You’ve taken your small business online, you’ve set up your website, and you’re using social media. As you turn from how to get your business online to how to make your online presence work for you, consider driving business by creating and distributing content that carries your brand and marketing message to prospective and current customers. Content marketing is using content to attract customers to your brand, products or services. This is now a common and standard marketing practice for many businesses because of its effectiveness and potential to engage deeply with customers.
The most effective types of content include:
Social media posts
Articles and blogs
But content form is only one consideration when it comes to effective content marketing. Following are a few tips to consider when planning, developing and executing your content:
Have clear goals for your content
Are you looking to increase awareness of your business? Generate leads? Increase customer loyalty and trust? Know what you want to get from your content before you start.
Consider your expertise and value
While it’s important to keep to topics that you are knowledgeable about in your line of work, also consider what you want your business to be known for and any specialties you want to promote. For instance, if you are a restaurant that is launching a new brunch menu, you may want to create and share your favorite brunch recipes.
Consider your audience
The point of content marketing is to get your audience to consume your content. But if your content isn’t valuable to them, they won’t look at it. Think about who your website visitors and social media followers are and what they would find relevant. What can you provide that will make them not only engage your content, but share it with their online networks of friends and family? Strive to understand your audience, and incorporate that understanding into your content offerings, both on your site and in your social media channels.
Weigh the costs and benefits of different content development options
When it comes to writing a blog or taking a photo, you may be comfortable doing that yourself. However, you may want to consider getting outside help from an affordable, professional creative services agency to do the heavy lifting for content that involves video or a lot of graphical artwork. Just make sure you’re involved in the creative development if you outsource.
Optimize online content for the best search results
Remember that all online content should be accessible for Search Engine Optimization, or SEO. For example, text in static graphics cannot be crawled by search engines. Consider using design techniques that give search engine crawlers greater access and context.
As with every facet of your business, metrics are key to recognizing trends, seizing opportunities and demonstrating return on investment. Content is no different and it’s helpful to know what content topics or forms work best for you as you develop new content.
Now that your business is online, it makes sense to consider what your content is saying and to whom. With so much access to information, buyers are surely getting savvier when it comes to doing their homework on your business and others. Your online content is among your first and best opportunities to engage and possibly convert a prospective customer who visits or follows your business online. Make it work for you.