Research indicates that while 70% of marketers actively invest in content marketing, 77% of companies claim that they have a content marketing strategy in place! If your business is not leveraging the benefits of this cost-effective marketing strategy, you’re losing out on a great opportunity to create brand awareness, connect with your audience and reap the potential benefits of both. This article elucidates the essence of content marketing for small businesses and further explains how to develop an effective content marketing strategy. To begin with, let’s understand – what exactly is content marketing?
Content marketing is a strategic approach towards creating and distributing valuable, relevant and consistent content with an aim to attract, acquire and retain a defined audience. Simply put, it is a marketing technique that focuses on establishing thought leadership in a particular industry and educating the audience about the same on a consistent basis so that it yields conversions and loyalty in the long run.
It is important for small businesses to understand that about 70% of consumers prefer to learn about a company through an article rather than advertisements. This makes content marketing an undoubtedly vital element of any marketing strategy. Now that we’ve established the importance of content marketing for small businesses, let’s understand how to develop a content marketing strategy in 6 simple steps –
Step 1: Define Your Objectives and Goals –
The primary step for any successful marketing campaign is to have a clearly defined marketing objective. In this case, it would mean having a deep understanding of how you want to position your brand followed by setting smart marketing goals in alignment with your overall business goals. A few examples of your marketing goals could be improving your website’s ranking in the SERPs, gaining a certain number of email subscribers or boosting sales of a particular product category by a certain percentage – all within a stipulated time frame.
Step 2: Understand Your Target Audience –
The next step is to understand your target audience by conducting detailed buyer persona and customer journey research, specific to your business. The better you know your audience, the more you will be able to create content that provides value and is relevant to them. This step plays a key role in the overall success of a content marketing strategy for a small business.
Step 3: Perform an SEO Analysis –
Next, know that search engine optimization (SEO) and content marketing are interdependent and rely on each other for mutual success. Thus, performing an SEO analysis for your business will help you determine the key aspects that you need to take into consideration (eg: keywords relevant to your industry) before moving on to content ideation, creation and distribution. To learn about SEO strategy tips that will help you dominate in the SERPs and boost revenue, read this.
Step 4: Determine Content Format and Distribution Channels –
Thereafter, amongst a variety of content formats like blog posts, ebooks, videos, podcasts, etc. ascertain which content format will work best for your business. Also, identify the right distribution channels that will fetch you maximum reach and engagement. To begin with, small businesses can publish blogs on their own website and build a strong presence on the social media platforms relevant to their industry. To learn about the fundamentals of building a strong online presence, click here.
Step 5: Create an Editorial Calendar –
The penultimate step involves brainstorming content ideas tailored to your target group and creating an editorial calendar for efficient content marketing management. Adopting a systematic approach towards your content marketing efforts will not only help you ensure that your marketing strategy is in alignment with your objectives but also facilitate easy execution by encouraging all of your team members to work in sync towards a common goal.
Step 6: Analyze Your Performance –
Lastly, conduct a content audit to understand which of your content pieces are performing well, identify the gaps in your content strategy and plan your future campaigns constructively. You can measure your performance by analyzing your content metrics like user behavior analytics (eg: average time on page, bounce rate, etc), engagement indicators (eg: likes, comments and shares) or even SEO results (eg: rise in organic traffic and number of backlinks, etc). Some of the well-known tools that can help you measure and quantify your content marketing efforts are Screaming Frog, Buzzsumo and Google Analytics.
For further support to grow your business, our team at Parkyd Digital is available and happy to help you. We are a B2B digital marketing agency focused on delivering cost-effective, innovative, strategic solutions that align with your sales and marketing goals.