An astonishing 99% of small businesses generate positive results with content marketing, according to the State of Content Marketing 2023 Global Report. Can yours be one of them?
It’s a small business marketing question that many ponder on the road to finding new growth opportunities for their businesses. To help you decide whether content marketing is right for your small business, we’ve put together a list of ways to tell when you’re ready to use content marketing to strengthen your overall marketing strategy.
1. You realize you must commit to quality content and a sustainable publishing schedule.
If you’re only publishing a new piece of great content once in a while or whenever you have a chance, well – chances are, that content isn’t going to help:
- Build your brand.
- Establish you as a thought leader in your area of expertise.
- Engage your ideal customers.
- Create trust with your target audience.
- Lead to any sales.
For content marketing to attract customers and prospects organically, you need a solid strategy for producing relevant content pieces and publishing them consistently.
2. You realize you need the right focus for your content marketing.
You don’t want your content to be like anyone else’s, and you don’t have to follow the same track as your competitors. Answering these questions will help you find a unique focus for your business’s content marketing:
- What is our unique expertise? When you can provide real-life experience, thoughtful opinions, relevant information, helpful advice, or subject matter expertise through authentic content that’s relevant to your audience, you’re well on your way to succeeding with your content marketing.
- How can we make our content interesting and useful? Focus on the specific interests of your target audience. Know the preferences of your ideal customers. Only then will you understand the type of content that they will find interesting, useful, and relevant to their lives. It’s also a good idea to know what’s trending in your business, so conduct competitive research.
- Where will our content be most effective? In addition to your business website, you want other distribution channels for content that can broaden your reach. Do quantitative research such as website analytics and surveys as well as qualitative research like consumer interviews to learn all the places that members of your target audience like to frequent. You need to be there, too.
3. You realize the importance of the content discovery process.
First, your customers and prospects must go about finding the content on your website, social media platforms, and other online outlets. It’s a process called content discovery. When you understand how they find and engage with your content, you can use what you know to improve your small business content marketing strategy to encourage more engagement.
A month or two after you’ve published content, it’s a good idea to audit your content discovery process. This helps make sure your content is achieving what you expect. If it’s not, you need to find out why. Here are a few things to look for:
- Check if your content is in the wrong place. If your audience isn’t finding your content or they don’t get enough information on previous pages before seeing your content, you may want to change where the content is published.
- Check if the context has changed. Context helps to explain meaning. If your content isn’t performing the way you expect, it may be because of a change in season, unexpected weather, search algorithm adjustments, less marketing spending, or even things like pandemics and political situations.
- Check if the format is appropriate. Would your content be more effective as a video? A social media post? Is it too long or too short?
- Check if your marketing plan is adequate. Have you included the right keywords and search phrases in your content? Should you run a promotional email or social media campaign for it?
4. You realize you’re not getting good SEO results.
You need to write for your target audience, but you also need to write for search engine optimization (SEO). Search engines take note of when and how often you update your website with new content. They also rank the quality of your content, take into consideration the length, and how the content is tailored to your keywords. Marketers want to have a good balance between writing engaging content and writing for SEO requirements.
5. You realize your content isn’t boosting conversions.
Your content may not be addressing the needs of your target audience adequately. One of the remedies for this is working up buyer personas for each of your target audiences. Once you get to know each buyer persona, you can identify their unique pain points. Your content will be most relevant to them when you help them face their challenges better, solve their problems, and discover new opportunities.
6. You realize that incorporating email into your marketing strategy would be a benefit.
Email marketing success is well-documented. Almost 90% of marketers use email as the primary channel for generating leads, almost 30% of marketers rate email marketing as the most effective marketing channel, and more than 85% of B2B marketers use email channels for distributing content. Email marketing is also effective in nurturing leads, staying connected to your target audience, and building lasting relationships with your customers.
7. You realize you get little audience engagement from social media.
The key to great social media marketing is tailoring your messages for each platform. Because each platform has a different audience, the language, tone, and delivery of your content needs to be different as well. Once you do, social media becomes an effective avenue to:
- Promote your content.
- Directly engage with your target audiences.
- Drive traffic to your website.
- Keep different personas interested in your products and services.