The focus of marketing used to be on putting your brand in front of people and making sure they were aware of it.
In the past, this has referred to commercials.
Print advertisements have been present since the 1620s, according to several sources. These early-modern businesses did everything from offering specialist treatments for consumption to providing pamphlet printing services. Advertising was the only method to let people know you were open for business after word of mouth.
There was, however, a blip in the road on the way to the digital era. We were suddenly bombarded with almost 5,000 advertisements every day. We concluded that their major goal was to irritate us rather than enlighten us.
As a result, adblockers are now standard in all major web browsers.
Companies of all sizes were forced to look for an other method of increasing brand recognition, one that wouldn’t frustrate customers, become irrelevant, or be banned.
This is where content marketing comes into play. Advertising as storytelling is an age-old idea that’s making a resurgence in the way we think about it.
It’s particularly beneficial to small enterprises. As a technique to “advertise,” it competes with bigger rivals without being inconvenient, costly, or unnoticeable.
Content marketing is essential for the survival of all small and medium-sized businesses. How tiny firms may create a successful plan is outlined here.
What Is Content Marketing?
It’s a marketing strategy that prioritizes the development and dissemination of valuable information, according to the Content Marketing Institute (CMI). It asserts that if you regularly provide quality and relevant information to a focused audience, they are more inclined to buy from you.
When thinking about content marketing, it may be helpful to see it as a subterfuge for direct advertising. The knowledge you provide will aid readers regardless of whether they purchase from you instead of attempting to persuade them to buy your goods. As an illustration:
- A face wash company might publish a blog article on home remedies for acne, ending the blog with a CTA that links to the company’s e-commerce site.
- A marketing company might distribute a free ebook that discusses how to set up email campaigns, with their contact information provided at the end for interested parties.
- An interior design firm might create an online quiz to help potential clients identify their decor style, then follow up results with recommendations to their different services.
In other words, how can you tell whether a piece of material is worthwhile and useful? We can infer a couple things based on this:
- People seek it out. Has the piece of content been viewed millions of times? That’s an indicator of quality and relevance. People want to consume this article, video, or Instagram post.
- It’s targeted. Content marketing isn’t necessarily about making something go viral, although it’s never a bad thing when it does. Rather, it’s about targeting an audience in just the right ways that they learn to associate your brand as an authority on a topic.
- It emphasizes the development of relationships with readers. Content marketing emphasizes relationships to attract and retain a defined audience. Does it seem like the company is more invested in making you a smarter, more well-informed individual? It’s using a content marketing strategy.
How to Create a Small Business Content Marketing Strategy in 7 Steps
Using content marketing to increase visitors to your site is both productive and cost-effective. Over half of organizations now utilize it to both acquire and retain clients, according to The Manifest.
Create a small company content marketing plan that succeeds by following these seven steps.
1. Establish Your Mission or Goals
There should be a purpose and objectives for content marketing, as with any marketing techniques. Specific, quantifiable, realistic, relevant, and time-based objectives are the best kind to set. To put it another way, develop them in accordance with the SMART method. The following is an example of a SMART goal:
- Within three months, improve your search engine rating and arrive on the top page of results.
- Within 30 days, amass a list of 1,000 email subscribers.
- Within two weeks, increase sales by 25% from a specified market group.
2. Identify Your Performance Indicators
Make a list of key performance indicators (KPIs) that show how well you’re doing in relation to your objectives. This may consist of (but is not limited to) the following:
- Unique page views
- Referral rate
- Number of downloads
- Net revenue
- Conversion rates
3. Select Your Audience & Content Channels
The success of content marketing is dependent on knowing who you’re writing for. Your goal is to reach a select few people, not the whole world. You’re targeting a certain market group of individuals who are most likely to buy your goods or service by developing a message that delivers value for that market segment.
Use your website or social media channel to gather demographic information. [BS4] Many tools and reports in CoSchedule, including Google Analytics, may assist with this.
Finding out who’s reading your current material (and who isn’t) can give you a better idea of where your online presence already exists. Then, focus on the platforms that will provide you the greatest visibility and interaction after that.
4. Establish a Schedule
You now have your key performance indicators (KPIs), your target audience, and your distribution channels. Start bombarding them with your insights, freebies, and thought-provoking articles if you’re inclined to do that. It stands to reason, therefore, that if one post is successful, then all subsequent ones must be as successful.
This MUST NOT be done.
Avoid overwhelming your audience with too much material by starting with a simple publishing schedule. To get into the habit of posting regularly on blogs, try doing it once a week (on the same day and at the same time). Posts on social media should be made at least once per day and no more than a couple times each week.
The frequency with which you update your company’s Facebook or Instagram is based on science. There’s a lot of data to show that blogging too much may be as harmful as not posting enough or publishing inconsistently. Make a plan for your time because:
- Consistency is key. Consistency helps train readers to come back, to anticipate new material, and indicate that you’re a reliable, active source of information.
- It will help you vary the content. Seeing the big picture helps you spot opportunities for variety to enrich your offerings.
- You’ll save time and energy. A schedule is like a road map. Knowing what you’re going to do next helps you join the ranks of the 36 percent of content creators with efficient project workflows.
- It supports KPI tracking. One of the features of a SMART goal is that it’s time-based. Visualize your time-based goals with a calendar.
Use tools like ReQueue by CoSchedule to create a consistent messaging or posting schedule.
5. Craft Your Content and Distribute It to Your Market
Your study is complete, and it’s time to share your brilliant thoughts with the world in order to build a dedicated audience. Yes, in a way.
Having outstanding ideas is just half the battle; writing about your thoughts is critical. It doesn’t matter if you’re a creative genius if your material is shoddy, hurried, and weak. Nobody will be impressed, not even Google.
The more you understand your audience and the various content distribution platforms, the better your content will be. Just in case, have a look at these 26 unusual content creation guidelines.
6. Track the Results
As soon as you start distributing your work, you’ll observe how people react. A website’s number of pageviews, likes, and shares are all early indicators of user interest. Conversion rates, quality leads, and closures will all shift over time, as will income.
There are several tools available to assist you in keeping track of key performance indicators (KPIs). The following are a few ideas to consider:
- Google Analytics. It’s free and easy to measure page views, traffic sources, keyword performance, and more.
- Databox. Databox offers an array of powerful tools for tracking almost any metric.
- Excel. If you’re comfortable with Excel, you can create your own KPI tracking spreadsheets. This works best with metrics like revenue, subscriptions or referrals.
7. Refine and Repeat
Consistency is crucial to excellent content marketing; don’t simply release a couple of pieces of content and call it a day. Take what you’ve learned from your KPIs and apply it to your content plan.
Over time, you’ll establish a solid foundation of useful and relevant content that will make your readers appreciate your thought leadership and make them wiser, more informed, and more engaged.