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How to Craft a Small Business Content Marketing Strategy in 5 Steps

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“Content marketing is no longer a numbers game. It’s a game of relevance,” – Jason Miller

According to a study by the Content Marketing Institute (CMI), around 63% of businesses lack a documented content marketing strategy, which results in an overall weak marketing strategy that is responsible for generating leads and bringing more customers. 

Moreover, intense competition in the digital world, limited budget, and human resources make it even harder for small businesses to be consistent with the challenges of their digital presence, which might be an explanation of why so many of them choose to have almost no information listed online.  

Meanwhile, let’s take a minute and appreciate the fact that worldwide, the global digital population is considered to be around 4 billion, and amongst these 3.7 billion mobile internet users, and over 3 billion social media users.

This massive target of potential customers opens a wonderful door for content marketing to generate leads and convert those into sales for your business. This should be enough of a reason to incorporate content marketing into your general marketing strategy RIGHT NOW!

Whilst the enormous potential of content marketing can be clearly visible to some businesses, every brand at one point or another wonders on “How can we create the best content marketing strategy?”

To answer this question and provide you with valuable insights on key aspects of a successful content creation process, our marketing experts created a detailed guide for your content strategy’s success. Keep reading to learn more or start building your content strategy now by contacting our experts! 

What is a content marketing strategy?

Simply put, you can think of your content marketing plan as the “what” and the content marketing strategy as the “how” of the system.  To say it differently, your content marketing strategy is answering questions on how exactly your content marketing plan will improve lead generation, or increase brand awareness.

The general content marketing plan is the roadmap for all the original, creative, and strategic content your business should include in the communication process with your target audience. That content can include written materials, as well as visual ones.

Content marketing is not traditional advertising, interrupting your audience with offers on purchasing a product. 

Content marketing should rather be driven and focused on the creation of content that will resonate with and help your target audience find their desired product through blogs, social media, and other tools that distribute your message.

How to create a content marketing strategy:

1. Set Your Mission And Goals

It should be no surprise that like any other marketing or advertising strategy your content marketing strategy as well should have specific goals and try to serve a specific purpose.  When it comes to creating those goals you have to make sure that those are specific, measurable, attainable, relevant, and of course time-based. In short, you have to consider what is called the “SMART” strategy. 

Let’s have a closer look at what does it mean to have a SMART strategy: 

  • Specific: Strategically well-thought goals should be able to answer the main 5W questions: what, why, who, where, and when. Try to use your time wisely to define the answers for each question in a particular manner, so that the rest of the SMART goals will follow the path naturally. 
  • Measurable: With dozens of online tools available to present the success of your social presence with real numbers and statistics, setting measurable goals should be a priority when creating a content strategy. Starting from a blog post, to lead generation campaigns you have to clearly communicate what are the numbers of other metrics you want to achieve. 
  • Achievable: We all appreciate the magic of “think big.” However, if we are not realistic about our available resources and abilities in the journey of achieving our big goals, those will turn into our biggest failures really soon. It’s simple, make it exciting, but realistic. Consideration and wise management of your team’s availability, your budget, and other resources will bring you to success sooner. 
  • Realistic: There are so many success stories and wonderful examples of top brands succeeding through social media. However, the hard work and dedication that stays behind the scenes should never be underestimated. Remember, it doesn’t happen overnight. Success is a process that requires hard work and commitment. Don’t stop dreaming, but make sure your dreams are not stopping you from achieving small steps that can bring you closer to success faster. 
  • Timely: Last but not least, everything should have a deadline! Everything has its own time, and especially in the fast-changing digital world if you are a little late or early in delivering the content to your target audience, the whole campaign might be at a huge risk. The right content at the right time – that’s the key to your success. 

With S.M.A.R.T goals you are in a sense establishing the basic foundation for your company’s content strategy that you and your entire team can always refer to. Your team will know what is your brand striving towards and in which time period, as a result building a better communication system for all.

2. Determine Your Audience

One of the core components of content marketing is obviously your audience! After all, they are the ones who read and “evaluate” your content. Hence, your second step should be to identify the right audience for your content. 

While it might seem simple, there are several differences when it comes to determining your online audience for your digital-based content. You have to focus on extra steps like identifying the platforms your audience is most engaged in, the time they are online, other similar accounts and content they are already interested in, and many more. 

