How to Make Content Marketing Work for Your Small Business
By Itai Elicur COO Inbound Junction
AMW says: ‘Totally agree with this great piece we saw shared on line from the above author including the importance of building and using a content marketing funnel. We have seen too many companies just post one thing after another without thinking about the funnel idea and so this often means the reach and engagements of posts tend to be low (around 6-10% of followers).
What’s important, is to use engagement posts that large drive numbers down a predetermined action path to purchase vs small engagement posts that may have little or no effect. Just posting something does not mean it’s worked at all or well enough, that’s why it’s important to measure effectiveness and work on ways to improve on the desired outcome’ Mark de Quervain.
Successful content marketing requires more than simply starting a blog and posting on social media. You need an effective strategy that connects up all your content marketing efforts, and that’s far more challenging. Many marketers still aren’t handling it efficiently, with one study reporting that only 23% of marketers agreed that they are succeeding at managing content across the organization.
If you’re part of the remaining 77%, don’t panic. We have some essential tips for boosting your content marketing strategy.
Optimize Your Blog for SEO
You’ve set up your blog and you’re posting regularly, but you’re just not seeing the results you hoped for. It’s not necessarily because your content is weak; it could be that you’re forgetting to optimize for SEO.
Only 30% of small businesses have an SEO optimization strategy, which means over two-thirds are neglecting this vital marketing tool. SEO is crucial to help your blog rank high in search engine results for specific queries and terms, helping more people to discover your content
In a guide to starting a blog, Neil Patel explains many of his tips for helping your blog traffic take off and generate significant revenue, including the need to optimize for SEO. Neil recommends using Yoast SEO plugin on WordPress, setting up permalinks, and other handy tips.
Build a Content Marketing Funnel
Your content is awesome, people love reading your blogs and watching your videos, but you’re not seeing an impact on sales. If that sounds familiar, it’s probably because you need a content marketing funnel.
It’s very rare for someone to read a blog or social media post, or watch a video, and then immediately make a purchase. Generally, people want to learn more, follow your brand on social media, or read a few more blogs while they make up their mind. 65% of consumers are more likely to shop at brands they follow on social media for more than 1 month, and in the B2B world, the average buyer visits 5.1 information sources before they buy.
A funnel helps you tailor your content to move these leads from one piece of content to another until they are ready to buy. It’s called a funnel because it helps you attract a lot of traffic initially, but then the number of leads becomes smaller as they move along it. That’s not a bad thing; although it would be nice if all of the droves of people who visit your blog become paying customers, it’s not realistic. Not everyone who arrives at your blog is looking for your products or is ready to buy.
Listen on Social Media
While it’s important to post regularly on social media, it’s your relationship with customers that entices them to return to your business. You can’t have a relationship if one side is the only one doing the talking, so you need to listen to what your target market is saying instead of shouting into a void. Customers want you to respond to their posts, with 61% of consumers agreeing that it’s very or extremely important to get a response from a brand after providing feedback on social media.
Social media listening tools help you track public opinion, spot emerging trends in your vertical, understand your customers, so that you can generate the content that they really want to consume. 54% of people will stop following you if they think your content isn’t relevant, and 34% will leave if it’s boring. Social media listening means you can think up more appropriate and engaging topics that grab your followers’ interest.
Content marketers say that their main secret to success is their ability to understand and connect with their audience’s interests, needs, and values. Social listening helps with this immensely.
Don’t Be Scared of Data
Many marketers are nervous about marketing data, especially if their main strength is content creation. 20% say that they aren’t sure how to measure the impact of their social media, and 59% struggle to track lead nurturing. But that’s no reason to give up.
As the saying goes, if you don’t measure it, you can’t improve it. It’s vital to track the success of your content marketing funnel, social media posts, and more, to learn which types of content are the most popular, which topics perform best for each stage of the funnel, how long the headline should be to attract readers, etc. The right marketing tools like Google Analytics, Hubspot, or BuzzSumo help you gather and track how consumers respond to your content, and analyze it for useful insights.
Make More Video Content
Video is the leading content type, with 68% of marketers saying that videos and other visual content is very important or crucial to their marketing strategy. Video consistently outperforms other content types, so it’s no surprise that marketers produce more video than any other content. The rise of TikTok alone, which is a pure video platform, emphasizes the demand. Only 14.5% of businesses don’t publish any video content, and it’s hard to believe the number could even be that high.
It’s clear that you need to include video in your content marketing strategy. There are many different formats, like Instagram and Facebook Stories, which use short video snippets to tell a story; live video on social media; and YouTube videos. Video content could be behind-the-scenes style, or informational how-to guides, and more.
The Right Content Marketing Strategy Can Boost Your Business Skyhigh.
Content marketing can attract, convert, and retain loyal customers to power your business to increased revenue and higher profits. When you build a content marketing funnel that includes social listening, video content, SEO optimization for your blog, and uses data to finetune your strategy, you’ll soon see results for your small business.