Thanks to guest blogger, Sarah Davidson
Content marketing is all the rage these days, and good quality content seems to be everywhere. As a small business owner, it can feel overwhelming and impossible to keep up with the vast amounts of content being produced and shared via blogs, websites, and social media channels every day. But you don’t necessarily have to keep up with everyone else to be successful.
Why content marketing?
The goal of your small business content marketing strategy should be to share valuable and relevant content regularly with your audience. This content will help you become a familiar and trusted resource for them. When you communicate with them regularly, provide them with valuable information, they remember you when the time comes for them to consider making a purchase.
What are the best ways to do content marketing?
There are a number of popular ways that small businesses create and share their content regularly today. Keep in mind that there is no right or wrong way.
Regular blog posts are one of the most popular and successful ways you can share your great story (and information about your products and services) with your audience. Here are some additional options to consider:
- Email or print newsletters
- Reports, white papers, and ebooks
- Social media
4 Content Marketing Success Tips
1. Be Consistent
When it comes to content marketing, really the most important element is consistency, and if you haven’t gotten started yet, “just do it”.
When you are creating a content marketing strategy, you definitely have to take into consideration the time and resources that you and your team will be able to devote to the task. And, don’t take on more than you can handle.
It’s better to produce fewer pieces of higher quality content than to put out a lot of content that isn’t up to par. And if you don’t have the time to devote to it, by all means outsource it to people who can help you.
Create a schedule and stick with it. If your time is limited, you can post new content once per month. It’s better to post regularly on a less frequent basis than sporadically and in spurts. Your audience will come to depend on your schedule and expect your content regularly, whether it’s once or twice a month or three times per week.
2. Do something that you enjoy
Choose a format that you’re comfortable with, because you’ll be much more likely to stick with it. If you like to write, blogging is a natural choice. Video is a great way to connect with people. If you aren’t comfortable being on camera, audio presentations with slides are a great alternative. The bottom line is that if you don’t enjoy it, you won’t do it. That said, don’t be afraid to try something new, because you may be surprised at how much you enjoy something that you thought would be outside your comfort zone.
3. Create an editorial calendar
Create a content calendar, also known as an editorial calendar. This can be in the form of a simple document, entries on an actual calendar (online or on paper work equally well), or using tools such as WordPress plugins if you’re blogging. This helps you stay organized and ensures that you have a steady pipeline of content in the works.
The most basic content calendar should include a list of topics that you want to communicate about as well as the dates you will publish it. You want to ensure that the overall flow makes sense and you are not repeating topic areas too frequently.
4. Start small and then expand
It’s best to get into a regular routine. Start with one or two tactics that you know you will be able to keep up with, such as two blog posts per month and a monthly newsletter. Once you get the routine down, and you find that you have more time and resources, you can add more elements.
What kind of content should you create?
Here are six ideas you can incorporate into your content strategy:
- Customer testimonials – these are so valuable and can be written or in the form of an audio or video testimonial.
- Tips and tricks to help solve your customers’ problems.
- Resources and tools that help your audience.
- Summaries of news stories and industry information that is important to your audience
- Educational or training materials.
- Anything valuable for your audience – it’s about them, not about you and your company!
These should give you some good ideas to help you get started. Have another content marketing idea or tip you’d like to add? Please share it in the comment section below because I’d love to hear from you.
About guest blogger Sarah Davidson: Sarah has led marketing programs for Fortune 100 corporations and run several of her own successful online and offline businesses. She is the host of Spark Your Profits, a free web-based marketing education series that is designed to help small businesses grow and thrive. For more information on content marketing and other ways to market your small business, tune into this free program where every week Sarah interviews marketing experts who share their success tips with you.