5 Key Content Marketing Strategies for Small Business
One of the most effective, low-cost and growing ways to drive traffic and build awareness for your business is through content marketing. Content marketing is the process of creating and distributing highly relevant content to attract, acquire, and engage your target audience.
Content Marketing is a critical component of a comprehensive Digital Marketing Plan because if done correctly and efficiently, can generate the most quantifiable leads.
1. Understand your Target Audience.
When you truly understand your target market then you can begin to engage with them. Sometimes your customers are motivated by external factors ( lack of money, pressure from superiors, etc.) and others times they may be motivated by internal factors ( self-ambition, notoriety, philanthropy, etc.). You must also segment and differentiate your target audience. This will help you create and craft content that is relevant and helpful to them.
2. Plan Ahead – Create a Content Calendar.
A recent study found that 61 percent of small B2B business owners said they plan to increase the amount of content they produce this year. However, only 44 percent have actually planned how to make that possible. What does this mean? Many are only thinking about doing it while few actually are. This can be a big opportunity to get ahead of more than half of your competition. Doing it so is simple – just take the time to make a content calendar. According to a 2014 study conducted by the Content Marketing Institute, the top three most effective forms of content are case studies, in-person events, and blogs.
3. Keep it short and sweet.
Nielsen reports that users typically spend less than one minute on any given webpage, so many experts recommend creating content that can be easily consumed in under a minute. If it’s necessary to provide more information then create a downloadable document, white paper, PDF, ebook of that content for later viewing. As seen in the CMI study, organizations who feel they are very effective in their marketing place a large focus on content. Not only do they have a documented content strategy, but they also have someone who oversees their content marketing. Most importantly, they are producing a large amount of content and plan to create even more in the coming months.
4. Be Consistent.
One of the greatest benefits of creating Content Marketing is the exponential benefits of creating more content over time. This means that if you want to appear improve your Google organic ranking in search results, you need to consistently post quality articles. In order to leverage this opportunity further, you must share your content across multiple platforms. Another way to efficiently leverage your existing content is to republish them in new formats specifically tailored for different platforms. For example, a Facebook audience is not the same as a LinkedIn audience as one is more about “social” engagement while the latter is more geared towards business interests.
5. Optimize for Search Engines.
Now that we know that creating quality consistent content helps increase our lead generation and search rankings, we must make sure that content is optimized for search. Start by researching which keywords and keyword phrases get the most traffic for a particular topic. Use those relevant keywords or keyword phrases in your content title, file names of the article and images, as well as throughout the entire article or webpage. A good place to start is using a free resource such as Google’s Webmaster Keyword Tool and your Google Analytics data.
These are a few of the key steps toward creating a Content Marketing strategy. The most challenging part will be generating ideas that are relevant for your audience and doing so consistently. A lot of company owners aren’t equipped to take on the kind of writing schedule necessary to maintain a regular blog or newsletter. If you consider yourself among that group, we’re here to help.