Content marketing is not about posting as much content as possible. Discover the blueprints in this article.
If you're a small business owner, you know that content marketing is essential to your success. But what's the best way to go about it?
Here's a hint: it's not about pumping out as much content as possible. Quality trumps quantity every time.
So what's the ultimate content marketing strategy for small businesses? Keep reading to find out!
Content marketing is a strategic marketing approach focused on creating and distributing valuable, relevant, and consistent content to attract and retain a clearly-defined audience — and, ultimately, to drive profitable customer action.
It’s an ongoing process that is best integrated into your overall marketing strategy, and it focuses on owning media, not renting it. Unlike traditional advertising models, which are interrupted (like TV commercials or print ads), content marketing seeks to earn attention by creating compelling, valuable creative that does not explicitly sell your product or service.
The goal is to attract an audience that is engaged and interested in what you have to say — and then persuade them to take some form of profitable action. This could be anything from signing up for your email list or buying your product.
As a small business owner, you may be wondering why content marketing is important and how it can help your business. Content marketing is a type of marketing that focuses on creating and distributing valuable, relevant, and consistent content to attract and retain a clearly defined audience — and, ultimately, to drive profitable customer action.
In other words, with content marketing, you create informative or entertaining blog posts, infographics, videos, ebooks, etc., with the goal of attracting your ideal customer or client. Once you have their attention, your goal is then to convert them into paying customers or clients.
Content marketing can be an extremely effective marketing strategy for small businesses. That’s because it’s relatively affordable — you can get started without spending a lot of money — and it’s highly versatile, so you can tailor your content to fit your unique brand voice and business goals.
Additionally, content marketing can help you build trust with your target audience. When people read valuable content that’s relevant to their needs or interests, they begin to see you as an expert in your field — which helps build trust and loyalty. And when people trust your brand, they’re more likely to do business with you.
Content marketing is a strategic marketing approach focused on creating and distributing valuable, relevant, and consistent content to attract and retain a clearly defined audience — and, ultimately, to drive profitable customer action.
When executed correctly, content marketing can be an extremely effective way to attract new leads and customers for your small business. A recent study by the Content Marketing Institute found that 70% of small businesses are using content marketing and those who do have seen an average ROI of 13X.
Some of the most common benefits of content marketing for small businesses include:
Generating more leads: By creating helpful, informative content that is easy for your audience to find (through SEO and social media), you can increase the number of leads that your business generates.
Nurturing relationships with prospects: By providing your audience with valuable content regularly, you can start to build trust and nurture relationships with potential customers – even before they’re ready to buy.
Improving sales conversions: Once a lead is ready to buy, high-quality content can be extremely effective in helping them make a purchase decision. In fact, according to Demand Gen Report’s 2016 Content Preferences Survey, 80% of B2B buyers say they use vendor-provided content during the purchase process.
Reducing marketing costs: Because it’s an inbound marketing strategy (meaning you’re bringing customers to you rather than going out and finding them), content marketing can be very cost-effective. The CMI study mentioned above found that small businesses spend an average of $134 per month on content marketing – which is just a fraction of the cost of other outbound marketing strategies like paid advertising.
Content marketing can be a great way to reach new customers and grow your business, but it can also be a challenge. Small businesses often don’t have the resources of larger companies, which can make it difficult to create high-quality content regularly. In addition, small businesses may not have the same level of name recognition, which can make it harder to get people to pay attention to your content.
To succeed with content marketing, small businesses need to be strategic about the kind of content they create and the channels they use to promote it. They also need to be prepared to invest time and resources into creating quality content that will appeal to their target audience. With a well-planned strategy, small businesses can create content that will help them stand out from the crowd and attract new customers.
There are four key elements to a successful content marketing strategy:
Defining your audience is the first and most important step to a successful content marketing strategy. You need to understand who you are trying to reach with your content, and what needs and challenges they have. Once you understand your audience, you can create content that is tailored to their specific needs.
