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How to Create a Content Marketing Strategy for Your Small Business

Content Marketing is essential in the digital world. Instead of direct outbound sales tactics, businesses find indirect ways to bring the customer to them, using high-quality content and working with the rhythms of search engine algorithms. Follow the steps in the article below to create a content marketing strategy for a small business that gets you noticed in your niche.

Key Takeaways: Content Marketing

  • SMART goals can be used in any area of business, but they are useful for content

  • Performance indicators - or KPIs - help to analyze the content and improve it

  • Make sure you have a strong sense of your personas, audience, and target markets

  • Create a content schedule that uses the right channels and timing for the best results

  • Content clusters are the best way to arrange the content on your website

Business Goals

As with any marketing strategy, a content marketing strategy requires SMART goals. When you don’t have clearly defined goals, it’s too easy to become lost in the marketing process and unable to analyze and adapt the live campaign. SMART goals stand for Specific, measurable, Achievable, Relevant, and Time-based. They are the best way to keep the project on track.

So what does a SMART goal look like in practice? If you are using SMART goals in relation to content marketing, you might want the website to land on the first page of the search results within three months - this is an example of a Specific metric. Another example: acquire 1000 email subscriptions within a 30-day period. Even when you don’t meet the metric, it’s an aim.

Performance Indicators

Marketing metrics and key performance indicators (KPIs) are necessary for a successful content marketing strategy. There are many metrics to choose from, including Unique page Views, Referral Rates, Number of Downloads, Net Revenue, and Conversion rates on your campaign.

There are many more metrics to choose from, so make sure you choose the ones that are right for your business aims. Performance indicators tell you whether or not you are on track and what needs to be optimized for better results. Assigns someone to oversee your data analytics.

Audience and Channels

Content marketing is a narrow form of marketing. Unlike the blanket advertising of the past, content marketing is focused on target audiences and target markets. Targeted advertising gets better results in the digital world thanks to dedicated channels that feed demographics.

Create a customer persona for your small business - this is a very important step as it defines the overall marketing strategy. When you have a customer persona, you can start to think about the channels. Content channels tend to be social media channels as well as search engines.

Content Schedule

When you have your campaign goals in place, your customer persona developed, and your target channels worked out, it’s time to develop content and create a content schedule. Content can take many different forms; you might create blog articles, social media posts, video content, or emails for your target customers. A content schedule helps you work with search engines.

Content schedules can be created using a content calendar. Content calendars range from basic Excel spreadsheets to advanced software that can automate the posts for you depending on your weekly or monthly targets. Remember, when it comes to social media posting, you need to post content regularly and consistently to appease the search engine and online followers.

Crafting Content

Content channels are needed, but first, you need content to put on them. Content must be high-quality and relevant to your business, industry, and niche. The content does not have to relate to your business directly; sometimes, the best content is indirect and simply points at your website. Crafting content isn’t always easy, so partner with an agency if you want fast progress.

The content you create needs to be search-engine-friendly or SEO-friendly. This means the content contains keywords and phrases that relate to your business; customers use these keywords and phrases to search for related businesses and products in your industry, making you more visible. Again, SEO articles take some skill to craft, so consider using an SEO agency.

Content Clusters

When you are creating a content marketing campaign, it’s best to work with content clusters. Search engines recognize internal links and backlinks; when you have a selection of these on your website, it shows search engines that you are a quality resource. Some companies rely on outside links, or backlinks, to develop relevance, but content clusters can also be effective.

To create a content cluster, start with a pillar post; this is a blog article that is between 2000 and 5000 words in length. These articles might be long, but they should hold the attention of the reader. It’s important that articles are written for the benefit of both readers and search engines. Next, break the pillar post up into smaller posts that interlink with the pillar post for authority.

Refine and Repeat

The aim of a content marketing strategy should be to position yourself as a thought leader in your industry; keeping this objective in mind will be helpful for crafting the kind of content that will get you noticed by your target audience. The search engine will rank you high on search.

As well as creating high-quality content, you need to define and redefine your content to align with the readership, the marketing channels, and the search engine algorithm. Content marketing campaigns should be ongoing. Always try to analyze the content as you develop it.

Final Thoughts

Content marketing is fundamental to business success in the digital world. Content is the best way to capture audience interest indirectly and lead them to your website and products, but the content needs to be well-crafted, relevant and designed for both readers and search engines.

Start by considering your SMART goals - what is the aim of the content, and how do you intend to measure it? Next, create customer personas and target markets, so you know what content to design. You will also need to identify content channels and create some quality SEO content.

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