If you want to grow your business you have to invest in content marketing. Content is one of the most important factors of marketing with new methods generated on daily basis.
If you are new to content marketing it is a common problem on where you should start. Moreover, as a small business owner, you have budget and timing restrictions. There are other operational expenses you should handle and there is not enough time to learn a bunch of tools and platforms.
With tons of different content marketing tips available online, we will focus on the most effective and at the same time affordable methods. Methods which are applicable to a variety of businesses who are diving into online content marketing. As you will see, some of them are based on the principles of Growth Hacking. A widely popular approach among startup community, as it helps to achieve great results in relatively short period of time.
Generate Visual Content
Visual content rules the world and fact that it is outperforming other content types by 94% in terms of engagement clearly demonstrates that this is something you should look into. Visual content is easier to remember and people are likely to click and share graphic materials. Once you are preparing an article for your blog or external article make sure you back it up with engaging visual content.
The common mistake made is that we tend to think that visual content is limited to images and videos. But there is so much more you can use – infographics and graphic polls have proven to be effective and with free and easy to use services like infogr.am it takes minutes to generate one.
Perform A/B Testing
How do you decide which type of layout and content is better for your business? Performing internal polls and relying on experts can help you make right decisions. But then there are those tiny pieces which could look like a ‘no big deal’ things. Nevertheless operating with them on your daily routine may reveal hidden gems and increase sales.
Testing was growing rapidly in 2016 and will continue to grow in 2017. So if you haven’t jumped into A/B testing yet this could be your chance. There are a bunch of tools available for most popular platforms like WordPress and even Google Analytics itself has their inbuilt tools for running A/B tests. For those interested, there is a comprehensive tutorial on how to setup A/B testing for WordPress and Google Analytics.One objective within one test series is the key to successful A/B testing and content #marketing. Click To Tweet
In order to become expert in A/B testing start by performing tiny tests, like managing header titles or subheadings. Making major changes is not the best approach for A/B testing, instead use an incremental method and tune up your website step by step.
Remember: one objective within one test series. Only then you can be sure that it worked.
Focus on Social Media
With Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn being the top social media platforms used for marketing these are places where your business must be presented. Maintaining social profiles allows you to increase customer engagement and awareness of your products and services.
Spreading information through social media allows you increase business reach. You are able to create new segments and target specific auditory based on their interests. Provide unique content and act like a one-stop resource by gathering valuable references. Remember that resharing information is an important part of content marketing.
There are tools available which will help you monitor social media and plan your activities. Check tools like Buffer and Hootsuite and don’t forget to visit their blogs as you will discover a lot of useful tips related to social media.
Communicate and Answer Questions
Direct communication is an important part of marketing as it has the ability to target specific customers and turn them into affiliates. Customers who experienced direct communication are more likely to leave positive feedbacks and generate independent content which can be used within your content marketing strategy.
Another benefit from communication is constant knowledge base improvements. You will receive a lot of information which can be aggregated to generate valuable content. Moreover, communication will force you to generate content which can be then reused by developing common patterns and focusing on points your customers value most.
The information you provide must be interesting and engaging, it is not enough to write a blank review and add few images. Your posts and articles should have a story behind them, something that will grab readers attention and keep them focused.Posts must have same principles as #startup - find a problem, present solution, prove efficiency. Click To Tweet
Think about the structure of your posts and tone you are using while reading it. The structure of posts must contain principles of a startup – find a problem, present solution, prove efficiency. You can start by developing case studies and tips which are both highly engaging types of content and can be easily adopted under standard storytelling pattern. Once your skill in storytelling will grow you’ll be able to address other types of topics in the same way.
Create Engaging Headlines
It takes only a few seconds for visitors to decide either specific website, offer or topic is covering their interests. And this is where your headline can either help or ruin your business opportunity.
Good headlines are focused on asking right questions and representing benefits which are highly appreciated by visitors. Just like an article itself, the headline must have a story behind it to make the reader curious.
Another point to focus on when creating headlines is a form of your language. Analyse what type of words, phrases and search query your target audience is using and make sure you are covering them.
Look into popular resources and blogs on how they generate headlines and you will discover similar patterns like:
- Usage of numbers;
- Creating headlines in the form of questions;
- Presenting benefits at the end of the headline;
- Usage of keywords they are focusing on.
Unless you have a huge marketing team working on the unique content generation you should constantly look into options to introduce reusable content. Make sure you have established knowledge base, internal or external, where you can gather pieces of content which can be either useful to your customers or for your marketing purposes.
Most of the social media experts suggest reusing of content in similar forms to ensure you are constantly targeting your customers during a specific period of time. Methods like re-sharing of content will increase your business reach and won’t ask for additional investments for content marketing.
Become a Part of Industry
Engage in communities built around your industry and present yourself as a reliable expert. In order to run successful content marketing, it is crucial not to advertise your products or services all the time. Focus on increasing your level of expertise when it comes to covering industry-related questions you can be sure that potential customers will remember your weighty opinion.
Do You Know More Methods?
We have covered basic methods of successful content marketing applicable to small businesses through careful refactor of our own expertise and authoritative resources like Forbes, Moz and Business Insider. But of course there are a lot more tips and tricks on how to improve your content marketing and if you have some in mind feel free to share them.