Growing Your Business: 8 Tips on How to Use Content Marketing for Small Business
Being a small business owner, you understand how important it is to draw new leads to your website and convert them into sales. Without that traffic, your website will slowly become more hidden, then eventually, you will be off the front page of the SERP results.
This is where the importance of knowing how to use content marketing for small business comes in. With the right content marketing strategies, you are well on your way to drawing in more traffic, rocking your SEO, and skyrocketing your sales.
This is also why the content marketing industry is expected to be valued at $412 billion by the year 2021.
So the problem is, what is the right content marketing strategy for small businesses? Also, why is content marketing so important if you own a small business?
Thankfully, we’ve created this article to teach you everything you need to know about how to use content marketing for small business. Keep on reading to learn more!
1. Know Your Audience
The last thing you want to do is waste multiple hours on creating articles that are irrelevant to your audience. Unfortunately, many small business owners do not understand this key component and waste their time with unproductive content.
The most important factor to consider is knowing who you are speaking to through your content. This involves in-depth market research to understand who your target audience is, what their problems are, what their interests are, their buying habits, and where to find them.
Once you discover who your target audience is and what their pain points are, you can curate your articles to show how your business is the answer to their problems. Your audience does not want to just read you talking about yourself, they want to gather information and learn about what you can do for them.
2. Know Your Intentions
Now that you know who you are speaking to, you need to understand what your objective is behind producing content for them. There are a few important questions to ask yourself as to why you are creating this content in the first place:
- Do you want to convert more leads to sell a product or service?
- Are you trying to gain more traffic and more brand awareness?
- Are you wanting to connect to your audience more, and increase your engagement rates?
- How committed are you to creating consistent and frequent blogs?
Once you are clear on your intentions, you will be able to curate your content and your call to action and relate it to what you want to accomplish.
3. Create a Content Calendar
Now that you understand your objective and who you are speaking to, you need to plan it out in a content calendar. A content calendar not only helps you to stay organized, but it will also allow you to see the entire mapped out plan as a whole.
Know Your Pillars
Every brand, or niche, has a few main categories of posts that relate to their business. For example, if your brand was about yoga, you could post about yoga postures, spirituality, mindfulness, holistic nutrition recipes, and eco-friendly practices. To do this, draw out a mind-map and create five or six elements that relate to your blog and include those as your posts.
Now that you have your main pillars, you need to jot down multiple topics on each pillar, keeping in mind that each topic must be appealing to your target audience. Using the yoga example again, mindfulness topics could include meditation techniques, guided meditations, eating mindfully, including mindfulness in everyday life, how to be mindful during yoga, and so on.
Tie Them In
Now that you have your elements and your topics, now its time for the fun part, which is tying them all in together. Create another mindmap that outlines all the topics, and include how you can tie them all together. Back to the yoga example, an article about eating mindfully could link to another article about holistic recipes, or to a relative product that you sell.
This boosts your internal linking, which will increase the amount of time each visitor is on your website. The longer you have them on your website, the lower your bounce rates will be.
4. Create a Routine
Creating a publishing routine is perhaps, one of the hardest parts of your content marketing for small business. Not only do you have a business to run, but you now also have to post weekly content to draw in more traffic? It sounds like a lot of work because it is.
Thankfully, many content marketing agencies are highly trained in creating optimized content, topics, SEO, and developing a killer action plan that will help you achieve your online goals.
5. Be Prepared For Growth
Once you have your optimized content published regularly, you must be prepared for a steady increase in traffic. This means that you should have an action plan in place or else your visitors will come, read your articles, and then bounce.
You want to convert your visitors into subscribers and customers, and to do that, you need an enticing offer. This is where an opt-in form comes in. An opt-in, or permission marketing, is where you offer attractive value for free, in exchange for permission to have the visitor’s contact information.
Now that you have their information, you can send them promotional emails and keep them updated about your products or services.
6. Write Quality Content
Writing quality content will help you create repetitive and loyal visitors, and ultimately increase the success of your content marketing strategy. Thankfully, you do not have to be an excellent writer to create quality content, but you have to understand what a quality blog post looks like.
Your content should be straight to the point, and relative to what the headline of the article suggests. No one wants to read about your daily dog walks unless you have a canine-related website, and they do not care about reading about your children unless you have a “Mom-life” website.
Your content should answer the questions that your reader has in a factual, yet interesting way. You can include all the humor and interesting information you want, however, avoid adding filler content that is unrelated to your topic.
Relational and Actionable
According to research, people are more likely to purchase a product if they feel they relate to the brand. Your customers want to feel understood, which is why your content should reflect more about them and less about you.
Additionally, every single article you post needs to have an actionable step for the customer. Your article should include a CTA that entices them, such as “subscribe to our newsletter/channel”, or “contact us for further information.”
Plagiarism and duplication can completely ruin your rankings on Google. According to Google, their SERP algorithms will penalize any duplicate content. This is also known as a black hat marketing technique which is taboo in the marketing world.
This means that your content must be original, thoughtful, and interesting. Hiring a content creator will help you to save the troubles of creating original content yourself.
7. Have Different Forms of Content
Content marketing does not only refer to writing blog articles, but it also refers to other forms of content such as videos, infographics, and Ebooks. These different forms of content help you to create some variety with your content and engage your visitors in multiple ways.
For your written content, you can switch up your articles for more variation, and to see what your audience responds to best. This could be in the form of listicles, Q&A, interviews, or research.
8. Optimization Is a Must
Creating content without optimization is like going on a road trip without a map. You will be going in circles aimlessly, and eventually, give up because you will never reach your destination.
Optimization is the main component of a successful content marketing strategy, which is another reason why it is essential to hire a professional content creator if you do not know how to optimize your content.
Here are a few tips for content optimization:
- Use the appropriate headers, H1, H2, H3, etc
- Place the keywords in your H1 header, as well as one of your H2 subheader
- Place the keywords within the first 100 characters of your content body, and naturally throughout the article
- Keywords in the meta-description
- Keywords in the conclusion
- Keywords in the URL to the article
- Use both short and long-tailed keywords
- Link to reputable websites, then contact them to establish a link-building relationship
Keep the optimization in mind as you write your content so that your articles appear natural, and be careful not to stuff the content with awkward and out-of-place keywords.
Learn More About Content Marketing For Small Business
There you have it! By following this guide, you are well on your way to understanding your content marketing for small business plan.
Learning how to create and optimize content can take a lot of time and energy, which you could be spending on your business. To learn more about how our content marketing services can help you, feel free to contact us at any time.