How Do Small Businesses Do Content Marketing? Let’s Find Out!
If you’re wondering which content marketing approach is best for your small business, you’ve landed on the right article. Worry not, as I’ll break down all the steps every business owner should take to build a successful small business content marketing strategy. But first, what is content marketing? And why does your business need it?
Content marketing is the process of developing useful and engaging content for online users. Companies and individuals do so across all mediums to organically increase website traffic, boost brand visibility, and even increase sales. As you can understand, small businesses can leverage the opportunity to make a name for themselves at a lower cost.
Content marketing is essential for every brand, as it makes you appear more human than paid ads. It’s all about controlling the message customers take away from your marketing. Here’s a nice stat for you: according to a study, 73% of customers prefer to learn about a business by reading published articles rather than traditional advertising. Also, 69% admit that they trust brand content.
Now that we’ve covered the basics, you can take advantage of content marketing to grow your small business. Here’s how.
Content Marketing Tips For Small Businesses
First of all, you have to properly define your target audience as well as their preferences. If you have no experience in how to do that, you can start by choosing different outlets to reach the customer base. For example, you may start by investigating what your ideal audience likes on social media. How? Follow your competitors and other relevant niche sites on social media to see what they are up to. This will help you identify which topics get the most engagement. Also, an SEO competitor analysis can help you decide which topics would be the best fit for your buyer personas based on search intent.
Here are a few tips and tricks you can leverage to grow your business with content marketing.
1. Go Ahead And Start A Blog
If you haven’t already, this is crucial for establishing your brand name in the industry that interests you. Creating relevant content within your niche and publishing articles consistently will not only help your business be discovered in the SERPs but will also increase your credibility and thought leadership.
Showcasing expertise is key here! For example, take a look at all the magic that happened when our very own Christopher Pappas decided to create a blog dedicated to the eLearning industry. You’ll never know how successful you can be if you don’t try it, right?
2. Decide On A Content Strategy
Small business content marketing cannot be successful without a smart strategy. Actually, according to Semrush, 30% of content marketers outsource content creation. So, no need to worry if your SEO content writing skills are not that sharp. You can always ask an expert to help you out.
But make sure they know all about your niche and that they can indeed help your SEO rankings increase. If not, it’s not worth the money getting content that cannot gain good positions in the SERPs. Hence, if organic traffic doesn’t interest you, you’re better off doing it on your own. But let’s be real. We all need organic traffic. How else are you going to reach new relevant audiences?
Everyone is on Google entering queries about things that matter to them. Your solution has a good chance of being featured on the first page of Google, but you have to play your cards right. Strategy, consistency, and ruthless optimization will get you to where you want to go.
For your strategy to be successful, you need to resonate with your readers. If you want to know more details about how to do that, please read this article.
3. Leverage The Social Channels Your Audience Uses To Build Social Media Presence
Obviously, being involved in selling a product or service means that your business most likely has some kind of a social media presence. However, those of you wanting to get more clients should know that just being on social media isn’t enough. You see, brands need to be active on social media platforms and keep engagement high. And here’s why small business content marketing is so important. Your audience uses them every single day, so don’t miss the opportunity to connect with them on different levels.
Before starting to post about your product or service, think wisely about which social media channels you choose, since there is a multitude of options. You have to find the right channels for your brand. On social media, you’re speaking to a specific set of customers, and they also have specific interests. So, firstly, it’s imperative that you figure out who you’re speaking to. Then, you must determine how to reach those individuals with your content.
As you can understand, social media and SEO are deeply connected.
Thankfully, there’s a variety of strategies you can use to determine where your audience is more active. One major step you should take is to collect and evaluate your existing consumer data to discover where they are spending their time online. Also, make sure to sneak-peek at your competitors’ social profiles. Make sure to check their Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, TikTok, YouTube, and more to see where their most active users hang out.
In addition, Google Analytics is an excellent tool for determining online consumer behavior. After you’ve identified where your target audience loves to spend time, then you can start delivering content to them on these specific social platforms. All the above is vital if you’re aiming for effectiveness.
Types Of Content Marketing And Best Practices For eLearning Businesses
What are the winning types of content marketing to grow your business? No more stalling—let’s analyze.
Since you’re interested in content marketing tactics, you’d like to know what our friends at Hubspot think. According to them, some popular tactics are blogs, infographics, eBooks, white papers, case studies, interviews, and videos. Of course, there’s no reason to limit your content marketing efforts. In fact, you can experiment with several of those tactics and see which one is more effective for your business.
Those of you in the eLearning niche, don’t forget to download our eBook Digital Content Marketing Strategy Guide For eLearning Marketers.
1. Unique Brand Voice
Do you know what the most vital thing in content marketing is? It’s all about standing out from the crowd. And to do so, having a memorable brand voice is one of the best approaches.
