Content Marketing for Small Businesses — 5 Tips to Help You Get Started
Content marketing — you might have heard of it, you may even know you should be doing it, but you have no idea where to start.
Maybe once every few months, you pour your heart into a blog post, share some thoughts in a sporadic newsletter, or try to learn SEO (again).
But, let's face it — content marketing is not what flicks your switch.
If you're a coach, healer, or soulpreneur, I'm guessing you went into business to do what you love…not to spend all your time writing blog posts.
But here's the thing: content marketing isn't going anywhere.
According to Demand Metric, 90 percent of organizations now use content marketing, and 80 percent of people enjoy learning about a company through custom content.
But does content marketing work for small businesses? And, if so, how do you start?
Read on to find out.
What Is Content Marketing?
Have you noticed that almost all businesses have a blog on their website these days? That's content marketing.
Content marketing is a long-term marketing strategy based on providing value to your prospects through content creation.
The goal is to establish a long-term relationship with your followers and convert them into clients.
According to Fractl, content marketing helps prospects find you by increasing your visibility on Google, and 53 percent of consumers say offering valuable content on a relevant topic is a good way to attract their business.
Creating content that is both valuable and entertaining keeps your readers coming back for more, creating a funnel of potential clients, and helping you grow your business.
"Content" is a broad term that can include video, podcasts, PDFs, social media posts, and more. But almost every content marketing strategy includes the famous blog post.
This is where many business owners get stuck since creating compelling content that drives both traffic and sales is a skill that must be acquired.
It's also the reason why 62% of businesses outsource their content marketing needs.
Does Content Marketing Work for Small Businesses?
The short answer — yes. And here's why.
Seventy percent of customers would rather learn about you and your business through an article than through an advert.
Read that again.
It makes sense. People are tired of ads. They have problems, and they're looking for solutions. They come across your blog online, and it helps them solve a problem. For free!
Now you're on their radar as someone who can help them — and if you keep providing the right kind of value, you can move them through your sales funnel and convert them into paying customers.
The best part about content marketing for small businesses is that you can quickly see an ROI without spending a ton of money, and once it's out there, your content becomes a gift that keeps on giving to your business in the form of new clients.
So, if you're ready to start growing your business through content marketing, here are five tips to help you get started.
1. Know Your Audience
Before you start content marketing, you need to know who your audience is.
As a business owner, you may already know your ideal client pretty well, especially if you provide a service such as coaching or healing.
Think about the problems that your clients frequently come to you with. You can even send out surveys or ask questions on your social media profiles.
Then give your solution in the form of an article.
And don't hold back on your expertise! Provide the same information you would give to a paying client, as this is what establishes you as an expert in your niche.
For additional ideas, check out internet forums or Facebook groups to see what kinds of questions people are asking about your industry or sector.
2. Optimize Your Content
You may have heard of search engine optimization, or SEO. This term refers to the factors that Google takes into account when indexing your website.
While there are over 200 factors to take into account, you don't need to learn about all of them.
What you should learn is how to target the right keywords in your content.
Essentially, these are the search terms your ideal customers are plugging into Google search.
The more you align the keywords in your content with the keywords they search, the more likely they are to find you.
There are many free keyword research tools available — here are a few of the best ones.
I also use Ubersuggest, where you can search competitors' websites to see what keywords are working well for them.
3. Make a Content Calendar
Content marketing is a strategy — therefore, it requires a plan.
First, think about what you want to achieve with your content, whether it's building an email list or promoting your product or service.
Then, decide what kind of content you will produce — articles, videos, infographics, podcasts, etc. — and how often you will put them out.
Remember, more doesn't necessarily mean better — it's better to publish one high-quality post per month than four rubbish ones.
Consistency is key to your content marketing strategy's success, so commit to posting as often as possible without it feeling overwhelming.
4. Create Great Content
This may sound obvious, but your content is not just an offering to the Google gods.
You need to produce content that actual human people want to read and share (social media shares help your website rank higher).
Sprinkle in your personality by sharing your unpopular opinions. Controversial posts often get a lot of shares, and this will also help you attract your tribe (aka your superfans who are excited to pay for your product or service).
Create listicles and how-to guides that add value and solve people's real-life problems, or share your trademark life hacks that no one else does like you.
The art of creating high-performing content is to find the balance between providing what your audience needs and expressing your own creative genius.
5. Track Your Performance
Using analytics, such as Google Analytics or Facebook Pixel, will tell you what content is performing well and what isn't.
Then, adjust your strategy to provide your audience with more of the content they most enjoy and less of what they don't.
Content marketing is one of the most cost-effective marketing strategies available to small business owners.
It can help your small business grow by driving more traffic to your website, building your brand, and increasing your sales.
I hope these tips will help you get started on your content marketing journey.
Let me know in the comments, and share this article with someone who may find it useful.
If you need support integrating content marketing into your business, get in touch with me today to discover how I can help you.