3 Top Tips For Content Marketing To Help Small Business Owners
In today’s highly competitive business landscape where capturing and holding a potential customer’s interest for long enough for them to consider what you’re offering (let alone make a purchase) is more challenging than ever, it’s imperative to nail your content marketing.
And for small businesses which have limited resources and tight budgets, getting content marketing right is even more difficult. But it’s possible.
These tips for small business owners on creating a strong content marketing plan will help attract and convert customers – even in the crowded and competitive online space.
What Every Small Business Owner Should Know About Content Marketing
Content marketing is basically the creation and distribution of materials online which are targeted at increasing website traffic, building trust and credibility, growing the audience base and strengthening brand recognition.
Before we reveal three top tips for small business owners, it must be stressed that a content marketing strategy requires a deep understanding of your target audience to be effective. If you don’t know what makes your customer base tick (eg their buying habits, their interests, their needs, relevant trends etc), you’re probably going to waste precious time and resources producing content that is irrelevant and therefore useless to them.
You also need a well-structured website and make your content easy to find using smart SEO tactics. And if you’re keen to learn more about SEO and how to get to the top of Google’s rankings, check out The SEO School and discover the secrets of great SEO. You can even download my FREE SEO Starter Kit to point you in the right direction.
Now let’s get onto discussing how small business owners can fire up their content marketing and light up those sales targets! (PS this article on why local SEO is so important for small businesses has some great advice too.)
Three Top Tips for Content Marketing for Small Businesses
1. Create Content According to Your Sales Funnel
A sales funnel refers to the journey or process that customers follow when making a purchase. It involves three stages and for optimum results, your content must be curated or created to meet the specific features of each stage.
Stage 1 – Awareness. Content should be created that attracts attention and introduces your business, and which offers something of value to readers. It should primarily be educational, it should affirm your expertise and industry leadership and shouldn’t be too sales-oriented. Good options include ‘how to’ guides, infographics, landing pages, email marketing and checklists.
Stage 2 – Interest and lead generation. This stage generates the most traffic from organic search and content should be aimed at giving customers a greater understanding of how your offering or solution helps them. Product overviews, case studies, webinars, ‘how-to’ guides, FAQs and landing pages are valuable tactics for this stage.
Stage 3 – Intent and conversion. This is the finish line. Your content needs to position your business as trustworthy and a better bet than the competition. The aim is to get customers to purchase, so you need compelling content that tells and sells your brand story and which answers product-related questions. Customer reviews (according to Qualtrics research, 93% of customers read online reviews before buying a product), testimonials, product overviews, case studies and landing pages are all important components of this final stage.
2. Create Content for Your Target Audience
As mentioned earlier, audience research is essential groundwork for a successful content creation strategy. Certain tactics work better for different demographics, so you have to know who you’re aiming at if you want your message to land.
Consider how your consumers get their information. Are they social media users? Are they receptive to email marketing? If your market is older, you may find that traditional advertising is still a thing.
Data analytics will be key here as you test different channels and tactics and work out your customers’ preferences and which formats deliver the best results. Remember, your content plan goes hand in hand with your SEO strategy.
3. Create Evergreen Content
Content that doesn’t date is referred to as ‘evergreen’. This is basically search-optimised content that remains relevant long after it is first published. The content covers topics which people are always interested in and which never go out of style, and it will continue to generate traffic over time.
Evergreen content is sustainable. It’s not linked to a specific season, event, trend or timeline and if it is well-written, adds value to the reader, informative and updated regularly, it will be rewarded with a higher ranking in the search engine pages. And that’s a big tick when it comes to SEO for businesses of any size!
Examples of evergreen content include:
- Top tips
- Case studies
- ‘How-to’ explanations or advice
- Articles which answer FAQs
- Expert interviews
- Instructional videos
It can be tricky creating successful evergreen content because many of the topics will have been covered extensively already.
Consider adding your own unique take on a topic, include long-tail keywords into the copy, repurpose old articles with a new angle, add a new title and intro and insert new internal links. It’s also a good idea for small business owners to create a calendar of editorial refreshes to help you stay ahead of the game. This blog on how to amplify your content gives some great tips on maximising visibility of your posts.
Key Takeaways on Content Marketing for Small Businesses
A solid content strategy is essential for every small business wanting to succeed. Draw up a plan of action for the year with regular reminders to refresh and repurpose some of your older content and focus on providing consumers with valuable, high-quality content that will stand the test of time.
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