Get found online
In this blog post I will outline the importance of developing a content marketing strategy for your small business, to help drive profitable customer action on your website. Content is the fuel for your marketing strategy, and it will help you get found on Google search results, by your ideal client.
Content marketing has been a crucial part of my strategy in my first year in business, and has helped me build a six figure revenue business in just eleven months!
What is content marketing?
Firstly let us define what content marketing actually is:
“Content marketing is a marketing program that centers on creating, publishing, and distributing content for your target audience — usually online — the goal of which is to attract new customers.” Hubspot.
The content that your small business produces must have 3 main goals, which are that the content is:
Content marketing will help your business attract and retain your ideal client, which is your clearly defined audience that you will have identified, when building your marketing strategy.
To build trust with your ideal client, through your content you produce and distribute you must understand these two things:
- What’s important to your ideal client?
- And what do they value?
This will help you to shape your content plan to address these points, and help to answer their questions and problems.
Your audience will like to consume content in many different mediums and formats. So content can refer to:
- Blogs posts
- Social media posts
The aim of your content is to attract strangers to your website, convert them into visitors. And then you want to convert your website visitors into leads through call to actions, and ultimately convert these leads into customers that are raving fans of your business!
Have a process in place
I love a good process! You will need to develop a process within your business to continuously produce quality content; this means you will need to develop the following components of your content plan and strategy:
- Ideas for content – How will you generate your content ideas, where will your inspiration come from?
- A plan to repurpose your content – What other formats can you converts your content into?
- Content promotion – Where will you share your content such as social media, emails etc.
- Analyse and measure what’s effective – You need to know what content is resonating with you ideal client.
- Keep an eye out for new content opportunities – You could potentially provide content to strategic partners for example.
It’s a really cluttered place online, so you will need to battle for the attention of potential customers. A story evokes emotions, it’s how you will be remembers and stand out. Simon Sinek refers to the Golden Circle, which is inside out thinking to convey in your content storytelling:
- Start with Why – Why do you do what you do? Your audience needs to know so that they can relate
- How will this help your audience – Communicate this with feeling!
- What are you offering exactly?
A great story consists of:
A character – this is your ideal client, your buyer persona.
A conflict – empathise with your ideal clients’ problem.
A resolution – provide steps, a call to action to help them.
Use content to create emotional appeal, and always be consistent and authentic. Keep your content story clear and concise.
How to generate content ideas
To produce all this content you will need a process in place to generate lots of content ideas to fuel this plan. So where you can get your ideas from? Here are some ideas to get you started:
- Read and consume content online – sign up to receive relevant blogs for your industry
- Google alerts – you can sign up for free to receive alerts on certain topics
- Quora – this is a great place to search for topic ideas, what are people talking about?
- Buzzsumo – this will show you how popular various blog topics are and how often they have been shared
- Google search – start typing topics into the Google search box, and you will be shown about 5 – 10 relevant search topics underneath.
Writing great content
If you are not comfortable with writing, you can always outsource this task to a copywriter or marketing agency. This will ensure that you are producing quality content time and time again. Writing does not come naturally to everyone!
But if you are writing your own content ensure it has:
- A catchy headline
- An intro paragraph explaining what the content is about
- A great image
- Sub headings to break up text
- Call to actions
- Proof, spell check, revise it!
Distribution of your content
Once you have produced your content, the next important step is to distribute your content far and wide. You can distribute your content organically to increase its visibility via:
- Your website
- Email newsletters
- Social media
- Strategic partner websites
And you can distribute your content via paid medium such as:
- Facebook Ads
- Google Adwords
The key is to experiment with a small budget, and ensure your content has relevant call to actions, with content offers that will appeal to your ideal client.