When used the right way, content marketing will drastically grow your business.
Content marketing is all about using creative content to attract web visitors to your website (your target market), retain them and eventually turn them into a customer.
The end goal is to get more customers and only more customers can truly grow your business to reach your goals.
The truth, however, is that content as long being used as a marketing purpose.
It’s simply storytelling. The more creative your story is, the more chances you’ve in attracting your target market.
The main reason why many companies and brands failed to reach their business goals through content marketing is that they either:
- Failed to create engaging content or
- Failed to consistently create engaging content.
If you’re not ready to go the extra miles of creating engaging or creative contents then you’re not going to reap any reward.
Now let’s dive into how you can use content marketing to grow your small business drastically.
What Is Content Marketing?
Content marketing is a strategic marketing approach focused on creating and distributing engaging, valuable and relevant content to a clearly defined audience (your target market) and ultimately drive profitable customer action.
Ultimately, content marketing works in 6 steps:
- Define your buyer persona.
- Research and find problems your potential buyers want to solve.
- Create content (article, video, infographics, image, etc) to solve their problems.
- Don’t only create content, make it engaging and compelling.
- Your potential buyers find your content, engage with it and use it to solve their problems.
- Typically, your contents lead them to your product or service and they buy from you.
The problem here is that you need to consistently create engaging contents and your business needs to be an authoritative brand to enjoy drastic growth.
When you can overcome these two hurdles, your business will truly explode.
Benefits of Content Marketing
Content marketing is the present and future of marketing.
Think about it, what is the best way to consciously retain your target market regularly?
Is it through paid advertisements?
Is it through online ads?
Is it through a social media page?
Or through consistent content creation?
Paid advertisement, that is the traditional adverts (billboard, newspaper, and flyers) are very difficult to track.
The ROI for paid advertisements is close to zero. It’s definitely not the go-to route for your small business.
Online ads are measurable and you can actually track your results, improve your ROI and drive reasonable growth to your business.
The problem with Online ads is that your result is as good as your budget.
Social media is a great platform but over the years, each social media platform have limited their organic reach.
This, of course, is good news to them while it’s bad news to businesses.
It’s also very difficult to retain your potential customers on your social media page as users tend to switch between apps and pages frequently.
Consistent engaging content, on the other hand, will not only help you attract more visitors to your website but also retain them effortlessly.
And lead them through your sales funnel.
Here are the benefits of content marketing for your business:
1. Increase Brand Awareness
Consistent content marketing helps your business to be the go-to leader in your industry.
It increases your brand awareness and position your business as an authoritative brand.
When your customers and potential customers have any problem, they immediately think of your brand.
2. Build Lasting Relationship With Your Target Market
When you have a loyal customer base who trust your product or service to solve their problems, you’ll easily scale up your business.
Engaging content helps build trust and deepen your relationship with your potential customers and existing customers.
3. Generates Traffic Consistently
When you watch a great movie or read a valuable book, you unconsciously want to share it with your loved ones.
Engaging content generates the same feeling in your potential customers.
It leads to word of mouth marketing and social media shares which leads to tons of traffic for your business.
Also when you combine engaging content with Organic SEO, you start to generate tons of traffic consistently.
4. Increase Conversion Rate
Until you build a strong relationship with your potential customers, they won’t buy from you.
Typically, potential customers will see your product or service, go off your sales page, see your brand on social media, delay buying decisions, search for the solution to their problem before they eventually buy from you.
Content marketing helps you move your potential customers through your sales funnel conveniently.
Helps them make a decision faster and turn them into a loyal fan of your brand.
5. Increase Visibility Of Your Brand
Customers’ attention span is very low.
Your potential customers are opened to tens if not hundreds of ads every single day.
Coupled with their professional life, family, and friends, you have got a very limited time frame to attract them.
After attracting them to your website, you need to consistently reach out to them through various media.
Your social media page, emails, and consistent content.
If you fail to retain their attention to your business, your competitors are actively looking for the opportunity to exploit.
Content Marketing Tools
Content marketing tools enable you to consistently creates engaging content that your target market is actively looking for.
While there are a lot of tools to effectively manage your content marketing campaign, I’ll be going over tools that’ll enable you to find content your target market is looking for, create engaging content and distribute it.
SEMRush: All-In-One Marketing Toolkit
The first important tool for your content marketing is keyword research and SEMRush is arguably the best tool for you.
Keyword research will help you find keyword phrases users are actively searching for.
You’ll be able to find what problems users want to solve and create content to solve their problems.
Another important feature of SEMRush is their competitor analysis. With this tool, you can get an eye bird view of your competitor’s digital presence.
Just by inputting the URL of your competitor’s website, you’ll be able to get the exact keywords they are ranking for.
You can then create content to outrank your competitors by doing better than what they are currently doing.
SEMRush has other features that will help your overall digital marketing campaign greatly.
You can check your competitors’ backlink, the difficulties of the keyword you’re targeting, lead generation and other features.
Every content needs images or videos to be more engaging. Freepik offers both free and premium quality images.
I use freepik for my blog and there are images for almost every topic you want to create.
Remember to credit the creator of those images if you happen to get your hands on the free images.
If you want to create your own images yourself as opposed to downloading pre-design images, use Canva.
