marketing is extremely beneficial for small business because they still need to drive brand awareness, keep current customers and attract new customers, while having limited resources (as compared to the big guys with very large advertising budgets). In this Daily Brown Bag, you’ll learn some basic statistics about how consumers today gather information and where search engines fit into the picture. You’ll also learn about the benefits of content marketing (when done right with quality, relevant content) and content marketing tips to keep in mind, so that it is done the right way!

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Hello, and welcome to the Daily Brown Bag. Today we’re going to be talking about explaining content marketing to your small business customer. I’m Chad Hill, and I’m joined by Adam Stetzer.

Hey, good morning, Chad. Welcome to the Brown Bag. We’ve certainly been talking about content marketing with our SEO resellers for a couple of years now, Chad, as SEO has evolved. Today’s topic is: the advice we can give to help you, a member of our white label SEO reseller program, to help you talk to your customer and help them get up to speed.

Explaining content marketing & SEO to your small business customer:

Certainly, in our community, we’ve been talking about it and getting to know content marketing and watching link building change and all of the new rules from Google over the last few years. But the end customer is still probably in the dark, and it really can be difficult to explain how content marketing can help that small business customer. More importantly, they need to feel that it’s justified. They’re investing time and money into something that isn’t a direct advertisement for their business, which is what they’re used to.

Of course, they’ve heard about SEO. They’ve come to you. You often come to us. We talk about this in the SEO reseller forums: “How do I help get them on board when they just want rankings?” Maybe they understand link building, but they really haven’t come all the way to understanding content marketing. So it’s important to present this to them, because this really is the direction of search engine optimization. We see it picking up speed, and we don’t see this going away.

Basic Statistics: How consumers today gather information & learn about brands:

Let’s start with some basic stats here, Chad, on how consumers gather information today and learn about brands, and we can use that as some prescriptions for how our resellers can then talk to their customers. Consumers are turning to their own search engine capabilities before they make purchase decisions more and more.

  • According to Roper Public Affairs, three out of four consumers prefer to learn about a brand via articles of content than through advertisement directly.

  • The 2015 Edelman Trust Barometer indicated that 64% of consumers across the globe say that online search engines are their most trusted source of information, and that stat, Chad, goes up even higher if you’re only looking at millennials, up to 72%. This is over traditional media. This is over advertising and traditional channels.

There are more and more consumers turning to Google as well as other search engines to try to make an informed decision. This is where you need to engage your customer and help them understand the way people are seeking information.

Content marketing is how you can engage consumers & it is different:

There are a lot of vehicles, and I think probably you’re going to get into this, Chad. And that’s really the big question: if you can start to get them to understand this, how do they really see the benefits?

The Benefits of Content Marketing for Small Business

Right, content marketing for small businesses is particularly useful because usually they don’t have the big budgets that a larger company does. Content marketing is a great way -- when you have limited resources -- to develop brand awareness, keep current customers, and attract new ones.

Again, there are a lot of questions people will have all of the time when they’re approaching all types of businesses, and content marketing is often a great way of getting that initial connection with someone’s need. Because, if you’re able to answer their question, they may be willing to reach out and discuss their issue or their problem more because they know you’ve at least thought about it and have a good solution.

Doing Content Marketing the RIGHT way:

You should definitely keep in mind that, when it comes to content marketing, there is a right and a wrong way to do it. You can’t just sit down and start writing.

  • You do need to step back and sort of understand and start with a solid foundation of research.

  • A lot of times that starts with understanding the buyer persona… who your target customer is. And this is hard sometimes -- again, especially for our SEO reseller community because you’re agencies and you may not have the expertise your client does -- and so you have to find ways to sit down with them and, without making it too difficult, understand what types of services are most valuable to them and what type customers think are most valuable.

  • Flip the telescope around and look through the other end: who is that person on the other end? What are they looking for?

You Need To Know & Really Understand:

  • Who that audience is,

  • What currently draws them to you,

  • What you want them to come to you for,

  • Who the competitors are and what draws people to them, and

  • What keywords are relevant and REALISTIC for your business.

Of course, in addition to that customer, you also have to think about this two step process where you write this great content (you ultimately want to have it resonate with your target audience), but the search engines also have to understand it, so make sure you think about the keywords your target audience might be using to look for you.

Content Marketing Needs To Be Integrated:

Really, you want to take content marketing and integrate it into all other types of marketing. For example:

  • Your content marketing can become blog posts.

  • It’s the foundation for social media and editorial calendars.

  • It can be part of your email marketing program.

Again, you’re making this investment. You don’t want to just put it on your website and never touch it again. You want to find ways to leverage that and integrate it into everything you’re doing.

Track & Monitor Your Efforts

Then, of course, once this is all done, you want to track everything to understand what’s working and what’s not. And I can tell you for sure, and, again -- everyone of our SEO resellers knows this -- that not every piece of content you put out is going to be a homerun. You have to learn, experiment, try to figure out what people are looking for.

The reality is that you’ll never be able to get 100% of your content to take off, but the goal is to be able to more reasonably step forward, seeing solid results. Adam, that’s our advice today on content marketing.

Takeaways: Google, SEO & Content Marketing

Yeah, and that’s excellent. We know this conversation can be difficult. You’re talking with a small business. They don’t have a lot of time. If they do understand SEO at all, they probably have just a little knowledge, enough to be dangerous, and they’re seeking link building as fast as possible.

Of course, us, in the search engine optimization space, we know -- in 2015 -- that’s a very dangerous mindset. And that’s where helping them understand this evolution of where SEO is today, where Google is today, and thevery important role of content marketing in earning high quality backlinks, introducing your brand, and assisting consumers and helping them make good decisions is really important.

Going through the checklist that Chad just reviewed, brushing up on the skills so that you feel that you can educate them, is really important. As always, we’d love to help you with that. We’re available every day at 4 p.m., if you want to jump in and practice, we’d love to help you.

As always, thanks for coming to see our video. We ask that you subscribe, and we’ll see you back tomorrow.