If you’re looking to build your small business into something bigger, content marketing can be the key to reaching new customers, generating leads, and strengthening your brand identity.
But how do you create a winning content marketing strategy? How do you know what type of content to share and where to find it? In this article, we’ll give you an overview of everything you need to know about small business content marketing, from strategy to execution.
1. Set Goals
Before starting your business, make sure you have some goals in mind. What do you want to accomplish with your business? Do you want traffic, sales, or email sign-ups? Whatever your goal is, be clear about it from day one and set goals. Setting up SMART goals allows you to work toward them more effectively. SMART stands for Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant, and Time-bound.
Once you’ve set your goals, write them down so that they are tangible and visible to everyone who will be involved in helping achieve those goals.
This will help keep everyone on track as well as ensure that no steps are skipped along the way.
2. Know Your Audience
After setting your goals, you’ll need to research who your target audience is and learn how they like to consume content. Are they active on social media? Do they visit industry blogs? Or do they prefer email updates from brands?
This step is very important because knowing who your audience is will inform every step of your content marketing strategy going forward.
If you can’t identify an ideal reader or customer persona, that’s okay—just start with what you know.
If all you know about them is their age range and location, then it’s time to get more specific by researching things like their hobbies, interests, career paths, and even purchase histories.
Once you have a clearer picture of who exactly makes up your target market, it’s time to create personas based on those demographics. To do so effectively, consider using surveys, focus groups, or interviews as means of collecting data from real people.
You could also try conducting polls via social media channels like Facebook ads or Twitter polls—it’s free!
Alright, you now know who your customers are and what they need. It’s time to find what keywords they’re using to search for the solution to the problems that your business solves.
3. Perform Keyword Research
Keyword research is a fundamental part of building your content marketing strategy. Keywords are phrases, words, or groups of words that define what people are searching for online.
‘How to fix lawn mower engine’ or ‘best fishing lures’ are examples of keywords.
Understanding which keywords your target market is using will help you create relevant content that gets found by search engines and drives traffic back to your site.
To start, run a Google Keyword Planner search to see what terms people are searching for on Google, as well as their average monthly searches and costs per click (CPC). You can also use free tools like Ubersuggest or Long Tail Pro.
If you want more detailed keyword research, check out Moz’s Open Site Explorer tool or Ahrefs’ Keyword Explorer tool.
These keyword research tools would help you find relevant keywords and topics for all the types of content you’d create for your business.
With your set of keywords, the next thing you’ll need is a content calendar.
4. Make a Content Calendar
This is one of those things you can do ahead of time and update as new ideas or opportunities arise.
The point is that once you’ve created your content calendar, you’ll have a clearer picture of what content will be published on what dates. This should help with planning out your time, so you can spend more time creating engaging posts.
It will also keep your readers interested because they know when to expect new content from you. That said, it doesn’t need to be overly detailed. Having too much information can sometimes feel overwhelming. As long as you include key pieces of information—date, and title—you’ll know what to post and when, and this would ensure that you stay organized.
5. Decide Which Channels to Distribute Your Content
It may sound obvious, but it’s key to decide which distribution channels you want your content on before you create it.
There are many great tools available to help you make sense of where people spend their time online.
For example, BuzzSumo is an analytics tool that scans any piece of content in seconds and provides info about how often that content has been shared over time. It also gives information about what sites other pieces of content on similar topics have been published on.
This will give you a good idea of which types of content perform best across different platforms, and can help inform your decision-making process when it comes to choosing where to distribute your own work.
6. Find Time to Produce Great Content
Blog posts, videos, and reviews are all types of content that help customers online to make purchasing decisions. That is why it’s important that you devote as much of it as possible to creating great content.
Creating compelling and persuasive content would help position your company as an authority, build credibility with your customers, and generate sales.
In fact, creating content is what content marketing is about.
You can’t expect visitors to sit around and wait for you to write at opportune times; instead, make sure that you plan out how you will structure your content strategy from start to finish.
For example, if you want to publish two posts per week on Mondays and Thursdays, then set aside those days in advance to ensure that you have enough time to create something worthwhile.
And don’t forget about promoting your content! Share it on social media and email newsletter lists whenever possible. The more exposure your site gets, the more likely people are going to come back for more—and hopefully subscribe!
7. Measure the Results
It’s not enough to simply create high-quality content—you need to measure its effectiveness as well.
So, how do you know if your content marketing strategy is working? You’ll want to look at three key factors;
- engagement, and
If you can see steady growth in these areas over time, then it’s safe to say that your strategy is successful.
However, if you notice any dips or stagnation, it might be time to reevaluate your approach. And if you want to take things one step further, try using analytics tools like Google Analytics to dig deeper into what works and what doesn’t.
By tracking where people are coming from, how long they stay on your site, and which pages they spend most of their time on, you can determine what strategies are truly driving results.
The bottom line: Keep tabs on all of these metrics so that you can continually refine your content marketing efforts based on data rather than gut instinct.
Taking the time to build a content marketing strategy for your small business would help you attract and retain ideal customers, build brand credibility, and increase your revenue in the long run. When you set clear goals, do the necessary persona and keyword research, and start producing compelling content, you’ll start to see a lot of traffic to your business.