If you’re a small business owner, then you need to be looking towards content marketing to help you grow your business. Digital content is incredibly important. In fact, people spend an average of around 7 hours a day consuming content online.
Your small business content marketing strategy will help you reach interested customers, increase brand awareness, and build up a reputation as a thought leader in your industry. Content marketing for small businesses doesn’t require a huge marketing budget. You just need to follow the right strategies and create content that offers value. The ROI on this can be amazing.
In this article, we’ll reveal everything you need to know about starting content marketing for small businesses. Follow these proven strategies and tips to achieve marketing success.
Table of Contents
- What is Content Marketing?
- Why Do Small Businesses Need Content Marketing?
- 12 Small Business Content Marketing Strategies and Tips
- How to Create High-Quality Content
What is Content Marketing?
So, what exactly is content marketing? Content marketing is an approach focused on creating and distributing quality content to your audience. Unlike traditional advertising, content marketing is not about stopping your audience and getting them to make a purchase. Instead, its goal is to provide valuable, relevant content that your target audience will find interesting or helpful.
Successful content marketing is all about providing the type of content that your audience wants to find. The type of content that you create needs to relate to the type of products or services that you sell. When publishing content, your general aim is to attract new customers, grow your reach, and inspire your audience to become a customer.
When we talk about “content”, we can be referring to all kinds of different things. Typically, a content marketing strategy is focused on written blog content. However, content marketing also covers things like video, social media content, ebooks, online quizzes, podcasts, infographics, and more.
Successful small business content marketing is all about creating the right content for your audience. The more popular and useful your content is, the more your business will grow.
Why Do Small Businesses Need Content Marketing?
As a small business owner, you’re probably wondering if the effort of creating a content marketing strategy is worth it? Well, if you plan on attracting customers online, then you should definitely be creating quality content.
Content marketing will help you find new customers online and generate leads. If you publish content that your audience is interested in, they will first look for the content, then be directed to your business. Successful content marketing can also highlight the value of your product or service, which will help to increase your sales.
As a small business, you might not have a very big audience. If you create popular content, then you will be able to increase your reach significantly. Quality content will engage with your audience to help increase loyalty and sales. Good content marketing offers value to your prospects and customers, which builds trust and strengthens relationships.
Content marketing can also be an affordable way for small businesses to reach a big target audience. Creating a valuable piece of content for your target audience might not cost you anything, but it could bring you many more customers. Small business content marketing can offer amazing ROI if it’s done correctly.
12 Small Business Content Marketing Strategies and Tips
As a small business, content marketing can be one of the most effective ways to drive new traffic to your site. Here are 12 of the best small business content marketing strategies and tips to help you achieve amazing marketing results.
1. Understand Your Audience
A good content marketing strategy isn’t targeted at anyone and everyone. You need to have a very clear audience in mind before you start creating content. This is necessary for creating specific, relevant content that your target audience will want to see. Understanding your audience is also important for knowing which channels to publish your content on, and which formats of content to focus on.
To do this, start by analyzing your current customers. What sort of concerns or questions have they had? How did they find you? What are their interests? Make a list of things that define your target audience, and be as specific as possible. This will help you to understand the type of content that they will find useful.
You could also gather data on demographics from your different social media channels. Google Analytics can also be a helpful tool to gain insights into your customers’ online activity.
The more you know about your audience, the easier it will be to create high-quality content for them.
Understanding your audience allows you to deliver specific content and resources designed just for them. Here’s an example of how you can use your blog to appeal to different areas of your customer base.
2. Set Measurable Goals for Your Content
Your small business content marketing strategy must have a clear set of goals that it’s trying to achieve. Setting measurable goals and KPIs will help you develop a more meaningful content marketing strategy that achieves more for your business. Goals are important for understanding the success of your content marketing and finding ways to improve it.
Some common goals could include things like:
- Measurable search engine rankings
- Gaining a certain number of email subscribers
- Increasing sales by a certain amount
- Increasing your website traffic by a certain amount
Make sure that your business content marketing goals are measurable, trackable, and make a difference to the growth of your business.
3. Focus on Blogging
There are many different forms that your content marketing strategy can take, but the most effective is still a blog. Blogging is completely free for your small business, and it can help you to establish authority in your niche and get you a lot more website traffic.
When properly optimized, blog content can improve your SEO and search engine rankings. Not only will this boost your traffic, but a high-ranking blog post will maintain a top spot for a long time – offering years of value to your business.
Besides improving your website SEO, blogs add more value to your customers through helpful content. You can use your blog to generate leads and increase exposure for your business.
