The Foundations of Content Marketing for Small Business – Part 1

Content Marketing for Small Business plays a crucial role in any SEO strategy. How does SEO manifest itself to the people you wish to target?

Over the next while you’ll hear me talk a lot about content and content marketing. But what does the concept of creating content actually involve?

Well according to the Content Marketing Institute it is a way of:

‘Distributing valuable, relevant and consistent content to attract and acquire a clearly defined audience with the objective of driving profitable customer action’

So, how can a small business launch a content marketing strategy that will convert web traffic into customers of their product or service?

Well, first of all, we need to understand a little bit about the different types of content that can be produced. The types of content businesses use today to strengthen their brand and reputation online includes, but is not limited to, email communication, podcasts, social media messaging , video, e-books, online courses and infographics.

But there wouldn’t be any point in just throwing any old content at your audience as this scatter gun, ad hoc approach is likely to end in failure.

You need to think strategically

Instead, what you need to do is think strategically. Take a while to determine the types of content that will assist your audience in understanding more about your brand and building trust.

For example, if you sell honey then maybe create for your clients an infographic on your website on the benefits of eating honey

The Benefits of Honey

Link this then to a downloadable ebook where they can receive more information about the health benefits of honey in return for them providing you with their email address.

Another thing you could do is send your customers a survey. I find the survey tool, Survey Monkey, useful for this type of feedback. Ask them questions that will allow you build a profile of their buying habits; what their average age is? How much they earn? All this will provide you with excellent background data when putting together your content marketing strategy.

For example, if you discover your audience has a more youthful profile, then a presence on a channel such as Snapchat may provide you with a better  way of quickly interacting with them. However, if your target customers are younger mothers, then the visual platform Pinterest might be the place to be.

Research your competitors social media profiles

Another way of checking what works in terms of content is to research your competitors’ social media platforms. What are the types of content they are sharing? What is getting the highest numbers of shares and feedback? Adapt what you see. The old adage ‘if it ain’t broke don’t fix it’ , certainly applies here.

Everything you write must have an SEO slant

Of course although we haven’t spoken about it since the beginning of this article,  you must never lose sight of the fact, that everything you write must have an SEO slant to it.

What are the nuts and bolts then of putting together this SEO content?

Well, when we are advising clients at thehostingpool.com or thedesignpool.com on their SEO content planning and content marketing for small business, the first thing we do is direct them to the Google Keyword Planner where they can carry out their preliminary research. This helps them find the relevant keywords and keyword phrases that are being searched for in related industries.

Google Keyword Planner

Once you’ve chosen your keywords, position them strategically throughout your website and your other digital channels. You may require the services of an SEO writer at this point as it is important to be able to skillfully weave the keywords naturally into the sentences on your site. Your text content will  sound stilted if you try to shoehorn a keyword phrase into a sentence that it is obviously not suited for or try and replicate it too many times. A good SEO writer will help you here.

Is your content marketing strategy is actually working?

Once you're happy with the presentation format and optimisation of your content, the next thing to do is to determine if your content marketing strategy is actually working.  Use Google Analytics to check where the highest volumes of traffic are attracted to on your website pages and also where you receive the most traffic leakage.

Google Analytics

If traffic is leaving at specific points, then beef up your content at these exits. For example, rather than just letting the users click away from your site, perhaps you could get them to subscribe to a newsletter, capturing their email address in the process.

Provide useful content to your subscriber

This will allow you to provide useful content to these subscribers and build a long term relationship with them. Email can be an extremely useful form of marketing, particularly if you have a large email list. Check out these stats below.

•      Email is the third most influential source of information for B2B audiences, behind only colleague recommendations and industry-specific thought leaders.

•      86% of business professionals prefer to use email when communicating for business purposes.

Source Wordstream 2018

The organic, free content approach, doesn’t have to be your only option in attracting traffic to your content. If you have a budget, take a look at using paid advertising. Organic search can be a useful of directing traffic to your content. However, with paid advertising, your attracting those who are already committed and want to buy.

Paid advertising is a vast area, but I will cover it in subsequent articles. 

In Part 2 of this series, we dig deeper into what are the characteristics of great content.

My name is Pat Hughes and I work as an Digital Marketer/IT Specialist  at the hostingpool.com  My areas of interest is  digital marketing and teaching search engine optmisation techniques to small business owners

The primary aim  of the techniques that I teach are to get businesses found online. Well planned search engine optimization or SEO campaigns are instrumental in making this happen.

If you need us to create a content marketing strategy for your business please call us Tel: 01 230 3645

Pat Hughes

Digital Marketing/IT Specialist

thehostingpool.com

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