Perhaps one of the best things about the emergence of digital technology for SMEs is the fact that it has considerably levelled the playing field when it comes to marketing. Whereas smaller firms could not hope to compete with their larger rivals through TV commercials or outdoor billboards, they can realistically pose a compelling alternative on social media.

However, the key to success of sites such as Facebook is posting genuinely interesting content. Whether you’re trying to entertain your audience or position your brand as a thought leader, posting a steady stream of relevant and engaging content can be the key to building brand awareness and converting social media followers into paid customers.

So what kind of content could help your firm stand out during 2015? Web development and marketing expert Armando Roggio has a few useful tips for SMEs that are thinking of adopting a content marketing strategy this year.

Create entertaining videos
The technology required to make a professional looking video is easily accessible these days, with your average smartphone offering HD video functionality. So why not use the tools you have at your disposal to create entertaining and engaging clips? Mr Roggio believes this can be a great way to build relationships with potential customers, as people “love watching online videos and making a video is becoming easier for even the smallest of businesses”. He added that video content is likely to become “increasingly important” during 2015 and that it makes sense to release new clips regularly over the coming months.

Post infographics
Infographics are a great way to share statistics and other pieces of information in a stimulating and creative way. Whereas a text-heavy report can be dry and uninteresting, infographics allow data to be depicted in a more visual way. As a result, they are a great way for firms to showcase their knowledge and expertise in a manner that is genuinely eye-catching and stimulating to web users. Mr Roggio points out that a further benefit of infographics is the fact they are highly shareable.”Consumers will post them to Facebook and Pinterest, journalists and bloggers will republish them and they can even be released via traditional public relations channels,” he said.

Add GIFS to written articles
GIFs might seem a bit old-fashioned in this era of HD videos and high-speed broadband, but used effectively, they can still be a great way to liven up a piece of written content. Mr Roggio suggests using them in How-to articles, as a “well-done” animated GIF could be a “powerful” complement to the text and help to “demonstrate each step in a process”.

Tie in content to world events and news
SMEs can show they have an awareness of what is going on beyond their own front door by producing content that relates to what is going on in the wider world. Commemorative days could be particularly good themes to base content around, as there are lots of them and the content can be prepared well in advance. Mr Roggio said that by tying their material into these special occasions, firms can “build relationships with customers not simply because you want to sell them something, but because of the ideas and principles the day represents”.

5 Content Marketing Ideas for January 2015, PracticalEcommerce

Posted by Robin McCrink