There’s a reason why content creation roles are often called “content cooking.” Creating a good piece of content is actually like whipping up an exotic dish that could either go in the dustbin or become a world-famous recipe like KFC! There is, however, a method to the madness. Here is a basic guide to content marketing for small businesses to grow online.
What is Content Marketing?
Content marketing is a huge part of the awareness/discovery funnel. Check this out:
It is a means of marketing or promoting your business in the most creative ways possible so your customers can find you and remember you. The goal is to use the content of all kinds to guide potential leads downwards the funnel and convert them into loyal customers.
What is Content?
Think of content like the ingredients to your recipe.
Anything that explains your business to a potential customer is content. Anything you use to educate, inform or communicate with your customer is content.
Made a billboard? That’s content. Posting an ad on Facebook? That’s content. Writing emails? Sending a receipt to a customer? That is content too!
Types of Content (that sells)
There are several different channels that you can post and promote your content on. What kind of content really sells? Here is a list that you can start off with:
A good, relevant blog
You can start by creating a blog that looks to help your customers understand the industry that you operate in or the product/service you are selling. Having a blog doesn’t just portray you as an industry expert but also helps you promote your business.
Identify what your small business wants to talk about and create valuable blogs that genuinely help solve a problem.
Emails are a great way to communicate with your customers (or potentials). Start a newsletter – either curated or your own.
You can communicate product updates, write love letters ( remarketing emails) and even promote a seasonal sale or just drop a note of thanks to your customers. Coupled with a catchy subject line, emails can drive a great amount of traffic to your website.
Short Videos & Webinars
Of late, videos have gone big! With diminishing attention spans, everyone’s flocking to short explainer videos that do the job without taking too much time.
Making short videos of not just your product but anything relevant to your genre. Live videos or webinars are also a great way to give a demo of your product.
While long-form content may not be at the forefront in the social media-driven world, it creates immense value for a niche audience.
Putting together a video course or a how-to guide also does what a blog can do for your business.
How to Do Content Marketing
Here is a checklist to get your small business started with content marketing:
Set up an editorial calendar
Most businesses go wrong with their content strategy by not having one! Set up a calendar for the kind of content you want to post and stick to the calendar. This helps you plan what you want to do and how you want to execute your content strategy. Here are 5 free marketing calendars you can use for your small business
Start blogging regularly
Once you’ve got your domain and have your blog set, keep the content flowing regularly. There is no dearth of topics even if you are a niche business. Recycle old blogs if you’re feeling lazy.
Submit your content on social media platforms and forums
By and by as you start building a repository of blogs, start promoting them on social media – Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Quora etc. Having a strong social media presence helps establish your brand and makes you more searchable. Bookmark your content on social forums as well.
Make other kickass content
Write eBooks, make infographics and other visual content like videos, gifs or memes – anything (short form) that has the potential to go viral on social media.
Don’t shun long-form though
White papers, customer success stories, and case studies make for great testimonials and add value to your brand. Go the extra mile to put long-form content together.Write educational content (guides) to educate your customers.
Guest blog actively.
Offer to write on relevant topics on other popular websites and link back your own website. This doesn’t just give you all the SEO juice but also establishes you as a field expert.
Check your progress.
Set up Google Analytics and keep a track of the traffic coming into your website.
Pro Tip: Don’t expect to see results immediately. Content marketing may sound simple but it’s trickier than it can seem. Just be consistent and keep writing good quality content. Your traffic will definitely see an uptick in about a year if you’re consistent.
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