3 Steps To Successful Content Marketing
With clear benefits to profile and profit, many small businesses have embraced content marketing. In our digital age, marketing has evolved from telling everyone how great your products or services are, to content marketing where you show them instead. And this is much more effective.
The main advantages of content marketing are that it...
- Improves your ideal customers' understanding of the benefits of your service or product.
- Reduces questions through your customer support desk or direct to you.
- Connects with your customers and builds trust.
- Improves your customer experience and retention through greater communication.
- Enhances your profile.
- Demonstrates your knowledge and helps you to become known as an expert in your area.
- Builds your industry connections.
- Attracts more of your ideal customers, increases your sales and grows your business.
- Raises awareness.
- Helps you gain followers - people subscribed to your list, seeking information about your products or services.
- Increases interaction with your business.
- Keeps your business fresh in the mind of your audience.
It also provides a framework for your marketing, gives you plenty to share and increases the SEO on your website.
Content marketing is highly effective, doesn’t cost a fortune and it works for all kinds of businesses. Each business can mould their content marketing to reflect their voice, values and goals. When people research your business online, it helps them gain confidence in your abilities as they can see you're credible, knowledgeable and professional.
The only trouble is...when you’re trying to run your business and prioritise your customers content marketing can get pushed to one side, as it can take up too much of your precious time!
So here are three steps you can take to get your content marketing right and stay productive…
Step #1 Determine Your Aims
Set your aims either month by month, or over a longer period of time - whatever suits your style of planning best, but keep them basic, such as...
- Raise awareness of your company
- Increase your sales of a particular product or service
- Launch a new product, service or course
You only really need one main aim, although you could set more, but remember that keeping your aims focussed will help you stay on track.
It’s also helpful to include numbers, so that you can measure whether you've achieved your aims. For example…if your aim for the first 6 months of the year is to raise awareness of your brand, business, product or service. Setting numbers that increase each month, on metrics such as the number of website visits, downloads requested, Facebook page likes, Twitter followers, LinkedIn connections etc, gives you something to measure against to work out whether you reached your goals.
Step #2 Frequency and Platforms
There’s much advice around on the frequency of posting to various social media platforms but really, you need to do what feels do-able for your business and right for your audience.
Small businesses can raise awareness of their brand, services and products by sharing the right sort of content and keeping the frequency consistent. The frequency of the content you create and share needs to fulfil your aims but also fit with your schedule - otherwise, you could start to feel overwhelmed and actually end up doing less. Sometimes, less really is more. Small businesses can still find it useful to share content as little as once a month, as it demonstrates your knowledge without taking up much time.
When you share content, start with the platforms that suit your product or service or where you think your customers spend their time online. If you have a visual product, it's good to choose at least one highly visual platforms such as Pinterest or Instagram. Otherwise, there are many options and again, it's best to stay focussed - choose two or three platforms and do them well, you can always expand into more once you’ve mastered these.
Step #3 Topics To Share
Content is all about helping your customers, so you need to make sure you create content with your customers' needs in mind. Have a good long think about:
- The questions you’re frequently asked
- The problems or issues they encounter
- What you can do to help
- What they need answers to
- The information that would be helpful to them as they consider purchasing your product or service
Whatever area of the equine industry you’re in - there are a lot of topics to cover and you can share a huge amount of knowledge. Brainstorm your ideas and then prioritise them in-line with your aims.
Added to that, determine the most suitable format for each piece of content, this could be an email series, social media post, video, image, graphic, infographic, blog, podcast and so on.
A Final Thought
If you find that you’re getting behind on your content creation schedule, don’t stress or be too harsh on yourself! Give yourself a break. You deserve it. Good luck :)