Building a comprehensive and competitive marketing strategy is always a challenging thing to do. To do that, a business would require gathering a professional team of highly qualified marketers, as well as well as quite some financial investments to be able to afford that. For a long time, this has been out of the question for small businesses that are limited in both funds and personnel. However, the introduction and development of the Internet have facilitated this for smaller enterprises by introducing content marketing to the game.
In case you are new to the subject and are wondering what content marketing actually is, there are a lot of detailed materials on this topic online, and you are welcome to explore those. Basically, content marketing suggests promoting your product or service through an online presence. This includes social media, blogs, etc. It does not require astronomic budgets, and you can do it all yourself, given enough time for research and becoming aware of all the necessary aspects.
Before moving on to crafting your own content marketing strategy for your small business, be strongly recommended to do all the homework, so that you are aware of what a content marketing is and what a proper content marketing should be like. Once you are in the picture, you can move on to building a solid content marketing strategy of your own, which can be broken down into three steps:
STEP 1. PERFORM A FULL-SCALE RESEARCH
This one is applicable not just to content marketing, but to any marketing. First of all, you should realize your niche. It may seem as a hard truth, but you cannot market any product or service to everybody unless you are selling air. It is a universal truth that by trying to please everybody, you will please nobody. So, trying to appeal to everybody is like sitting on three chairs – inconvenient and ineffective. Therefore, you need to visualize your clientele as detailed as possible. This can be done by answering these simple question:
- What problems does my product or service help to deal with?
- Which groups of people may be experiencing such problems?
- Why is it important to them to have these problems solved?
If you have already gathered some data to these questions, add it to the bunch. Remember that it will seldom be just one uniform group of people. It will be different people with different motivations to drive them to your product or service. No group should be overlooked.
Another approach to researching your niche is to see what other players on the market are doing. Analyze their activities to make up your mind as to what you like about their strategies and what you would do differently. Also, analyze their products or services proper to see what makes your product or service stand out so you can focus on this aspect in your marketing campaign.
By implementing this two approaches, you will have a clear idea of how to tell your clients that they want your product or service and why they should choose you over your competitors.
STEP 2. PUT TOGETHER YOUR PROJECT
As soon as you have gathered all the necessary data, it is the high time to start thinking what you will actually do with it. You begin with formulating the objectives of your content marketing campaign. A small business needs to remember to stay objective and restrain from setting unachievable goals. The most general directions for action would be the building of your brand and proper revenue generation; both can be broken down into four stages.
Building a recognizable brand consists of the following:
- Getting your brand well-received.
- Obtaining the position of a thought leader in your niche.
- Building customer loyalty to your brand.
- Inspiring brand advocates.
As for the income generation, the stages are the following:
- Optimizing your web presence for search engines and attracting traffic.
- Leading the visitors to purchase.
- Convincing them of the rightness of their choice.
- Increasing sales and boosting revenue.
These two plans of action should go hand in hand, and it is up to you to decide how to combine them in an organic and effective way. Once again, it is crucial to keep your goals realistic and not try to bite more than you can chew. Also, you should be aware that the result will not be immediate. Content marketing always needs some time before you can reap the fruit. This should also be foreseen it your plans.
STEP 3. REALIZE YOUR STRATEGY
Once you have a plan of actions, you are ready to bring it to life. By now you should know that the key element of content marketing is a blog, as well as the fact that content marketing is not about in-your-face advertising, but rather about getting the visitor interested in your blog content. Keep that in mind when you writing the blog post. This means that your posts should be perfectly readable. Make sure your text are well-structured and easy to follow; avoid long paragraphs and sentences, as well as unclear generalizations; but on the other hand – do not dumb your texts down too much because you do not want your audience to think that you are treating them like fools.
When you are writing brilliant and insightful content, your task is also to bring this content to your audience. With how saturated the Internet is these days, you cannot possibly expect the interested people to find your content themselves. You should facilitate this process for them by means of SEO and SMM.
Once you have completed these three steps, it does not mean that you have completed your task. This is only the beginning of the hard work that needs to be sustained. Therefore, your plans should not be tediously precise: you should keep some space for maneuvers left in case of any unforeseen circumstances left.
Finally, if something goes differently from the plan, it is no reason to get disappointed, but rather to think about how you can turn cutbacks into benefits.