By Jessica Davis
Content marketing has been blowing up over the last few years. Most companies already have a content marketing strategy in place, or are planning to implement one. Small businesses struggle to come up with a content marketing strategy that is compliant with their budget as well as goals. Competition within the industry has driven the cost of content marketing up but small businesses can still keep up. For small businesses with tight purse strings, here are some ideas that can help you shine.
1. Start Sharing
Content marketing relies on sharing; everything from views to visitors to sales depends on it. Without good social media presence and sharing, your content will only be read by those associated with your company. It is necessary to share your social media content at least 5-6 times a day and build good relationships.
If you can’t spare the time to create it, curate it with a good curation tool like DrumUp or Feedly for content discovery. Engage with people who comment on your posts and take their feedback constructively. Employee advocacy and influencer marketing are also excellent ways to help you spread the word with your content.
2. Know Your Target Audience
The first part of a content marketing strategy involves figuring out who your ideal viewer is and how your business can provide value to them. The more accurate your target audience persona is, the more likely you are to get ahead. Target audiences can be defined by various characteristics like location, occupation, age, gender, race etc. Some of these characteristics are obvious. For example, most fashion brands target women of all ages starting from teens to older women. This is because they tend to do the most shopping both for themselves and their families.
Depending on your niche, you will find common characteristics are easy to find while others need detailed research.
3. Do the Research
Now that you know whom to target, research the kind of content you should be creating. This content has to appeal to your target audience and intrigue them. Your research should also include going through more successful companies’ content and getting ideas.
Content curation is also a great way to gauge what kind of content works best for your audience. There are tools that make content curation on social media simple and effortless. Social media trends are another good indicator of the topics you should cover. Keep an eye on the hashtags and discussions related to your industry and gather ideas from them.
4. Commit to a Blog
Blogs are a must for content marketing. They provide great value for your readers and improve your SEO efforts. The deeper the blog content, the better it is for SEO. Content marketing relies on search engine rankings as users tend to visit sites at the top of the search results. Make sure your business website has a blog page that is easily accessible to visitors.
While creating blogs, give good information that helps your readers solve daily problems. Doing blog posts just for the sake of it will get you nowhere in terms of gaining recognition and credibility.
5. Create Compelling Content
This is one area where marketers must let go of their budget in return for quality content. Businesses need to hire good writers that are experienced in their field. Check to see if they have done this kind of work in the past and evaluate it. Hiring sub-par writers can hinder content marketing efforts as the content is the main part of your campaign. Visitors that you gain through social media and other marketing efforts will leave if the content is disappointing.
6. Include Strong Visual Content
Since social media evolves at a rapid pace, visual content including images and videos are a great way to get your audience hooked. Like written content,if you plan to involve visual content as part of your campaign, then you must be willing to spend money. Hiring good designers for images and multiple staff members for videos will require investment. Infographics with relevant and interesting stats also have an impact on your audience.
Content marketing strategies need to be planned carefully. You have to remember to plan carefully and not come off as too pushy. Put yourself in your readers’ shoes and create content to address their problems. The main goal of content marketing is to use content to spread brand awareness and consequently, improve the bottom line. Keep this is mind while devising and executing a content strategy.
Author Bio: Jessica Davis is a Content Writer with Godot Media – a leading Content Management company. She has years of experience in working closely with online businesses, helping them refine their marketing strategy through optimum use of content. Her other interests, besides online content strategy, copywriting and search engine optimization, are technology, sports and even fashion.
Featured image via Flickr cc: Little Calpurnia!