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5 Content Marketing Tips for Small Businesses

  • Content marketing is a cost-effective way for small businesses to promote their business. Whether you run a plumbing service or a local bakery, content marketing can increase sales, expand your audience and boost brand awareness without breaking the bank.

    But just like any other form of marketing, you need a solid, effective plan to see the results you want. You can't just build it and hope they will come.

    Use these five tips to boost your content marketing success.

    1. Use Data to Measure Your Success

    Many small business owners shy away from content marketing because they're not sure of how to measure their results. Why invest in something if you can't easily gauge your return?

    On the other hand, you have small business owners who are disappointed with their results because they assumed publishing blog posts would automatically draw in new customers.

    But data can help you evaluate your content's performance, so you know what type of content works and what doesn't.

    The first step is to determine the goal of your content. What do you want it to accomplish? Do you want to bring in more sales, boost your subscriber list, increase your social media shares or something else? If your goal is to increase traffic to your site, Google Analytics can help you measure your success.

    Once you know what you want your content to do, you can use analytics and other data-driven techniques to measure your success. If your goal is to get more social shares, then you'll need to evaluate the performance of each post you share. Expand on topics that get the most shares.

    2. You Don't Have to Tell a Story

    If you've done any research on content marketing, you've probably heard marketers talk about storytelling. Brand storytelling is certainly an effective way to reach prospective customers, but not all of your content has to tell a story.

    There's nothing wrong with publishing a straightforward post that provides value for your readers.

    A good example of this is Drain Master's blog, a company that offers drain cleaning in Ohio. The company's blog offers helpful tips and advice on common plumbing issues, like reasons your faucet may be leaking and things not to put in your garbage disposal. There's no real storytelling going on, but readers will still learn valuable information when reading their posts.

    3. Repurpose Your Content

    Great content takes time, money and skill to produce. When your content resonates with readers, you can maximize your return by repurposing it on different platforms.

    Content can be repurposed into:

    • A downloadable PDF, or eBook
    • A webinar
    • A YouTube video
    • An email blast

    Repurposing your content allows you to reach a larger audience without having to create brand new content.

    4. Tackle Topics from a Different Angle

    Much of the content being produced today is just regurgitated opinions and viewpoints. That's why it's so difficult to get and hold the attention of readers: They're tired of reading the same thing over and over again.

    Taking a contrarian or unpopular stance when creating your content can attract attention. Don't go out of your way to offend your readers, but don't be afraid to speak your mind.

    Readers will appreciate you speaking your mind instead of parroting what others are saying. If anything, it will make your posts sound more authentic.

    5. Create a Plan for Your Content

    Before you dive in and start writing posts, you need to come up with a plan for your content. Making a list of topics to cover is just one small aspect of your plan.

    You will also want to:

    • Map out your content. For each topic you want to cover, figure out how to take a different approach and why people should bother reading your post.
    • Make a list of publishers and websites that may be interested in your post. It's not uncommon for blogs and online publishers to syndicate or feature content from other parts of the web. Reach out to those on your list before you create the content to gauge interest.
    • Make a list of influencers who may also be interested in your post. Reach out to them to talk about your post. Consider mentioning them in your article or getting a quote to include.
    • Promote your content. Creating the content is just a small part of the process. You can have the best content in the world, but it will do you no good if no one sees it. Map out sites, platforms and communities you plan to promote your content on.

    Having a plan for your content will give you direction and also help you measure your success. If you plan to promote your content on social media (and you should), you can gauge interest by checking the number of shares, like and reposts.