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Tips for Successful Small Business Content Marketing

The small business is often the weakest link when it comes to marketing. They don’t have the resources of a large company nor the experience and expertise that come with being established.

The internet has made it easier for everyone to play. Small businesses can use content marketing strategies to help them become thought leaders and drive traffic to their sites. How can a small business develop a content marketing strategy for its site?

  1. It All Starts with Research

Research is the first step to any content strategy for a small or large business. This is where all of your research begins. Your entire content strategy will be built on it, just like the foundation for a house. Content strategies that use the wrong information or are not correctly constructed will be subject to the same fate as structures built on a weak foundation.

You’ll need to find out who your audience is before you can do any research. The Content Marketing Institute has one of the most valuable and simple bits of information. It states, “if your content’s not for everyone, it’s not for anybody.” This makes perfect sense. You don’t have to write content only for people interested in purchasing a toothbrush if you are marketing automobile products. You can ask yourself two questions: “What problem does my product/service solve?” And “Who are the most likely people to need it?” If you have customer data, pull it up and segment customers if needed. Once you know who your content is targeted at, you can determine how it should be centered.

Researching your competitors is another way to determine the direction of your content strategy. Look at their marketing strategies and who they are targeting. Note what is working well for them as well as what areas they might need to improve. Your content should be as good, if not better, than your competitors. This will allow you to determine what customers will get from choosing your brand over a competitor’s brand. If there’s nothing that makes you more valuable, then you should be working on improving your product before you launch it. The CoSchedule Blog summarizes four questions you need to answer before you start your content journey.

  • Your content deserves to exist.
  • Who will read it?
  • What are your competitors doing (and what can you do better)?
  • Your audience should choose your brand and content over those of your competitors.

CoSchedule recommends identifying your target audience once you have determined who they are. This is based on the product/service you offer, their primary demographic and your content’s purpose. This is the simple example that they provide:

  1. Set goals and draft your project

Once you have the basics down, it’s time to set goals for your campaign. Small businesses need to be realistic about their resources and set achievable goals. These include your overall goal, timeframe for completing your action items, the amount of time, money, and resources you are willing to spend on the strategy, and how much flexibility you have once it is implemented.

You must have clear and defined objectives before you can start a content marketing strategy. How can you be sure what you aim for if you don’t have a goal? Duct Tape Marketing advises that there are two main categories for content marketing objectives.

  1. Brand engagement includes
    1. Improve brand reception
    2. Being a thought leader
    3. Brand loyalty is growing
    4. Passionate brand advocates
  2. Demand generation, which includes
    1. Improve SEO and website traffic
    2. Generate leads
    3. Nurturing leaders
    4. Increase sales and revenue

Know your limits. You don’t want to focus on too many objectives at once. Otherwise, you will be too scattered and not accomplish much. This directly relates to your timeframe goals. Ask yourself when these goals must be achieved. It takes time to create content strategies and it will take time before you start seeing any returns. You will be able to achieve a quicker turnaround if you spend more money and time.

Everyone wants to be a Johnny on the spot. But, fine wine is not something that can be achieved overnight. You’ll want to keep pursuing your strategy through multiple phases after you have completed the development phase. It may be best to begin slow and methodically, but you should also record success. You can then allow yourself to move on to the next stage if necessary, or to change tactics if one seems to be failing. This flexibility is crucial as the content and responses can evolve naturally, requiring a response from your campaign.

  1. Final Step: Content Development

You should be focusing on the marketing funnel when you write content. The people at the top of the funnel will be the ones you write the most content for. They will either accept the information and move on or they will say, “hey, that was informative and helpful. I want to learn more about that topic.”

Continue reading the article by scrolling down

Continue reading the article by scrolling down

These are the people that you want to attract. They may research the issue further and explore other posts on the topic. You want these posts to be accessible to everyone, no matter their market. Joel J. Kofsky, a Philadelphia-based lawyer, shares his advice in an article in Huffington Post: “The best content marketing speaks to educated audiences without drowning them in legalese that only alienates… For example, my blog posts don’t attempt to cover the entire subject of personal injury law. Instead, I concentrate on the most pressing concerns for the audience and then build from there.”

You don’t want to make a post meaningless. A common sin in content marketing is publishing “fluff content,” which is content that is written just for the sake of writing but doesn’t provide any value to the reader. You should avoid this mistake if you want to establish an SEO presence through blog content. Google has been a great company in regulating spammy content and will ding you if you continue to do so. Once you have written your content, it’s time to deploy.

When you start your content strategy, make sure to allow for flexibility in making changes. Things rarely go according to plan. The mark of a successful person doesn’t depend on how often they avoid making mistakes. But, it does matter how adaptable they are to them and how they turn those mistakes into opportunities. Keep your head high, don’t give up, keep working hard, and keep your eyes on the prize. In no time, you will have a content strategy that works.

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