Marketing has come a long way in the last few decades, changing its forms and functions. With the rise of the Internet, marketers have learned that sheer selling isn’t enough anymore.
Internet users like buying but they also appreciate it if they get additional value for their money.
This is where content marketing takes the stage. In a nutshell, content marketing creating and displaying salesy information into relevant and attractive content.
From websites and blogs to apps and UX design, content is an important business player that makes a difference.
Still, new business owners might not know how to use content marketing to yield benefits. You can learn more about that in the rest of this article.
1. Turn everything into content
Only a few years ago, content had a narrow definition.
It mostly referred to blogs and various texts on the Internet.
As things started to diversify significantly on the Web, people started to use the word content more broadly.
Gradually, all the textual parts on a website became content bits.
From the About Us page to the home page and product descriptions, everything that a reader might read or notice is now considered website content.
This has led to a change in the way business owners should perceive and create content. They need to be aware that every word, picture or layout can either generate a lead or repel a visitor from their website.
This is why website and business owners need to turn everything into content and think of everything as potential useful content bits for their business.
In line with that, think about every bit of visual and textual information you put on your website.
2. Follow the SEO-trends
The times when keywords were the main parameter of proper search engine optimization (SEO) are behind us.
On the one hand, you still need to use keywords to keep your articles and other content bits focused. However, it’s recommended not to overstuff your content with keywords for the sake of formal SEO.
Instead of short keywords used dozens of times in one post, go for one or two long-tail keyword clusters. These strings of keywords need to be based on the most important queries searched and analyzed in your niche.
Your use of SEO will be at the optimal level when you find the right niche keywords that will meet your business goals.
As a result, you’ll provide relevant content based on the most popular searches.
3. Deliver in-depth articles
If you want to look like a business professional and prove your expertise, go for long, in-depth articles.
Every post you publish should contain a minimum of 1000 words. Also, you should aim at more.
Embed proper online videos in your content bits. Enrich them with illustrations, graphs, and infographics.
Always use relevant resources for the facts you express in your content bits. If you’re not able to support your claim, leave it out.
Practice writing or hire a writing professional who will develop a special content voice for your brand.
It’s important to deliver your content bits in a recognizable, yet reader-friendly way.
The more relevant in-depth articles you deliver, the larger readers’ base you’ll establish.
4. Be your own tester
Content marketing is an unusual combo of consistency and dynamics.
On the one hand, you need to be consistent with your articles, blogs, and social media posts.
If nothing else, all your content bits should have a similar form. We’ve already mentioned the importance of finding your own brand voice.
Also, make sure to stick to the established publishing schedule for social media and other channels. Readers get used to such timetables so try to be consistent there.
On the other hand, small-business owners need to keep trying different solutions and various versions of the same thing. Therefore, don’t hesitate to do A/B testing for your website or app.
Also, it would be wise to collaborate with a few experts from the field of design and marketing at the beginning. As explained by the experts from a website company in Houston, you can learn a lot if you try different content options on your own. This includes design, writing, and website organization.
The more elements of your content marketing you test in person, the more useful functions for your audience you can come with.
5. Find your voice
Finding the right brand voice doesn’t only mean having a set of handpicked words to create catchy headlines.
It doesn’t only mean publishing content related strictly to your brand either.
Business owners who want to find the right voice for their brand should apply a holistic approach. They need to understand that every bit of online content is the representative of their brand.
If we can apply a real-life analogy here, it’s similar to choosing your company, your clothes, and your extracurricular activities in high school. Each of these features will determine your personal brand in high school.
The same goes for a small business trying to find its brand voice in the online marketing environment.
You should focus on the following things:
- Finding your online lookalikes: Choose your online clique. Be careful when you’re choosing websites for blog posts and guest authors on your website.
- Choosing visual content bits: The visuals you publish send a message about your business. Keep those posts simple and avoid ambiguity, especially the political and social ones. These bits need to be catchy but with a special purpose. Of course, you should find your trademark colors, i.e. the best colors to represent your business.
- Applying innovations: Adding animation to your explainer videos and learning how to narrate are two innovative additions to your brand voice. The latter will literally help you establish your own voice for your brand.
The more you work on these things, the more established brand you’ll create.
6. Commit yourself to research
Research is as important as production when it comes to content creation.
Therefore, SMB-owners need to keep gaining knowledge about their niche, their industry, and current affairs in the world in general.
From the pages and profiles you follow on social media to websites and blogs you read, to TV-channels you watch daily, choose the items that will broaden your horizons.
What you learn is what you’ll place in your content bits.
When possible, read white papers, case studies, and books discussing the most important phenomena for your business.
Connecting your business solutions to the problems of the current business world is an important part of content marketing.
So, conducting research on these topics and providing your solutions via useful content will generate more leads for you and more potential clients for your business.
7. Follow your niche
Closely related to the previous paragraph, SMB-owners who want to create top-notch content need to follow their niche.
One aspect of this strategy is following the events and rivals from the comfort of your armchair. The aforementioned websites, social media pages, and other media channels will help you get informed about everything on time.
Additionally, proactive business owners won’t underestimate the power of traditional media. Therefore, you should read the most relevant newspapers and magazines related to your niche.
What’s more, keep visiting business events, conferences, and trade shows. Sometimes you’ll hear a new idea for your business, and sometimes you’ll get inspired to come up with new bits for your content marketing.
8. Target specific audiences
When you’re creating your content, you need to know who you’re making it for.
Who are the people and personas you’re turning to via your content marketing?
This is something you need to define in advance because different content bits address different groups of people.
If you don’t determine this in advance, you might end up emitting content materials to no one out there.
Moreover, you should put together both your written and visual bits with certain target audiences in your mind.
Some of your content features should be tailor-made for your audience or even rivals, as well. Just like you follow your competition and check out their activities, be sure that they will be visiting your website.
So, treat them as part of your audience and show them that you’re following everything in your niche.
9. Encourage peer-to-peer content
Peer-to-peer content is becoming more and more important today. As the number of Internet users is growing, they’re more interested in other users’ opinions and reviews.
That’s why encouraging such content is beneficial for every new small business.
In line with that, allow your website visitors to leave comments in the blog section. Also, let them write reviews about your services and products.
If they start discussions, even better. Try to stay out of these content bits, unless somebody is breaking the rules of polite communication.
Also, make sure to respond instantly to any online comments that express dissatisfaction with your business brand or services.
Always offer help and assistance to make up for the potential inconvenience caused by your brand. This will add to the positive image of your business in terms of content marketing.
10. Compare your content with others
We’ve already highlighted the importance of continuous testing. Constant changes will improve your content delivery until you find the best formula for your needs.
Also, your content should communicate only to your target audience but to your competition.
Moreover, you should keep comparing your content materials with other relevant players from your industry.
Check out how they create and deliver important information.
Do they follow a more salesy approach or try to be more sophisticated? What can you do with your content to look like them but add a special spice to your published content?
You can’t answer these questions if you don’t compare your content with the content published by other influential brands.
All these things related to your competition will help you find your business path and establish a more personal approach to content marketing.
The final word
Contemporary content marketing is a huge field that keeps getting bigger.
Small business owners need to learn how to use various elements of this field to win over customers for their business.
It’s vital to stay genuine and tell the world why you’re here.
But it’s also important to know what the world is doing at the moment.
This input will help you create authentic content and promote it with proper content marketing.
We hope that our tips will make your business stand out for its special qualities and that you’ll make a difference in the market.
Let us know about anything you would like to add to these tips for the benifit of the others or if you need any help yourself.
We are here to help.