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Small businesses might not realize that the internet can help them attract new customers. Web users search the ‘net for products and services they can use to fulfill their needs, and website content helps companies get in front of online shoppers. However, the average small business owner might not have the skill sets to create or manage an online blog or newsroom without some preliminary insights. ContentLEAD has reported that 70 percent of companies across the globe will invest time and money in content marketing over the next 12 months, so entrepreneurs should make sure they understand the basics.

Social Media and NewsRoom scoresAccording to a new study from My Newsdesk, 98 percent of the world’s largest companies have online newsrooms. News content puts products in the context of a day’s events, industry trends and evergreen guides to educate and engage audiences. The same strategies that work for Coca-Cola and MasterCard can also work for the traditional small business. When a company interacts with its customers by providing useful information and extending conversations to the web, the business can retain customers’ attention – even when they haven’t visited the brick-and-mortar store in several months. Of course, blog marketing has certain challenges for businesses – big and small.

The source also pointed out that 35 percent of businesses fail to keep their website news up to date. Even when companies publish content for lead generation, 38 percent of writers tasked with maintaining businesses’ online newsrooms lack the proper knowledge on how to use categories, tags and other SEO tactics to increase the visibility of their content in search results. The biggest surprise discovered in the report is that more than half of survey respondents fail to present quality images with their posts. If a business owner wants to use the web to acquire new customers through articles related to specific products, each piece must include a clear and high-grade image. Pictures are proven to increase click-throughs for web articles, and it won’t do any good to have a blurry picture online.

Businesses looking to use content marketing in 2013 to increase profit margins must start off small and build momentum with each new post. Blog content can help a business owner learn more about customers, especially via response rates. ContentLEAD can help small business owners understand how to use news content for professional gain, whether they want to win news customers through search-optimized content, build loyalty among existing clients or achieve other online marketing goals.