Having a content marketing strategy is a must in order to promote small business growth. While it can take some legwork, focusing on quality and target markets can help take your business to the next level. Social media can also play a role in how you create content. Building a content strategy takes time, especially when trying to plan long-term. This guide will get you started.

 
Know your objective and audience

The first step in creating a content marketing strategy is knowing the goals you want to achieve with the business. Knowing the objective isn’t always easy, but it’s essential to developing the strategy. If it’s a web-based company, perhaps drawing in more traffic is a goal, or maybe drawing in new potential customers or clients is your prerogative.

On top of knowing your objective, you’ll want to know your target audience as well. This will also come in handy when expanding the targeted market or marketing to a new audience group later down the road. Learn about your customers’ needs and what type of users may be interested in your company.

 
Analyze competition and the industry

It’s always important to know and understand what your business’s industry demands. Research what content competitors are creating and analyze how the content is performing. There are a variety of resources to help, including Content Forest, which has additional tools to help find content from competitors, popular content, and keywords. Other tools such as BuzzSumo will use social media shares to find out if certain content is popular and help brainstorm more ideas and analyze specific posts in the industry. Feedly is an RSS feed that tracks topics pertaining to your industry that will be a beneficial background for the strategy you’re creating. Reddit is another website to see what users are saying or inquiring about pertaining to your industry. However, Reddit rules do not allow users to post solely their own content if they are not active on other threads.

 
Types of content

Determine what types of content you’d like to create. Blog posts are still as popular as they once were, but have become more sophisticated. Blogs can be created through Google, WordPress or by custom creating your own. Videos are also one of the largest forms of content for a company. YouTube videos can be posted with keywords as well as shared across multiple platforms. Make a few extra dollars by monetizing the videos before they’re shared and Google will keep track of clicks and ads. Infographics give a visual that is often more appealing to the eye and puts data together in a comprehensive way. Another increasingly used content type is a podcast. Not everyone has time or wants to read content each day and would rather listen. Host an interview or be an interviewee that discusses your company or products. It’s one way to expand to a different audience.

 
Use social media

Social media is the largest platform to generate leads, promote content, and grow a business. Word of mouth is still just as relevant as it once was before the internet explosion. Using Facebook ads will target users that may be interested in your content. Also, video ads cost less than a traditional sponsored post. Facebook groups are an acceptable way to not only promote your content, but also to discover new ideas for content. LinkedIn, more focused on business and careers, can also be beneficial.

 
Manage content

HubSpot, CoSchedule, and WordPress each give options to manage content, so consider using the platforms ahead of time and then determine what fits best for your business needs. Create a calendar that keeps track of what types of content you may be posting, including evergreen content and trendy topics for a balanced strategy. It is also beneficial to create a calendar that tracks what you’re promoting and where.

 
 
This article was written by Chase Hunt for Small Business Pulse
 

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