As a business owner, you’ve undoubtedly heard of the importance of content marketing. But if not, here’s the short version of it. Content marketing is producing content on topics of interest to your customers, in a medium they enjoy, at a time that it is relevant (and useful) to them. If you’re hearing a lot of references to the customer you’ve got the crux of content marketing.
It’s all about the customer.
If you’re selling locally here in Alameda, it’s likely your customer knows the Chamber. They may not know exactly what the chamber does, but they likely think positively of the Chamber and the businesses that are affiliated with it. We’re not trying to toot our own horn. Many people mistake the chamber for the Better Business Bureau, and thus, hold it in high esteem.
Being a member benefits you because our good reputation transfers onto our members. It’s the Halo effect. However, branding is not the only way you can improve your marketing with a Chamber membership. We can help you make the most of content marketing as well.
Top Ways to Improve Content Marketing Through Alameda Chamber Membership
The thing that makes content marketing so successful is possessing the knowledge of what the customer wants. Without that, you’re simply marketing the same old way.
Pick the Chamber Brain
If you know a little bit about your ideal customer demographic, we can help you fill in the holes. Many of our staff, volunteers, and board members at the Chamber have or have had businesses. Plus, we have also have witnessed what other challenges members have overcome. We can provide advice through that lens. If your demographic is completely different from anything we’ve seen or worked with (doubt it, but anything is possible), we know professionals in Alameda who can help and we can put you in touch with.
Write Content on Behalf of the Chamber
This is a quid pro quo situation that everyone benefits from:
Your potential customers need helpful content but don’t know how to find you or it.
The Alameda Chamber & Economic Alliance wants to share good content with our community via our blog, website, social media profiles, and newsletter. We have a large following and a strong newsletter open rate.
You have in-depth knowledge in your area of expertise that others would find valuable but you don’t have a large audience.
See how this is the perfect match for everyone? You have information that others want. We have a large bullhorn that you have access to as a member. You showcase your expertise through our channels. The community receives useful information. The community sees us both as great resources.
How to Produce Valuable Content for the Chamber and Beyond
We get it — who has time to do that? But let’s talk about return on investment. Creating content costs only your time. If you don’t want writing or producing content to impede on business hours, create something over the weekend. You can do a quick video or blog post in about an hour. Let’s say your hourly rate is $100. For a maximum investment of $100, you can get seen by a couple hundred people (a small estimate). If only two of those 100 convert into sales for you, your lifetime customer sale is probably worth more than $100, right?
Plus, if you recycle your own content to be used by the Chamber instead of creating it from scratch, you’re also not spending an hour on the content. That’s a pretty decent rate of return on less than $100.
If you want your content featured on one of our channels, here’s how you can get the most out of your investment and create a piece that everyone appreciates:
- Don’t make it salesy. This isn’t about how well you sell your product. This content should become a resource for the Alameda community. Be helpful not a hard sell.
- Cover all the options you can think of to instill trust. If you’re a gym owner and writing an article about the best places to exercise, include gyms but also talk about one of our beautiful trails, or the bike rental program. Giving all the options without hard selling yours, makes you trustworthy and a strong resource. It also will cause people to like you for your candor. They’ll feel like you care about their needs and will often patronize your business because of it.
- Link to other articles from good sources, reputable authors/journalists, or embed video that corroborates your assertions in your written content. If you’re creating video or doing an interview, talk about these references and add them in the transcript or in the post.
- Admit to positives and negatives about your topic. Very few things in life are absolute or 100% one way or the other. For instance, if you’re talking about working out in a gym admit that it’s wonderful to run outside on a beautiful day. And it’s good to lead with these ideas because you build immediate trust when you give a concession like that before your audience comes up with it. But it’s also fine to point out the benefits of gyms, such as they are safe areas to exercise. They are air-conditioned and staffed with professionals who can ensure you are exercising in a way that is beneficial and not too stressful on joints.
- Ask for a by-line. You won’t get a direct call-to-action where you can ask the Chamber audience to call you for more information but we will likely give you a by-line where you can mention your business and link to your website (bonus SEO link from a reputable site) and social media contact information.
If you’re interested in doing more content marketing for your business, our Chamber is a great place to start. We have a large, local audience that sees us as a resource. Plus, we are always on the search for good content. This can become a solid, mutually beneficial partnership that serves the entire community.