When you’re marketing your small business, you need content to inform prospective customers about your brand. That’s where a content strategy comes in. A content strategy is a method of creating content to help you achieve business goals.
This article explains:
- Why a content strategy is important to a small business
- How to create a content strategy
- Illustrates a content strategy you can put into practice
Why Is a Content Strategy Important for Your Small Business?
A content strategy is important for a small business because it’s an evergreen source of marketing. If your content is available online, current and prospective customers can find it and learn about your small business, which can lead to sales of your product or service long after the content was originally published.
Content is also a source of authority for your business. Having several sources of content on key topics for your business is a great way to establish yourself as an expert in your industry.
Once you have a solid catalog of content, you can link and mention your old content in your newer content for your audience to learn more, particularly if they’re of similar topics. Additionally, if your audience enjoys your content, they might also be inclined to share it and mention your business.
How Do You Create a Content Strategy?
As you create a content strategy, ask these questions:
- What kind of content do you want to create?
- Do you prefer audio, visual, written, or a combination of mediums?
- Who is your audience and what do they want to see before they purchase your product or service?
A content strategy can be intricate depending on your industry, and for how many platforms you plan on creating content. Many small-business owners want to create content for multiple platforms to maximize exposure and potential to expand their audience and sales.
The Seven Components of a Content Strategy
Here’s what you should consider when mapping out your content strategy. The following are the seven main components that make up a content strategy plan.
What Is Your Goal?
What do you hope to get out of your content marketing plan? As a small business, you’re likely looking for this investment to yield sales and profits for your brand. On a more granular level, you might want to increase your audience on the platforms you use or plan to use. Having a larger audience also, in turn, helps put prospective buyers in your path.
Who Is Your Ideal Customer?
Consider who’ll purchase your product or service and what kind of content they would want to consume. You can learn about your audience by observing your own analytics on various platforms you already have or by doing research on your competitors.
Create a buyer persona, which maps out a general description of your target audience, such as their age, gender, location, work, interests, and how they want to be perceived. This information is valuable to you not only in your content creation but also in deciding which platforms and formats you’ll use to distribute your content, and how you’ll market your content once it’s published.
What Is Your Content Quality So Far?
Run a content audit of your published media to see what has done well and what hasn’t and review analytics pages to review how your content is performing. You can use this information to figure out what platforms are ideal for your content strategy, brainstorm content ideas, and set future goals for what you want to create.
Where Will Your Content Live?
Even if you plan to use multiple formats to create content, you’ll likely have a primary platform that’s the hub for your content. This is where you want to have your best and most detailed content management system (CMS). If you have a blog, you might want to invest in a domain name, web hosting service, and CMS software that provides you with various resources, such as analytics, web forms, live chat, and email marketing.
Overall, a CMS is the main area where you create, publish, and track the progress of your content. A solid CMS also allows you to share your content to other platforms, either via links or previews. The content might not be shared in the same format as the original platform. However, you can always tweak your content and share it originally on a different platform.
What Kind of Content Do You Want to Create?
This is when you start to consider exactly how you want to be creative. Think about the content that would appeal to your ideal customer. Are you interested in long-form writing, short-form writing, or quips that are only a few characters in length?
Consider different content formats, including writing, audio, video, photography, and infographics, and match them with different channels or platforms, blogs and websites, social media, YouTube, podcasts, and newsletters.
What Content Ideas Do You Have?
Brainstorming ideas is an extremely important part of your content strategy because it’s the final step before actually creating your content. When developing ideas, consider what content will be evergreen and appealing to your target audience. You might also want to think of what information is relevant in your industry now when developing ideas so that your content is relevant and fresh when first published.
Depending on the platforms you’re using, you can easily find hashtags and trending topics within the platforms as inspirations for your content. Keep in mind, social media can also be a good source of content ideas for a blog, YouTube channel, or podcast.
Consider these tools to find content inspiration:
- Feedly: An RSS feed where you can compile and follow a list of trusted sources in your industry to generate news and ideas.
- BuzzSumo: Rates the social media value of already published content, helping you decide whether a topic is worth fleshing out into an idea.
- BlogAbout: A Mad Libs-like headline generator. This is something you can use whether you have content or not.
- Google Trends: Compares the strength of different search terms against one another and gives alternate suggestions.
How Will You Publish and Share Your Content?
Once you’re ready to create your content, you want to do so in as orderly a fashion as possible. Your CMS should ensure that your content is organized, but you also want to plan an editorial calendar for when blogs, videos, and podcasts will go live and a social media content calendar for when Tweets, TikToks, and Instagram and Facebook media will go live.
What Is an Example of Content Strategy?
Buffer is a company that provides software applications to help manage accounts for many social media platforms, including Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, Instagram Stories, Pinterest, and LinkedIn. Buffer can schedule posts, provide analytics, and a hub and landing page for engagement with various audiences. As part of its content strategy, Buffer runs two blogs and two podcasts series, including Open, a culture blog; Flow, a marketing blog; the Breaking Brand podcast series; and the Science of Social Media podcast series. The business now reaches an audience of nearly 400,000 and approximately 1 million followers across various social media platforms.
Create Your Content Strategy
With a solid content strategy, you can show your knowledge and demonstrate care and passion for your industry, an ideal way to grab your audience’s attention. With eyes on your content, it’s just a matter of time before you have more traffic and sales of your products or services.
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