In short, besides the basic demographic information, make sure to answer the following questions when it comes to finding your target audience:

  • Where is their Internet hangout? If you want to create detailed content for your potential customers you have to figure out where they are searching for answers. Find the platform, and work on the specifics of how that platform develops and serves content to people.  
  • What is their go-to social media platform? Different social platforms are designed for different content types. To which people naturally incline for a specific platform according to the information they need. You are more likely to socialize with your friends on Facebook and keep your professional life on LinkedIn. Take those differences into consideration.
  • What are their pain points? After knowing what are the main online platforms your audience is looking for answers to, you can be guided by the types of questions they ask. Creating content that is specifically targeted to answering these questions, with SEO-friendly techniques, is the key to reaching your audience in the most effective way!
  • Who do they trust? Influencer marketing is gaining more popularity over time. The factor of trust is the key in this situation. People have the chance to see your product/service “in action” by someone they are already interested in and admire.

3. Create Quality Content

Remember, that you are creating content that your audience is interested in. Hence you should use words and phrases that connect your audience to the information they are searching for. This is considered the very foundation of online marketing, so make sure to incorporate keyword research into your content creation process. There are various tools that can help you with this, like Google Keyword Planner.

Furthermore use other tools to identify the best channel to place your content, SEO, or PPC. SEMrush’s Content Template tool can be a great helping hand, enabling you to analyze your competitors’ data in organic search, offering you the best keywords for use, as well as making suggestions on the content lengths, backlinks, targets for a specific platform, and more. 

Some of the key components of creating quality content are:

Originality: In the past three years we have witnessed a lot of changes that Google has made to SERP algorithms in terms of plagiarism and duplicate content. Remember original and one-of-a-kind content will be appreciated not only by your audience but also by the search engines.

Actionability: Your content should be clear on what to do next. Try to create a type of content that will guide your audience on what should be their next step; add a useful call-to-action (CTA) or encourage your audience to read further about the details of what they are searching for.  

Informative: Almost anyone can write introductory content. While this can be your objective with some of your content types, you will also need a specialist that will provide in-depth, professional, and educated insights on things that your audience needs. If you are searching for professional copywriters, make sure to contact us to level up your content marketing strategy.

Accurate: Your audience’s trust is the foundation of your business. Be attentive to fact-check and double-check everything you present to the world from your company’s name. Don’t modify quotes, don’t intentionally misinterpret events, don’t change statistics. Be truthful to yourself and your audience!

4. Promote your content

If you are not “lucky” enough to have an enormous email list, large and loyal followers, consistent reader flow to your blogs, and thousands of devoted fans of your brand, which could be the situation with the majority of small businesses then you have to find ways to strategically promote your content. 

Don’t be afraid to use paid advertising: organic traffic is one of the trendy aspects that more and more businesses value and try to make use of nowadays. However, there is much more to gain when the forces of organic traffic and traditional advertising join together. 

But also be social! Use tools like Buffer or Hootsuite to automate and schedule your content for social media. Add to this an intelligent use of SEO through your blogs, and your content success will immediately be visible. 

If you are looking for ways of embracing your content through well seo-optimized blog posts for search engines, contact our professionals for further help!

5. Measure Your Content’s Success

To clearly understand if the content is doing the right job for what it’s intended to, we have to examine 4 main metrics of content marketing. Those are the following:

  • Consumption metrics: This is one of the easiest starts for evaluating your content. Think of actions as views, downloads, listens, visits, etc.
  • Sharing metrics: How often is your content shared by your audience, how is it resonating with them?
  • Lead generation metrics: This could be one of the ultimate goals for most businesses. How many leads have been generated from a piece of content?
  • Sales metrics: Did you make money out of this content or not?

There are so many tools that are specifically designed to give you insights into how well your content is operating on various platforms. To name just a few:

  • Google Analytics. It’s free and easy for measuring page views, traffic sources, keyword performance, and more.
  • Databox. This platform offers an array of powerful tools for tracking almost any metric you need for measuring your content’s performance.
  • Excel. You can as well choose to create your own set of KPIs and track them accordingly with the help of Excel tools. This works really well with metrics like revenue, subscriptions, or referrals.

Success does not happen overnight. If you want to achieve outstanding results with your content, you have to invest a lot of time, effort, and sometimes even money to reach your goals.

The good news is that Digilite’s years of experience in digital marketing, and specifically in content creation and strategic delivery can cut the work in half for you, and ensure outstanding results in a short period of time. If you want to know the details, feel free to contact us today.

 

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