Is Content Marketing Right for Your Business? SWOT it Out
The bad news, first: if you, as a small businessperson, rush into Content Marketing without a strategy and start posting blogs with casual abandon, you’ll probably fail.
The good news? Once you have a strategy, you’ll rock Content Marketing. You will have the adaptability, the innovation, and the enthusiasm to make Content a powerful business building tool.
I’m a fellow business owner. When I have a big decision to make, I scribble a quick SWOT on the whiteboard to get perspective. Let’s do that together, in order to help you get perspective and determine if Content Marketing can work for your business.
For those not familiar with SWOT, here are the basics:
– Draw a giant whiteboard “+” and divide the quarters into Strengths (characteristics of your business that give you an advantage), Weaknesses (characteristics that give you a disadvantage), Opportunities (what’s happening around you that could give you an advantage), and Threats (what’s happening around you that could lead to a disadvantage).
Your Biggest Strength: Adaptability
If you’re marketing a small business, you’re either the Owner or you know the business intimately. You probably talk to customers daily, answer their questions, and have learned the themes that link the questions together. With those tools, you can anticipate the questions that are coming next and give answers to the questions your customers haven’t thought of yet.
You’re either a small marketing team or a one-person show. You don’t need to worry about silos, protracted workflows, or red tape. You can react quickly to changes in your industry or when big events happen around you. You’re nimble. As the great one said, you can float like a butterfly and sting like a bee.
Your Biggest Weakness:
You don’t have a lot of money to spend. Your margins are thin, and most of your marketing is short-term and geared towards the next weekend sale.
Flip this into a strength. Get innovative, skip the high-budget videos and swanky website and focus on how to answer your customers’ questions cheaply and effectively.
Instead of hiring a production company for your videos, take them on your smartphone. Instead of commissioning an original blog, publish syndicated blogs or, if you have the talent—and some practical wisdom from an experienced blogger—write them in-house.
Your Biggest Opportunity: Their Enthusiasm
If you’re a small business, you probably have some premium prices. That’s not a weakness; it’s an opportunity.
Here’s the equation: (Higher prices than the box stores) + (a value-adding Core Experience)= a loyal, niche audience. You’re offering an experience that the big guys can’t. If you know what that is, great! If not, you need a strategy.
Once you have zeroed in on your Core Experience, it becomes the nexus of the value of your product and the value of your experience. It’s how you turn blog posts into money-in-the-bank.
Your customer want to have a dialogue with you about their questions, interests and concerns. On social media and in blogs, engage them and their enthusiasm will attract and maintain an ever larger audience.
Your Biggest Threat: Your Enthusiasm
Content Marketing is temptingly fun, so much so that we want to skip the strategy and get right to blogs, Facebook and videos. Don’t.
Take a step back. If you don’t take time to create a written strategy, your content will fall flat.
Think of your content as a jet. You can make it as elaborate as you want, but without trajectory (speed and direction) and fuel, it’s going to rust in the desert.
Play the long game. Build the strategy. Give your enthusiasm the opportunity it needs to be seen, engaged with, win converts and soar!