Managing Your Business
How to Create a Content Strategy For Your Small Business
You wouldn't build a house without a blueprint, and it's just as important not to produce content for your company without a plan. Investing in a solid content strategy can boost engagement and brand awareness, resulting in more and better business.
According to HubSpot's Content Marketing Strategy in 2020, nearly 70% of companies are actively focusing on content strategy. To avoid your content getting lost in the digital shuffle, keep the following content building methods in mind.
Pinpoint Your Goals and Mission
Knowing what you're trying to accomplish will inform your choices regarding types of content and messaging. Start by defining your goals for your content. To pinpoint goals, write a content marketing mission statement. In the statement, indicate your target audience, the type of content you intend to create, and the benefit your potential customers will receive from the content.
Also state why you're creating content. There likely will be more than one reason. Some reasons include:
- Boosting brand awareness
- Converting users
- Attracting new and former customers
- Generating leads
- Improving search engine optimization (SEO)
Set Key Performance Indicators (KPIs)
Use Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) to quantify and track your content strategy goals. Such specific, measurable goals enable you to pinpoint what content strategy works and what content could use some refinement. With a KPI, you target a goal and measure results through a data source. Some common KPIs include engagements, signups, conversions, and sales.
Identify Your Audience
For your content strategy to reap the rewards you're hoping for, it's essential to have a clearly identified demographic. Determine your audience's age range, gender, income level, education, and areas of interest. This will ensure that your content strategy speaks to your preferred audience.
If you aren't sure of your audience, use existing customers and clients as benchmarks. Analyze records and consider surveying clients anonymously to discover key demographic attributes such as education level, age, income, and the topics that interest them most. Additionally, it pays to know their wants, needs, and goals.
Conduct SEO Analysis and Strategize
When you know what interests your audience, you can readily identify your ideal content topics. Use these subjects to determine your Search Engine Optimization (SEO) strategy. SEO strategy focuses on organizing your website content based on topic. This enables search engines such as Google to direct users to your content.
The more pinpointed your SEO strategy, the better. With your topic in mind, compile a list of keywords. These will include your content topics. In addition to adding keywords obvious to you, it's advisable to use a keyword planning tool. Google has a keyword planner, and there are other options. The ideal keywords can result in a page-one ranking.
Study Your Competition and Differentiate
There's no point in repeating what your competitors are providing in the way of content. Before you produce content, find out what similar content is already out there, and figure out how you can differentiate. If you have a unique offering or service, capitalize on that as much as possible. It's vital to let your customers and potential customers know what makes your company stand above the crowd.
Focus on Your Marketing Funnel
To set up an effective content strategy, consider your marketing funnel. At the top of the funnel is brand awareness. This consists of content that establishes trust with your potential customers by offering them helpful information. Though such content may not seem as important as converting to sales, you won't have sales unless your potential customers first know about your company and what it represents and has to offer.
Once brand awareness occurs, your next step is to move potential customers down the funnel to engagement. You can do this with content that encourages interaction. Some possibilities include surveys and the opportunity for customers to express opinions.
When your audience is engaged, you want to be available through chat, email, and phone to answer any questions. At this point, they will be evaluating what your company has to offer and may decide to complete the marketing funnel journey and purchase.
Decide on Content Formats and Channels
Determine which types of content you want to specialize in. For instance, will you be creating videos, writing blog posts, writing e-books, or designing infographics? The type of content you specialize in will depend on where you plan to publish your content. Options include your website and blog, social media and video outlets, and e-book retailers.
Before embarking on a social media campaign, determine which outlets your potential clients visit. Do they spend a lot of time on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, or LinkedIn?
Develop a Content Marketing Calendar and Schedule Content
Determine how often and when you're going to produce your content. When starting out, be realistic about frequency. Begin with a few commitments a week to ensure you can keep up the pace. Before ramping up production, check out how many clicks and shares your content has been getting. If the results aren't as positive as you'd like, analyze why that may be the case and rectify the problem before producing more content.
A good way to organize your content production and ensure it stays fresh is to create a content marketing calendar. An editorial calendar for your content production will keep you on track and ensure that you're publishing a well-balanced selection of content. Using a content calendar also helps you remember to capitalize on important holidays and occasions that pertain to your business.
Since your first goal is to gain attention and build a following, start by calendaring in content pieces designed to achieve that goal. Once you have produced a good selection of such content, focus on including pieces that help push readers further down the marketing funnel.
Ensure the content you're creating is high-quality. Rather than rush to get something out, wait until what you've created is superior. Remember that your content represents your business. A blog or social media post may be a potential customer's first exposure to your company. Making a good impression can only be achieved with valuable content.
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