When running a business, there are some things that are simply too important to gloss over. A perfect example is content marketing.
Thousands and thousands of businesses are clamoring for people’s attention, and consumers are getting better and better at avoiding it. They fast forward through television commercials, subscribe to ad-free radio, implement blocking software on their computers, and more.
To grab the attention of potential customers, a business has to be very specific and thoughtful about the messages that they broadcast. Instead of throwing out a sales pitch, the company should focus on providing valuable information to the proper target audience. When a business does this, it’s called content marketing, and it changes perceptions about the brand and its usefulness.
Content marketing can be a bit intimidating, especially for the new entrepreneur. There are more than a few different considerations to take into account, and those without experience often find themselves overwhelmed in an ocean of information. That being said, there are several tactics that marketing experts consistently recommend.
1. Recognize and Utilize the Potential of Social Media
Sites like Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter are one of the best ways to reach customers. Many of them have integrated advertising plans where a business owner can set up special campaigns and then forget about them. Facebook, for example, allows entrepreneurs to choose a target audience and budget for a particular ad. They share the image or video with the right consumers until the budget runs out.
This is particularly useful for small businesses and startups because there is no minimum spending limit. Facebook also offers specific parameters for the target audience such as age, location, and other interests. Instagram and Twitter both offer promotional purchases as well. As time passes, business accounts for social media are becoming more widespread and evolved than ever before.
Even without dedicated ad campaigns, however, social media is an incredible way to reach customers. They can see important information on sales, products, business hours, and location. It’s also an incredible, free tool for answering customer service inquiries. And with more than 1 billion active profiles, it is likely most of businesses’ customers will have an account on some social media platform.
2. Build a Company Blog
Creating a blog keeps customers informed and shows that the business is current. A steady stream of content also makes a company look more valid and trustworthy, which translates into buyer appreciation. HubSpot suggests posting a minimum of sixteen times over the course of a month. Posting most weekdays provides enough content to drive up traffic. Many companies choose to outsource their writing to meet these baselines and enjoy maximum benefit.
Link building is a common practice within blog posts that works to make content more reliable, but it helps in other areas as well. One way it helps is with SEO, or search engine optimization. Strategizing SEO is crucial for reaching new customers.
The more quality links a page has, the higher it’s going to show on search engines like Google. It’s also likely that linking with another company will foster a relationship where the two businesses can reference each other and improve both of their rankings.
3. Preparing With the Proper Tools From the Beginning
Management tools are very important, but sometimes, companies pull back on the budget in the beginning to save money. That kind of decision can actually cost more in the long run, however, because the business will have to upgrade later. In this case, they’ll have to absorb twice the cost.
Experts suggest spending more on quality tools up front. Mattan Danino, CEO and Founder of WEBITMD, believes that a customized CRM solution, internal task management apps, and marketing automation suites are indispensable for the smooth running of any agency.
4. Providing Only Quality Content
This applies to blog posts but also to any kind of content marketing. Everything that a company releases should have a purpose. Engaging information maintains readers’ attention while they’re visiting. When they enjoy the content, they’re a lot more likely to share it among friends, which results in greater reach through free word-of-mouth advertising.
One way to provide interesting information is for the business to add personal experiences, either from the owners or their team. Including failures, tips, and useful stories can make customers feel like they can relate more to the company as a whole.
Content should be changed and expanded, but don’t be overwhelmed by that. Sometimes it’s not possible to create totally fresh content, and that’s okay. Repurposing is a big part of providing information. Once you have some strong posts, those can later be updated with fresh statistics that offer more relevant examples or sources. Each new piece should be left open for renovation in the future.
5. Match Your Content and Platform
Even the best information won’t reach maximum potential if it’s not put in the right place. A special weekend sale, for example, would do best on social media where customers are more likely to see it in time to take advantage of the savings, as opposed to a blog post where it may go unnoticed. On the other hand, an article about how to maintain said products would be best formatted as a blog with social media plugs.
Influencers can help a company reach out and appeal to more audiences, too. These people have experience writing blogs and presenting information in a useful and engaging way. Businesses should get acquainted with potential influencers and find one that is a good fit for collaboration.
6. Use Cornerstone Content
Cornerstone content are posts from which a business can build all future material. This foundation allows the company to form cohesive and relevant information time after time. It works like the center of a flower, holding together matching pieces from their common ground while still allowing an interesting amount of reach.
Such foundational pieces can also help prevent the business owner from being overwhelmed by new content creation. A cornerstone, like an ebook, white paper, or landing page, serves as a resource for topic ideas that are being explored. Such pieces make it easier for consumers to explore aligning themes on your company’s site.
7. Utilizing Images and Videos
Businesses that include more visual stimulation are seeing huge returns. Potential customers consistently respond better to imagery than just text. Including them in online content leads to better attention retention, more shares, and increased overall views. Companies are seeing even greater benefits when they provide quality stocks or images of their own versus more generic types.
It’s a good idea to place at least one relevant video or picture in every post. Adding them onto homepage and other portions of websites helps further improve cohesion and keep readers interested. It also provides them something visually that they might want to share. People on social media are far more likely to read something that their friends have posted if it catches their eye first.
No modern business can afford to skip over content marketing, but thankfully, it’s more time consuming than difficult. Following the strategies listed above can help a company gain more attention from consumers and hold their interest longer.
When the success of a business is on the line, a little effort goes a long way.