For small businesses, creating a good content strategy can help free up valuable time and make sure their marketing is built on solid ground. There’s no doubt that good, strong content can increase traffic to any site, boost awareness of a brand and help valuable potential customers make the right choices.
Once the main content for a site is up and running, the value added extra for many businesses comes from a strongly populated and well written blog. It’s a great way to keep search engines happy and develop a reputation in your chosen area while giving potential customers exactly what they are looking for. Some of the mistakes small businesses often make when it comes to their content strategy are:
- Not publishing enough content.
- Publishing poor quality content.
- Not linking into tools such as social media.
- Not measuring results to help develop their strategy further.
Here are five content strategies that you need to put in place if you are going to be successful as a small business.
1. Planning Before Publication
Like most marketing strategies, you need to have a plan. Small businesses tend not to have a lot of time on their hands, so developing a posting strategy for all your blog posts, and keeping to it, helps you to stay on track. Whether you are posting two or three times a week or once or twice a month, you want to have a list of posts and the dates they need to go up. You may also need to tie in particular content with any marketing strategy you are running as well as additional tasks such as posting links on social media.
Coming up with ideas is going to be the problem, particularly if you are in a niche market. Brainstorming ideas is good, as is checking which of your posts are the most popular and working on finding similar content. Checking out the competition is another excellent way to come up with ideas. You can also repurpose content – for instance if you have given a webinar recently, that can be used to create one or two interesting posts for your blog.
2. Create Great Content
Having a list of content that needs to go up over the next couple of months is excellent but making sure you have the right material is just as important. Ideally you want to create content that gets people to comment or link to you. Just what great content is can often be mercurial. Do you need to put up short, easily digestible posts that people can scan? Or do you want more complex articles that explain an issue in detail? Does it need to be written or visual?
- Break your content up into different types that gives the blog variety.
- Written content should contain short paragraphs to make it easier to read as well as subheadings that further help to break up the content.
- Try to avoid over complicated sentences and produce something that readers of all levels will be able to understand even if what you supply is quite technical.
In other words, put a good deal of thought into the content that you supply. One of the major issues that many small businesses face is being short of time. Make sure your ambition doesn’t overstretch your capabilities – it’s easy to compromise on quality for the sake of getting content up on time.
3. Give it Some Optimisation
There are a number of techniques you can use to increase your search engine optimisation.
There will be certain specific keywords that relate to your product or service which you will need to include to help get your content spotted. These are the terms and phrases that people will normally put into search engines when they are looking for particular information.
Your keyword selection needs to be relevant to the content you are writing – there’s nothing more damaging for a reputation than if you load an article with a keyword that has nothing to do with what the potential customer is looking for. Avoid over stuffing your article with keywords that make it look contrived and sales like. Including too many keywords too often is seen as spamming by search engines such as Google and could see your rankings suffer if you overdo things.
Apart from keywords it’s a good idea to get into the habit of writing good meta-tags and making sure that any images you include are fully optimised. There are a number of free online sources that help you do this if you don’t have the technical knowledge.
4. Link up with Social Media
One of the great tools that help boost blog and content across the online world is social media. Whether you subscribe to Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn or a combination of several platforms, it’s a great way to build a following and get people interested in your brand.
It’s also a powerful way to drive traffic to your blog and to see your latest article or video. Building a strong social media presence is vital for any business and, fortunately, it’s free to do. One mistake that businesses often make is to buy followers on the cheap rather than growing relationships organically. Joining groups that contain like-minded people can help you to broaden your reach and encourage people to engage with your brand.
5. Measure Success
Tracking who visits your site and what content they look at is now easier than ever. The trouble is many businesses fail to take this into account and often just look for indicators such as how many comments have been left or whether they’ve been shared on social media.
You can get quick and easy access to a range of metrics including how popular posts are and how long people stay on your site that can help you develop a better long term strategy for your business marketing. These useful tools such as Google Analytics require some technical knowledge but once you have a handle on what everything means you can test out your strategies more effectively and change them if need be.
It can be difficult, particularly if you are a small business that is short of time, to develop an effective online content strategy that works. Optimising everything that you provide is key to attracting more customers and improving your online presence. Having the right processes in place such as planning ahead should help and make your content strategy easier to handle.