content marketing strategy and small businesses the basics

Without a content marketing strategy content marketing alone is NOT enough to ensure your market share

If you’ve just gone through the trauma of designing a new website you’ll know the importance of content. You will have fretted and sweated about every message in every section. The last thing you want to hear now is the phrase: content marketing strategy. It was enough that your web developer advised you needed a blog. In principle it sounds like a great idea. But what next? What’s a blog for? Does that really mean you’ll need a content marketing strategy?

[bctt tweet=”Hark, do I hear wailing and gnashing of teeth?”]

A content marketing strategy is a foundation stone

It’s the rock bottom of any marketing strategy for businesses both large and small. But what does that actually mean in real terms? Well, let’s ask a few questions:

[bctt tweet=”Do you commission blogs on a one off basis and think that’s enough?”]

Do you commission 4 articles for the month then publish them?

Do you stick to the same old formats every time?

But  ask yourself, what is this content marketing actually doing for your business? Only one third of B2B marketers actually have a strategy they use in their content marketing campaigns. Your website might be stuffed with content but is anyone actually reading it?

Why would a small business need a content marketing strategy?

No doubt you’ll have asked the following questions yourself:

[bctt tweet=”Why would a solo entrepreneur need a content marketing strategy?”]

Why is my blog getting no traffic? Why does everyone hate me?

Aren’t people trying to up-sell services when all I really need as a small business owner is a blog a week?

[bctt tweet=”Why do I need to spend so much time promoting my content? I have a business to run!”]

Use a content marketing strategy and promote your content effectively and with purposeThe answer to those questions is quite simple. Let me offer even more questions in reply!

  • Is your content guiding your customers?
  • Is it productive, informative, enlightening even?
  • Do you have a clear understanding of the type of person you want to attract?
  • Do you know where they hang out? What they want? How they behave?
  • Do you know the stages they go through in their potential buying cycle? Have you considered the 5 stages of this buying cycle?
  • Are you focusing on their needs rather than your promotional aspirations?

If you can’t answer these questions accurately you won’t be alone. Professional marketeers have whole departments scratching their heads over just such challenges. The reasons to tackle those demanding content marketing challenge are basically these:

  • [bctt tweet=” I need to make my potential customer aware I exist”]
  • I need to attract them to begin a relationship with me
  • I need to move them through the buying cycle?
  •  I need to convert them to make a purchase
  • I’d like to up-sell, maintain loyalty and transform them into  advocates

You can dress it up and make content marketing as complex as you like. However, for a small business having focus, knowing the reason why you are working hard to produce or outsource content marketing materials is vital. If you are going to spend valuable budget on producing content then it has to have a real purpose. You DO need a content marketing strategy and it WILL make your marketing life much easier.

Does your current content do any of the following:

  1. Answer questions people might have at the very start of their journey?
  2. Promote awareness?
  3. Does your content answer questions when people are considering your solution?
  4. Does your content convince potential customers they have found a useful resource and potential solution to their needs?
  5. Does your content appear compelling and exciting enough to look attractive, engaging, ideal, worthwhile, different to your competitors?
  6. Does does your content help to transform visitors into paying customers? Yes, ultimately that IS the point of content marketing isn’t it? Well, isn’t it?
  7. Does your content keep that customer’s interest?

It’s much cheaper to keep customers than prospect for new ones. So keep your content fresh. Make it the kind of information people look forward to receiving. Ensure your content keep you relevant and welcome in people’s lives.  If you want to train yourself, take a look at the digital marketing modules on dotnative.

Of course what you do then is find ways to reward customers’ loyalty and promote them to ambassador mode but that’s another journey in itself. I’ll deal with that in a later article.

So what about a content marketing strategy?

If this article has convinced you that 2016 is the year to change your approach give us a call. We are a team of content writers, digital marketers, SEO experts and web based development professionals that enjoy worrying about your marketing strategy. Not only that we come up with some pretty special answers to your content marketing conundrums.

Vivienne Neale is a content marketing professional and strategist

Vivienne K Neale is a content marketing professional and strategist. She has been working in the digital sphere since 2011 and alongside her hand picked team she is passionate about making content achieve the goals business sets for it. Take advantage of  a free review of your content marketing by calling 0203 633 0618 today. We take the discontent from your content marketing!

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