Step-by-Step Content Marketing Guide for Small to Medium Sized Local Businesses
Creating and/or curating content, and distributing it to your target audience via marketing channels - that's content marketing in a nutshell. If you are wondering how you can make the most of content marketing for your small or medium-sized local business, this guide is what you need to succeed.
Develop your business' very own content marketing strategy
Adopting a strategy is important for content marketing in order to make an impact on your target audience. To develop your business' very own content marketing strategy, take the following steps.
Get to know your audience better
Your marketing content should be created and published based on your target audience's age, behaviors, habits, and preferences. There are various ways of understanding these aspects. For instance, social media platforms come with built-in analytics tools (more on them later). You can also turn to old school methods such as surveys and questionnaires.
Study your competition
So you know your audience somewhat better, but in internet marketing optimization, that isn't everything. Next, you need to turn your attention toward your competition and observe what they're doing right and what they're getting wrong. The key here is to improve on their strengths and do away with their weaknesses.
Despite the reach of social media, you can't simply rely on your business' Facebook and Instagram pages for content marketing. At the end of the day, you need a high-quality website to attract your target audience toward your business. However, this is easier said than done as website-building is a complicated process. If your business lacks a dedicated web development and design team, approach the professionals.
See if we can bring you more leads, sales, and grow your business by optimizing your digital strategy.
- Organic Traffic - Unlock leads via SEO
- Paid Traffic - Raise ROI by optimizing conversions
- Content Marketing - Stand out from your competitors with engaging content
Focus on providing value
Many small and medium-sized businesses fail to utilize content marketing because they fail to provide value. Always think of the things your audience wants to learn from you - they could be things related to your industry or instructions on executing a specific task. Content marketing is a way to promote your business and provide value to audiences at the same time.
Create the content
So, you've developed a content strategy, and now, it's time to create the content. When it comes to content creation, you should keep the following pointers in mind. These pointers are aimed at making your content high quality.
Today, duplicate content almost always tends to be punished and penalized by search engines. This is due to the changes made to the search engines' algorithms. So, if you are a talented writer yourself, put your writing skills to use. However, if you lack writing skills, don't worry - there are plenty of writing experts in digital marketing out there for you to turn to.
Let the content encourage your audience to act (or at least think)
Quite simply, your content should drive your audience to take action. For starters, your content should provide value to your audience in the form of accurate information. You can also drive your audience's opinions by sharing opinion pieces. All marketing content must have call-to-action (CTA) messages as well, i.e., messages that motivate your audience to take action.
Diversify your content
Just because a few blog posts result in success doesn't mean that you should exclusively focus on creating blog posts. Remember, more content is being churned out today than ever before, which is where the importance of content diversification comes into play. Apart from blog posts, experiment with different content formats such as videos, infographics, and other written content forms like listicles and interviews.
Explore different content creation options
As mentioned before, you may be lacking in content writing and graphic designing skills. However, this doesn't mean you'll have to do without high-quality content. You can explore the following options to generate compelling, engaging, and informative content across all channels.
Hire freelance writers
Freelancing platforms have made it easy and convenient for outsourcing digital marketing services. So, start your search on these platforms, and you can find talented writers without much fuss or bother. However, before you decide on a particular writer, make sure that the writer has experience in your business niche. At the end of the day, you don't want a gaming writer to develop content for a restaurant, right?
Turn to free tools
Canva, Piktochart, Slideshare, Prezi - these are all examples of free content creation tools that are meant to work hand-in-hand with website copywriting services. If your content marketing budget is tight, and you can't rope in writers all the time, these are the tools to turn to. These tools simplify the content creation process and facilitate the generation of content that provides value to your audience and looks great at the same time.
Make the most of user generated content (UGC)
This pointer is specifically for small and medium-sized businesses that already have loyal customers. If your business' case is the same, why not turn to social media and see how your customers are creating posts around your products and/or services? This user generated content or UGC can show prospective customers how existing customers are being benefited by your business. UGC marketing has exploded on some social media platforms, particularly Instagram. Statistics have revealed that more than 80% of brands have turned to UGC for sharing authentic content with target audiences.
Keep tracking and measuring the results
Content marketing is dynamic you have to keep working at it to do better. This is where tracking and measuring results can come in and play helpful roles.
Use built-in analytics tools
Most social media platforms these days come with their very own analytics tools. For instance, if you are running a content marketing campaign on Instagram, you can use Instagram Analytics. These analytics tools can help you understand how your content is faring. Remember, no content marketing strategy is perfect. So, if your content isn't resonating the way with your target audience the way you'd want it to, your content marketing strategy probably needs some tweaking.
Turn to third-party tools
There are also several third-party analytics tools you can use to track and measure your content marketing strategy. For example, SproutSocial and Hootsuite - these are two of the most popular third-party analytics tools right now. These tools tend to be provide more detailed information compared to built-in tools. Additionally, these tools let you schedule posts across various platforms, making it easier for you to share content.
So, that's about it for this comprehensive content marketing guide for small and medium-sized businesses. I hope you found this guide informative and can use the information I provided to improve your content marketing efforts. By putting what I've shared into practice, you can tap into the potential of content marketing and make it drive your business forward.
If you have more questions, feel free to reach out to me. I would be glad to listen to what you need and deliver content marketing solutions based on your requirements.