Paper Trails

Small Business Content Marketing

Small Business Big World Episode 18: Small Business Content Marketing

This is Small Business Big World, our weekly podcast prepared by the team at Paper Trails. Owning and running a small business is hard. Each week we’ll dive into the challenges, headaches, trends, fun and excitement of running a small business. After all, small businesses are the heartbeat of America and our team is here to keep them beating.

Watch the full episode here.

Listen to the full episode here.


Content marketing has become a key part of all business’ marketing strategy.  This strategy is shaping how companies communicate with their audiences. But what happens when this approach is focus on building trust and transparency? In the latest episode of our podcast, Jon Portanova, the marketing director of Paper Trails, talks about the power of transparent content marketing strategies that not only attract potential leads but also establish long-term trust and credibility with current clients.

Understanding small business content marketing

Small business content marketing is all about creating and sharing valuable content to attract and retain customers. This can include blog posts, videos, social media updates, and more. For small businesses, it’s a way to connect with potential clients without spending a fortune on traditional advertising. But it’s not just about pushing out content—it’s about making sure that content is educational, meaningful and trustworthy.

Transparency in content marketing

Adopting the “They Ask, You Answer” philosophy has been a game-changer for Paper Trails. This approach is centered on addressing customer questions directly and comprehensively. Instead of shying away from difficult questions about pricing, comparisons, and even negative aspects, Jon emphasizes the importance of tackling them head-on. By doing so, Paper Trails has set itself apart from competitors, particularly low-cost providers, by showcasing the unique value they offer through their detailed content.

For example, a single well-crafted article on their site that compared pricing and services led to a significant increase in recurring revenue. This is a testament to the impact that valuable content can have on a business’s bottom line. It’s not just about attracting clients but educating them, guiding them through their buyer’s journey until they are ready to make an informed decision.

Creating engaging content for small businesses

The podcast episode also delves into the creative process behind generating engaging content. Leveraging client inquiries, sales team insights, and service team feedback, Paper Trails ensures that the material they produce is both relevant and useful to their audience. The use of various formats, including blogs, videos, checklists, webinars and more, is crucial in keeping the content engaging and accessible to a wide audience.

One notable incident discussed in the episode is a recent software outage at Paper Trails. Chris and Jon describes how they handled the situation with transparency, sending out detailed communications to keep their clients informed. This reinforced the trust that clients have in Paper Trails, proving that honesty, especially during challenging times, solidifies customer relationships.

Benefits of small business content marketing

There are many benefits of using a content marketing approach.  These include:

  • Builds Trust: By addressing customer questions honestly and openly, you build trust. Customers appreciate transparency and are more likely to stick with a brand that is upfront about its strengths and weaknesses.
  • Educates Your Audience: Great content helps your audience understand your products or services better. It can guide them through their buying journey, making them more likely to choose you over competitors.
  • Increases Engagement: Content marketing allows for two-way communication. Through comments, shares, and likes, you can engage with your audience and build a community around your brand.
  • Supports Your Team: Team members can use the content that has been created to educate clients, answer questions and provide thorough support.
  • Boosts SEO: Regularly publishing quality content improves your website’s search engine rankings. This makes it easier for potential customers to find you online.

How Paper Trails can help

At Paper Trails, we are obsessed with assisting small businesses through their fears and headaches when it comes to payroll, HR, and small business management. We believe that by being transparent and providing valuable information, we can help our clients succeed. Our approach to small business content marketing focuses on answering the questions our clients are actually asking. Whether it’s through detailed blog posts, informative videos, or interactive webinars, we aim to educate and support our audience every step of the way.

In conclusion, the key to successful content marketing lies in honesty and consistency. Companies should aim to be educators first, providing valuable information that meets the needs and questions of their clients. As Paper Trails’ experience shows, when businesses are transparent in their content creation and customer relations, they build a foundation of trust that can lead to substantial growth and customer loyalty. So, if you’re a small business looking to enhance your marketing strategy, consider the power of transparency and start addressing your customers’ real questions today.


This podcast is a production of Paper Trails. We are a payroll and HR company based in Kennebunk, Maine, and we serve small and mid-sized businesses across New England and the country. If you found this podcast helpful, don’t forget to follow us at at Paper Trails Payroll across all social media platforms and check us out at for more information. As a reminder, the views, opinions and thoughts expressed by the hosts and guests alone. The material presented in this podcast is for general information purposes only and should not be considered legal or financial advice. By inviting this guest to our podcast, Paper Trails does not imply endorsement of or opposition to any specific individual, organization, product or service.