Content marketing plays a major role in success or failure of any business, although the concept of marketing advertising has been around for years, many business persons have not mastered the skills of effective content marketing strategy. The good thing with content marketing skills, they can be quickly mastered since they usually use basic principles. The aim of today’s marketing content is to draw the customers towards your business rather than the traditional advertising methods which use money to interrupt the customers. Let’s now be more specific and take a look at steps you need to follow to start investing in content marketing for your small business.
Know Your Customer
First, before even you come to content marketing, it is important to ensure that your small business products and services have very good market fit. Failing to ensure this by many startups businesses has resulted in their failure since the products or services that they produced are at times not required in the target market. The appropriate way to solve this problem is conducting market research, and then using the result of the research to come up with a content marketing plan for your small business.
When it comes to marketing content of your small business, ensure to use a language that your customers are conversant with. One key mistake most companies makes while marketing is using technical language to educate their customers on the importance of their products. For content marketing to be successful, you have to use the customer’s language and pay attention to the customer’s immediate need. Go ahead and use phrases that are already used by the customers and the entire public.
For example, let assume you are providing SaaS product that provides Dropbox on steroids. For this business to succeed, you have to know that the customers have been burned by the low-cost providers in the past years, so the customers will only opt for your solution in case it is not only cost-effective but also trustworthy and reliable. This means you have to know what your customers are looking for and use the customers’ language to address their problem.
Know Yourself and Your Message
Under this point you have to understand how you want to bring across your small business, for instance, it can come across as a professional, as a creative or as a rebel. Whichever the case, it is recommendable for you to be consistent in your voice on your website, YouTube channel and your social media.
This means, you have to come up with images and colors that bring out the same feel and look. For example, in case your YouTube channel is fitted with cartoon images and has a blue background while your website has a red background and photographed images then it may be hard for your customers to connect with these two platforms. Kill the cognitive dissonance by coming up with consistent imaging and background across the web.
Create a Written Content Marketing Plan
It is worrying that a research has shown only 37 percent of B2C and 32 percent of B2B have a content marketing plan that is documented. In most cases, businesses with documented strategy, their content marketing is usually much effective. The point here is straightforward; a written content marketing plan is more effective compared to the unwritten one. An effective content marketing plan should include:
The Involved Stakeholders
All your business stakeholders should be included in your content marketing plan, this stakeholder includes your IT team, marketing team and the individual creative’s who help to come up with a plan. A plan that is formed by all the stakeholders makes them more bought into the plan meaning they are able to execute it more effectively.
Your Available Resources
It is very important to make your content marketing plan very realistic, meaning you have to base the plan on the staff and budget available. For example, in case you can only afford a thousand dollar for your business’s content advertising campaigns then refrain from creating a business plan that indicates your business can dedicate ten thousand dollars a month for content marketing campaigns
Your Target Channels
Earlier in the article, I talked about the need to conduct market research, well; this is where market research comes in. The information helps you decide which channels you will leverage. It is important to note fewer content channels most cases works better than multiple channels since they have a consistent presence. Inconsistent presence results to the consumers viewing your business as unprofessional and unreliable which frustrate your marketing efforts.
Your Editorial Plan
This comes after you have located the channels that you will use to publish. An editorial plan should have the following elements: the content pieces with specific titles, the channels used to publish, specific time when they will be published, who will publish them and crucial steps to be followed before publication.
To properly complete your content marketing plan you have to discuss with the stakeholders what you aim to achieve through the campaigns. Content marketing can be done to drive conversions and actual sales or to improve the reputation of your business, whichever the case, you have to come up with specific goals that guide you whether the campaign is moving on the right track or not. The stakeholders should meet often to evaluate whether the set goals are being met.