When done correctly, content marketing is an excellent, and potentially inexpensive, way to drive customers further down the sales funnel.
By: ALICIA CARTER, Content Marketing Manager, Veugeler Design Group
Content marketing is a great option for many small businesses, but it’s typically underutilized by those who could benefit from it the most. Many of our clients have heard they should create content for their website, but most don’t fully understand the reasons why. “I need to create content to increase my SEO.” “Having an updated blog will show that I’m an authority in my field.” Both of these statements are true, but having a content strategy in place can also mean so much more for small businesses. And it requires consistent effort, i.e., regularly posting content, to see a positive return on investment. Ready to get started? The following six tips can help your business implement a successful content marketing campaign.
1. Outline Your Goals
The first step to creating effective content is to establish your goals. What is your intended end result? Maybe you want to drive traffic to your website or appear higher in organic searches. Or maybe you’d like to build your email list. In addition to defining your goals, it’s also important to identify your target audience. What buyer persona are you trying to reach? Creating a detailed buyer persona at the beginning of the process will help establish a clear direction. What type of content is your buyer persona more likely to look for — blog posts, how-to guides, videos? Do they hang out on social media? Are they tech-savvy? Having clear parameters in place will help guide your content creation process.
2.Determine the Best Type of Content
Blog posts are great to help build your organic search results because they’re relatively easy and inexpensive to create, and they don’t have to be terribly long to make an impact with potential customers. Just make sure you’re posting regularly and optimizing your posts with keywords and internal and external links. Longform content such as e-books and case studies can be used to help establish a business as an authority in their field or as a thought leader. Maybe your goal is to increase social shares (and therefore amplify reach). An infographic might be your best bet because you can pack a ton of information into one image that is easily digestible — and easily shared!
3.Focus on Consistency
No matter what type of content you decide to create, consistency is king. In other words, create a schedule and stick to it! Start slowly, maybe one blog post per month, and then build up to a more frequent routine. The most important thing to focus on in the beginning is quality. Make sure the information you create is relevant to your business, informative, and valuable to the consumer. Once you have a plan in place, you’ll be better prepared to effectively deliver your content to potential customers, and you’ll build trust with those customers by providing a source of information they can come back to again and again.
4.Optimize Your Content
Creating content, whether through blogging, content offers, videos, podcasts or images such as infographics, is a great way to build out pages on your website – pages that can be updated and optimized with SEO best practices. Without those additional pages of information, your website would remain stagnant and there would only be so much search engine optimization available. However, by consistently updating your website with fresh content, you’re able to implement keywords, headers, meta descriptions and more on each page that will enable search engines to better crawl your site and recognize it as a valuable source of information.
5. Share on Social Media
If you’re struggling to decide which social media network is right for your business, the type of content you create will help drive that decision. For example, if you’re creating graphic content, such as images and infographics, then Instagram or Pinterest would be great options to share that content. Blog posts are great for Facebook and Twitter, while industry-specific white papers, e-books and other related content could be shared via LinkedIn. Once you know where you’d like to focus your attention, be sure to share your content regularly.
6. Measure Your Results
Don’t forget to take time to analyze your results! This is an essential step with any type of digital marketing. It’s important to know what is working and what isn’t so you know where to focus your time and attention. But remember, it can take time for content to make an impact on your website traffic. Content marketing is a slow burn, but when it’s done well it can have an amazing impact on your ROI!