March 17, 2021

Content Marketing for Small Businesses: 3 Steps to Build a Strategy

Building a content marketing strategy for your small business, these three tips will help your company succeed. These steps should make it easier

When it comes to building quality content, a content marketing strategy for your small business is key. The first step in building a content marketing strategy is to ensure that it aligns with your business goals.

 There are a number of tips that you’ll want to consider for the long-term success of your content marketing efforts. Today, we will discuss three. Our three tips are the basics you should include in any content strategy.

 First, We need to define our audience or buyer persona/user persona.  Then, we need to make sure that we have built the right foundation so search engines can find us. Finally, we need to produce blog posts that will be strong pieces of content.

Below, we’ll get into each of these three things in greater detail.

Make Sure Your Content Marketing Strategy Is Built for Your Small Business Audience

Finding the audience can be tough, but you’ll usually need to start with knowing who is buying your products or services and why. This isn't just demographics, age, gender, for instance, but it's understanding the needs your product or service is fulfilling

This is so vital for any company. Make sure that the content you produce content that your small business audience wants to read. If you've developed a marketing strategy, then you already know who your audience is and what they are looking for. 

If the buyer persona is not well defined, the user experience will miss the mark. I would strongly encourage you to take the time to build out a persona before you go on.

Find the right insight - what your target audience is interested in

To determine what your audience cares about, you should analyze the social media posts of similar people to see what they are discussing. There are a myriad of different social listening tools you can use. 

The best aspect of social listening tools using natural language processing is sentiment analysis. Understanding the sentiment that surrounds a post gives you insight into the emotions your audience are managing routinely. 

Unfortunately, none of these are free. If you have a niche enough target audience, you might be able to do some of this on your own. If you have a larger market, you’ll need help. The social listening platforms cost around $100/mo to get depth that you’ll need to do this right.

It is an extra expense, but it can give small business owners great insight into what their customers care the most about. Plus, if you get this wrong, the whole plan will be built on a shaky foundation.

target audience is key to any successful small business content marketing strategy

How to target your audience

An article on Foleon gets into audience building in greater detail, but here are the points to keep in mind. First and foremost, you’ll want to know where your audience can be found. Social media, YouTube, radio ads… There are a myriad of options. The key is to find the intersection between what you can manage with the media your audience uses.

When it comes to content marketing, creating content isn't a singular task. It has been done on a regular basis. Therefore, your strategy will depend on the capacity of your small business to manage the work.

 It may take a bit of trial and error. However, soon you will learn what works and how to deliver it so you're on a path to success.

Content creation requires quality content your audience will want to read

How to Find the Right Information for your Posts

This is a tough one, but it is so important and often ignored by small businesses. Ann Gynn from the Content Marketing Institute wrote a great article about the ways to handle content marketing. Among the things to know, you should be careful about the kind of content that you’re making. It needs to attract the right audience, while also delivering against your business goals.

A content calendar is a very useful tool to ensure your editorial themes are delivered and repeated often. But something that is critical and overlooked is the need of being systematic and careful with the content you post. Use a service that can collect and explain your data to your small business. It’s a very complicated balance, but it certainly is vital if you want your content to shine.

Writing smart pieces of content doesn't have to be hard

How to Write Smart Content

Books have been written on how to write quality pieces of content for your blog post or web pages, it's easy to get overwhelmed. However, if you can focus on doing the most meaningful tasks, you may be surprised by what you can achieve. I pulled some of these from Meltwater, but I’ve added some of my own points as well.

  • Find the Right Keywords: This is critical, and it often involves doing some deep research into the keywords that drive traffic to your small business.
  • Optimize: Consistently generating quality content that your target audience can find is fundamental to the success of any content marketing strategy. Therefore, it is critical to ensure you optimize your content so it ranks well on search engines.
  • Make sure you share your posts: Social media posts are usually the most economical choice for small business owners. Your content marketing strategy will be for naught if no one sees it.
  • Engage!: Engagement with your audience will be crucial, so be sure to talk to the people who react to your content, encourage likes and followers, and always expand your social reach.

How to Share Your Valuable Content

Now that you have written your small business content, it is time to share your content with your audience of customers and potential customers. Social shares are typically the way most new content is announced. 

There is a lot of debate about the right posting schedule for business content marketing. There is broad consensus that posting content at least daily on the major social media platforms is the minimum. 

This does not mean that you need to create blog post content every day, but you will need to have something that supports your content calendar and brand message. We recommend doing them in bulk two weeks before they are due.

Again there is no ‘right’ cadence for blog posting that is appropriate for everyone. One gauge would be your competition. The other would be your website traffic.

If you seek a bump in traffic when you promote a new post, you should see how long it lasts. That can help give you an idea of what is optimal for you.

Finally, we need to measure conversion rates of our different types of content on a regular basis. We like to review ours monthly. Based on engagement, shares, and traffic, we either continue with our strategy or make minor changes.

To Conclude…

There are three points with which I would like to close:

  1. Make sure that your content marketing strategy aligns with your small business goals.
  2. Ensure that pieces of content that you are creating are aligned with your brand message. Plus, ensure a great user experience both in terms of the types of content and quality.
  3. Make sure your content has the best chance to be seen. Be certain to use the SEO keywords that are part of your small business’s digital marketing strategy.

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About the Author

Brian Cairns, CEO of Prostrategix Consulting. Over 25 years of business experience as a corporate executive, entrepreneur, and small business owner. For more information, please visit my LinkenIn profile

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