Content Marketing: A Beginner's Guide For Small Business Owners
What is Content Marketing, Anyway?
Benefits of Content Marketing
#1: Boost Your SEO
#2: Improve Your Brand's Reputation
The right content can also boost your brand’s overall reputation by building stronger relationships with your target audience and increasing brand awareness. As you post more content that your audience finds interesting and useful, your business gradually becomes seen as a true authority in your industry.
#3: Grow Your Social Media Following
Getting more followers on social media is another great way to help your business grow; by publishing excellent content not only to your business website and blog but to social media as well, you’re more likely to generate shares. These shares can turn into more followers and get people talking about your brand.
#4: Optimize Your Marketing Budget
Who Needs a Content Marketing Strategy?
Simply put, every business can benefit from having a content marketing plan in place. No matter how small or large your business may be, having a strong online presence begins with publishing and sharing content that your target audience will find useful and relevant. And remember: if you don’t have a content marketing strategy in place, your competition probably does.
Building Your Content Marketing Strategy
Not sure where to begin when it comes to building a content strategy? Follow the steps below to get started.
Decide on Goals and Outcomes
Before you start cranking out content, you’ll want to have some specific and measurable end goals in mind. Setting short- and long-term goals for your content marketing will help you refine your strategy. Some potential outcomes you may want to focus on include:
Conduct Audience Research
You can’t expect to create valuable content if you don’t have a solid understanding of your audience, their pain points, and their interests. This is where conducting some extensive audience research will go a long way. By compiling data about your target audience and what they care about, you’ll be able to tailor your content to suit their needs.
Some specific information you might want to know about your audience includes:
Designate a Content Creation Team
Who will be responsible for content creation? Depending on the size of your business, you may want to designate a team within your current group of employees to tackle your content marketing strategy. In some cases, it may make more sense to outsource this to freelance professionals that include content writers, graphic designers, video production experts, and the like. Regardless of who you designate to be part of your content creation team, you’ll want to make sure that everybody is aligned with your organization’s goals and outcomes.
Brainstorm, Research, and Create
Once you have a better idea of what you’re trying to get out of your content marketing strategy and what type of content you’ll be producing, it’s time to start creating. One of the most important things to keep in mind when brainstorming ideas for new content is to keep it fresh.
When you come up with a blog idea, for example, take some time to research the topic and make sure it hasn’t already been covered. If it hasn’t, great! If it has, though, you’ll need to find a new spin that will truly engage your target audience. The more unique, relevant, and useful your content is, the better the chances it will be shared and that your audience will engage with it.
Measure Outcomes and Revisit Content Regularly
The key to any successful content strategy is to constantly analyze your results and adapt as needed. If your content seems to be missing the mark when it comes to engaging your target audience, it may be time to revisit your strategy and conduct more audience research. If one medium doesn’t seem to be successful in generating interest, maybe it’s time to experiment with some other types of content.
The Bottom Line on Content Marketing
A little planning and creativity can go a long way in making your content marketing strategy a successful one. Whether you decide to focus on blogs, video content, SEO content, or any medium in between—we hope these practical tips will help you move towards defining and launching your content plan with confidence!