Your small business needs content—content drives action on the web and builds rapport with a consumer audience.
Inbound marketing involves using several different kinds of content types to achieve different goals throughout the buyer’s journey. When content is effective, it helps improve your overall internet marketing strategy by increasing online traffic, visibility, brand loyalty, and ultimately conversion rates and sales.
But how does content become effective? How do you know content is doing what it’s supposed to be doing? How do you measure success versus failure?
These are difficult questions to answer. In fact, only about 30 percent of B2B marketers say their organizations are effective at content marketing.
With so much content flooding the Internet, and with so many changes occurring on the web, platforms, tools, and software, it’s a challenge to keep pace with what works and what doesn’t when it comes to effective content. Small businesses in particular will struggle to manage all the intricacies of integrated internet marketing services simply because they don’t have the time or resources available to monitor all these moving parts.
At best, inbound marketing for small business will help you learn things about your consumers you didn’t know before you started; at worst, the information gathered won’t lead to any actionable plans or purpose. A content strategy helps you think more like a content marketer; it trains us to manage content like we would any other business asset.
Developing a Strategy for Content
Small businesses might not have people in place, let alone a team available, to manage the demands of content on a regular basis. But at the very least, having a strategy will keep you on target, and allow you to set goals for your business so you can determine whether or not your content is working to its maximum potential.
In fact, by developing a content strategy, your small business will increase its chances of success significantly. More than half of the most successful marketers last year had a well-documented strategy in place.
In other words, creating content for inbound marketing is only half the equation; the other half is building a content strategy to ensure that content is meeting the objectives you outlined.
How Content Strategies Help Small Businesses
Small businesses in particular are used to getting pulled in several directions; different hats get thrown on and taken off daily; general organization is often a novelty.
Content demands organization to be effective. To know if your content is effective, use a content strategy to define measurable goals for each type of content, track progress, and document results.
From Kristina Halvorson’s book, Content Strategy for the Web, a content strategy details the “creation, publication, and governance of useful, usable content.”
This process is critical throughout the development and redevelopment of your inbound marketing — by analyzing your content metrics, platform data, and consumer feedback, content will improve over time.
But who can keep all that information in his or her head? We don’t think you should have to.
What’s Included in a Content Strategy?
Inbound marketing for small businesses is more effective when assisted by a content strategy. Content strategies will highlight your key business and customer needs, and the strategy will outline how your content will address each individually.
Components of a content strategy will need to be developed before the strategy can get content rolling. Things like buyer personas, business plan, editorial statement, channel plan, and a personalized account of your brand history are crucial.
Use a content strategy often to reference goals and missions and keep content moving in the right direction throughout every step of development. A content strategy will help answer questions like: where should this content get published? When should it get published? What questions do my customers still need answered?
When it doubt, referring to a documented content strategy will help eliminate a lot of the guesswork shrouding your inbound marketing and its collaboration with other services you might be using in an internet marketing strategy.
Finally, It’s difficult to measure success when you don’t know where you’re going. Your content goals and mission are important parts of building a strategy.
We can help organize your goals and mission into a comprehensive and organized plan that will allow you to make the most of your content efforts.