If you’re a new business owner – or find yourself taking your existing business online for the first time – then content marketing is a foreign concept to you. But to find success, it’s something you have to master. Thankfully, it’s relatively easy to get started.
The Why Behind Content Marketing
“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,” Content Marketing Institute explains.
Content marketing serves a variety of purposes, but is specifically used for three key reasons: increased sales, cost savings, and customer loyalty. It happens via a variety of mediums, including social media, website development, SEO, public relations, and advertising.
Without a content marketing strategy, your business will fail to earn the necessary visibility that it takes to reach customers, funnel them to your website, and monetize your products and services. With content marketing, you can accomplish all of these things in a cost-effective manner that propels your business forward.
5 Tips to Lay the Appropriate Groundwork
We don’t have the space to cover every aspect of content marketing in this article. But what we can do is provide beginners with some of the basic building blocks and truths that are needed to get started. Take a look:
- Create Useful and Relevant Content
Small businesses and startups frequently make the mistake of investing in self-serving content. They pump out a bunch of salesy posts and promotional pieces that they believe will lead to direct conversions. Unfortunately, all they really do is turn people off.
There’s a time and place for sales content, but this isn’t the place to start. The bulk of your content must be useful and relevant to your audience. You should be addressing their needs and providing real value. This is why “how-to” articles are so effective.
- Invest in Link Building
Once you have an arsenal of content at your disposal, you can begin to think outside of your website. Now’s a good time to invest in a link building strategy that will improve SEO and generate traffic for your site. But again, be mindful of what type of content you’re publishing.
Google is studying the contextual value of your links to see if they’re natural. You only want to publish links that are genuinely valuable to your target audience.
- Be Consistent
Content marketing isn’t something you do in the beginning stages of building your online business and then put on the shelf to forget about. The only way to find sustainable success is to be consistent in your output. Create a content calendar and stick with it.
Consistency also comes into play with your brand voice. Even if you have multiple people writing and producing your content, it should sound like it’s coming from the same brand. Develop a brand voice and train all writers to abide by it.
- Encourage Sharing
Whether you’re a small business or massive global organization, your website has a very limited audience on its own. To generate traffic and views for your content, you have to share the content and draw people in.
Not only can you share your content via social media, but you can also encourage your readers, clients, social media followers, and business partners to do the same. A content sharing strategy will help.
- Measure and Analyze KPIs
It’s not always easy to tell how your content marketing strategy is performing. Instead of making wild guesses and uneducated assumptions, you can use data to help you understand what’s happening beneath the surface.
Zero in on three or four key performance indicators (KPIs) that you believe are important for your strategy. Examples include traffic, clicks, average time on page, social sharing, comments, backlinks, etc. Then use your favorite website analytics platform to track these figures over time and make necessary adjustments.
Content Marketing Takes Time
Content marketing isn’t easy or quick. It’s something that requires time, creative energy, and a long-term commitment to consistency. But if you’re willing to make the upfront investment, you’ll enjoy significant dividends down the road. Try applying some of the tips and techniques discussed in this article, and you’ll be pleasantly surprised with the results.