5 Tips on How Your Small Businesses can Create Quality Content
The following blog post was contributed by Kristina Iorio, Copywriting Manager, Printing Industries of America. This is the first in an upcoming series of posts focused on small business marketing tips.
You have heard “Content is King,” but what does that really mean? With an endless amount of information available online, your customers are more informed than ever. According to the Content Marketing Institute, “Content marketing is a strategic marketing approach focused on creating and distributing valuable, relevant, and consistent content to attract and retain a clearly defined audience—and, ultimately, to drive profitable customer action.” It’s delivering valuable content to your customers, including white papers, blogs, video, podcasts, digital publishing, etc.
But for small businesses however, providing a steady stream of quality content is time consuming, and your company may lack sufficient resources or personnel to dedicate to such a project.
Here are five tips your small business can use to develop meaningful, effective content to promote your business and engage customers—all in the midst of day-to-day operations.
- Create a Strategy
Strategy is essential to effective content marketing. What are your goals? What content does your company already have? Who is your main audience? How can you fill their needs for information? Your content strategy will help you plan how you’re going to attract more business. A great source for creating a content strategy, I found, is this article from Content Marketing Institute.
- Developing Valuable Content
Once you have a strategy in place and you’ve taken inventory of the content you already have, it’s time to create and collect new content. The easiest, most efficient way to do this is to repurpose information. Do you receive customer inquiries? Create a blog or video where you answer some of the most popular questions. If you’ve written a white paper, send it to your top clients as a free resource along with information on your products and services. Be resourceful and keep an eye open for content that will benefit your customers.
A blog is a low-cost way to engage customers and establish your expertise. You can find free templates online from WordPress.com and other sites. Your blog can allow you to reach a wider audience, boost brand awareness, sell something, or connect you to your customers and community. Your blog content should be appealing to your audience and include keywords and information (see SEO below).Try to blog on a regular basis, whether that’s every week, bi-weekly, or every month, to keep your audience coming back for fresh content. This can take a big investment of your time, so have your content strategy in place before you tackle blogging.
- Get Social
With limited resources you want to reach as many customers as possible. Like a blog, social media is an inexpensive way to get your brand in front of a wider audience, but your time is also a major consideration. If you’re a newbie to social media marketing, there are many platforms to engage in, including Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, Google+, Pinterest, etc. Determine which platforms your audience prefers, and focus your efforts on those channels. If you’re already using social media to promote your business, be sure to listen to and share with your audience. Include helpful, informal posts (images are encouraged!) and respond to feedback—both positive and negative!
- Simplify SEO
How often do you go past the first one or two pages when searching for information through a search engine like Google? At its basic level, Search Engine Optimization (SEO) involves ensuring that your website can be found in a search engine results page (SERP) when using words or phrases relevant to your website content. Using tactics to “optimize” your webpages, you make it easier for customers to find you.
For a simple, effective way to optimize your site, there are two basic requirements: Authority and Value. Building authority means having strong inbound links from reliable sources. Valuable content includes topics your audience wants to read about. Think about what keywords or phrases they may use to do their research and be sure to address those on your blog and throughout your site. (Learn more about SEO in this article from Entrepreneur.)