Building a Content Marketing Strategy for Your Small Business – 6 Keys
By Pauline Farris // August 28, 2018
Be Clear on Identification of Target Audience
It’s the great equalizer. You can’t compete with the big boys in terms of marketing budgets (they have entire departments dedicated to this function), but you can become a content marketing master, grow your audiences, your business, and your revenue.
Developing a content marketing strategy that really works will take time and effort, especially for a small business with a small team. But it can be done, and here are the key elements of any content strategy that a small business should adopt.
Be Clear on Identification of Target Audience
One of the biggest time wasters for a content marketer is to just throw content out there, all over the place, and hope that the right audience finds it somehow. This is inefficient and ineffective. And the content, in many cases, will not be what your target audience wants or needs.
Until you have a clear picture of your target audience, you cannot know where to place your content and you cannot know what that content should be about.
This will obviously involve some research. But it is time well spent, and there is data and tools that will provide an analysis of the demographics of your audience, the needs they have, and where they hang out.
As Christopher K. Mercer, marketing director of Citation states: “You have to speak directly to a defined audience. You have to know their pain points and what they will see as valuable. Small businesses actually have an advantage here, because their audiences are more demographically compact.”
Tell Your Stories
So, how did you get the idea for your business? What hurdles and challenges did you face as you launched and have grown? What are the stories of your team members? What community or other causes are near and dear to you? What are some of your customers’ stories?
Storytelling works because it is “human interest.” People “connect” with it. But there is an art to storytelling – some marketers do it with text and visuals; others do it with videos. However you choose to do it, though, it should not be “professional” and formal. You need to tell your stories as if you were relating them to a friend – be relaxed and authentic.
This can be a tall order. If you are not comfortable with telling your own stories well, then hire a writer or find tools to do it for you. There are some great writing services with creative writing departments, such a Supreme Dissertations, Get Good Grade, or Hot Essay Service, not to mention a number of tools that can be used to create informal videos – Powtoon, Animaker, Animatron, and Moovly.
And don’t forget that your niche may be quite popular with foreign audiences. There is nothing wrong with locating foreign language blogs and social media platforms and finding places to publish your content. If you should find such platforms, check out Is Accurate, a site that provides top translation service company reviews, to find a translator for you content.
Large companies build a large team of content marketers. But small companies can “bootstrap” if they find the right influencer to partner with.
Influencers have big audiences and produce content that engages and retains their audiences. Mini influencers are all over the place in virtually every niche. Suppose you are a company with skin care products. Do the research, find influencers with an audience similar to your target, who create content on makeup and skin care. Most are open to “plugging” products for a fee and a free sample. It’s worth a try, for sure.
The other aspect of using influencers is to find those blogs in related niches with large followings. Follow those blogs, comment on them, participate in discussions, get your name known to that influencer. Ultimately, ask that influencer if you can re-post a blog they have written. They usually agree. Eventually, you can ask to post one of your stunning blogs on their site. And, of course, there is a link back to your company website.
Visuals Win the Day
All of the research shows that people want to see rather than read. They are impatient with short attention spans. No one will read walls of text, no matter how valuable the information is. A picture at the top of a blog post won’t cut it. You will need to provide all types of visuals throughout any textual content, if you intend to keep an audience engages- photos, infographics, videos, gifs, memes, etc. And if you can throw in some great humor, you’ve got a winning piece of content.
When you create amazing, stunning, and engaging content, your readers will want to share it with their tribes. Mae it easy for them to do so with a single “click.”
Social Media – Go Only Where your Audience Is
You can’t “cover” every social media platform with your content. And you shouldn’t even try. There is plenty of research out there that speaks to where your target audience is and even when they frequent specific social media platforms. If your audience is over 50, for example, why would you even consider Snapchat?
Choose wisely, based on the research. Pick just a couple of platforms and do them really well. Post often and regularly. Use humor and inspirational messages. Nathan Chan, owner of Foundr Magazine, focused on Instagram. For weeks, he published inspirational messages to startup entrepreneurs with amazing photos, and he grew his audience (and subscribers) to 10,000 very quickly. He was able to post several times a day, because he was focused on a single platform where he knew his audience hung out. Today, he has about 2.5 million followers and subscribers.
Finally…Do You Have a Plan?
Have you mapped out a plan for your content? What potential blog titles and topics do you have for the coming weeks? What types of content will you create for each venue?
If you have done your research, checked out your competitors, found influencers to woo, and have either the tools and/or resources to create the compelling content that your audience will love, then you are ready to move forward.
Most important of all? Be patient. Create that content and perform the analytics that will tell you what is working and what is not.
You can have big dreams without a big budget. And you can realize those dreams if you work smart.
Pauline Farris is a professional translator with a Master’s degree in Translation Studies. Being a native Brazilian Portuguese speaker, she has been working as a translator for over eight years. She also enjoys writing and editing and works with professional writing companies such as RatedByStudents and TopWritersReview as an editor and content manager.
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