The other night, my wife Reese was “surfing through Pinterest.” (Her words.)

One “Pin” that she found had some healthy lunch ideas, perfect for anyone with kids. (We have twin 9-year-old girls.)

Each of the healthy lunch ideas were designed to fit in these trendy food containers. Each lunch display was beautifully photographed.

Reese clicked on the Pin that took her to a blog post that detailed even more lunch ideas and how she could package them all up. At the end of the blog post was a call to action to take a look at the different container sets available to purchase.

Now, our girls can plan on some neat lunches in cool containers they’ll be taking to school.

Let’s review how this went down again.

My wife saw an image that grabbed her attention with a visual idea.

She clicked through to even more ideas that she found valuable. This information then led her to a product that allowed her to execute on those ideas — which she purchased.

Pretty simple, right?

Here are some tips on how this same process could be successful for your business.

1. Make sure the content is right for the social network.

Pinterest by nature is a highly visual network. Images obviously work best. (Although, images are becoming increasingly important across all social networks.)

Think of the way you present the image — does it grab attention? Is it interesting to the intended audience? Imagine if the image my wife saw just showed empty containers. Doesn’t have the same attraction does it?

2. Provide stand-alone value.

Show your audience how they can DO something with your product. Use the content you create to make them smarter. The content needs to have stand-alone value. This makes it useful and highly shareable.

3. Don’t forget to let people know there’s something for sale.

This is where a lot of people fail when it comes to content marketing. They forget to include that there’s something available for purchase. If people don’t know, they can’t buy it. This doesn’t mean you need to go on an obnoxious hard sell, but rather just expose people to the fact that there is something being sold and make it easy for the interested people to take the next step.

That’s one way people find you and the essence of content marketing.

Your goal with all of your online marketing efforts should be to create and promote content designed to attract, convert, and retain a well-defined audience, with the ultimate goal of creating a profitable small business.

Content in various forms is the driving force behind the many ways that people can find you online. Content is the currency of the internet. It’s what attracts attention, it’s what people search for, it’s what people consume, it’s what people share, and it’s what can lead people to your business.

Would you like to do more business?

Over the next three months, we’ll be exploring all of the different ways people find your business when it comes to online marketing. Along the way, we’ll also provide you with some useful tips that can help you do more business. So be sure to stick around. (Are you subscribed to our Hints & Tips Newsletter?)

Before you leave, take some time to do this…

Write down five quick ideas for ways you can demonstrate the value of your products or services. Is there a way you can represent this value visually? What social network would be best for you to share this information on? If multiple social networks make sense, how would you modify your posts across these networks?

Tell us your answers in the comments below.

Want to learn more about how consumers are finding new businesses? Download a free copy of our latest guide: How Mobile Search Can Help You Find Your Next Great Customer.