BY Anita Solomon
In today’s world of business, competition is quite fierce especially because the economy is transitioning into a digital marketplace. Most consumers will rather identify with trusted brands and services, and small businesses need to level up or keep on struggling.
Starting a business and getting it to thrive in this era of digitalisation is an intentional process, and it sure won’t happen by accident. You will need to be particular and deliberate about your kind of content and marketing strategy to succeed. This is what the multinationals and trusted brands have that you don’t.
Dear Small Business Entrepreneur, how equipped are you?
Social Media has opened a gateway to reach millions of people from the comfort of our homes and offices, this is a great medium for business owners to reach out to potential and existing customers. Social media marketing costs more time investment than finance, it is also a good avenue to reach customers and forge relationships that lead to increased sales. To succeed using social media platforms to promote your business, you must have a strategy to share unique, interesting, and informative content on your pages consistently. This is where your content marketing skills come to play.
What is Content Marketing?
“Content marketing is a strategic marketing approach focused on creating and distributing valuable, relevant, and consistent content to attract and retain a clearly defined audience — and, ultimately, to drive profitable customer action.” –Content Marketing Institute.
What is not Content Marketing?
Content marketing is not traditional advertising, which interrupts your audience to ask them to purchase. Content marketing is driven by the creation of content that will resonate with and help your target audience using social media, and other tools as a vehicle to distribute your message.
Elements of Content Marketing
The following are major key elements in Content Marketing you should know;
• Identify your Target Audience: The first step in Content Marketing is identifying your target audience. There are various factors to consider such as age group, social class, interest and buying habits. How do you correlate data for this information? One way is to ask your existing customers about their opinion on your products and services. While doing this, try to learn to understand who your customer is.
Furthermore, you can do a survey form using tools like Typeform to create a survey on your website; there are templates that can fit into any kind of business you are into. Moreover, you can survey your competitor’s page and try to understand who their followers are? What strategy are they using on their ad’s and post, and what you think can be implemented to make the business do better, take this information and implement in your business?
• What are your Goals? One of the key elements of content marketing is content marketing goals; why do you need to set these goals? You should map out your goals before creating content. This is because you need to have a clear vision of why you are engaging in content marketing in your business and what you want your audience to do after reading your content. Some of these goals can be building relationships with your new and existing customers, building an email list, boost the credibility of the company. Use this goal setting resources to map out your goals effectively.
• An Informative website: Your website is the hub for your entire market strategy, customers visit your website before and research on your products and services before they reach out to you. This is why it is important to hire professionals such as a web designer, copywriters and a good hosting company to ensure you have a great website that has high speed and mobile optimisation.
• Plan a Content Schedule: Once you are done with goal setting, you should concentrate on scheduling your content, the frequency is entirely up to you but I recommend you post at least three times daily on social media platforms. There are various content scheduling/automation tools available for this purpose; Planoly, Hootsuite, Onlypult, Schedugram, etc. You should also share different kinds of content, e.g infographics, blog post, videos, eBooks, case studies, etc. Your content should focus on adding value to the customers, engaging, seek out the opinions of your followers, etc.
• Use of Search Engine Optimisation (SEO): Search Engine Optimisation plays a critical role in your content that will help search engines find your page easily. SEO is the process of using keywords in your content that will help search engines find it when those keywords are entered into a search. While you are focused on SEO it should not ruin the information or relevance of your content. So make sure you are creating interesting and actionable content for your audience while optimizing the content for search engines.
• The Right Social Channels for Distribution: You will agree that there are various social media platforms which have different content style, for example, the kind of content you upload on Instagram will be different from what you post on LinkedIn because LinkedIn is for professionals. So you want to post content that will make you stand out as a professional in your field at the same time sending the message that you are the right man for the job. While Instagram is more of a lifestyle application that deals more with flexible content so you do not want to come off as boring while sending a message. For instance, if you sell clothes, for example, Instagram is your best bet, not LinkedIn so find what suits your business and content.
Finally, as a small business owner, your content must add value to your potential customers, it is not just about driving sales, it is more about adding value to the lives of the customers. People buy the value your product and services can add to them, so make them realize that value and spice it with integrity. Everyone wants to be associated with a brand or business that is honest, transparent and cares about the customer. Your content marketing strategy should ensure you meet these criteria.
Anita Solomon is a Digital Marketing Consultant and Online Business Coach. Connect with her on Instagram and Facebook @anitasolonline and learn how to launch your online business, and grow your existing business using proven online marketing strategies.