Content marketing can be a great way to accelerate your business. Content marketing simply is a marketing strategy built on creating and distributing valuable, relevant, and consistent content that meets the needs of your target audience though paid advertising, e-newsletters, blogs, videos, social media or other channels.
In short: Content marketing is focused on producing high-quality content that people want to engage with more often. This creates a higher level of brand awareness which will ultimately lead to increased customer loyalty.
The below 10 principles for startups and small businesses are a great place to start to get your startup or small business content marketing strategy flowing.
1) Understand Why You’re Creating Content
Before anything can be done, the first step is to understand why you’re creating content at all. What are your goals? Are you trying to generate leads, drive traffic or sell a product? It’s essential to understand why you’re creating content before you begin. This will help keep you on track and ultimately guide the types of content that are relevant for the business.
Content without a purpose is useless. What good is content created for the sake of creating content? It’s not actionable and has a limited audience reach.
2) Provide Unrivaled Value
The next principle is to provide your audience with unique and valuable content. A lot of small businesses try to replicate other sites or blogs but this still requires you to take time, money, and energy to do. You’re essentially creating content for other businesses rather than your own. This does not mean that your content needs to be a replica of every other blog out there.
If you continue to show up with valuable content you will put yourself in the position to be trusted by customers, ultimately increasing your chances of gaining new customers. Yes, new customers are how you grow and scale your business.
3) Work With a Professional
It’s important to work with a professional who understands your business. If you’re new to creating content for your small business or startup, it’s best to get someone who has experience with making content in this industry. Otherwise you run the risk of creating content that is not effective and will not drive results.
Plus you’re a busy person with so much to concentrate on . Having a professional do the work for you will free you up to focus on other aspects of running your business.
4) Focus on Your Audience
Take the time to research your audience by studying their needs and wants in order to provide them with valuable content that they will want to engage with. Don’t just focus on what your business wants, use this information to create content that solves a problem or provides a solution for your audience.
Remember the content is not about you , it’s about your audience and how you can help them solve a problem.
5) Be Consistent
Content marketing is about creating content on a regular basis (usually weekly or bi-weekly). This means you need to be disciplined and come up with topics for each blog post, tweet, etc. This also means determining how you’re going to measure the effectiveness of the new content.
Just like any habit , you need to be committed to consistency but keep in mind that consistency does not mean being boring. It just means you’re maintaining a steady stream of content.
6) Be Creative
Content marketing isn’t about simply putting out a blog post or new social media update. It’s about the quality of the content that is created. Be creative and have fun with your brand. Don’t be afraid to try new things such as contests, events, e-books, etc. Take time to think outside the box and use this as an opportunity to test new and unique ideas.
Your goal is never to be boring, it’s to be creative. Being creative will lead to an increase in engagement and ultimately customers.
7) Be Helpful
Make sure that your content is focused on helping people. The best content will be helpful, entertaining, and educational. This way you’re not just focused on driving traffic but rather building a relationship with your audience.
8) Make It Easy to Share
One of the keys to successful content marketing is getting people to share the content you create. This means making it easy to share the information by using buttons or links within your blog posts, video’s and social media updates.
9) Use a Content Calendar
Creating a content calendar will keep you on track and focused. This ensures that you won’t lose sight of your goals and also prevents you from feeling overwhelmed by the amount of content that needs to be created on a regular basis. The more organized you are the better.
10) Measure Effectiveness
Finally, it is imperative to monitor how well your content marketing strategy is working. You can use a service such as Buzz Sumo or Review.ly to give you feedback on the quality and effectiveness of your content. These services will rate your blog post, social media update and even specific tweets with their social media score which is essentially a numerical rating which can be tracked over time to see trend improvements.
Bonus Tip – Don’t forget Call to Actions
Remember to always have a Call To Action (CTA). Your goal of content marketing is to get your customers to take some kind of action such as signing up for a newsletter. Your customers want something in exchange for their time and attention and this is a good way to show them your dedication to providing great customer service.
Some examples of CTAs are:
- Sign up for a newsletter
- Visit your website
- Watch a video
- Download a whitepaper
- Buy a product
So what are you waiting for? Get started today with content marketing for your small business or start up and get ahead of your competition who are still relying on long outdated media methods.
If you’re ready to learn more about how to create a content marketing strategy that actually gets results for your business visit detailed content marketing guide. It will help you understand how to use content marketing as a strategy and teach you how to create high quality content that gets results.
Go forth and conquer content marketing!