A lot of marketers are saying that it’s getting harder to promote small businesses online. While I agree that some strategies that worked very well in the past are useless now, you can still market your small business online successfully if you have the consistency for it. And one of the most cost-efficient ways to do this is through content marketing.

More and more people are using ad blockers, to the point where paid advertising has become less effective. But content marketing is arguably better for small businesses since it adds more value by building trust with the audience.

Content marketing is a long-term marketing strategy that uses content as the main ingredient to solidify your brand’s relationship with the audience. It’s also very effective in attracting new potential customers and improving engagement.

Here’s the honest truth: content marketing requires a lot of dedication. But if you do it right, it will be worth your time. Here are the top 5 reasons why you’d want to incorporate content marketing as a strategy for your small business.

1. Establish your business as a local leader

If you have a fierce competition locally, content marketing will help your business stand out from the crowd. Any brand that takes the time to provide free and helpful information in addition to paid products and services will quickly become a trusted expert in the consumer’s eyes.

Whether you sell goods or services, set up a blog on your website and start writing helpful articles as if they were targeted towards your most loyal customers.

2. Reach a larger audience

If your content is good, it will spread naturally and help establish your business as trustworthy. Even if your audience is small, high-quality content spreads like wildfire.

As more and more relevant people discover your articles, you’ll start seeing a monthly increase in traffic to your website – with no other cost other than your free time, of course. As an underlying effect, your website traffic will eventually lead to an increased customer presence in your physical store (if you have one).

3. Improve sales through lead nurturing

A successful lead nurturing campaign will encourage your customers to spend up to 50% more money on purchases when compared with non-nurtured leads.

And the best way to nurture leads is through content marketing. Since good content improves customer trust, your audience will be a lot more likely to return to your business. Even more, your customers will feel encouraged to spread the word about your business to other new potential customers.

The more quality content you post, the more you solidify the bond with your audience – this will increase your brand’s recall and the user engagement.

4. Improve organic search visibility

Why stop at conquering the local realm when you can boost your online visibility to the point where you have a global audience? I’m not saying it’s easy for a small business to claim a big chunk of organic search, but it’s certainly possible.

If you have good content and employ a suite of good SEO strategies in a consistent matter, you can steal market share from much larger competitors through content marketing.

5. Your business website will become interesting

And last but not least, a good content marketing strategy will ensure that your business website is always filled with fresh and interesting information. Keep in mind that today’s consumer relies heavily on the web to make an informed decision. And chances are your website is going to be the decisive factor, so make it count.

Content marketing is low-cost and extremely effective for building awareness for your small business. The key to it is to avoid getting complacent or discouraged along the way. The results will not appear overnight. But even if they do, continue improving your content in order to take your small business to the next level.