According to recent research from Sprout Social, 33% of customers admit that a distinct brand personality makes a company stand out, especially on social media. Also, another 46% show appreciation for brands that engage their audiences. Thus, having a unique brand voice matters!
Next time you’re planning your Facebook posts, ask your social media manager to appeal to your followers with a more quirky tone. Or at least keep a fun tone to encourage engagement. Did it work? It’s about showing personality and character. You’re talking to people, after all!
Of course, no one has the secret social media recipe right from the start. Hence, if your engagement is low, my suggestion is to revisit your company’s mission. It’s not a bad decision to take a different turn at some point. But please make sure that your voice aligns with your company values. Are you clear on what your business stands for? If not, dig a little deeper.
Also, don’t neglect to research your target demographic. Is there something specific that your audience is looking for? Do you have any idea what they care about? Finding the answers will help you refine your brand voice.
Finally, take a step back and go through your most successful content. What is it about? What makes it special? Please try to figure out the variables that make it a great piece of content and then replicate it.
2. Long-Form Content
Look, if you want to educate and engage your audience, you’ll need to include long-form content in your content marketing strategy. Actually, research has shown us that posts that go in depth outrank less comprehensive blogs. Mind you, the average first-page search result on Google has over 1,400 words, so you might as well aim to write at least that much.
In fact, it’s not a bad idea to prioritize writing long-form content, especially after losing a significant amount of traffic. However, it’s ideal to answer the questions readers care about. For example, if your company is in the eLearning niche, you can write about the advantages and disadvantages of online learning.
In case you have already created some content that doesn’t rank well in the SERPs, instead of writing something new, put all your efforts into revamping it to a long-form content format. You might be surprised to see your organic traffic increase and your search rankings improve.
For this strategy to be successful, you’ll need to use search tools like Quora and Reddit. Why, you ask? Well, you need to discover what matters to your audience and what questions they’re asking. Then, you can revamp your content accordingly to give them the answers they need! So simple and so effective.
Also, don’t forget to use keyword SEO tools like Ahrefs and SemRush to find the right keywords. That’s all you need to target in your content. Of course, doing some competitor research is always key. Can you find any content gaps? Did you notice any questions that your competitors haven’t answered? Great; use all these insights to craft long-form content that gives answers to these questions. Thank me later.
3. Influencer Marketing And Viral Content
Have you ever considered teaming up with an influencer in your niche to promote your products? Influencer marketing as a strategy can be very effective if you’re planning to get into small business content marketing. The good thing about niche influencers and bloggers is that they can bring fun and authenticity to their content, thus managing to make a connection with prospects, a.k.a. your ideal audience.
For example, videos can be a great way to bring your product to life. Most importantly, they can be really attention-grabbing. The above combination makes it easier to build audience trust in your brand. Of course, I’m not saying it is going to be easy or that you’re going to strike gold from day one. But there are some tips you can leverage so that you can use influencers effectively; no matter your content marketing strategy.
Rule number one: define what you need help with. Then, find out how an influencer can help you achieve your goal. Also, it’s very important that your influencer aligns with your brand values and aspirations. For example, an eLearning company could team up with an eLearning niche influencer, an established thought leader, or even a famous online course creator to solve a specific challenge—or support a noble cause together, considering many companies focus on CSR marketing lately. Another step you can take to increase engagement is to pick hashtags for the influencer that are specific to your campaign. That way, you can use them to promote your products. Influencers can help your business go viral!
Are you wondering how you can find influencers? Well, one way is through social media keyword searches. If you want to expand your options, you can always check out influencer marketplaces!
For more info, please read the article Benefits Of Thought Leadership Marketing: Leveraging eLearning Bloggers And Influencers.
4. Web Content And Web Design
First impressions matter, and that’s also true for any content marketing strategy. Actually, the vast majority of consumers (94%, according to research) decide if they are going to browse a website because of its look and feel. So, make it count and design your website with your ideal visitors in mind to give the best impression.
Not quite there yet with your existing website design? No worries. If you don’t have the means, there’s always a digital marketing agency out there to help you with your website redesign. Such experts can really support you in boosting website traffic. And, if you have an eShop, they can also reduce shopping cart abandonment and increase sales by improving the whole User Experience.
There’s always a right way to optimize your website for sales without being pushy. Just make sure to use your brand identity, create vibrant and engaging content, and also have clear links to your product pages.
Effective website design is a masterful art. One you shouldn’t neglect, especially if you’re serious about content marketing and conversions. After all, web design and great copy go hand in hand. By running some A/B testing, you can check which design elements work best for your business. Trust me; it’s worth the investment.
For more info, please read the following:
So, what do you think? I surely hope this article has given plenty of answers to the question “How can I grow my business with content marketing?”.
Now that you know why you need content to scale your small business and which best practices you can follow, it’s time to set sail and start your new campaign!
Not ready to take the leap? No problem. There are always ways to repurpose old blog posts. And of course, you can focus on optimization to improve content marketing performance.