In the next few lines, you will be learning how to create an effective content marketing strategy for small businesses. Here is why it’s very important.
Before now, it is okay to create content, relax and watch as the results come in because there was little or no competition for your content out there. However, things have changed and creating content isn’t enough. There has to be a strategy behind every content you push out there.
Fortunately, content marketing for small business isn’t as difficult as may have been painted. I’ll take you by the hand, and show you a step-by-step guide on how you can create a content marketing strategy for small businesses irrespective of niche or industry.
What Is A Content Marketing Strategy?
In order to fully understand why you need a content marketing strategy for your small business, it’s essential to first, understand what a content marketing strategy is.
According to CopyBlogger, a content marketing strategy is “A content marketing strategy is a plan for building an audience by publishing, maintaining, and spreading frequent and consistent content that educates, entertains or inspires to turn strangers into fans and fans into customers”.
In simple terms, when you are creating your small business content marketing strategy, you are laying down a plan on how to consistently create content that attracts, educates and converts your ideal audience to loyal customers. That takes some work!
Let’s show you how to begin.
How To A Create Content Marketing Strategy For Small Businesses
Follow this guide below to craft out an effective small business content marketing strategy.
- Know Your Audience
To develop a very strong and effective content marketing strategy, you will need to define who your target audience is. This is very vital because your content must be talking to a particular group of people and solving a specific problem.
You have to answer the following questions. Who are you creating content for? What are their demographics such as age, location, gender, occupation, education, income etc.? It doesn’t end here.
Furthermore, you will need to be clear on what problems, pains and challenges they are facing. Armed with these ideas, you can be able to create content that talks specifically to this set of persons.
- Establish Your Content Marketing Goals
The second step to having an effective content marketing strategy for your small business is to know the exact goals you want your content to achieve. It is very essential to lay this out from the beginning as it would determine the type of content you put out there.
Do you want to build brand awareness? Do you want to make more sales? Generate more traffic? Increase your email list etc.? Setting out your content marketing goals will help in determining the necessary steps in achieving these goals.
- Establish Your Measurement Metrics
After listing out your content marketing goals, you will also need to write down your measurement or performance metrics. These metrics can also be referred to as KPIs (Key Performance Indicators).
How do you know if your content marketing efforts are effective or not? How would you know how your content marketing actions are performing? Your KPIs will provide these answers.
Your KPIs can be (depending on your goals)
- Number of downloads
- Your exact conversion rates
- Total number of unique page visitors
- A certain number of email subscribers etc.
- Outline Your Content Distribution Channels
There are different ways you can distribute your content to ensure it reaches the ideal audience for it. Depending on your capacity in finance and human resources, now is the time to establish how you will promote/distribute your content.
Some of the available content distribution channels include:
- Social media platforms
- Email newsletters
- Niche forums
- Paid advertising etc.
- Determine What Your Content Forms Are
While you determine your content distribution channel, it is also vital to know what content forms you want to focus on. Your form of content will definitely affect and or determine your content distribution channels.
Some of the very common content types you can consider include but not limited to:
- Audio content (podcasts)
- Written/text contents
- Video content
- Video and text combination, etc.
Before deciding on which content type to focus on, it is important to know your capacity to create the different forms of content you want to go for. Also, it is okay to have a combined content form such as video & blog content.
- Your Content Calendar
Now you are ready to kick-off your content marketing, you will need to have a content calendar.
Let’s assume you want to distribute your content via social media, your blog, as well as on your YouTube channel, here is how to go about it.
You need to know how often you will publish content on the various platforms. Would you want to publish your blog articles once a week? How often would you release a YouTube video? Will posting one piece of content daily on social media help?
It is important to write out these plans and write them down to enable you to follow through.
- Time To Create QUALITY Content
After you must have laid the above foundation now is the time to do the work: creating the content.
Quality content in this context refers to a content that is relevant and solves a problem for your intended target audience.
Relevancy means that your content is useful to the person who’s reading it. You can’t just create any content that doesn’t speak to your intended target audience. It must be useful.
Also, your content must be solving a problem. It can be adding educational value to your readers or teaching them how to do a task or the other. Your target audience should feel educated, inspired or entertained after going through your content.
- Track & Measure
Now you have taken the time and effort to create and distribute your content, it is time to measure your effort. You have to go back to your KPIs and start measuring the success or otherwise of your content marketing effort.
Which type of content performed better? Where do you gain the most traffic from? What is working and what isn’t working? Why? What can you improve on? These and many more are the questions that show you how well your content marketing is performing.
As you have seen, creating a content marketing strategy for small businesses is achievable and can be done even on a tight budget. With the guidelines provided here, you can set up your strategy and start implementing right away.
What’s your biggest take-away from this blog post?
Emmanuel Onyiba is a freelance content writer who writes engaging blog posts for small business owners. He focuses on digital marketing content social media marketing, blogging, email marketing, SEO, content marketing etc.). You can contact him on LinkedIn.