As a corporate brand, the last thing you want is grammatical errors in your content.
Potential customers pay more attention to the small details. All they need is one mistake to justify why they shouldn’t do business with you.
And for this, a typical spell checker won’t analyze your content for grammar mistakes or grammatical context.
That’s where Grammarly comes in.
You’ll be able to create epic content with correct formatting and proper grammar to woo your potential customers.
While there are more tools you need to incorporate into your content marketing campaign, my goal is to help you find content your customers are looking for.
This will enable you to consistently create engaging content that solves your potential customers’ problem.
Once you’re able to create great content, marketing is way easy then.
Content Marketing Strategy
Over 60% of businesses never have a content marketing strategy.
To stand out in today’s saturated marketplace, you need a step-by-step strategy to reach your goals.
From your social media post down to the content on your website, you must have a strategy to ensure success.
Without a strategy, your success depends on luck and you risk your marketing effort going to waste.
Here are the steps to develop your content marketing strategy:
Every brand has its own goals. Your first step in developing a well-oiled strategy for your content marketing is to set your goals.
If you have a magic wand, what will be the ideal situation your business will be in 12 months’ time.
What are the benefits your customers will get from your content?
How faster will it help them make a buying decision?
Will you be an authoritative figure in your industry?
In specific, what percentage will be considered as an increase in traffic?
When setting goals for your content marketing campaign, you need to look at the business and audience perspective.
As the saying goes, “give people what they want and you’ll get what you want“.
Don’t only set vague goals, make them specific.
I want to make 100 sales over the next 5 months.
By setting specific goals, you’ll be able to easily track and measure your goals.
Once you set your goals, it’s time to move to the next step.
Define Your Buyer Persona
From the definition of content marketing, you must have a clearly defined audience.
When you have a clearly defined audience, it becomes super easy to create consistent engaging content.
What’s your target audience’s age?
Which country are they from?
Which cities do they live in?
Which social media do they use the most?
What’s the problem they want to solve?
What motivates them to buy?
How do they consume information?
How often do they need your solution?
When you answer all these questions, you’ll be left with a clearly defined audience.
Figure Out Content Channels For Your Business
If your business as being in operation for some time, chances are you already have some content out there.
If that’s the case, you need to assess your current content and figure out which ones your audience engages with the most.
To figure out which channel is the best for your business, go to Buzzsumo, type in your domain name and press enter.
But if you’re new, it’ll be quite difficult to figure out which channel is best for you as you don’t have any data to analyze.
However, you can find out with the following method:
- Sign up with a digital marketing agency.
- Analyze your competitors and see their best channels.
- Just get started and you can analyze later.
While I recommend outsourcing your marketing campaign to a digital marketing agency, you can also do it yourself using SEMRush.
Once you figure out the best channel, then go ahead to the next step.
Decide Content Types
Blog posts are very important to your content marketing. They are shareable, valuable, actionable and include a range of content types.
Ideally, your content mix might include social media contents, blog posts and guest posts (posting on other people’s blogs).
By now you should already know what content types will deliver the most result for you.
This does not mean you should totally ignore the content types that deliver the least result but you should put more effort into the one that delivers consistent results.
You can also use Buzzsumo to find out the content that has the most engagement.
Although with SEMRush, you can find content that brought the most traffic to your competitor’s website.
You can use either tools or both to get your marketing strategy right.
Now that you have done the hard work and figure out what content types to use for your business, it’s time to delegate those the right people.
Your marketing strategy is not yet right until you know who will create the contents and when the content will go live.
While delegating your content marketing, you need to focus on these three things:
- Tools and resources to use for the proper creation and distribution of your content.
- Who is in charge of creating, maintaining and distributing your contents?
- How many times in a week will it be distributed?
When you answer these questions, your content marketing campaign is truly on its way.
Create and Distribute
Now is the main part of your strategy, creating and distributing your content.
Before you start creating your content, you need to research how your top competitors are currently formatting their content.
The truth is, you need to do better than them if you want to overtake them.
Let’s take, for example, you want to create a blog post.
Your first step is to research the top 5 websites for that particular keyword. If your competitors write a blog post of 2500 words then you need to do better than that.
It’s just the way it is.
Once you are done with your research, go ahead to create your content.
You want your content to reflect your brand’s personality and maintain between providing value and not being salesy.
Once you’re done creating your content, the next step is to distribute it.
Your content is only great if you’ve people reading and getting value from it.
You also want to distribute your content through social media and newsletter.
Track and Measure Result
Now its time to see if you’re hitting your set goals.
Check your Google Analytics for traffic, Google console for search rank and click-through rate.
While content marketing will take time, you can start tracking your goals right from the offset.
I’m a big believer in celebrating small wins and if you’re doing this with your in-house team.
You should be celebrating a small milestone as well as a big milestone.
By monitoring your campaign right from the offset, you’ll be able to tweak and improve your content.
Monitor your conversion rate and sign up rate also. SEMRush is a powerful tool that can help you monitor everything in one place.
In this article, you discover the benefits of content marketing and how it can help you reach your business goals.
You also discover the two prominent issues with content marketing and how you can solve them.
Now you can go on to use content marketing in your business and get the result you crave for.