Developing a smart content marketing strategy has never been more important than it is today. It embraces all practices of creating and delivering valuable, reliable, and comprehensive content which will genuinely attract the audience it has been designed for.
There are many marketing ideas that can help you turn to content marketing into a competitive edge.
Content marketing has also made it possible to surpass standard product pitching and replace it with useful and relevant content. This way, prospects are given something to rely on instead of being pursued to buy, and they rely on you as someone who can genuinely solve their issues.
Instead of pitching your products or services, you are providing truly relevant and useful content to your prospects and customers to help them solve their issues.
If content marketing is so awesome, why is not everyone doing it?
Well, being completely frank, there is nothing easy about it. As you will read in our marketing tips for small businesses, content marketing requires plenty of hard work and time, but it certainly pays off. With hours of effective work, you will end up taking content to a whole new quality level, and regardless of how much that could cost, it will bring more profit along the way.
The better news is that technology has advanced to make this process cheaper and less time-consuming even when your marketing budget can’t allow any large projects. This way, even startups and small market participants will have a chance to promote good content without spending a fortune to do it.
The first thing to do will be to develop a quality marketing plan that corresponds to your budget and consider options that come for free (like free website themes, free hosting or free tools for the website). Another critical step is to prevent silly mistakes that cost, organized work logically and productively and have a clearly defined goal.
Obviously, this will take you more time than hiring someone to do it for you, but it will definitely pay off.
Read our small business marketing tips, and start improving your content marketing strategy today.
Distinguish cost-efficient content types, and focus on them
Be clear with the cost of every content type
Have a clear overview of the baseline cost for each content type you’re going to produce:
- Stock galleries
All of them will obviously have a different price, depending on what you’re looking to post. When negotiating or shopping, look for fair ranges instead of paying the first price you’re told. How can this happen?
- Work with specialized freelancers, and negotiate a quote that suits both parties
- Always think whether you’re paying for something you could do yourself, and how much you would charge per hour.
- Visit websites and use public sources to help you estimate costs.
Technically, you can always turn to an agency and ask for a quote, but the price will certainly be higher than the one charged by freelancers.
The content of your competitors will reveal many important insights
Optimizing and promoting content is a piece of cake for experienced marketers, but for marketers short of knowledge and finances, giving competitors a look will help big time. Make your own spreadsheet to track their performance, and think how to improve the content and follow best practices.
The trick is quality, not quantity
Remember: every single piece of content you create must be amazing! What marketers spend the most on is boosting the potential of pieces they’ve already published, and that’s the line that separates them from top performers. Even if it means posting 3 pieces of content a week, it is still worthier than posting tons of useless articles. Make the most of every line your write, and quantity will follow.
Creativity is another blessing in disguise when it comes to cutting costs. You don’t really have to create content from scratch – find pieces that have already been used, and repurpose them for your needs. For instance, popular blog posts can inspire you to make interactive videos, podcasts, or slideshows. Research has already been done for you, so make the most of it.
Content marketing is full of parts that aren’t really necessary
The best and most ROI-productive way to promote content is email marketing, but despite it, some marketers are still stuck chasing followers on social media, delivering flyers and sending conference cards, participating in forums, and so on.
If social media is not absolutely mandatory for the niche you’re working in (clothing, home décor, healthy food, and so on), you can easily scratch it off the list. Two channels will be perfectly enough to obtain great results.
Don’t be afraid to go into details
SEO must remain your top priority. To start with, you should target longer keyword tails and invest in them, because they are less common and help you rank higher on search engines. Don’t expect traffic to boost right away – good things take time, and instead of being intimidated by waiting for results, you should keep your business in the game and observe tenths of queries turn into thousands. Believe it or not, most successful websites still have no explanation of how they made it from #10 to #1 in such a short period.
Plus, this strategy keeps your business growing constantly, and never stops enlarging your subscriber’s list. Even when it takes years, patience in content marketing is worth it.
Getting amazing content for free is not impossible
The way to do it is to accept guest posts. Have in mind that this doesn’t entail approving all sorts of pitches – eventually, you should arrive at a point where you’re accepting only 10% of what you’re being offered, and work only with credible and high-quality writers who will contribute to your site’s exposure.
If you’re online, make the most of your presence. Every business nowadays should have a blog, and use it to compete and become the best of its niche. If you turn around and look what successful providers are doing, you will see that quality content people like and share are currently ruling the market. So what does your audience like?
Content marketing helps you to be trendy and gives you access to a number of interactive materials to use as alternatives for long and complex texts.
The most challenging part will be to determine what type of content to post, after which you should look for the ideal channels to promote it. Start with the blog and the business’s website, and think of social media, email, or mobile marketing to help you distribute quality content. Not all channels will have a sense of your business and your strategy, so keep in line with those where the desired audience will certainly see them.
Luckily, technology development ensured a number of useful platforms to use, but this can also be a challenge for businesses running out of time. To make the process simpler, stick to traditional channels that can have the biggest impact on your performance, and where you’re comfortable to work and invest.
Channels to use
Sticking to a single channel is not the best idea, but try to limit yourself from displaying content in many fields, and splitting the attention it usually gets. Too many content delivery channels will also require more efforts and higher investments to manage.
The generally accepted rule is that social media is the goldmine of today’s marketers, as there they have access to most viewers, and are enabled to post all sorts of content.
Cool videos gain visibility when posted on YouTube, job announcements are easily seen on LinkedIn, and images are gladly shared on Facebook and Instagram. As you can conclude, the type of content you post will be determinative for choosing suitable distribution channels.
Making users stay on the site
Remember that users will here and there land directly on your blog and look for updates, but keeping them in the loop is still easier with a social network fun page. Once they like it, they will almost certainly come back, which takes away most of your demand generation efforts. Also, watch the bounce rate of the visitors on your blog!
Another thing readers will certainly love is reliability, so show them who you are, share publicly your contact information, and amaze them with facts and personal stories. Doing this always invokes an effect bigger than the one of the abstract tales.
Attracting more attention in less time is easily done with popular ‘how to’ guides because there you can tackle questions and problems most people have, and share experienced insights to help them solve those.
Finally, remember that content marketing doesn’t have to break the bank: despite the fact there are business giants dictating some of the prices, small companies can still attract attention with day-to-day fresh content. Obviously, no one will stop you from spending thousands if you have them, but why doing something that is not absolutely necessary?
Come up with a brave content marketing strategy, but try to keep in line with what your business really needs, and what corresponds to your organizational goals. Regardless of whether you’re looking to boost sales or drum up customer loyalty, content marketing can be used to make your brand more competitive.