The belief that you need a big budget and large team to have successful content marketing is false. Small businesses are well placed to compete with the large players, and are doing so with increased success.
Some of the biggest content marketing challenges small businesses face are: lack of time, producing enough content and producing a variety of content, and inability to measure the effectiveness of their content.
These challenges can easily be overcome by implementing the below 10 practical tips in your small business today.
1. Make your content easy to read
keeping sentences and paragraphs short;
using headings and subheadings to guide your readers;
using images, video and bullet points to break up text; and
using white space to highlight content and give readers’ eyes a break.
2. Optimize your SEO
Optimizing your SEO is one of the best ways to get long-term traffic to your website. The most simple and effective way to make sure you're optimizing every post is to use a plugin like Yoast SEO for WordPress. Plugins help to ensure:
you’re using a focus keyword;
your SEO title looks good and isn’t too long; and
your Meta description has a call to action.
3. Make it easy to share
Getting readers to your website is the hard part. Make it easy for those who are engaged to share your content on social media. Help get your content in front of others by:
using social sharing buttons;
using the click to tweet plugin;
making your pictures pinnable;
embedding alt text; and
including a twitter handle in sharing plugins.
4. Focus on creating evergreen content
Evergreen content continues to gain search engine traffic long after it’s been published. It’s not dependant on dates, events or specific research. To ensure your content is evergreen ask yourself:
Is it relevant all year around?
will it stand the test of time? Case studies, how-to articles, and definitions and explanations, work the best; and
can it be recycled – added to and built upon?
5. Produce value adding visual assets
The reason why visual content is an essential part of a content marketing strategy is because it works. When paired with text, infographics, images and videos allow customers to receive and understand brand messages and information easier. Want to use visual assets that add value? Ask yourself these questions first:
does this asset enhance my message in some way?
is this asset clear and easily read/understood?
is this the best possible type of asset for this context?
how will my audience react to this asset?
6. Personalise your service by using email marketing
Email marketing is a great way to get new visitors engaged with your business, as well as maintain relationships with your existing customers. Display an email sign up form clearly on your website and offer a small freebie to readers as a way of thanking them for signing up. Maximise your email marketing by using these tips:
play by the rules – don’t SPAM;
include social media sharing buttons;
use short and engaging subject lines;
make sure your email is mobile-friendly;
send at the right time for your industry; and
include a call to action.
7. Get feedback from your customers
Find out what your customers want and need. And encourage two-way conversations and feedback. Use feedback to tailor your messages and support business decisions. You can do this by:
using pop-up surveys on your website;
inviting product reviews on Facebook;
using exploratory interviews; and
8. Develop a content strategy
Using time-saving strategies can make your limited budget go further. Streamlining your publishing, editing and briefing processes, allows you to focus on strategy and quality. Use these three tools to build a content strategy that will lead you to success:
Content calendar template
Story brief template
9. Create a word of mouth strategy
Organic word of mouth has long been a great way for businesses to on-board new customers. To benefit from word of mouth marketing (WOMM) you need to create a strategy to get people talking. Here are four tips to get you started:
make it easy;
make people happy; and
earn trust and respect.
10. Gain Insights from Your Web and Social Analytics
know your traffic source and conversions;
know your visitor behaviour;
set up key performance indicators;
optimize your marketing campaigns; and
know what content works and what doesn’t.