Whether you own an online or offline small business, content marketing is important to your success.
This article looks at some of the very best content marketing strategies for small businesses and how anyone can implement them to get the best results.
In this day and age, small businesses need to provide and promote content in order to survive and thrive.
And it doesn’t matter whether yours is an online or an offline business.
In fact, both online and offline businesses must do all they can to provide the best content at all times.
Content is definitely still King, as Bill Gates said many years ago. That’s very true, online or offline.
Also, when done right, content marketing goes a long way in helping to promote a business’s products and/or services.
Done right in this case means doing content marketing whereby the creation, promotion and delivery to the target audience brings about the right results at the right time.
Done right also means been very strategic with the way you do your content marketing.
Creating a creative content marketing strategy
For those business owners who don’t know what it means for their content to be strategic, this definition by Joe Pulizzi of Content Marketing Institute should suffice:
“Content marketing is a strategic marketing approach focused on creating and distributing valuable, relevant, and consistent content to attract and retain a clearly defined audience — and, ultimately, to drive profitable customer action.”
This goes forth to state that every business should use content marketing for three key reasons/benefits
- Increased sales
- Cost savings
- Better customers who have more loyalty
The best content strategy that must be adopted by any business – whether big or small – should be clearly made on the framework that defines:
- The purpose and goals of the content.
- The audience to whom the content is shared
- The story and concept on which that content is built around
- The process that defines how content plan is to activated, and
- The measurement that reveals the performance and optimization levels of content per time.
21 Best Content Marketing Strategies For Small Businesses Online or Offline
That said, below are some of the best content strategies that small business owners like you should adopt for eventual online success:
1. Find your strength and concentrate on it
You must find a niche you are passionate about and build your content marketing strategy around it.
Finding the right content niche can involve you scouring the Internet looking for topics you are familiar with.
You should also know your strength and concentrate on it rather than your weakness.
For instance, if you can produce video content better than ebooks then concentrate on that and build your content strategy on this strength.
2. Set measurable content goals
Every small business must plan their content marketing and make it measurable.
There should be the planning regarding things like:
- What the content is
- To whom it would be intended
- The goals to be achieved
- What time it is to be delivered
Setting a content goal before creating and promoting a product would save the business lots of stress and make it easy to present trackable performances.
Clarity of the content type and how to achieve it would help the business become much more successful in its content marketing.
3. Discover who the audience is
The target audience of the business needs to be defined to get the best results with content marketing.
For example, it can start by asking the following questions:
- Who are you selling to?
- What are their income?
- What gender buy more?
- What are their lifestyles?
Discovery of your target audience will help you craft the best content that would appeal directly them.
The effect you want from the content would not be lost since it is directed at the right people.
4. Understand the content needs of your audience
It’s not just discovering who your target audience is, but also what they need.
Every audience needs a particular type of content at a specific time. Understanding this and putting it into consideration when developing your content is a very smart content marketing strategy.
There are times your audience will need text and there are times when the trend of a content would be visuals or video content.
You should understand this and create your content to fill in the gaps.
5. Write quality content and don’t neglect quantity
Quality content is better than quantity. And with the massive amount of content getting published daily, this is more important now than ever before.
You don’t want to be one of those churning out low quality content just for the sake of it. Doing that just adds more noise and fluff to the massive amount of content out there.
Instead, it is important for you to create one epic and evergreen content each time. Such content can be one that would resonate with the values your audience want.
This is definitely better than creating ten pieces of low quality content that is no different from the countless others out there.
Quality should be your watch word when developing the best content marketing strategy.
It can all start with:
- Doing thorough research
- Gathering the right facts before creating your content
- Incorporating relevant proofs to make your content convincing
However this is not to say that quantity should be neglected. Quantity of content should come to play when meeting the needs of the audience in posts.
Lengthy content is often considered better and mostly converts better than short posts.
But of course quantity content that is quality in nature, not quantity just for the sake of filling up space!
Examples of Quality Content:
This blogging apps article is a good example of quality content. It’s 6,000+ words and contains 30+ best blogging apps for android users.
Another is this article showing 40+ creative jobs for stay-at-home moms looking to make money.
6. Proofread your content before publishing
You should proofread your piece of content always before hitting the publish button.
Content that is devoid of errors often gain more attraction.
You should be mindful of grammatical and spelling errors when you write content.
Make use of proofreading and editing software like Grammarly and the Hemmingway App to edit your content.
They help make the process easier and quicker by highlighting some obvious errors for you, automatically.
You can also seek out or hire professionals to assist you.
Regardless of how you go about it, you certainly shouldn’t allow misspellings and grammar errors affect your good work!
Talking about writing, it’s one of the ways people use to make as much as $1,000 fast, but without proper proofreading, I don’t think anyone will pay well.
7. Schedule and deliver content at the right time
If you are into delivery of content to your audience regularly then you must take the right steps to publish at the right time.
One article, email newsletter, video, webinar, etc., delivered daily, weekly, or monthly is better than inconsistent delivery of articles.
You should stick to your schedule so your audience trust your capacity to deliver the right content they want, at the right time.
WordPress has the feature for scheduling content so you can prepare in advance and post even when you are doing other things.
Scheduling tools like the one from WordPress should come handy in helping you achieve the best in your content marketing endeavors.
8. Vary your formats to meet your audiences’ needs
You need to repurpose your content to meet the different needs of your audience. It’s definitely not the case of “one format for all”.
