Content marketing is the answer—and I would argue that it’s your only path if you are a small business. Content marketing is simply using content to create connections. But first, you have to stop thinking of it as promotion. Content marketing is different. It’s not like traditional broadcast media, and you are not likely to succeed if you treat it that way.
To be effective, you need two things: 1) a strategy; and 2) a set of tactics to execute the strategy. A common mistake is to rush right into tactics without a strategy. Like anything in business, that’s not a good plan. It’s always better to take a step back, examine the goals of your business, and build a strategy that’s fully in service of those goals. Then you can construct a set of tactics.
The challenging (and fun!) part of content marketing is that it is highly dynamic. It will start to change as soon as you begin. This means that you have to be really creative and iterative—just like any small business does already.