Marketing has always been about getting your brand to customers and ensuring that they know you exist. Historically, this is what advertisements have all been about. Print ads have been in existence since the 16th century, and they gradually became a standard business activity that many economies depended on. Apart from word of mouth, ads were the only other option that businesses could use to let people know more about their business.
However, fast forward to the 21st century, we found ourselves dealing with up to 5,000 ads in a day. Along the way, we found that ads became more annoying rather than informing us. This marked the fall from the grace of the advertisement world, as many internet browsers even come with built-in adblockers.
This has left modern-age businesses scrambling for other solutions that would help them improve their brand’s digital presence. Something that would not annoy their target audience and would not fall into irrelevance for many years.
Enter content marketing. This concept has been around for many years, undergoing various changes and improvements as companies strive to have their brand gaining maximum visibility. Content marketing has been proven to enable brands to drive traffic, boost SEO, and build trust with leads.
However, with the stiff competition currently seen in almost all industries, it might be a little challenging (not impossible) to get your content seen by many people. This is why all small and midsize businesses (SMBs) must craft a content marketing strategy that works.
In this article, we explore five top content marketing tips for small businesses to implement:
Tip #1: Create a content marketing strategy
Before you set out implementing any content marketing tips that you may have, always start by creating a solid content marketing strategy. A content strategy is a well-outlined document that showcases exactly what you’ve planned to publish based on your goals and the needs of your target audience.
According to a report by the Content Marketing Institute (CMI), 69% of successful companies have a well-documented content marketing strategy. While this doesn’t necessarily mean that your company is doomed without a content marketing strategy, it basically shows the correlation between successful companies and those that have one in place.
So, what does a ‘solid’ content marketing strategy entail? A strategy is
Although the requirements may vary from one business to another, here are the main considerations to make when creating a content marketing strategy:
- Know Your Audience. Use polls, surveys, research and personas to fully understand what your target audience is and what their needs are.
- Set your goals. What do you seek to achieve through content marketing? What would be the ideal outcome for you? Define your goals.
- Assess your current position. You can’t know where you’re going if you don’t know where you are. Create benchmarks of your current performance. Identify your strengths, weaknesses, and opportunities.
- Establish your Key Performance Indicators (KPIs). How will you know your content marketing campaign works? You need to identify your KPIs that you’ll use to measure the success of your work. These will enable you to plan your strategies better.
- Decide on content types. There are many types of content that small businesses can use to promote their brand. These include blog posts, infographics, webinars, etc. Pick and invest in the ones that will help increase visibility for your business.
- Identify and allocate resources. Once you’ve established the type of content to invest in, you should identify and allocate the resources needed to both create and distribute your content.
- Create a content calendar. Be smart and have a content calendar that helps you know what content to post, when, and where. This will help you avoid last-minute rushes that often result in under-researched and irrelevant content.
Once you’ve created a strategy it’s time to implement it and create your content. Make sure to measure results as you go.
How has your content marketing campaign been? Has it been a success? What are some of the areas of improvement noticed? Did you achieve your desired goals? At the end of a campaign, always measure your results based on the KPIs you indicated earlier.
Tip #2: Diversify content
In most cases, whenever you hear content marketing, most of us would automatically assume it to be blog posts. However, you can actually do a lot more than post a simple article on your website.
To stand out from the crowd, you ought to start thinking about diversifying your content as it will help boost your authority in the industry. Create videos and infographics that are shareable and fun. Create humorous memes and GIFs to appeal to the other side of your audience.
Another content type that’s quickly gaining momentum is podcasting. Videos are engaging, and blog posts remain to be content-rich. However, podcasts are more personal as they are right there in your audience’s ear. The entry barriers for starting a podcast are pretty low, not as intimidating as video marketing, and have better chances of engaging your audience.
Regardless of the type of content you choose, the best way to find what works for your business is to test, test, test.
Tip #3: Follow marketing trends
This is a pretty straightforward rule. Marketing trends keep on changing and improving. To continue remaining relevant and ahead of the competition, you should stay abreast of all new tips and tactics.
While it might be hard to keep track of them all every day, you can do so by subscribing to appropriate eLearning platforms. You should also follow industry influencers and hashtags on social media. This will help you to get all the news surrounding your niche and general marketing best practices.
Tip #4: Optimize your content
There’s a lot to consider when it comes to content optimization. You’ll want to make sure that the basics are covered:
- Have a clear title.
- Stick to the point (and avoid fluff).
- Use legible fonts.
- Have well-structured content (avoid squeezing your text).
- Metadata is included (such as a Title Tag and Meta Description) for when your content is shared on search or social.
You should also ensure that your content is up to date and all the information posted is correct and relevant to your audience.
Tip #5: Use analytics for your content marketing
The best advice you’ll ever receive regarding how to know the direction that your business is taking is to monitor your analytics. Analytics will show you who your target audience is, their demographics, what type of content they enjoy the most, etc. This will enable you to start creating targeted content.
If you are using Instagram, make sure you have a business profile set up. A business profile will give you access to analytics and other marketing features. Facebook also runs the same concept with Facebook pages.
If you have a website, install Google Analytics to analyze your website’s performance find areas for improvement. You should also verify your site on Google Search Console so you can see how you do in search.
Over to you
Content marketing is a crucial part of increasing brand awareness, improving search engine authority, and increasing traffic for small businesses.
Although there are many other tips to help you sell your content, these five elements are vital for the success of your content marketing, and will get you going in no time.