Some people prefer to read texts, some others prefer to consume their content in the form of images, videos, or audios.
Talking about images or pictures, it’s no wonder people are buying and selling feet pictures online and other types of weird pictures online these days.
That’s because most people prefer content in different formats, especially images, videos or audios.
You can repurpose your piece of content so every consumption need is satisfied.
Repurposing content is an effective strategy that can help you achieve more exposure and engagement.
And of course all these will help you achieve content marketing success.
9. Use the best tools and automation you can
There are tools out there that would help you as a small business in your content marketing strategy. It’s important you take advantage of these tools so you save time, energy and cost in your campaigns.
You can scour the Internet for the best free and paid tools for content writing, content promotion, social media marketing, and email marketing, and so on.
And talking about tools, here are some of the best apps for writers, to help you get the best from content creation using a mobile device.
While there are many free tools out there that work great, sometimes you get what you pay for. That’s why it may be necessary to pay for the best tools, which also give you the best results.
Unless your business is operating under a rock, you definitely know and use some form of social media.
If you must succeed you absolutely need to incorporate social into your content marketing strategy.
You can promote your content in various formats on social platforms that include Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, LinkedIn, etc.
Social media strategies also include the use of the right social media tools to share posts from one platform to another.
And when it comes to measuring how effective or not your social media strategies are, use the right tools for measuring social media ROI.
You should also know the content demands of the main social media platforms that you use. This knowledge will help ensure you make the most of them, for your needs.
For example, while some platforms work best with visuals or videos, others work best with a combination of formats.
Buffer and Hootsuite are important tools to facilitate your social media content marketing strategy across the various social platforms.
It’s a very good idea to build a content strategy that can explain processes, confirm facts and give the readers satisfaction.
A content with well incorporated links, images and videos would get better attention than the one without.
You should make your content rich with relevant links, images and/or videos, as much as you can.
There are tools that help you with that, such as
- URL Shorteners
12. Explain practical steps
If you want your content to convert then you must make it practical, as much as you can.
In this case, whenever you are explaining a process, you must include practical examples of how it is done.
A step-by-step guide will appeal to a lot of readers and they will love you for it.
The step-by-step guide could be in the form of screenshots, video clips or charts. Regardless, just make it as practically helpful as possible.
13. Consider mobile usage
The use of mobile has increased tremendously over the last couple of years. And it will increase even more in the coming years.
This is thanks for the speedy advancement in the innovation of smartphones, tablets and other mobile devices.
There are now content that can be consumed better using particular smartphone apps than others.
When creating content as a business, do not forget to optimize the content for every major mobile device out there.
You would be losing lots of traffic if you don’t create content to target such mobile users.
14. Make your headlines catchy
Didn’t someone say headlines are windows into the soul? Maybe not, but they should be!
Headlines of your articles, videos, or audios are very significant for your successful content marketing strategy.
Whenever you create headline, make it catchy and clickable.
You need to make your headlines compelling so that visitors can click through to see what else you are offering.
But of course that doesn’t mean you should be misleading or trick people into clicking on your content. That would only annoy them seconds later and even get you the worst results, long term.
15. Optimize your content for search engines
Your content marketing strategy should include search engine optimization.
It’s true that you shouldn’t rely solely on SEO, but getting the basics in place is extremely important for your content.
For example, from the title of your content to the conclusion, whether audio, video or text, you should always optimize for the search engines.
The keywords, meta description, links, and images must be optimized, as much as you can, to get the much needed free traffic from the search engines.
16. Think of humans first when optimizing for Search Engines
As much as you should optimize your content for the search engines, that shouldn’t be at the detriment of your audience. It should only come AFTER you have taken your HUMAN audience into consideration.
It’s humans who end up making use of your content and responding to what you want them to respond to, not search engines.
So, avoid things like keyword stuffing, confusing headlines, etc.
17. Always include a call-to-action in your content
You must ensure that your content, whether in form of emails, articles, blog posts, etc., have the right call-to-action included.
This means you are giving your audience clarity to take the desired action on what you have offered.
If you don’t do this then you won’t get the best from your content marketing efforts.
18. Outsource some of your content to others
You can outsource content to others and use more time for content promotion. This strategy will save you time and make you more productive.
This is especially critical when you would rather spend more time running other more important aspects of your business, with highest ROI.
The good thing is that there are many places to source for content providers.
Marketplaces like Upwork and Textbroker can help you find freelancers to help facilitate your content marketing success.
19. Tell stories and use testimonials in your content
Incorporate storytelling and testimonials in your content to attract more readers.
People love stories that align with content they are interested in.
As part of your content marketing strategy, the more stories you share, the more appealing your content becomes.
Testimonials also help to generate trust. They provide proofs and authentication of your offers.
20. Get inspired and partner with influencers
You can and should partner with influencers in your niche to improve your content marketing.
Influencers are those bloggers or content marketers in your niche that command large audience or followers.
A mention of your offer can help you tap into their large audience base.
You can also connect with them by adding value to their websites or social media accounts.
21. Reply and Respond to your audience
It’s a good idea to reply to comments and address the concerns of your target audience.
Interactions are necessary for marketing success. If your audience get to know you always reply to their comments, they would feel comforted and attracted to you.
The above are some of the best content marketing strategies that small businesses, online or offline, can use to get great results.
They help make your content marketing efforts much more successful.
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