The small business market, can be very competitive at times, it lies in the coordination of a number of different resources to effectively capture your target audience and bring in consumers that will trust and stick to your brand. The most influential and visible resource is your marketing strategy.
Developing and then delivering a decent marketing strategy can be a tough gig, especially when you are a small company with a handful of contacts. Content marketing however, can effectively raise your brand awareness but requires you to be vigilant and on top of your game. With a good understanding of your own brand and products, you can consistently dominate your marketing plan until you build the successful brand awareness you want.
Eric Siu, CEO of digital marketing agency Single Grain shared 3 of his biggest hints for developing and dominating a successful content marketing strategy within a small business with Entrepreneur Magazine:
1. Develop a content strategy. As a small business, your existence is best encapsulated by the “little fish in a big pond” metaphor. You’re swimming in a school of enterprises, hoping to grow big enough to muscle the other minnows out of the food chain. Fortunately, content marketing doesn’t have to break your marketing budget and can bring a huge return of investment. Content marketing costs less than traditional methods and creates almost three times as many leads in the process.
Unlike a fish, you don’t accomplish growth through muscle alone. Consumers run in their own lives and will not instantly be attracted to your product. Your brand must stand out and dominate your market to attract life-sustaining revenue. Creating a content-marketing strategy is one cost-effective tool in your arsenal to start taking the market space.
Before you ever create a single piece of content, stop and consider your strategy. Know what it’s going to look like, sound like, convey, its goal and how it will reflect on your business. Look at your company’s mission statement and understand its core values and infuse it into your marketing strategy.
Ask yourself what your product and marketing says about your company. Use a test group of clients and gain feedback from them to measure the success of your strategy.
2. Befriend your audience. Creating content without understanding your audience is a complete waste of time and money. Companies with a website-content strategy designed around their audience’s preferences are twice as likely to convert as those without. Further, 73 percent of online buyers get frustrated when website content appears to have nothing to do with them.
The most effective way to gain data about your consumers is to study your selected audience through market research, blog comments, online surveys and talking to them at events and conferences to figure out their needs and pain points. Consider running focus groups in exchange for a chance to win a free product or discount code. Get deeper insights into their demographic information, lifestyle habits and product perception.
Treat your audience like you would a friend you’re getting to know and respect. Engage with your audience on social media to learn more about their interests. Collect and refine all the data you gather to customize your content.
3. Win leads with consistency. One of the greatest challenges involved in content marketing is maintaining a consistent presence. The limited attention span of online audiences creates a “what-have-you-done-for-me-lately” mentality necessitating a constant flow of content. The numbers speak for themselves. Companies that produce a mere 15 blog posts per month reported an average of 1,200 more leads per month as a result.
Establish a workflow pipeline and schedule to show your audience you’re reliable and stay on at the forefront of their minds when they need your services. Establish which team member creates ideas, who approves them, who writes them, who edits them and who publishes them to keep a steady flow of blog posts, infographics and videos funnelling into the hands of customers.
Above all else, know that content marketing isn’t about quick, easy results. Like any relationship, getting to know your customers takes time, and earning their trust and respect is a privilege. Show customers you care by creating content that reflects how you can serve them and their unique needs.