What is Content Marketing
According to the Content Marketing Institute, content marketing is defined as a strategic marketing approach focused on creating valuable, relevant, and consistent content to attract and retain a specific audience.
Why it’s Important for Small Businesses.
The undeniable benefits of content marketing are why industry leaders across the globe use it. But small businesses stand to gain the most from implementing an effective content marketing strategy.
Increases your Digital Presence
Incorporating quality content into your website heightens your digital presence. Every page of quality content added to your website provides another page for the search engine to crawl and deliver to your target audience.
Generates Leads for Less
Content marketing is extremely effective at generating inbound leads. Content marketing costs about 62% less than traditional marketing strategies, yet it generates nearly three times as many leads. Your target audience is far more likely to make a purchase with you when your content is catered to their needs. By focusing on curating your content toward your target audience, you can shorten the distance from contact to purchase within your buyer's journey.
When you’re a small business, it can be hard to get your content in front of your audience. Creating content that can be found as a direct answer to someone's search can influence your brand reputation.
Another way to build up your credibility y with your audience is by sharing your expertise. Provide advice, insight, and solutions without an obvious sales pitch. When you produce high-quality content, you are seen as an authority in your field. Consumer relationships built on trust are far more likely to lead to a sale.
Generating traffic through organic SEO requires you to keep your content relevant, informative, and up to date. By creating content that answers your target audience's questions, you can increase your SEO ranking and attract more consumers to your website. By ranking on the first page, the trust relationship between you and your audience is strengthened further.
Increases Your Social Media Following
Sharing your content through social media posts provides your customers with a way to interact with your business. Your audience will take the content they find interesting and will, like, share, and comment increasing your visibility.
As your content gets shared and passed around, you are given an opportunity to answer questions and become a trusted resource for useful information.
Increased return on investment (ROI) encompasses the financial returns as a result of the other benefits mentioned above. (ie. more leads, better digital presence, better brand reputation, increased social media following, etc.)
7 Steps to Create a Content Marketing Strategy
- Create your goal: In order to be successful and be able to measure your success, you need to create a specific goal. Your goals should follow the SMART strategy. This means they should be specific, measurable, attainable, relevant, and time-based. These goals might look something like this:
- Improve your SEO ranking to land on the front search page within four months.
- Acquire 1,000 LinkedIn followers in 30 days.
- Increase sales by 25% from email marketing within two weeks.
- Identify Your Metrics: Select a specific set of key performance metrics that you can use to track your progress towards your goal. This might include:
- Unique page views
- Referral rate
- Number of downloads
- Net revenue
- Conversion rates
- New customers
- Find Your Audience: Content marketing works when you have a clearly defined audience. An effective small business content marketing strategy doesn’t involve trying to reach everyone and anyone. The goal is to create valuable content specifically cultivated for your customer base. Use demographic data from your website or social media to establish who your potential customers could be.
- Establish a Schedule: When it comes to your business’s content calendar, there’s actually a science to it. Surprisingly posting too frequently on your social media can be just as damaging as not posting enough. Consistency helps train your audience to come back and anticipate new material. It also indicates that you’re a reliable source. A schedule serves as your road map. Knowing what you’re going to do next helps you compete with the bigger businesses.
- Create your content: After you’ve gathered all your data and established your schedule, it’s time to actually create your content. The content creation process is a balance of creative ideas and quality production. A great idea is worth nothing if it isn’t presented in the right way.
- Analyze: Now that your content is out there, it’s time to sit back and watch. Start recording page views, likes, shares, conversion rates, qualified leads and closes, or revenue changes with tools like Google Analytics.
- Reassess and repeat: With your newfound data, you can determine what things worked and what didn't. Repeat the strategies that moved you closer to your goal and rethink the ones that didn’t.
10 Content Marketing Ideas
Need help thinking of some ways to implement your content marketing strategy? Here are 10 content ideas to get you started.
Blogs are the most common form of content marketing.As long as you are providing great content in your blog posts, you will be seen as a thought leader in your field and build trust with your potential customers.
Some types of content simply don’t translate well to text. It might be a good idea to create instructional videos for your consumers to help them understand hard-to-describe concepts.
Monitor Social Media
In order to curate your content towards your audience, you need to know their pain points. Social media is flooded with groups that can help you find your potential audience and learn what their issues are and what they want.
Be involved in forums
Forums are a great place to survey your audience's wants and needs. Due to the high volume of people with specific interests on the platform, there is bound to be a thread for your industry, maybe even your business specifically. By keeping an eye on your community, you can better understand what drives your audience and how to better meet their needs.
Infographics are a great way to convey a large amount of information in a short period of time. They can be as simple as a chart or table. You could also make a more sophisticated infographic with impressive graphics and embedded links. Check out websites like Canva to help get started.
Be a Curator
Not all of the content on your site has to come from you. One of the most effective ways to ensure you’re an expert in your field is to point your audience to other valuable resources.
A great way to distribute the content creation load is through interviews and allowing others to present their ideas as opposed to only your own. By conducting interviews with other industry leaders, you can provide an inside look into the industry for your audience.
Webinars are an extremely effective way of reaching your audience. As a small business owner, providing insight into your experiences and expertise in a live setting allows you to cultivate a deeper connection with your consumers.
Customer Focused Content
It’s always a great idea to use content that shines a spotlight back on your customers. Case studies are a great option because they relate back to your audience as well as showcase your product/service without seeming like you’re tooting your own horn.
Podcasts are a great way to take a more personal approach to connecting with your audience. It allows you to interact with your customers as they go about their daily lives. Not to mention that the required materials and entry into production tend to be far more cost-effective than alternate forms of media.
How Sav Can Help
Here at Sav, we empower small business owners to succeed online with a beautiful website. But our support doesn’t stop there. Our SEO and social media features make it easy to promote your business as well. Start your free trial today!
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