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Most people like to think of content marketing strategies as a form of blog, articles or even some sort of social media.
However, the truth is that it is much more than that!
It is simply a long-term strategy that utilizes content to establish a superior relationship with your target audience.
It is through content marketing that your target audience’s attention is captured, hence boosting engagements and brand recall.
While advertising is meant to get your product out to the target audience, the key is to convert your prospective clients into customers.
In other words, content marketing is geared towards offering value to your audience in order to build trust.
“So, what is the best content marketing strategy?” You ask.
Well, the first thing that you have to bear in mind is that you are creating content that is necessary to solve a problem. It has to be needed and helpful to your target audience.
Your content marketing strategy has to offer clarity into creation, sharing and promotion of your content.
Here are five steps to creating a content marketing strategy that actually works best for your small business.
1. What are your content marketing objectives?
For any small business, the truth is that it is not enough to just create great content.
In order to get clarity on what content you would like to get out to your audience, it is important that you define your content marketing objectives beforehand.
The best way to go about this is to know the purpose of your content, create a detailed action plan and have a backup plan in place in case the first one fails.
2. Who is your target audience?
It is important for any business to understand who its target audience is and their needs/wants.
The best strategy here is to focus first on your best clients. Segment your customers and choose the one best segment that you can tailor your marketing efforts towards in order to create a proper buyer persona.
Second, know what your best customers truly care about. This will help you gain more awareness into what drives a customer towards making a purchase.
Pay attention to their problems, motivations, pain points and agitations. Third, have small conversion goals.
3. What is your content for each set objective?
It is through content marketing that you can efficiently generate quality leads and boost your sales.
In order for your content to help you grow your business, it is important that you connect your efforts to each objective.
In other words, you should have a solid reason and aim for creating every content. Ensure that it can generate awareness, demonstrate expertise, make sales and get referrals.
If your content checks all these four boxes, then you are good to go!
4. Is your aim to produce content you can share?
One of the main features of social media users is to share content amongst themselves. For the content to be shared, it has to be ‘worth sharing’.
To make sure that your content is sharable, it is important that it meets social validation, entertaining and has practical use.
In other words, ensure that the content you create answers burning questions your target audience has.
Your content could also teach people complex topics in an easy to understand manner. This way, you not only have so many shares, but you attract search engine traffic.
5. Do you track content marketing KPIs?
Did you know that key performance indicators (KPIs) play a crucial role in executing a successful content marketing strategy? Well, now you know!
It is through the use of KPIs that you are able to gain clarity and knowledge into the metrics that actually works for your small business.
Some of these metrics include; total visits, bounce rates and conversion rates. These metrics will give you an idea whether your content needs a little tweak in order to improve traffic and sales numbers.
Here are some effective content marketing strategies you can use
This simply represents data or important information in the form of both written and visual components.
These are very key in marketing as they are easy to read and understand. They can also be linked and easily shared.
To make this effective in you marketing, ensure that it has your business name and links to your social media handles so that clients who are interested in finding out more can get that opportunity to learn more.
Most people think of this content marketing tool as a means of advertisement and commercial use only.
In as much as this is also true, well, it is important for you to think of it as a means through which prospective clients get to know who is behind your company and start a direct communication with them in order to respond to their questions and concerns.
This way, you build a relationship with your target audience while offering them value, humor and insight. Make sure that your videos are also very easy to share.
This is simply an authoritative report that offers insight into more comprehensive information about the company.
When you use this as a content marketing tool, you set yourself apart as an expert.
This can take up any topic about your small business and is the best chance to discuss topics about your business that interests your clients.
4. Product reviews
When reviewing your products, it is important not to just put all focus on your own business. In most cases, clients will interpret this as self-promotional.
Remember, you probably are not the only one selling that product. Therefore, it is important that you review products from businesses that are closely related to yours.
By sharing these reviews, you are offering your clients important information to your audience that will not only get them to know about your brand but trust your business as well.
This is also your chance to add search terms to your online market.
This can entail your loyal customers and your team leaders or employees.
It is through interviews that your prospective clients get to appreciate how you value their experience and develop a sense of personal connection.
It also is an opportunity to widen your customer base through networking as well as boost your small business reputation.
6. Industry news
This is one of the best content marketing strategies that not only helps you capitalize on what is trending but also helps showcase your expertise and relevance in the industry.
Current news often is perceived as being a go-to-source that your target audience will turn to when they need information.
Ensure to add such news as changes, developments as well as upcoming events.
Add to the spotlight new players in the industry as well as emerging trends and new policies that affects both your small business and customers alike.
This is often termed as one of the best content marketing tools. This is because it goes directly to potential clients.
It makes your clients feel exclusive as it is not a public document. This often is one of the best strategies to motivate clients to sign up with you.
This way, they stay up to date with your products, develop loyalty while boosting a long-lasting relationship with your subscribers.
One of the best content marketing strategies include the use of best content marketing tools.
It is through content that your target audience can connect with your business making it more relateable.
Any small business that dreams of being big someday has to look out for strong long-lasting relationship it can flourish on.
How strong the relationship becomes is dependent on your consistency in providing useful content to them.
This means ensuring that you are there for them every step of the way to answer their questions, quench their thirst for information and hence, create an aura of followership they can rely upon.
If you forget everything else, just remember, people buy products from business they can trust. Build on that!
Mashum Mollah is entrepreneur, blogger and co-founder at Viacon, a digital marketing agency that drive visibility, engagement, and proven results.