It’s critical to make sure you’re not overlooking anything as you plan or evaluate your small business content marketing strategy. So to help you out, we’ve created a small business marketing checklist that’s peppered with handy content marketing tips for small businesses.
Marketing for small business today involves more than signs in windows, flyers, and print ads. As a result most consumers, even those who do their shopping in-person, expect a business to have a solid online presence. In fact, more than 80 percent of consumers do some online research when making a purchase decision therefore you need to be sure your marketing strategy is on point.
Take a moment to run through these tips to see if there are areas where you could be concentrating more of your efforts.
Content Marketing Tips for Small Businesses:
1. Identify Where You Stand Right Now
Almost none of the following content marketing tips for small businesses will be that meaningful if you don’t know where you stand right now. So to see how your content is currently performing so you can set appropriate goals and know where to focus your attention.
First of all, if you haven’t done so already, set up a Google Analytics account. This will allow you to see exactly what type of content is getting the most attention, right down to which pages of your website are receiving the most visits.
With GA, you can view traffic patterns from various sources, and even see how people are connecting to your content. Each social media account also has useful stats you can check to see how effective your content is. Take stock of your overall content marketing performance by looking at the following items:
• How long people are staying on your various webpages
• Number of backlinks pointing to your website
• How many conversions your content is generating
• How people are getting to your content (e.g., mobile devices, desktop)
• What you are doing now with search engine optimization (what’s the use of producing amazing content if searchers can’t actually find it?)
• Which offline marketing efforts are generating interest in your online content
• What type of social media content is getting shared the most
• Your AdWords stats (if you are running paid campaigns) to see how many of your clicks are turning into conversions
2. Create Content Marketing Goals
Any type of marketing for small business needs to be based on solid goals. This is certainly true when it comes to content marketing. It’s your goals that will allow you to make wise use of your resources in a way that’s good for your bottom line.
Not all content is created equal in terms of what it could do for your business. For instance, there’s a difference in what you would present if you mainly wanted to generate interest in your products and services and what type of content you would distribute if your primary motivation was to be seen as a trusted source of information within your industry or niche.
Additionally, content marketing goals will provide clear direction for anyone on your team who has a role in producing content on a regular basis. Having solid guidelines in place also helps maintain consistency with your messaging. Small business content marketing goals may involve:
• Increasing website traffic
• Generating more in-person visits
• Boosting customer retention
• Reaching new customers in specific geographic areas
• Gaining an edge over local competitors
3. Keep Searcher Intent In Mind
Google has been increasingly taking steps to base search results on user intent, rather than just the words or phrases being typed in search boxes. For this reason, engaging and well written content that’s likely to attract the attention of both searchers and search engines should have a specific purpose in mind.
One way to do this is to create a buyer persona. This is a fictionalized representation of your ideal customers based on what likely motivates someone to consider what you have to offer. You can also get a better idea of searcher intent by:
• Doing more audience research: Dive into your existing customer data to get a better feel for who is buying your products and using your services. Look at details such as age range, geographic location, and income levels. Checking out your feedback can also give you more insights about what matters most to your customer base.
• Identifying pain points: Pain points are obstacles that pop up during the customer journey. For instance, customers may be frustrated by not being able to speak with an actual person when making a purpose decision. You could address this particular pain point in your content by pointing out that “real people answer our phones during normal business hours and off-hours calls are promptly returned.”
• Doing your keyword research: Keywords can give you some important clues about what searchers have in mind when looking for your products and services. There are plenty of free keyword tools can help with this. Also, take a look what keywords and phrases your competitors are using to see if you’re on the right track.
4. Build Your Content Resources
Successful content marketing for small businesses involves a steady influx of fresh, relevant content. While it’s good to have well-written website content, this is only one slice of the content pie.
There are many other ways to make valuable and informative content available to searchers. For instance, you could distribute email newsletters. Doing so can also give you an opportunity to segment your email list based on interest to encourage more engagement.
With social media, Facebook’s Instant Articles feature allows mobile users to get instant access to more in-depth content. You can even curate content by encouraging your social media followers to submit photos and share their thoughts.
With your blog, encourage guest posts. Another tactic is to have simple contests where you spotlight certain user-submitted content. Consequently not only can this increase your content reserve. Additionally, it’s a great way to keep your customers involved with your business.
Internal links within your website can also help direct visitors to relevant blog content. Another creative way to provide access to more content is with links to PDF files within your content that provide more information on certain topics.
5. Keep Measuring Your Results
According to a National Small Business Survey, more than 80 percent of smaller companies and businesses fail to track their goals. Content marketing tips for small businesses, like the ones discussed here, are only going to be impactful if you are actively measuring your results.
You’re not going to know if you’re on track with your goals if you’re not consistently keeping tabs on how your content is performing. With Google Analytics, reports can be conveniently divided by certain periods of time so you can compare results to see if you are getting meaningful improvements.
If you set your stats up correctly, all of your content can be tracked in a way that’s fairly organized and easily accessible. Typically, results and content marketing metrics small businesses will want to be aware of include:
• Website traffic patterns and landing page views
• Month-to-month performance levels with things like conversion rates
• Results from individual paid ad campaigns or email marketing campaigns
• How well social media pages are performing (specifically, social shares)
• Organic and paid search results
• Call-to-action click-through rates
Since you have tracking set up for your campaigns, you will be able to identify ways to optimize them moving forward. This results in your campaigns always evolving to meet your goals even if those change regularly. You’ll want to make sure you stay focused on your goals as much as possible though so as to not reset your campaign expectations too frequently.
Need some help making these content marketing tips for small businesses work for you? The team at SimplySearch Marketing is here to help. We offer comprehensive, budget-pleasing assistance that can be personalized to individual needs and goals. Contact us today to learn more about our small business content marketing services.