The most challenging part of content marketing is the creation of new, quality information that has not been used and abused all over the Internet. The word that should jump out at you there is quality. They say content is king, but what they should really say is quality content rules the land, because, without it, your business will always be struggling to compete.
Large corporations hire expert writers to develop content that is germane and engaging, but what about the little guy? Small businesses don’t have the same resources. It takes time and expertise that many business owners don’t have, so how do they stay relevant? It takes a strategic content creation process to put your small company on the road to success.
Why Bother with Content Marketing?
Put simply, content marketing is what drives a brand. It is the scaffolding that small businesses use to grow. The world is connected in ways that didn’t exist 50 years ago. Consumers are tech savvy and go online to communicate with family, shop and educate themselves about products.
Marketing company CoSchedule states that small businesses that create a comprehensive content marketing plan see six times more conversions than a company that does not bother. That is because the decision makers use social media and search engines, they read blogs and they do their online research before buying.
How to Create a Workable Content Plan
The goal is to develop a stable, yet flexible, system for creating quality content. It starts with assessing the needs of the company and figuring out where content can improve your business.
- Customer education
- Client training
Content creation offers many diverse opportunities that you may not have considered viable until now.
Now decide what types of content are right at each level. Customer education is a powerful tool, for example. Marketing is about selling products, but consumers can see it as an invasion. If you can sell them by teaching them something new, it changes their perspective. The Content Marketing Institute gives some examples of companies that have utilized customer education successfully.
For step three, look for ways to repurpose some of the quality content. The categories often overlap, so that content targeted for customer education might work for your b2b content marketing strategy, too.
Map Out Your Plan
You have all the pieces, now use them to create a plan.
- How often do you want new blog posts?
- Will you write them yourself or hire one of the content creation services to do it for you?
- What distribution channels do you have in place?
- What about social media? Do you have the pages set up?
- Do you have the right tools in your toolbox for effective content creation?
- Have you set up a metrics system to analyze traffic?
Keeping It All Organized
Once you start building this web of superior content, you’ll need a way to keep things organized. Content creation tools like Google Docs and Evernote allow you to organize your ideas as you brainstorm. Compile your best content to use as references and backlinks on blogs and social media prompts.
Content marketing is a skill set that every small business owner needs to learn. A good place to find resources and get educated is at the 2016 Content Marketing Conference in May.