Making Content Work For Your Small Business: A Guide
"Content is King!" is a statement prevalent when I started marketing in 2014, but it is still true today.
Why? -- Content is a connector.
According to ABG Essentials, content marketing brings businesses conversion rates six times higher than other methods. Although content marketing may require more work, especially for small businesses, it’s well worth your time to do so.
Content acts as a propellor for your business; it creates a space where your audience can learn about you, technologies can start recognizing you, and you can grow your authority in your niche. Good content will be able to be used again and again, so if you create a single post for social media (for example) and never touch the copy or subject again - this is especially for you.
It's time to stop feeling overwhelmed and disconnected from the content you're creating!
What does content actually do for your business?
Content is for more than a blog post, an email blast, or a social media post. A good content strategy will help educate your audience, build your online reputation, boost SEO, and ultimately save you time and energy in your everyday interactions. Start thinking about your content as a cohesive unit, each piece has the opportunity to work together and engage your audience no matter where they are along their journey with you. How does content do all of this?
Content is like a machine for your business. You create what will support your functions and optimize the operations you have going on day in and day out. Your content can be used throughout your customer journey and help your potential clients through the stages of know-like-trust so that they indeed become your customer.
What about SEO?
Good content will talk about your business in a way that you naturally will use the right keywords and phrasing to attract your ideal customers and optimize your SEO. Pro tip: Practice saying exactly what you mean with your content so your message is clear and your audience can take action. When you're starting to develop your voice and create new content for your business, think about the following:
How would you naturally talk to someone about your product/service
What are the questions you are asked about most by potential clients
What are your current clients or audience members reacting positively to in your conversations
What do you feel the most confident talking about with people right now (this is a great place to start and quickly gain more confidence in your content creation skills!)
What do you sell the most of? Consider creating content that will boost this further.
Logically, when you think about the number of advertisements and promotions that consumers experience on any given day has increased by over 150% over the past two decades. Content marketing allows your business to connect with consumers where they are and stand out from the crowd by focusing on what makes you unique.
How to start creating your ideal content plan?
My rule of thumb is to align your efforts with what you can practically manage. That means not overpromising your audience things you can't deliver or setting yourself up for failure by not giving yourself the time or space needed to work on your content marketing.
Creating a content plan doesn't have to be complex; it just needs to support your business vision.
First, you want to take a broad view. Take a look at the calendar, and think from a perspective of over the year what you go through within your business: historically good sales months, business events, goals, etc. Then, take this same view with your audience in mind: what times of year impact your audience, why, and what connection do you have in these moments?
Next, you'll want to consider your business goals: do you have a new program you're launching, speaking engagements, book releases, or core programs that are your bread and butter? Make a list to start identifying the content you can create supporting each of these items.
With your broad perspective now complete, it's time to hone in on the immediate future. Pro tip: Limit your actual content planning to 30 days out. Life changes fast; by focusing your efforts on the immediate future of your marketing, you allow yourself the space to shift and adapt as needed over time.
Creating great content takes practice, but the outcome of building quality content for your business is worth it!