WHY IS A CONTENT STRATEGY IMPORTANT FOR A SMALL BUSINESS?
We let you in on why and how is a well-planned content strategy crucial to keep your small business afloat.
A content strategy? How’s that different from a content marketing strategy?
We hear you.
It is confusing between these two.
But before we delve into the importance of content strategy for your small business, let’s help you understand content marketing.
We’ve talked in depth about why content marketing is critical to the growth of a small business. We know, it’s hard for small businesses to clamour for a little attention in a tidal wave of content marketing efforts — 63% of businesses planned to increase content production in 2016.
So if you’re struggling to take your content marketing efforts up a notch, don’t worry! You’re not alone.
Most small and medium-sized enterprises opt for content marketing in hope of monetizing customers.
But content marketing can do so much more than that. If you want your brand to stand out from the rest of the pack, content marketing should be the cornerstone of your brand’s building journey.
So how can I make sure my content marketing works?
A content strategy.
Content marketing is not just about content. It’s about the right content.
To generate the right content, a thoughtful, conversion-focused content strategy is the key.
Without a well-planned content strategy, it’s highly possible for your brand to be lost and buried in the ever-changing world of internet. This article will take you through some key pointers on the importance of a content strategy for your content marketing goals and how you can start building one.
What really is a content strategy for small business?
A content strategy is the framework of the content you’re creating for your business.
Each strategy is unique to each business — there is no one-size fits all. Providing credible and valuable insights via content creation is what fundamentally attracts potential customers to your brand.
Most importantly, the right content collection (made possible with a content strategy) will affect how people perceive you as a brand.
The key to developing a content strategy
First ask yourself the following questions:
- Who are your existing customers?
- Who are your targeted prospects?
- What burning questions do they have in mind?
- Which social media platforms are they often on?
- What kinds of topics are they interested in?
Having a deep understanding of your targeted prospects and existing customers makes all the difference because you need to know exactly who you’re creating content for.
The gist of a content marketing strategy and content strategy is identifying and answering questions that your targeted prospects or existing customers might have in mind.
If you’re creating content that your prospects of customers have no interest in, all of those content are just going to go right into the rubbish chute.
Creating a content strategy
After you’ve got clear answers for the above questions, you’re ready for your own content strategy! If you’re a small business owner, you’re probably crazy tight for time and handling everything yourself. But don’t worry, Here’s a basic outline you can use to create a content strategy for your business.
- Why are you creating the content (closing deals, generating leads, etc.)
- Who are you writing the content for
- What format will it be (blog, landing pages, etc.)
- How will you be distributing that content (email, social media posts, network articles, etc.)
- How you will measure the results of it
If time and resources allow, you can incorporate more in-depth data like competitor’s content insights, competitive analysis, SEO analysis, keywords research, team input resources etc. into your content creation process.
How does content strategy and content marketing strategy complement each other?
Here comes the trickiest yet easiest part.
Without a strong and precise content strategy, your content marketing strategy will not work.
CMI reported that 60% of the most effective B2C marketers have a documented content strategy, compared with 12% of their least effective peers.
If you’re turning to content marketing to meet your business goals, a content strategy should be your groundwork.
For example, if you wish to increase ecommerce revenue by 15% for your business, you might need to bring in 55% more leads via your website or through other mediums. A robust content strategy can help you decide the effect of your content marketing strategy and whether it requires adjustments.
How often should you update your content strategy?
Congrats! You’ve set up your content strategy.
But remember, your business goals change annually or bi-yearly, so should your content strategy.
The internet is ever-evolving, so does the behavior of your prospects and customers. Your current content strategy shouldn’t be used for next year. Generate an annual content strategy and make bi-yearly or even monthly adjustments as according to your editorial content calendar.
You’d also need to keep conversion and traffic in mind. Keep content that are popular and develop more content in line with those. By doing this your content will be more purposeful and able to produce more measurable results.
The importance of content strategy for your small business
This is often the common question among many small business owners.
You might ask, isn’t being on Facebook a content strategy?
No, it is not.
Social media marketing alone is not enough. It should be a distribution medium for your content. Meaning it should be a part of your content strategy, not the totality of your strategy.
It takes more than social media for a content strategy to hit the jackpot. Magical things happen when you have a well-planned content strategy. We’ll walk you through the various compelling reasons why you should have a content strategy for your small business.
#1 It boosts your site’s SEO.
What’s more soul-satisfying than knowing your prospects will be able to see your brand first through searching on the web? A strong content strategy (preferably with SEO techniques) earns you top spots in search engine rankings.
#2 It is the foundation of an effectively engaging social network.
Social media marketing is crucial for building real relationships with your customer base.
But if you’re always talking about how awesome your products or services is, that’s not going to work. Neither is tossing product or service-based posts on your social media platforms that are valueless to your fans. Nobody likes to be swamped with narcissistic, self-acclamation messages on their social feed, especially when they feel they’re being pushed to making purchase decision.
Your social media posts should be tied back on your content strategy, with the goal to engage and convert them. If you’re not providing valuable content that are directly benefiting your customers, you’re not giving them reasons to choose you over your competitors.
Worst case scenario: They might even hide all your future social posts if they have to. *Gasps*
#3 It builds brand loyalty.
When you’re creating content with your customer-base in mind, you’re planning to have a conversation with them as a person. By regularly supplying them with insightful content that they need and want, they’ll more likely turn to you for your products or services.
It’s also crucial to let them feel that they’ve gained something from you instead of lost something to you. If they’re willing to purchase from you because they trust you from the content you provide, you’ve probably succeeded in earning yourself a loyal customer.
#4 It builds a strong brand image.
Through your content, your targeted prospects are able to learn of your vision and mission unconsciously. That way, you gradually become less like a business and more human. Also, when your content make them feel like you have their best interest in mind, they’re more likely to see you as a trusted brand than your competitors.
It’s easy to search and read about content strategy and content marketing strategy these days. But if you want your business to reap its benefits, action matters.
Squeezing your brain juice and sitting down to work out a content strategy can seem scary — you don’t know if it’s going to work.
But by using the right tools, techniques and minds, results will start to show and you’ll be reaching that business goal and content marketing goal in no time.