Content Marketing Strategy for Small Business
A Content Marketing Strategy is a Must for Every Business!
The main problem with content marketing is that most brands don’t do it right! By now businesses already recognize the benefits of content marketing, but especially small businesses most often don’t have a Content Marketing Strategy. In previous posts we outlined Content Marketing Benefits for Small Brands and gave you a Step by Step Guide to Content Creation. Today we will show you some basic content marketing strategy ideas that any business can implement.
Online content has become a mainstay of today’s small business marketing strategies, but few businesses are equipped with the tools they need for the job. As a result many small to mid-size business miss out on valuable opportunities for consumer and brand engagement.
The nature of your business will dictate the nature of the content you will need to create. As you may recall The Latest Google Algorithm Update requires you to have content that is appropriate to your audience. But regardless of what kind of content you need you can adapt our content marketing strategy to your business.
Step 1 – What Type of Content Is Right For You?
This needs to be the first step in your content marketing strategy! Regardless of who you are or what your business does you have content to publish! We always hear from clients that they really don’t have anything to say, so here are some content ideas for you:
- List Articles – From industry news to product reviews and advice columns, the digestible format of a numbered list makes virtually any topic approachable and inviting.
- Case Studies – How do your products and services impact the lives of your consumers? Has your brand been a positive impact? Tell your prospective clients how you helped your existing ones.
- How-to’s – When you want to provide more in-depth content with high practical value, publish instructive articles that let your audience know you are a reliable source of information.
- Opinion Pieces – To establish thought leadership and expertise, find a hot topic or cutting-edge development in your industry and weigh in.
- White Papers – Take your thought leadership to the next level with longer-form reports on key industry problems, which also provide an opportunity to tie in your own products or services.
- Infographics – Great for making data, surveys or other complex subjects easy to digest, graphic content helps establish your visual brand and generates shares on social media.
Step 2 – Planning and Researching Your Topic
The main reason any business creates and distributes content is to attract and engage website visitors, and hopefully convert them into consumers of their products and services. In content marketing we call this the buyer’s journey of conversion. Take a look at how your online content can make or break your sales cycle.
In step one of your content marketing strategy we outlined some content ideas for you. Now that you have chosen a topic you need to start planning and researching it. Here are some key steps:
- Use Google Keyword Planner to find relevant keyword phrases that people are searching for to use in your article or post.
- Search Twitter for popular topics related to your keyword and pay attention to the ones getting the most retweets and favorites.
- Do a quick Google search to see other pages that are ranking for the keyword or phrase.
- Create a list of major points you want to get across in your post.
Step 3 – Writing Your Content
The next step in your content marketing strategy is the actual content creation. And unless you are an expert copywriter you may want to consider enlisting the help of a professional copywriter. Regardless of who creates the content for your content marketing strategy be sure to:
- Don’t let paragraphs get too long. They should break up every 2-3 lines or roughly every 75-100 words.
- Try to include an image for every 300 words of text.
- Use sub headers to segment sections and break up your article for easy reading / scanning.
- Create a compelling headline (ideal length: 55 characters)
- Make use of bullets and lists where applicable
- Link to other valuable resources in your article (web pages or your other blog posts) where relevant.
- Spell check! (We can’t stress this enough!)
Step 4 – Optimizing Your Content for Search
The best content in the world is not going to do any good if nobody reads it! Therefore your content marketing strategy needs to include making your content searchable. You may want to consult a search engine optimization (SEO) or search engine marketing (SEM) specialist, but here is what you need to do:
- Aim for 1,000-1,500 words for a blog post; that is the Google “sweet spot” for SEO based on research from serpIQ.
- Place your SEO keyword into your post or blog title.
- Include your SEO keyword in at least one H2 header.
- Place your SEO keyword at the very beginning of your title and H2 header for optimum results.
Step 5 – Make Your Content Sharable
Now that you have great content that is also optimized for search the next step in your content marketing strategy is to make it sharable. You want as many people as possible not only reading your post, but also to share it with their social and professional networks. Here is how you can do that:
- Create a custom graphic that shows the title of your blog in an attractive way to increase shares on Pinterest and other networks.
- Use Ivy or Click-to-Tweet to include tweetable quotes and stats throughout your blog.
- Create or curate an infographic relevant to your chosen topic and include it in your post.
- Include Slideshare presentations or a video.
Step 6 – Promoting Your Content
The next step in your content marketing strategy is to promote the content you so carefully created. Many businesses don’t do a good job of this, which means their content does not reach the maximum audience. So here are some tips for shameless self-promotion:
- Send an update to your email list with a link to your blog post.
- Share your blog post on Facebook and make sure your image is optimized to look great in Facebook Link Preview for optimal click-through rates.
- Share on Twitter and include your custom title graphic.
- Share on Pinterest using your custom title graphic.
- Pin to relevant shared Pinterest boards to increase exposure.
- Share your blog post as a status update on LinkedIn on your personal profile and your LinkedIn Company Page.
- Share in relevant LinkedIn Groups by creating a discussion around your topic and include the link as a reference.
- Share your post to Google+ to both your personal and your company profiles.
- Find nice Facebook Groups and Google+ Communities to share your post by creating a discussion about it.
- Consider using Facebook Ads or LinkedIn Sponsored Updates to run targeted ads to promote your content.
- Use a social sharing app like AddThis or plugin like Digg Digg that allows for easy social sharing directly from your blog.
- Consider more niche places to post such as Reddit or Stumbleupon, but be aware of the etiquette of each site’s community before posting.
Implementing Your Content Marketing Strategy
OK, now that you have studied our content marketing strategy for small business it is time to get started with your own content marketing. Maybe your content marketing strategy is already well under way, in which case you may only need one or two of our content marketing tips. Good for you! But others may not have been as pro-active, so feel free to use our small business content marketing tips as a starting point for your marketing strategy.
Implementing our content marketing strategy tips does take some effort, but we tried to keep them simple. And at least some of this should already be part of your strategy to grow your business online. Most of our content marketing tips can be planned and implemented ahead of time, but you should allow for unexpected opportunities.
Of course, you can save yourself a lot of time and trouble and have our highly caffeinated team implement our content marketing strategy for you. We are experts at content marketing. While our content strategists create engaging content our SEO experts can help define the best possible search strategy. Our social media strategists will help you refine and execute your strategy while our community managers will be your brand’s voice on social media. Why not get started by requesting your free content marketing strategy estimate?
And if you are still not sure about implementing your content marketing strategy don’t worry! Simply reach out and contact us. Our expert team will listen to you, answer your questions, and determine the best way for your business to get the content marketing benefits you need. That is one of our specialties, after all!
Do you have any content marketing tips you would like to share? Feel free to add your comments below so our audience can share in the fun, and grab our feed so you don’t miss our next post! And feel free to share our content marketing strategy tips with your audience!