Within the past years content marketing is one of the most relevant topics for marketers.
This marketing discipline is “focusing on building a strong brand awareness by creating and providing relevant, valuable and consistent content for target groups to turn them into future customers”( Content Marketing Institute, 2016).
In the recent report about Content Marketing in Europe 2016, Smart Insights has revealed that content marketing is the marketing activity with the biggest commercial impact (21%) on business.
Although 46% of the business using content marketing don’t follow a defined strategy.
Since content marketing often means high cost and resources, it is particularly difficult to implement for small businesses.
Therefore, the following list focuses on giving start-ups and small businesses basic guidance to set up content marketing for their needs.
Make clear what you want to achieve with your content marketing strategy and formulate goals using for example the SMART-technique: a goal should be Specific, Measurable, Actionable, Relevant and Time-bound.
The Periodic Table of Content Marketing can also be a big help. It gives a good overview during the whole process of implementing content marketing.
Find out what matters to your target audience
Make it clear to yourself who will consume your content: a prospect, a lead or a customer? Ideally you already identified their personas, so you know what matters to them.
Structure your content
The structure of your content is closely connected to its quality. Try to focus on integrating the following points:
- Discuss problems relevant to the target group
- Offer solutions or ideas
- Use meaningful pictures
- Optimize your text for SEO using relevant keywords and integrate backlinks to your website
- Choose a catchy headline
- Choose right wording relating to your target group
Use free tools to create content
Since you might not have a big budget and a big team, free tools can make life a lot easier.
- Create high-quality graphics in a few minutes with Canva
- Use free stock pictures to make your content more remarkable: JayMantri, pixabay, picjumbo
- Create more complex data-based infographics with infogr.am
- Share and create content simultaneously for the big social media platforms via buffer
Identify the right format for your content
Think about the content or topic you have and how you can present it best to your target: video, blogpost, podcast?
Different media will give you different advantages and disadvantages in order to present your content and address your target.
Choose the clearest way to convey your message and the most enjoyable way to consume it.
Measure the efficiency of your content marketing
Once you created and published your content you want to know if your strategy works.
The most obvious indicators to measure the success are: visits, clicks, likes, comments and shares. Remember that the content you publish should always pull traffic to your website.
So traffic coming from a specific blogpost or social media channel to your website is also a good indicator.
If some of your content performs poorly, evaluate and compare it to content that performed better.
Common reasons for bad performance might be: lack in SEO optimization, timing and allocating of content, low relevance or wrong format.
One last advice before you dive into it
Don’t expect hundreds of followers, massive increase of traffic and engagement right after you started off. This might take some time but if you keep on and always evaluate your performance your content will get better and better.
Good quality content sooner or later always pays off. Good luck!