When you start blogging, think about the type of topics that your audience would be interested in reading. These need to relate to your business, but they don’t need to be overly promotional. Use your expertise as a small business owner to create insightful, informative blog articles that answer your audience’s questions. Here are some blog topic ideas that always work well for small business owners:
- Share your best tips for customers interested in your industry
- Share your passion for aspects of your industry
- Write helpful guides that offer insights into your audience’s pain points
- Create an “ultimate guide” on a topic related to your niche
- Share and highlight creative uses of your product
- Write about customer success stories of yours
- Provide answers to your customers’ frequently asked questions
- Interview someone in your team or an industry expert in your field
- Explain complicated topics in your industry in an easy-to-follow format
- Use your blog to share your video content
The more time you spend writing blog posts, the better you will get. For a more in-depth guide to blogging for beginners, check out this incredibly useful ebook.
4. Send Out Email Newsletters
Email marketing should form an essential part of any small business content marketing strategy. Email allows you to send your content directly to your subscribers’ inboxes. There are loads of different things that you can do with email marketing, but sending out a regular newsletter is one of the best ways to start.
Newsletters can include any relevant updates or news that relate to your business. You can send out links to blog content that you’ve published, information on new products, event updates, or anything else you want your subscribers to know about.
When it comes to content marketing for small businesses, email offers some of the best ROI. It’s an effective way of making people take an action without having to spend much. When using an email marketing tool like Wishpond, you can send personalized, customized content to your different leads. You can also automate your emails to save time. This helps you achieve better content marketing results with less effort.
Follow this step-by-step guide on writing marketing emails if you need some help getting started with your newsletter.
Above is an example of how you can use email marketing to promote blog content. You can find the article here.
5. Create a Presence on the Social Media Channels Your Audience Uses
Social media makes up an important part of any small business content marketing strategy. Being a small business, you must already be on social media. But are you focused on the right channels? Go back to the understanding you gained of your customers, and make sure that you focus on social media channels that best align with your audience.
For successful social media marketing, you should be where your customers are. Check any data that you might have on your customers to see where they’re spending most of their time online. Pay attention to the social media channels that your competitors focus on, and review your Google Analytics to better understand your customers’ online behavior.
Once you’ve established which social media channels to focus on, use them to publish helpful content that your audience will find interesting. Don’t just try to sell your products, but use social media to engage and help your audience. Depending on your business, you could publish helpful tips, interesting ideas, DIY videos, or even just funny memes to keep your audience interested.
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6. Put Together a Content Calendar
The trick to successful small business content marketing is not just posting good content, but posting it consistently. Having a clear plan in place will help you to keep on delivering content across your different channels.
Create a content marketing calendar displaying exactly what you will publish and when you will publish it. This helps you to stay organized, and it ensures your content marketing strategy continually aligns with your goals.
A content marketing calendar should generally be created for one full calendar month ahead of schedule, detailing the different content that will be posted across each different channel.
7. Repurpose Your Content into Different Formats
We’ve already mentioned that there are loads of different content marketing channels and platforms available. A great content marketing strategy uses a variety of different platforms to ensure the content is seen by as many people as possible. A great way to do this is to repurpose your content.
If you produce one great piece of content, it can be repurposed into many different forms – extending the value of that content. For a small business, this is a great way to reach the maximum amount of potential with a minimum spend.
Let’s say you wrote a blog article that you want to repurpose. That same article can be turned into a YouTube video, turned into a podcast, and possibly turned into an infographic. Other relevant blog articles or information can be added to this post, and it can be published as an eBook. You could also break up the information in the article into short, condensed video clips for social media. This means you get five different types of content from one blog post. These can be spread out across your different marketing channels to draw more customers to your small business.
Here’s an example of how you can repurpose a video:
Into an article.
8. Create Video Content
Video is one of the most engaging and important forms of content on the internet. Your small business should definitely try to incorporate video into its content marketing strategy to attract more viewers and interested customers.
Of course, there is Youtube, but video can be used in a variety of other ways too. You can create short-form video content for social media, add videos to your landing pages, use video to capture customer testimonials, and more.
Just like your blog, when you create content in the form of video it needs to be helpful and valuable to your audience. Here’s a helpful guide on getting started with video marketing to help you achieve great results.
9. Leverage User-Generated Content
Your small business content marketing efforts don’t only have to be internal – they can also come from your customers.
User-generated content is an excellent way to boost any type of marketing for small businesses. User-generated content and social proof help to build trust, because it shows real people using your products and interacting with your brand. Not only this, but it also helps you to get content that you didn’t have to make.
If any customers tag you in their posts or stories, consider sharing them if they show your brand in a good light.
To attract more user-generated content, you could run a giveaway that offers bonus entries for certain types of user-generated content submitted.
