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Content Marketing Tips for Small Businesses

Young African businesswoman and her diverse team laughing while having a brainstorming session with sticky notes on a glass wall in a modern office

Content marketing is one of the most effective inbound marketing strategies a business can adopt. Posting and distributing fresh content on your business website gets your website noticed and your brand known.

Almost any type of business can benefit from a content marketing campaign. However, some small business owners shy away from this inexpensive form of marketing because they are unsure where to begin.

So, if you keep putting off writing your first piece of marketing content, read on. Here are nine tips to help small business owners make the most of content marketing.

1) Define Your Target Audience

It is best to start a content marketing campaign by defining who you want to attract to your website. You will want to post content that will appeal to potential customers. But do you know who your typical customers are? Do you understand what drives the people who buy your products, what their interests are, and where they are most likely to hang out on the web? Develop a picture of who your typical customers are and then produce content that will appeal to those people.

2) Research Keywords

The next step is to consider the keywords for which you want to gain a search engine ranking. Keywords are the search terms that people use when looking for something on Google or other search engines. It is usually best to refine your keywords so that they reflect exactly what your business offers. So, suppose you own a roof repair business in Wilmington, Delaware, for example. In that case, one of your keywords might be ‘roofing contractor Wilmington, Delaware’. Then you must consider all the other terms that someone needing a roof repair might use to find a roofer, like roof repairs, roof replacement, roof storm damage repair, etc.

3) Check Out Your Competition

One of the things that often hold people back from producing marketing content is they can’t think of anything to write. If you need some topic inspiration, the best place to start is to research what your competitors post on their blog and social media accounts. When you look at your competitors’ content, note the topics and the posts’ formats. Look at what keywords they are targeting, too. It would not be advisable to follow what your competition is doing blindly. Even so, reviewing your competitors’ content marketing strategies is a good starting point to get you thinking about topics for your posts.

4) Decide Who Will Develop Your Content

Someone in your business will need to be responsible for your content marketing campaign. Someone will need to take charge of content creation and posting. One of the big mistakes that small companies make with content marketing is that they begin with a flourish of content but then stop posting because of time constraints. It takes time for content marketing to work, and you must post consistently and regularly. So, if you don’t have the time to produce the content, it would be best to delegate the task or hire a freelancer to do the job.

5) Create a Content Calendar

A content creation calendar will give you deadlines and a schedule of content that needs to be produced. Looking ahead will also help you plan content for the various seasons and holidays. When deciding on topics, bear in mind that content marketing is not all about selling. Content marketing is about creating brand awareness, drawing people to your website, and demonstrating your expertise in your field. So, think about entertaining and informative topics that will attract the right audience. The subjects you choose will also need to be suitable for your chosen keywords.

6) Test Different Formats

You are not limited to standard format blog posts. You could also post videos, infographics, in-depth articles, tutorials, and more. So, mix it up a little and see what goes down best with your target audience. You will also find that different formats and topics work better on different platforms. The best way to find out what works for your business is to experiment with various forms and structures of posts and track the results.

7) Make Your Content Easy to Share

If you haven’t already done so, install share buttons on your blog, and share your content in your own social media accounts. It can also be helpful to allow comments on your blog posts to encourage user interaction. If you allow comments on your posts, make sure you put some time aside to respond to comments. Content marketing becomes incredibly powerful when it becomes a talking point, and the content gets shared.

8) Monitor Results

Content marketing may not result in an immediate increase in sales. It may take time for someone who discovers your brand through your content to become a customer. Even so, you will be able to track the success of your content marketing campaign by monitoring visitor numbers to your website and content shares. Monitoring content metrics will also help you discover which type of posts generate the most interest. In time, the increased brand awareness your content marketing is creating will lead to sales.

9) Don’t Give Up Too Soon

Any marketing strategy takes time to yield results, and content marketing is no exception. It could take 3-6 months of regular posting before you begin to see any results. It will probably take you that long to identify the types of posts that are the most effective, too. So, be patient, keep on posting, and refine your posts according to what you discover works best. If you continue to post valuable content, it will increase brand awareness and sales in the long run.

Conclusion

Content marketing is a cost-effective way to generate greater interest in your brand. However, to make this kind of marketing work, you must know who your customers are and post content that will interest those people. It is also crucial that you post consistently and don’t give up on the idea too soon.

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