A Complete Guide to Content Marketing for Small Business
Any business, regardless of size or type, relies on one thing to gets its message across and acquire new leads and customers–content.
It’s the equalizer between giants in the business world and small businesses. You don’t have to spend a ton of money on advertising to reach your audience if you use content marketing efforts effectively. By learning how to utilize this marketing tactic and create compelling, eye-catching content, you’ll be in a position to stand out among your competitors and establish yourself as a thought leader in your industry.
Let’s talk more about small business content marketing and how you can start using it to your advantage today.
What Exactly Is Content Marketing?
Content marketing encompasses a wide variety of initiatives that we’ll delve into in the section below. However, it’s much more than individual pieces of content. A good content marketing strategy is a strategic approach that enables companies like yours to attract their target audience and keep them engaged through compelling, personalized content.
In this way, content marketing is much more beyond blogging, putting together an article and publishing a few social posts. Each activity should be linked and follow a core strategy that is backed by research to increase the chances of success.
Here’s how you can use your data to find your target audience and create content that will speak to them.
Find Your Target Audience to Create Personalized Content that Sells
The first step before diving into the content creation process lies in doing some buyer persona research into your target audience. This is the data you compile from your existing customers and high-quality leads. This information is segmented to result in either one or more buyer personas that all of your future prospects will fall in line with.
Once you’ve done your research and created your buyer personas, you’ll be in a position to start creating content that will make an impact and convert.
The Elements of an Effective Content Marketing Strategy
Content marketing is a powerful tool for companies of all sizes and from all backgrounds. Here are some ways you can use it effectively.
Provide a Variety of Content
A good content marketing strategy is going to comprise several aspects to ensure you’re reaching your target audience, no matter what channels they’re on.
Some activities to incorporate into your content strategy include:
Your blog is the voice of your company. You can provide a variety of different types of content, from light-hearted, fun posts to industry topics, and even share a roundup of curated content. Enable comments to encourage a discussion on your posts and nurture engagement by responding to all comments.
What better way to be seen as a thought leader than to appear in industry magazines? To get seen in front of your target audience you want to have a presence in the content they consume. Find out which online publications your target audience frequents and send the publication a pitch. If you get published you’ll set yourself apart as a thought leader in your niche.
Whether you share them on social media or on your blog, infographics are an effective method of visualizing your data and sharing key data points with your audience. Use them to highlight important statistics from a white paper or other long-form content. You can then link to this content in your infographic, enticing people to download the original content and gaining new leads in the process.
Nothing grabs attention like a great video and a content marketing strategy isn’t complete without a video component. While some people like to read long-form content, others prefer to watch a quick video to get the information they’re looking for. By incorporating video into your content marketing efforts, you’ll extend the reach of your content.
To get all of your content in front of a wide audience and to increase the chances of that content being shared, don’t forget the power of social media. Focus on the social media channels that your target audience frequents. Post content regularly and engage with your audience by responding to all comments.
Take advantage of the live video features on social media to show off the more human side of your brand. A quick behind the scenes or FAQ session can help your audience get to know you better and start looking to you as a trusted resource.
An email marketing campaign helps you nurture your leads and guide them in their journey from prospect to customer. It’s called lead nurturing because you don’t attempt to sell to them immediately. Instead you introduce them with content that is relevant to them, based on the information they’ve previously downloaded.
You can automate this process to ensure that your leads get the content that is relevant to them each time they take an action in the email by downloading your call to action. The goal is to guide them to a final action that encourages them to take the last steps toward becoming a customer, whether that’s to try a free trial or sign up for a demo.
Create a Website that Converts
Your website hosts the entirety of your content marketing efforts–from your blog to links to your social pages, it’s the gatekeeper to it all. This means your website must be easy to navigate so users can quickly find what they’re looking for.
There is a lot that goes into building a great website–from the imagery to the messaging. A mistake that we often see is companies that have a website that is very focused on them and not their target audience. Instead, focus your messaging to address the client’s challenges and show how your brand can help alleviate those challenges. This enables a prospect to see the value in your product.
Prominently add client testimonials and case studies so prospects can see how company’s like theirs benefitted from your product or service.
Speed is another factor in the web experience. If your page takes longer than a few seconds to load then you risk losing potential clients. People don’t want to wait for the content they’re looking for. If your website does not provide a quick and user-friendly experience, this will affect your bottom line.
You’ll also want to ensure that your website is mobile-friendly. Half of all web traffic worldwide comes from mobile. If it doesn’t function well on a mobile device you risk losing a huge portion of your website traffic.
A professional website builder can help guide you in this process and ensure that your website is fast, and optimized for mobile and SEO to rank higher in the search engines.
Don’t Forget the Importance of SEO
While high-quality content is critical, it also needs to be optimized for SEO to ensure that it can be found by your target audience. Each piece of content that you create should include research-backed keywords to increase your chances of ranking on Google. These keywords should be applied throughout all of your content, from your blog posts to website messaging.
In addition to keywords, you want to think about backlinks. This means that another site has included a link to your content on their website. By releasing consistent, high-quality content, you increase the chances of your content being noticed and shared by others.
While quality content always reigns, SEO needs to be incorporated to ensure that your content gets seen by your intended audience.
Measure and Report on Your Content’s Success
This is important. If you don’t analyze your data you won’t know what’s working and what’s not. Perhaps a subject line in an email can be tweaked, or maybe you need to adjust your social media posting dates and times. It’s imperative to track all of your content marketing activities to see where minor changes can result in big results.
Run reports regularly to track your successes. This should encompass all of your content efforts–your blog posts, social media, industry articles, website content…everything. Use this data to come up with ideas for new content based on what’s performing well and ditch the ideas that aren’t. This will allow you to grow in the right direction and continue to tweak your content marketing strategy to bring in qualified leads that will turn into loyal customers.
Reaping the Benefits of Your Small Business Content Marketing Strategy
Nothing grabs the attention and keeps it like compelling content. From blog posts, to social media content and everything in between, your content is the voice of your brand. Content backed by strong audience research will enable you to build brand awareness, bring in qualified leads, bring in more traffic to your website, and more.
Now that we’ve outlined some of the strategies necessary to create your small business content marketing strategy, it’s time to get started.
You don’t have to do it alone. Reach out to us to learn how we can help you develop your content strategy and start standing out from the crowd today.