5 Ways to Improve Your Content Marketing

Small businesses may not always have marketing budgets to match their larger competitors, but that’s okay. In some ways, it’s never been a better time to be a small business owner, because the Internet provides a number of low-cost ways to level the marketing playing field. A sound content marketing strategy will not only attract customers, it can do so at a fraction of the cost of more traditional marketing plans. With that in mind, here are five ways you can improve your content marketing, and take your small business to the next level.

 

Research Your Competitors

It’s always wise to keep an eye on what your competitors are doing. By researching what they are selling and how they are selling it, it becomes much easier to find a niche of your own. This goes for content marketing as well. When you know how your competitors are marketing themselves online it becomes easier to craft a message that will stand out from the field. Perhaps more importantly though, by researching what similar businesses have tried in the past, you can get a general idea of what tactics do and do not work for your particular business.

Fortunately, there are a variety of tools available that can give you a pretty decent idea of how your competitors’ online marketing efforts are going by telling you things like their Google rankings for various search terms or the overall traffic on their websites. If you find that one of your competitors is thriving online, you can then examine the content they are publishing to find out what works for them.

 

Craft Your Content to Your Audience

One of the great things about the modern web is that if you publish great content consistently it’s only a matter of time until it gets noticed. The problem, of course, is that it’s not enough to simply be noticed. You need to make sure that your content is being viewed by people who are actually interested in your product. That’s why you need to tailor your content to suit that particular audience.

One way to do that is to conduct more research to discover what your customers are interested in. However, the simpler and most cost-effective way to make sure that you engage the right audience is to publish content that is relevant to your business. For example, you shouldn’t be using your company blog to write about whatever happens to be in the news that day. You should be using it to write about topics like the benefits of your products or services, your business’s mission, or your business’s interactions with its community.

 

Re-purpose Existing Content

Of course, one of the difficulties with publishing content that is both relevant to your potential customers and high in quality is coming up with the ideas to keep the content flowing at a steady rate. This can be especially true for small businesses (particularly those that specialize in one particular product or service), as they can sometimes have a limited range of relevant topics to work with.

That’s where re-purposing older content comes in. Chances are, your business probably produces documents and other materials for use in house that might be of interest to potential customers. If you produce videos or slideshows for presentations in meetings, think about publishing them online through sites like YouTube and SlideShare. You can also raid your e-mail outbox for blogging ideas. If you find yourself addressing certain topics with customers and business partners regularly, then you might be able to turn those explanations into blog posts. Then, to really bring things full circle, you can compile some of your website’s content and turn it into an e-book or white paper. The possibilities are almost endless.

 

Utilize visual content

There may be no easier way to generate excitement with your content than by including visual materials like images and videos. Blog posts that include images are not only shared on social media sites like Facebook and Twitter more often, they also receive many more comments. In other words, visual content can get your potential customers more engaged with the material you’re publishing. Infographics and videos are particularly handy for getting your audience interested, as they combine some of the benefits of text and visual content, which makes them exciting, informative, and highly shareable.

 

Make Sure Your Website is Responsive

Of course, the best content strategy in the world will do very little to help your business if it your audience can’t navigate through your website easily. With more and more people using alternative devices like smartphones and tablets to handle the majority of their web browsing, it’s vital that your website be able to function on a wide variety of platforms.

There are other considerations beyond whether it will simply load on any device though. Your website also needs to make it easy for potential customers to find information or products that they are looking for without a hassle. There is no excuse for not including a search function and clearly-labeled menus on your site to not only allow your visitors to find exactly what they are looking for with the search, but also to highlight your site’s most important pages on the menu. Remember, the idea is to get the information in front of them, not to make them go hunting for it.

About author

Joseph Brady
Joseph Brady 21 posts

Joseph Brady has been involved in growing businesses since 2004. Focused on improving their marketing efforts both on and offline, he has spent considerable time working as a search engine marketing consultant assisting business increase both the quantity and quality of web traffic.

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