A Guide to Leveraging Paid Content for Small Businesses

In today's global landscape, small businesses often face relentless competition. The internet's omnipresence means that consumers can turn to countless providers for their goods and services. In such a crowded environment, how can a small business make a significant impact?

Traditionally, advertising was the cornerstone of any strategy to establish your company's presence and attract new customers. However, in a world where tech giants like Google are intensifying their efforts to filter ads and consumers are increasingly repelled by intrusive pop-ups and disruptive banners, a sole focus on advertising may no longer be a sustainable marketing approach for businesses.

So, what's the alternative? Let's explore the realm of paid content: what it entails and what it can offer to your small business.

Why Choose Paid Content? Content marketing is essentially a means of building deep connections with customers, positioning yourself as an industry authority, and, consequently, driving sales. This content can take various forms, including blog posts, podcasts, and e-newsletters.

Regardless of the content type, it must be high-quality, informative, and purpose-driven content that effectively addresses a problem experienced by your potential clients. By demonstrating through your content that you comprehend their needs and possess the means to address them, you can become their primary source for the products or services you offer.

The challenge lies in getting this content in front of the right audience. Much like the philosophical query, "If a tree falls in a forest and no one is around to hear it, does it make a sound?" the same holds true for content creation. You may be producing exceptional work, but if nobody sees the content you're creating, it won't yield any results.

Leveraging Content Distribution Platforms To broaden your content's reach, some companies turn to distribution platforms. These platforms enable you to set a budget and timeline, working to showcase your content to a precisely targeted audience most likely to find it intriguing and valuable. While we have explored this approach in the past, this article covers some of the most popular platforms available.

Content Distribution PlatformDistribution platforms furnish you with analytics, allowing you to gauge which content is gaining the most traction, enabling you to fine-tune your approach as you gain a better understanding of your audience. The main drawback of such platforms is that the content is often displayed on the periphery of web pages, typically positioned below the site's main content. As a result, they may appear as paid content, potentially deterring certain prospective readers.

Sponsored Content on Trusted Publications If the appearance of content on a distribution platform is a concern, sponsored content may be a viable alternative.

While perusing your favorite online magazine or newspaper, you've likely encountered an article sponsored by a brand. These articles could be authored by a mattress store, discussing the importance of a good night's sleep, or by a sportswear company, providing insights into how the right running shoes can help marathoners set new personal records.

Although these posts are seamlessly integrated into the publication and are designed to match the look, feel, and tone of other articles, they have, in fact, been commissioned by marketers. Sponsored content offers unique advantages. It allows you to target the readers of a publication that aligns best with your product or service's target audience. Furthermore, it lends an air of credibility to your advertising; if readers trust the publication, they are more likely to trust the content it presents.

Facebook Posts and Google Searches Similar to the sponsored content approach, you may also explore placing sponsored posts on Facebook or investing in Google search ads. These forms of advertising adhere to the principles of native advertising, allowing your content to seamlessly blend with its environment.

Google Search Ad When individuals encounter a Facebook ad while scrolling through their news feed or see a search result at the top of their Google search results, they are less likely to be deterred in the same way as they might be with more overt marketing tactics. Since these ads are intentionally designed to appear as an integral part of the larger platform, readers don't feel they are being directly pitched a product or service.

The Evolution of Influencer Marketing When people think of influencer marketing, their minds may immediately turn to celebrities like the Kardashians or other well-known figures with substantial social media followings. However, the landscape of influencer marketing is changing, with many marketers veering away from celebrity endorsements.

In fact, a study by Collective Bias revealed that 70 percent of millennials are more inclined to purchase a product endorsed by a non-celebrity blogger rather than a celebrity. This shift is advantageous for smaller businesses that may not have the budget for multi-million dollar celebrity endorsements.

If you're a small business, consider adopting a more modest approach. Target influencers who hold significance within your desired network and reach out to them. With a compelling pitch and a willingness to provide them with a free sample of your product, they may feature your business on their blog or give you a shout-out on their social media platforms.

In the vast landscape of content creation and competition for the attention of potential customers, it's easy to feel overwhelmed. However, by focusing on

Jeff Hecht

Jeff Hecht

Jeff is the Founder and Managing Director of the Aronson Hecht Agency. He grew up in the advertising industry at his father's' agency. He has over 40 years in sales and marketing experience. Jeff brings that experience to every client and every project we work on.

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