Content has become a big part of every small business’s marketing plan. Most online marketing strategies rely on content because without content there is nothing to optimize for search or share for visibility. We provide 10 helpful tips to help you get started with content marketing.

What is Content Marketing?

Content marketing is a marketing strategy that focuses on creating and promoting quality content for your particular target audience. The key is to create the content your audience needs so that the content is found when they seek to solve a particular problem. When you consistently provide valuable and relevant content, you educate rather than sell your products and services, and your audience will be more likely to seek you out when they need help.

We know that creating great content can help your business stand out, showing people your expertise and personality. But many small businesses struggle to plan and implement a content marketing strategy. While there are substantial benefits to implementing content marketing, we recognize that there are also many challenges. Overcome the challenges and realize the benefits with these content marketing tips.

Practical Content Marketing Tips

1. Quality over quantity

Companies produce a huge amount of content. To attract attention in a very noisy and crowded market, you have to stand out. Post only the best content you can create.

Many of us don’t have a lot of time to create content. When we do, we must do our best. It is far better to produce one highly researched and well-written piece of content per month than to publish more low-quality articles. How often you post new content will depend on your available resources.

2. All content is strategic

Since most of us don’t have time to write just because we like it, we need to take an approach that all content should be strategic. We need to research the important search terms we want to rank high for and plan content accordingly.

Run an SEO report on your website to see how your website ranks for your top keywords. If there are important keywords that you are not ranking in the top 10 for, create content for those keywords. And research the questions people ask when they search. These questions make a great topic for a piece of content.

3. Create a content plan and schedule

You will have much more success with your content marketing strategy if you create a simple plan and content calendar. Marketers who document their strategy are 313% more likely to report success than those who don’t.

Your content plan is the high-level strategy that shapes your content. Your plan should include the following:

  • Audience you are writing for and what they need
  • Types of content you will create
  • What categories you will write about
  • How often you will create new content
  • Where you will distribute and promote content
  • What content will be cornerstone or evergreen so that it is timeless

Your content calendar can be simple and contain a list of topics and dates to post. Or it can provide monthly themes, topics, and the type of media you plan to use. If you have published content, you should first perform a content audit to determine what needs to be replaced, updated, or eliminated.

4. Mix up your media and vary your content types

If you like to write, so much the better. Create blog posts with great visuals and share them on your social platforms. Many small business owners prefer not to write, so record your thoughts and have a copywriter use audio to create a message.

Or create videos or a podcast. The episodes don’t have to be long, just make them educational. And when you create great content, reuse it in different types of content and share it on different platforms.

Figure out what your audience needs and present it in the format that makes the most sense. Consider creating a:

  • How to Publish a Blog Post to Educate Your Audience on a Specific Topic
  • Step-by-step guide that helps your customer solve a particular problem
  • Quiz or assessment that helps your audience identify their challenge that you can solve
  • Podcast where you interview experts from complementary industries
  • Video demonstration of how your product works or how you can fix something

A variety of content delivered across different types of media keeps people interested in what you have to say. By choosing the right content for the problem you’re helping solve, you’ll connect with people who need what you have to offer.

5. Tell stories

People love stories. How you tell them can affect people differently depending on their situation. We’re not talking about fictional stories though. If you’re a veteran in your industry, you have plenty of experience that can help others. Lawyers, CPAs, financial planners can turn education into interesting stories. They can take the form of case studies showing how you helped a customer solve a problem.

Stories can create an emotional connection, build trust, or provide motivation to do something. Explain why you chose a certain solution and how it helped solve a customer’s problem.

6. Include calls to action (CTA)

People must be encouraged to act. A call to action is active copy that elicits an immediate response. You invite them to do something. This could be watching a video, joining your mailing list, learning more about your services, or downloading useful content.

CTAs are used in all aspects of marketing and vary depending on your industry. Do not include any call to action. Be sure to try to match your CTA to the subject of the content so that there is no disconnection. For example, if you’re writing about how to see if you have roof damage after a hailstorm, make your call to action an offer to have your roof inspected for free.

7. Don’t forget the emails

It’s not all about social media distribution. Create an email list and regularly share content with your subscribers. A quality mailing list allows you to reach interested subscribers on your terms. If they’ve joined your email list, that audience is much more interested in your business than those who might see a post on social media.

Create an email list of clients and share content that will help them. Don’t let your customers forget you. By sending them a regular newsletter with helpful tips and special offers, your business will stay visible. And depending on your business, these offers will entice customers to buy more.

8. Pay attention to visuals and formatting

If you write content, visuals and formatting are important for readability. A wall of text in small font sizes is not inviting. People want to quickly scan your content to see if they’re interested in the topic. Also, people are visual creatures. Images, graphics, and videos can break up text for easier reading.

Be sure to incorporate whitespace into your content. Larger fonts, using ordered lists, breaking up paragraphs, and adding images and videos to your content improve the user experience.

9. Promote your content

If you write a good blog post but no one sees it, what’s the point? Put all your valuable content on your website, then promote and share it so it gets the attention it deserves.

Share your content on the right social media channels for your business, including Google My Business. Email your content to your subscribers. And see if you can find a place to syndicate your content for wider reach.

10. Get help

Be realistic about how much time you can spend on content marketing given your resources. If creating content isn’t your strength, consider outsourcing to someone who can produce the content and distribute it for you. Oversee the process so that what is created matches your vision and beliefs. You can also find a marketing agency that specializes in inbound marketing, helping you integrate content marketing into search and social media.

All companies have a lot of content to share, but many simply don’t realize that what they know or do is valuable. Understand what your potential customers want and in what format and share your knowledge. Take advantage of these content marketing tips and invest in your content marketing strategy now.