As a small business owner, being competitive often means having a top-notch marketing plan that’s digital-friendly. To be found on the largest search engine in the world, you need quality content that makes you easy to find. The best way to do this while also providing value for your audience is through content marketing.
The strength of content marketing lies in its long-term returns, which separates it from other forms of marketing and advertising. (“Evergreen” content can be relevant on your site, blog or social channels for one or more years.) Content marketing is about building a target audience by consistently providing value-added information through your brand. Although it’s possible to see success without a significant content marketing strategy, without this approach you may be leaving positive engagement (and revenue) on the table.
While content marketing is all the rage, it’s not easy. So here are some helpful tips to get the most value from this approach.
Content marketing is still tied together by the website. However, if you find that content marketing is overtaking your site’s main purpose, it’s normal for some businesses to have a main domain for their products and solutions, then set up a sub-domain specifically for content marketing initiatives. This could be in the form of a blog, which has its own name while still staying closely tied to your overall brand.
There’s no reason you can’t use a hybrid marketing solution, as every situation is different and maintaining the right balance to reach your objective is what matters most.
More and more of the world is focusing on the high-tech computer in the palm of our hands. Ensuring your content is mobile-friendly is now a must, and following current web design trends is key to ensuring your site and the information you provide does not look dated.
Easy-to-read responsive design is also critical. Nearly 52 per cent of web traffic is mobile, so don’t leave more than half your potential audience wishing your great content was easier to navigate while on-the-go.
Few things are as visually impactful as an attractive, shareable infographic. These are also easy-to-read and offer visually appealing statistics, facts and a short narrative that reflects a specific topic or area of information.
Done right, infographics have near eternal shelf-life as long as the statistics remain relevant or a snapshot for future perspective. They’re also a great tool to help solidify you as a thought leader in your area of expertise. Need proof? Here are 11 infographics on the effectiveness of infographics. Unless you have the design skills yourself, it’s best to hire a graphic designer to help you create one.
As an evolved format of traditional radio, podcasts have become an integral part of media. Though this tactic requires a bit more time and effort than some of the others listed here, it’s possible to amass a large following of potential consumers with a simple podcast.
Once you get the ball rolling, you’ll want to consistently deliver new content on a regular basis. Many podcasts deliver weekly episodes, living both in iTunes and the owner’s website. Find a niche where you can become the subject matter expert and be sure to repurpose content from other areas, including those infographics and your web content to save yourself some time.
You can now find a number of wizards to help you create eBooks on your area of expertise. Being seen as an authority or influencer on a topic related to your business is invaluable in a digital landscape where social validation remains supreme. Free excerpts can be circulated online to attract a greater consumer base. But for a more advanced eBook, look to professional writing and design companies that can really up your game and turn a basic piece into a lead magnet.
While the above examples show what content you can produce — sharing those pieces with current and potential customers is also extremely important. Since most social media sites are completely free for business, the only cost here is your time to share all of your great content.
When you examine the user demographics of sites like Facebook, Instagram and even Snapchat, you’ll span nearly eight decades worth of potential clients. Find your target audience on the right platform and serve them content that matches what interests them.
Create a social publishing calendar to keep yourself on track, and commit to posting a certain amount of content on each network — hitting your goals every day, week or month. You can make use of social publishing tools like Hootsuite to schedule these posts in advance — just make sure you’re checking back in regularly to respond to anyone who messages you. Two-way engagement will be the secret to your social media success.