If you were in a room with 28 million other people, how would you differentiate yourself?

While the scenario sounds a little absurd, if you’re a small business owner in the U.S., it’s your reality.

There are roughly 28 million small businesses in this country alone, and to stand out, you’ve got to have some pretty stellar content.

These days, it’s not enough to simply have a website, social media presence, or marketing campaign. You have to also fill those spaces with well-written verbiage that speaks to your expertise and tells customers why they should choose you over the rest.

If you’re looking for content marketing ideas, you’ve come to the right place.

Today, we’re discussing 10 ways you can take your small business to the next level through the power of creative and compelling content.

Ready to learn more? Let’s go!

1. Tell Your Story

It’s almost 2 a.m. and you’re still up reading that same novel, eager to see what’s going to happen next. Sound like a familiar scene?

Turns out, there’s a scientific reason you’re burning that midnight oil.

Experts reveal that humans are actually wired to crave stories and to personally connect to the content they consume.

When brainstorming content marketing ideas, think first about what story you want to tell. Does your company have a unique origin? What are some of the interesting initiatives your brand is undertaking?

Finding a way to weave this information into a conversational, anecdotal format can be your golden ticket to conversion.

2. Partner with an Influencer

Especially when you’re just starting out, it can be difficult to discern how to get your message to the masses, especially with a sea of competitors at your heels.

To this end, influencer marketing can prove invaluable. In a nutshell, this involves finding someone who fits your brand aesthetic and has a substantial number of followers on social media. Then, you reach out to them and offer them a chance to try your product in exchange for an advertisement of it on their account.

This way, the influencer gets free swag and you get exposure to a larger audience than you would if you tried to go it alone. A win-win in the playbook of content marketing ideas!

3. Transition from Text-Only

Picture this: You’re at a trade show, and you’re looking at two different data slicks from two different companies. One is essentially black text on white paper, with little color or visual interest.

The other has little text, but a significant amount of data-rich imagery, such as infographics, charts, and tables.

We’ll give you two guesses which one ends up in the wastebasket and which makes its way into your bag.

Research shows that consumers retain information better when it’s filled with visual clues. In your search for creative content marketing ideas, see if you can convert any of your data from text to images and notice the uptick in consumer interest.

4. Remember to Retain

It’s natural for small businesses to be focused on growth, creating content that will draw in a bigger audience and boost sales.

Yet, in your pursuits, it’s often easiest (and wisest) to look first at who your existing customers already are, and what content they want to see from you.

Not sure where to start? Check with your customer service associates. Chances are, they’ve spoken with your clients and know firsthand what their pain points are, what they love, and what they’d like to change.

Use these insights to fuel content marketing ideas that address these issues. One example? Think back on the 2009 Domino’s Pizza rebranding campaign. The nationwide chain listened when its business model and product quality dropped and customers were complaining.

In return, they came back with a “New and Inspire Pizza” that delivered a drastically improved taste: along with drastically improved sales.

5. Prioritize Quality over Quantity

Sure, you could post two new blogs every day, send tons of tweets, and deliver frequent email marketing blasts to your client list.

Yet, if what you’re sending it just a bunch of white noise, no one’s going to pay much attention.

Instead, focus on taking the time to improve the quality of your content. Even the best content marketing ideas can fall flat if they’re poorly articulated.

Whether you look to someone already on staff to undertake this role, or you hire your content creation out to a third-party provider, the same end goal exists: to create material that is so well-stated that readers can’t help but be impressed.

6. Promote Strategically

Even though Pinterest is finding new ground as a marketer’s playground, you aren’t necessarily obligated to promote your wares on the content curation site. This also applies to Snapchat, Instagram Stories, Facebook Live, and more.

Take a poll of your audience and see where they’re hanging out online.

If it’s mainly on your website, focus a majority of your advertising efforts there. If they’re hopping around on the latest social media sites, then consider how you can use those to your advantage. Otherwise, you’re spinning your wheels and wasting your dollars.

7. Bind Your Content Marketing Ideas Up

Want to literally put your ideas in your customers’ hands? Write a book!

It doesn’t have to be a multi-volume tome. In fact, it doesn’t need to be physically printed at all! Try assembling your ideas into an e-book that you can digitally send to all your current and prospective customers in a matter of seconds.

When you do so, you can automatically grow your sphere of influence. You’ll also have a gift to share with your partners and will establish your voice as one of authority in your niche.

If you’re not sure you have the time to devote to writing a book, don’t worry! You can collaborate with a ghostwriter who can turn your best ideas into a page-turner.

8. Create a Viral Video

When we think of a video going viral, most of us think about those adorable clips of pandas on playground slides and kittens getting into feline shenanigans.

Yet, what if your content was so powerful that it circulated the web that quickly? It might sound crazy, but it’s possible. Many companies, including startups and small businesses, have seen their marketing campaigns go viral.

What sets them apart? They tug at our heartstrings, hit a nerve, or get stuck in our heads. As a result, we click that “share” button to initiate the same response in our friends and family.

It’s a chain reaction, and you could be the instigator. All it takes is the courage to spark a conversation worth having.

9. Start Out Strong

Before people can read the rest of your content, they have to read your meta-description and click on your article title first.

To nab them at the onset, it’s critical that this snippet of your data is compelling and thought-provoking. Not only is this a mainstay of Search Engine Optimization (SEO), it’s also a key way to draw unique visitors to your site.

So in your quest to deliver creative content marketing ideas, don’t forget to give your headlines a little love. You’ll be rewarded in the end.

10. Don’t Keep It to Yourself

You’ve listened to your audience and created amazing content tailored to their tastes. So, you create a blog post and wait for the views to come in, only to be surprised when they don’t.

The reason? Stellar content won’t work unless you do.

Where it’s appropriate and makes sense, share your content! Reach out to your social media followers and give them the link to your new web article or white paper. Email your contacts list and ask them to subscribe to your newsletter.

Make sure that your hard work isn’t for naught, and that your message reaches those that need to hear it.

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