Creating compelling content is the second element of a successful strategy. Your content must be interesting, informative, and valuable to your audience to get them to engage with it. If your content is not compelling, no amount of distribution will make up for it.
Distributing your content is the third element of a successful strategy. Once you have created great content, you need to get it in front of your target audience using the channels they use most often. This may include social media, email newsletters, or even paid advertising.
Measuring your results is the fourth and final element of a successful strategy. Without measuring your results, you will not know if your strategy is working or if there are areas you need to improve upon. You should measure things like website traffic, leads generated, or sales made as a result of your content marketing efforts.
There’s no one-size-fits-all answer to the question of what type of content works best for small businesses. Every business is different, and what works for one might not work for another. That said, some types of content tend to be particularly effective for small businesses.
One type of content that can be particularly useful for small businesses is educational content. This can include blog posts, infographics, eBooks, and more. Educational content can help small businesses position themselves as thought leaders in their industry, build trust with potential customers, and drive traffic to their websites.
Another type of content that can be effective for small businesses is testimonials and case studies. These can help to build social proof and show potential customers that your product or service is effective.
Finally, consider using content to run promotions or giveaways. This can be a great way to generate buzz and build interest in your business. Just be sure to run your promotion following the rules set by the platform on which you’re running it (for example, if you’re running a promotion on Facebook, be sure to read and follow their Promotion Guidelines).
There are several different distribution channels that small businesses can use to get their content seen by their target audience. Here are some of the most effective:
1. Social media - This is one of the most popular and effective ways to distribute content, as it allows businesses to reach a large number of people for relatively little cost. Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn are all great platforms for promoting content.
2. Email marketing - This can be an effective way to reach customers and prospects who have already shown an interest in your business. Send out regular newsletters featuring new blog posts, case studies, infographics or other types of content that would be of interest to your readership.
3. Paid advertising - Platforms such as Google AdWords and Facebook Ads can be used to place ads next to or above relevant search results or articles, making it more likely that people will see and click through to your content. However, paid advertising can be expensive, so it's important to carefully consider whether this is the right option for your business.
4. Business directories - Many online business directories allow businesses to list their website and include a link back to their content. This is a great way to get exposure for your website and content in front of a new audience.
5. Guest blogging - Another great way to reach new audiences is by guest blogging on other websites within your industry or niche. Not only will this help you gain exposure for your business, but it will also help build relationships with other thought leaders in your field.
It can be difficult to measure the success of your content marketing strategy, especially if you are a small business. However, there are a few key metrics that you can use to measure the success of your strategy and make sure that you are on track.
The first metric is website traffic. You can track website traffic using Google Analytics or another similar tool. Look at overall website traffic as well as traffic to specific pages or blog posts. If you see an increase in website traffic after you launch your content marketing strategy, that is a good sign that your strategy is working.
Another metric to look at is engagement. Engagement includes things like social media shares, comments on blog posts, and email subscribers. Look at both the quantity and quality of engagement. A high quantity of low-quality engagement (for example, spammy comments) is not as valuable as a smaller quantity of high-quality engagement (for example, thoughtful comments on a blog post).
Finally, you can also look at sales metrics. If your goal is to increase sales, track things like website conversions, leads generated, and sales revenue. If you see an increase in any of these metrics after implementing your content marketing strategy, that is a good sign that your strategy is working.
Measuring the success of your content marketing strategy can be difficult, but it is important to do if you want to make sure that your strategy is effective. Use website traffic, engagement, and sales metrics to track the success of your strategy and make adjustments as needed.
In conclusion, content marketing is a strategic marketing approach that can help small businesses generate leads, nurture relationships with prospects, improve sales conversions, and reduce marketing costs. By creating valuable, relevant, and consistent content, small businesses can build trust and loyalty with their audience and establish themselves as experts in their field.
However, creating high-quality content regularly can be a challenge for small businesses, which is why it's essential to have a well-planned strategy that defines the audience, creates compelling content, distributes it effectively, and measures the results. With the right approach and investment, small businesses can successfully implement content marketing and achieve significant ROI.