Small Business Content Marketing Strategy — 4 Key Questions

Digital marketing has become a core part of small business marketing. A key component of digital marketing is content — it gives you message to communicate to the targeted audience. Messages may be transmitted as video, audio, text which further divided into newsletters, blog posts, lead pages, web pages and more. In all these instances, content is KING.

Content marketing therefore involves creating content that is valuable and relevant so as to attract the intended audience. While selling could be the ultimate purpose, initial communication must be interesting and consistent so as to introduce your business to potential customers and encourage them to stay around. This makes to easier for people who are already familiar with your company to follow the CTAs

Identify Your Audience

First you need to know your audience. You may do so through customer surveys, or through internal planning that decides which people you are targeting. You also need to know the purpose of your content. While ultimately your business needs to sell something, your content could be intent on building brand awareness, brand reputation, re-branding, entertaining or just information. It also depends on which place you are in the marketing plan.

Well-crafted content can draw traffic to your website and social media accounts, boost your performance on search results pages, and give audiences the opportunity to share your content with their friends. The final outcome will be increased engagement, brand visibility and sales.

Rich content will eventually increase your website traffic, social media accounts, and thereby helping you to rank higher on organic searches. A key achievement of good content is share-ability. You don’t want the same customers reading your newsletter or blog each time without thinking of sharing now. Do you?

Just like not everyone is a teacher, everyone is not a content marketer. However, there are steps you can take to greatly improve your content performance. There are also common mistakes made in content marketing thereby disrupting the purpose of the content. Two errors in content marketing are getting the wrong audience or being unable to expand your reach beyond existing audience.

Planning Content Strategy

Whether you are going swimming at the hotel next door, or going for lunch a few blocks from the office, you need to plan. Otherwise you might find yourself trying to explain that you forgot your card or wallet in the office; or at the pool with not swim wear! How much more then in content marketing?

It is at planning stage that you must ask the 4 key questions:- WHO, WHAT,WHEN, &WHERE.

Failure to plan will lead to failed campaigns.

WHO — Your target audience & further includes who is responsible for sharing/ compiling the content. Many businesses ignore hiring a writer who can help them with content strategy and writing until too late. If you don’t have a certified writer in your organisation, this is the point at which you start taking note of the kind of writer you need to hire. Is it just a writer, a content strategist or digital marketing expert?

WHAT — What is the mission and vision of your business? Think about what you want this particular campaign to achieve. Different businesses want different outcomes — generate leads, increase website traffic, increase brand awareness, compliment customer service. This will help you to articulate clearly the measurable and thus the required input.

WHEN — This is greatly dependent on the “what” If you are making a press release or product launch, it must have a specific date. For blogs or periodic articles, you should focus on setting a frequency — be it daily, weekly, monthly or periodically. The same case goes for newsletters. I’ve found that when I receive daily newsletters I bookmark them to read later but never get round to doing so. On the other hand I anticipate weekly newsletters.

WHERE — Ask yourself which form of communication will reach your audience effectively. Are you posting on your blog, on authority sites in your niche or social media? Research on the first point will help you here. Find out where your targeted audience is at. This will also help you to know whether you need other complimentary marketing methods such as samples or giveaways.

In summary, the first step for effective content marketing is to know your customer. The answers to the four key questions will guide you into making a winning strategy for your business. Once this is in place, the rest of the components will fall seamlessly in place. You will know which message can help your target, the medium of communication to reach them effectively as well as the results you can expect from the campaign.



BIO

I’m a Digital Communication Consultant and Blog Writer — Health and Fitness, Personal Finance, Marketing & Parenting. I started ghost writing in 2011, and professional blog writing in 2016. My work is published on Medium, the Huffington post, Linkedin, The Dollar Stretcher, Parent.co, Writers Weekly, Sammiches &Psychmeds and Authors Publish. Follow me on Pinterest to get freelance writing, blogging and personal finance tips. Connect with me on LinkedIn, Twitter or Facebook