10. Create Content That Matches Your Customer Sales Funnel
Small businesses shouldn’t just be publishing random content. Instead, a smart content strategy should be based on your marketing funnel. A marketing funnel represents the process, or journey, that people go through to eventually become customers. This journey involves multiple steps, with each step moving the customer further down the funnel.
When putting together your content strategy, try to create content that aligns with each stage of your customer’s journey. This will help the content to be more relevant to the customer and have a greater impact on improving your sales.
For example, your first piece of content could aim to grab attention and bring awareness to your small business. The next step would be content that helps to generate further interest in your business. Then you can create a piece of content that makes the user want to convert, and finally, you can offer them content that makes them take action.
11. Promote Your Content Properly
Content marketing is only really successful if the content is promoted properly. If you just publish a blog post and forget about it, then you’re not going to get a lot of people to see your content. Strong promotions form an essential part of content marketing for small businesses.
Start by promoting your content across all of your social media channels. Then you can send the content out to your newsletter subscribers. After this, there are many different strategies that you could take. This includes things like Quora and Reddit outreach, sending the content to other bloggers, repurposing your content for different promotion channels, and more.
Here’s a really helpful guide to promoting blog posts that offers plenty of actionable strategies that you can use.
12. Track the Results of Your Content Marketing Strategy
Finally, your content marketing strategy needs to be carefully monitored and tracked to help you see what’s working. This is an essential part of any kind of marketing for small businesses.
Set regular intervals where you check the performance of your content, and see how it’s working to achieve your goals. This could include KPIs like traffic, social likes and shares, sales, and more.
Keeping an eye on analytics helps to reveal what is working well and what is not. This allows you to continually refine your content marketing strategy, and ensure that you’re always focused on channels that offer your business the most value.
How to Create High-Quality Content
Now that you know how to implement your content marketing strategy, how do you create high-quality content in the first place? Here are the content essentials that small businesses need to keep in mind if they want to improve their content strategy.
Create Content That Addresses Your Customers’ Pain Points
You need to talk about the pain points that your customers face and offer clear solutions. Whether this is through blog posts, social media, video, or other forms of content, successful content marketing should find ways to solve the pain points of your customer.
This goes back to understanding your audience and their journey. They will choose your product or service if it adds value to their lives by solving a pain point. Find these pain points, and create content that offers a solution. This will get more people interested in your blog posts. If your content is good and helpful enough to your audience, then it will result in more readers becoming customers.
Example of how you can use content to solve pain points that your customers face.
Your Content Should be Original
Good content should be original. Duplicate content affects your SEO results, and it shows laziness. Readers also want to read unique content that they can’t find the same version of everywhere else. Make sure that you take the time and effort to create original content for your business.
Create Content That is Useful
Your audience wants to gain real value from the content that you publish. Your main aim isn’t to just promote your product, it’s to genuinely help your audience. If your content is helpful, then it will be seen by more people. It will also get more backlinks, which will help to increase your SEO results.
Great content should offer insights that your audience can actually use. If you’ve been able to answer a question or solve a problem, then your audience will view you as an authority. This will help your small business to attract new customers.
Example of useful content. Read the article here.
Your Content Should be Informative and Accurate
If your aim is to offer informative content, then make sure that your audience leaves knowing more than they knew before. Your aim should be to write expert content that informs your audience about your industry. Find the questions that your audience will want to know, and make sure that you answer them fully.
When doing this, you also need to achieve total accuracy. Publish facts, statistics, and always link to them. Use credible sources, and make sure that your content is always timely and relevant. If you’re able to cover many accurate details and provide useful information, then your audience will be happy.
Create Diverse Content
You’ve got so many different options available for content marketing, so make the most of them. Don’t just focus on one thing. This will limit your reach, and your audience might find it boring. A great content marketing strategy includes a variety of different mediums and content forms.
Explore video, blogging, social media, email, and any other channels that you think might work. The more you try. The more helpful insights you will be able to find on what works and what doesnt work for your marketing strategy.
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Focus on Actionable Content
Your audience wants to actually be able to do something after consuming your content. Your content marketing strategy should be focused on creating actionable content that tells people what to do next. Whether this is a review, a how-to video, or a guide, you don’t just want to spread information, but you should also offer actionable solutions.
CTAs are a good way to achieve this. You could include CTAs at the end of your content saying things like “want to find out more about powerful marketing strategies for your business? Book a demo today” or “click here to subscribe to our newsletter.” Including action helps you take your content a step further.
Examples of actionable content.
Any good online marketing strategy relies on the content you create. Content creation helps you boost brand awareness, attract the right customers, and establish your business as an industry thought leader. Good content is one of the most valuable resources for your marketing strategy.
If you’re a small business, then follow the strategies listed above to help your content creation strategy. With the right approach, you’ll be creating content that makes a major difference to your sales.
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