You’ve decided to start a new small business, and now you’ve been reading about content marketing. What is it, why is it important and what do you need to know to get it right? Well, first content marketing is crucial if you want your business to be a success. Without it, you’re going to struggle to get the attention or the demand that you deserve for your new company. The main basis of digital marketing is all to do with your content strategy. This can include everything from blogs to infographics and various other types of media.
Content needs to be compelling, effective, targeted and reach a high-quality level. But you also need to know how to manage it with the tools and software on the market which is where things get a little more complicated. On top of this, you need to be able to recognise when your content isn’t good enough and work to correct it. The first sign that your content and overall digital marketing strategy isn’t working will be a hit to your sales or sales never reaching the levels you hoped for or expected. Recognising these signs will allow you to improve, rebuild and evolve to make sure that you do win in the future.
The good news? Content marketing is cheap, over sixty percent less than traditional promotion according to recent studies. Unfortunately, larger companies can afford to invest in old-school marketing and the latest techniques. As a startup, your budget will be smaller, so you need to be savvy.
Set The Mark
The first step is making sure that you know the goals of your content marketing. It’s all about making sure that you are creating goal orientated content. Every piece of content your release should be based around something that you want to achieve. Failing to do so is the easiest way to not hit your target market.
So, what can a goal be? Well, you could decide that you want to be seen as an industry expert. That’s highly beneficial because it will mean that other companies will source your content and high domain authority websites will link to your site, boosting ranking.
Once you have a goal like this, you then need to measure it. For the example above, you can track how many times a piece of content has been shared or how many backlinks it has. This is something clear, and you’ll be able to see whether your goal was a success.
Make sure that you are setting a time to achieve this type of goal, that it is realistic and ensure it is relevant to your company. If it’s not going to have a impact on your business, you shouldn’t be wasting time on it.
Do You Have A Plan?
You need to see the big picture with your content marketing, and this simply means putting a strategy in place. This is the platform that your promotion should be based on. With a structure, you can make sure that goals are being followed and achieved.
This can begin by selecting a content management system (CMS). You can use any type of CMS that you want, you just need to make sure that it fits into your target budget and that it suits your business model. WordPress is one of the simplest CMS solutions that is perfect for a new startup just finding their feet.
Finding The Topics
Now, you need to think about the topics and ideas that you are going to build content around and publish through your CMS. You can think about topics by sitting down with colleagues and coworkers. Go around the room, and you’ll find that there are probably plenty of ideas. Some will be controversial, and others will trigger intense discussion. These are the type of ideas that you should be focusing on because they are the most likely to gain traction. Keep an eye out for completely off the wall ideas too because these could be the key to the ultimate goal – going viral.
Finding the right approach or angle for content is about understanding your target customer. What do they want? What do they need? What were they searching for when they found your company online?
There are a variety of tools available to help you answer these questions or to find out which keywords you should be targeting with your digital marketing. You can’t be successful with search engine optimisation if you don’t invest in the right tools. Make sure you keep a check on the industry and know which marketing tools are most popular with professionals and thus, most effective. Look at your competitors as well. They might be releasing similar content to you. But, if you can learn from their mistakes and mimic their strengths, you’ll claim the position on page one of the SERPs.
If you know the questions customers are asking you can begin content from their point of view, addressing the issue and then introducing the solution. Include calls to action, and you can use content in your content marketing strategy, guiding customers to make the decisions you want. For instance, ‘buy this product and…’ or ‘use this service.’
Releasing Your Content The Right Way
Once you have created a piece of content that is targeted and compelling, it’s time to publish and more importantly market. You need to make sure that the content is exposed as much as possible and promoted heavily. It should be posted on every social media network you use. However, don’t just provide the same content each time. Change it to match the social network. For Instagram, focus on the image or video whereas, for Twitter, you need a catchy title for the link. Changing the content and adjusting it will lead to more shares.
With a content marketing campaign, you need to make sure you are delivering fresh content like clockwork. This will ensure your brand doesn’t become stale and that you keep people hooked. The best way to ensure you do this is to create an annual editorial calendar. By doing this, you can plan out all the content you are going to release. This provides a clear path and will ensure that you don’t need to worry about repeats or gaps.
Get Influencers On Your Side
You may not have the money for PR or at least, not on the same level as a major brand. That’s understandable, but you still need to make connections with key individuals and get influencers on your side. The key is in the name here. Influencers influence client and customer behaviour to the point where they can either positively or negatively affect your sales. To win their support, help them. One way to do this would be by either offering guest post opportunities or even providing your own guest writer for their site.
Create Unique, Dynamic Content
Finally, do make sure that you invest the time and effort to create everything from unique infographics to video. This will take a lot of work, particularly if you don’t have the skills yet, but it’s worth it. It can make your brand stand out online and don’t forget, over 50% of marketing professionals say that video will provide the best ROI. As such, it is going to pay off and by 2020 video is expected to be 80% of total consumer traffic online.
We hope this helps you see now why content marketing is so crucial for any new small business and what you need to do to hit the ground running.