If you’re a small business owner, you know that the most important thing you can do for your company is to grow it. But what does growth even look like? How do you achieve it? And how do you know if your business is growing at all?
It’s easy to get lost in your daily tasks and forget that it’s not enough to keep on if you want to see your small business succeed. You need to know what’s working, what isn’t, and how everything fits together into a cohesive whole. That’s where content strategy comes in!
Let’s get to know what content strategy actually means and why it matters, and then we’ll dive into some practical steps for developing one of our own.
What Is a Content Strategy?
A content strategy is the process of planning, creating, and distributing content in a way that helps your business achieve its goals. It’s different from content marketing because it focuses on more than just creating blog posts or landing pages; it looks at all types of content you might create for your brand (and how they fit together).
A good content strategy will help you figure out what kinds of things you should be producing, when those pieces should be published, and where they should live online so they can reach the right audience.
The Benefits of a Small Business Content Strategy
A small business content strategy is the best way to ensure your business gets the most out of its online presence. Planning and implementing a strategy will enable you to:
- Build trust and authority
- Stand out from competitors
- Generate leads for your business
- Increase sales for your products or services
A strong content strategy will also help you improve your search engine rankings by providing valuable information for users, who are more likely to click on links that appear on the first page of search results. And when they do click those links, they’ll find themselves on trustworthy and professional websites, which means they’re more likely to stay there long enough to become customers.
The Top 3 Challenges in Creating an Effective Content Plan
The content plan is a process, not a one-time event.
A good content strategy will take time to develop and should be done with the long term in mind. In order to be effective, it must also be flexible enough to adapt as circumstances change over time.
Plan for the unexpected.
There are always surprises when it comes to creating content, from new ideas that come up while writing an article or blog post to events that happen unexpectedly. It’s important that you’re prepared for these possibilities so they don’t derail your plans or cause delays in publishing your work.
Content strategy matters more than ever.
Today’s digital world means there is an abundance of information available at our fingertips; however, this also means competition is increasing too. Simply producing written content is no longer sufficient. You need to strategize it too. A good content strategy will help you create relevant and valuable content that will connect with your audience and drive results.
How to Establish a Content Marketing Strategy for Your Small Business
It’s no secret that content marketing for startups can be one of the most effective ways to grow your business. But it’s also not always easy to know where to start or how to create content that will attract and engage your customers.
Here are some tips to help you develop a content marketing strategy for your small business.
Determine Your Goal
It’s easy to get overwhelmed by all the moving parts of a content marketing strategy, and it can be tempting to just dive in and start writing. But if you want to make sure that your efforts are effective, you need to take the time to build a plan first.
The best way to build the foundation for your content marketing strategy is to first determine what success looks like for your business. This is called a goal statement and should be specific, measurable, and achievable.
Use the Buyer’s Journey to Map Out Your Content
Once you’ve identified your buyer personas, the next step is to map out their journey through the buying process. The buyer’s journey is a framework that shows how customers move from awareness to conversion. It consists of five stages:
- Awareness: This is when people become aware of your product or service and start thinking about whether they need it.
- Consideration: They research different options and compare them against each other before deciding which product or service will best suit their needs and budget.
- Choice: The customer makes a choice based on what they learned in the previous stage, then buys their chosen item online.
- Consumption: Customers start using the product or service once they have chosen it. This is when they decide whether it’s what they expected and if it meets their needs.
- Recommendation: The customer tells others about their experience so they can benefit from it too.
The buyer’s journey is a great way to visualize your customers’ needs and how they move through the buying process. It can help you identify the best ways to reach them throughout each stage of their decision-making process.
Develop an Editorial Calendar & Brand Style Guide
An editorial calendar is critical for any small business that wants to create consistent, engaging content. It’s the backbone of any content marketing strategy because it helps you plan your content monthly.
You can use an editorial calendar to:
- Plan out blog posts, social media updates, and emails.
- Track what content has been published and when it’s due again so that nothing gets missed or forgotten about (this is especially important if you have multiple people working on different types of projects).
- Create an outline for each month’s social media posts to organize them in advance, and then make sure everyone sticks with it.
- Keep track of the topics you’ve covered in the past so that you don’t repeat them too soon.
Once you’ve created your editorial calendar, it’s time to develop a brand style guide to ensure that all of your posts are consistent with your company’s overall voice, tone, and style. This will help readers feel like they know who you are as a company and what to expect from future posts.
Craft Your Brand’s Narrative Pillar Posts
Pillar posts are a great way to tell your story and build relationships with your audience. They’re also a good place to start when you’re trying to figure out what kind of content you want on your blog.
Pillar posts aren’t just any old article; they’re the ones that tell the most important parts of your business’s history, explain how it works, or solve common problems faced by customers in their industries.
If done right, pillar posts can attract leads and help them see how they can benefit from working with you, making them an excellent tool for building relationships with potential clients or partners.
Create a Distribution Plan
Once you’ve created a content marketing strategy, the next step is to create a distribution plan. A distribution plan will help you figure out how and where to get your content in front of people who might be interested in it.
Here’s what your distribution plan should include:
- A list of target audiences that are relevant to your business.
- Influencers with a similar audience could help spread the word about what you do.
- Keywords related to what you offer so that Google can find them when users search for those terms online.
- Social media accounts where people discuss topics similar or related to yours; include Facebook Groups and Twitter hashtags, but also Pinterest boards and Instagram accounts dedicated solely towards sharing stories from small businesses like yours.
Use SEO Best Practices
Search engine optimization (SEO) is an essential part of content marketing. SEO helps you build a foundation for your brand so that when people search for your product or service, your website will show up on the first page of search results.
If you’re a small business owner who isn’t familiar with SEO best practices, here are some quick tips:
- Ensure all your web pages have unique titles and descriptions in their code.
- Make sure you choose keywords that are appropriate for your company.
- Write for the search engines, not for people.
- Pay attention to the quality of your content; don’t just copy and paste from other sources.
- Ensure that your pages are optimized for mobile devices.
Optimize, Test, Repeat
The best way to optimize your content is by testing. You should use tools that let you change each piece of content’s headlines, images, and copy and see which combination gets the most clicks or social shares. Use analytics to see which combinations work best for each piece of content, then keep testing and iterating until you find a winning formula that can be applied across all future pieces of content you create.
If you take the time to plan and strategize, your content marketing efforts will be more effective. You’ll better understand what’s working, what isn’t, and how to adjust accordingly. This means that your content will be more relevant for your audience and will increase their engagement with your brand.
Building a content marketing strategy is like any other strategy; it takes time and effort. But it’s worth it in the end because it helps you get results.
An author of Namaste UI, published several articles focused on blogging, business, web design & development, e-commerce, finance, health, lifestyle, marketing, social media, SEO, travel.
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