Content marketing has become a significant part of most marketing efforts for companies large and small. I'm not sure I'd go as far as saying it's the only marketing that's left like Seth Godin, but I do agree that it is of utmost importance in any small business's marketing strategy.
You cannot maximize your small business marketing efforts today without a foundation built on search engine optimization, social media and content marketing. The three are intertwined and depend on one another to maximize success.
Let's make sure we are on the same page and define content marketing first.
Content Marketing is a marketing strategy focused on the creation, distribution, and sharing of information with an emphasis on helping and educating potential and current customers.
Content comes in many forms, but the most common types of content are:
Whether you are knee deep into your content marketing strategy or you are just starting, the following tips will help your small business turbocharge your content marketing right now! Done correctly content marketing is incredibly effective. Done wrong it can be a huge time drain with very little return.
What is the customer journey? It's the journey your customer experiences when dealing with your company from initial interest all the way to becoming a customer and beyond.
We follow and recommend the Duct Tape Marketing System for small business marketing where the customer journey is looked at as an hourglass.
You remember an hourglass...
Think of the customer journey as sand in an hourglass. The customer starts at the top of the hourglass and moves all the way to the bottom.
There are 7 steps in the customer journey. At the top of the hourglass you have Know, Like, and Trust. In the middle is Try. At the bottom your have Buy, Repeat, and Refer. Here's what it looks like.
It's impossible to create a plan without first knowing where you are and where you want to go. Your content calendar will help you strategically map out the content you need to create and when it needs to be done so you stay on task at all times.
Content calendars come in all shapes and sizes. You need to pick one that makes the most sense to you and modify when necessary.
Check out Content Marketing Editorial Calendar Templates: The Ultimate List for some awesome resources. I'd be shocked if you don't find something you like in this article. My recommendation is to err on the side of simple. It's easy to over complicate things that don't need to be.
You are creating content to educate, attract and engage prospects and clients. A critically important part of engagement is to create calls to action in all of your content marketing efforts.
Ask yourself, " what action do I want someone consuming my content to take? " Here's an example of a call to action we use in our business.
Check out our FREE cheat sheet to help you catapult your marketing to the next level. Click the image below to check it out.
Calls to action typically come in the form of cheat sheets, ebooks, checklists, etc. Your goal is to exchange something of value for an email address. Once you have an email address you can focus on moving that prospect through the customer journey by continuing to educate, add value, and hopefully convert them to a customer.
You might have another objective other than collecting an email address with your content, which is completely fine. Just make sure you have calls to action in your content that encourage visitors to take the action you desire.
We all have strengths and weaknesses. We also have likes and dislikes. Choose content types you enjoy and are good at.
Many small businesses start out blogging and it's a great way to get into the content marketing game, but if you don't like to write then choose something else or pay somebody to write for you. Do you like shooting videos? How about podcasts?
There are many forms of content to choose from and you don't need to do them all. Start out slowly by choosing no more than two at the start. Once you have systems in place and feel good about your progress then you can branch out into other forms of content if you'd like.
The most important thing in the beginning is to pick something and stick with it. Content marketing without consistency will not work, so don't over commit yourself...stay focused.
Repurposing content is simply recycling your existing content into new forms of content.
Content marketing can be a little overwhelming at times, but it doesn't have to be. Pick a couple forms of content you enjoy and run with it. Don't feel the need to jump into the latest content fad of the week...the tried and true forms of content like blogging and video are incredibly effective.
Keep these 7 tips in mind and work the system you create step by step. Have fun!
Did you find this helpful? Feel free to comment below and share.
Tim Fitzpatrick is the President & Founder of Rialto Mobile Marketing. At Rialto Mobile Marketing we create marketing systems to help small businesses achieve simple, sustainable growth. We're the bridge between where you are and where you want to be.