Like I’ve said before, anybody can create incredible content marketing tactics with access to a bottomless pit of money. But for many small to medium businesses (SMBs) in the current climate doing their content on a smell of an oily rag would require a doubling of their budget! Despite these challenges there are still plenty of local businesses doing a great job of using content to build their audience, drive engagement and ultimately, increase sales. Here are four of the best currently doing the rounds. Silver Chef Silver Chef is a 30-year-old, West End based equipment finance company. With annual revenue pushing past $300 million they are quickly outgrowing the SMB category but remain a great example of content ‘done right’. The company has done a lot of work researching the needs and challenges of their target audience (primarily coffee shop, restaurant and takeaway store owners) and develops high quality, short form eBooks across a variety of topics. All the resources are conveniently warehoused in a single page on their website and accessible behind data collection points. The secret to the success of the content is the authentic, authoritative voice and the genuine desire to help customers (and potential customers) improve their business. Some of the topics include;
- Quick wins to grow your business;
- Attracting customers using Pokemon Go; and
- A guide to avoiding common pitfalls for designing your new venue (right)
The other important aspect to the strategy is the marketing of the eBooks across multiple channels, particularly social media. It is no good creating great content unless you tell the world about it! Technology One Again, not exactly a start-up but I’ve included for their great use of case studies. Case studies are the most effective marketing tactic, particularly in business-to-business (B2B) sales where larger dollars are involved and the customer journey can take many months. A great case study provides one of the many steps of product validation required to get new customers comfortable with your products. What makes TechnologyOne’s case studies great? The relatively short length, well organised sections of content and strong buy-in from the customer. The Victorian Institute of Teaching case study is simple, easy to read and to the point while still retaining high levels of data. It lays out the problem, discusses the solution and highlights the value TechnologyOne can add. The supporting video adds a great multimedia dimension. See all their case studies here. Research from the B2B Technology Marketing Group, based on a of more than 600 B2B marketing professionals, about the current state of content marketing shows case studies remain the most effective content. My Place Our Place Launched earlier this year by the team at Place Estate Agents the My Place Our Place blog is designed to showcase “the places, people and lifestyle that make our city and suburbs so special”. The crisp, clean layout (using the Squarespace platform), the use of strong imagery in each piece and an editorial agenda that focuses firmly on the people and the places of Brisbane delivers a strong package that puts the Place brand exactly where they want it, at the heart and soul of the communities where they operate. This is great example of the opportunities presented by blogging technology and demonstrates that with the right writers and the right focus, any company can become a successful media company. This brand publishing opportunity is now more accessible than ever and a great way to not just communicate with your customers, but build a community around your brand. Outfit Outfit is a Brisbane startup that has developed a brand management and automation software that allows companies to manage their brand assets more effectively and efficiently. They are a great example of how even a small company with limited resources can develop high impact content by identifying a key target market and developing engaging, relevant content that builds a deep understanding of how their products can solve the everyday problems of clients. The Ultimate Guide to Franchise Branding speaks directly to Outfit’s subject matter expertise and covers a range of topics including basic brand theory and more complex topics like the ROI of design efficiencies. All the information is presented in easy, bite-size packages to ease consumption. Importantly, the company has gone the extra mile and actively promoted the content across social channels (see Facebook ad below) All of these case studies have different products, different markets and varied budgets, but all are great examples of what is possible if you take the time to think about how content can be the key driver of your marketing.