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There is no doubt that the current health and economic crisis has changed the priorities of small businesses. However, one priority above all else remains unchanged and that is building a healthy bottom line. Profit is not the only priority, of course, but it is a major objective. Staying profitable means staying in business, and that usually means marketing.
Yet, with everything changing around you on a daily basis, how can you, as a small business owner, maximize your business’s marketing efforts while meeting changing consumer expectations, economic downturns and startups, and the different behaviors of buyers?
Related: Why you’re hurting your results if you only care about results
Content marketing remains one of the most effective ways to achieve your marketing goals. Successful content marketing in this new economic environment means thinking creatively about content, how you create it, where you post it, and how it gets promoted. Consider these eight ways to up your content marketing game right now.
1. Start with a funnel-aware content audit
Perform a content audit for your brand that considers your brand’s sales funnel stages. For each stage of your sales funnel, your content should speak specifically to prospects. What does this target audience need to know? What do you need to do to guide them step by step to the next step? Audit existing content against this funnel so you know where the existing gaps are. This will tell you where you need to focus your energies and prioritize your efforts.
2. Explore internal content capabilities
Thanks to advances in technology, it’s never been easier or easier to create all kinds of great content assets for your brand. You might also have unappreciated talents among your existing team members. Capturing images and editing them, short videos, blogs, white papers – everything can be done in-house and you don’t need a huge financial investment to make this content creation a reality.
3. Hire a freelancer
Or take the opposite approach and hire a freelancer to deliver premium content to your prospects. You don’t necessarily need to agree to a long-term Frequent Use Agreement. A blog post every week or month, for example, or a white paper every quarter can provide the competitive edge you need to convert more users into paying customers.
Related: 9 ways to support your local economy during a crisis
4. Take a fresh look at storytelling
Marketing storytelling has gone from buzzword to proven strategy. Now is the time to look for better, smaller stories – not just the big big founder story you’ve already told, but also quick stories from employees, prospects, customers, and even the community at large, including including influencers.
Incorporate these stories into new content. What stories help you counter rejection from your prospects? Consider getting testimonials from happy customers over the phone and then incorporating them into video, graphic, and written content.
5. Put existing content to work (harder)
Check your analytics for your website and social media accounts, and identify the top performing and most popular pieces of content. Then look for ways to reuse that content and extend its useful life. Update old stories so they retain their SEO punch. Turn blog posts into white papers. Combine images into infographics. Turn case studies into podcast episodes. You are only limited by your imagination.
6. Be animated
The realities of the current health crisis may mean that it is not safe to put people next to each other. Because of this, making videos can be a real challenge, if not impossible. Instead, explore animated, explanatory how-to videos.
Agencies can create dynamic, visually captivating and highly persuasive videos for your brand. And these days, video marketing is no longer optional. No other content medium has so much potential to drive your message forward and help it land successfully with your prospects.
Related: How to reward employees in times of uncertainty
7. Relax on social media
If you’re unsure about your approach to social media, consider relaxing and letting your personality shine. Lots of brands are crushing it on social media with a bit of personal flair. Discover brands like Wendy’s and moon pie on Twitter, or the National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum in Oklahoma City on Instagram.
Yes, you might rub a few people the wrong way, but those who resonate with your brand and mission might like you even more.
8. Show your audience that you are still there
Digital marketing efforts should be aimed at getting your leads to join your list so you can first segment those subscribers in a logical way for your products/services. Then send them personalized messages that encourage them into your funnel. Be sure to include calls to action and lead capture forms on your best content. You can also think about ways to apply the first seven tactics to your email marketing efforts.
At the very least, use your list to promote your content to your existing audience. Send links when you have new blog posts, videos, white papers, and important social media conversations or threads to share.