Most small businesses know the importance of content marketing. In fact, 93% view content as a business asset. However, 72% say they are challenged with managing content strategically. But content marketing doesn’t need to be a big demand on your time (or your budget)!

The secret to content marketing is to make the most out of what you create. There are many ways to use and reuse content, across various channels and even formats. The key is being aware of the creation and sharing best practices when you start. This will ensure your content will have long legs and be a strong contributor for your business.

84% of customers expect brands to produce content that entertains, provides solutions and produces experiences and events. This can be a lot of pressure for the business owner not skilled in content marketing. But not to worry! Follow these 6 content marketing tips to help turn your content into successful marketing tools that entertain, inform and motivate your audience to connect, again and again.

Tip #1: Define your target audience

Before you begin creating content, you need to define the audience that you are trying to engage with. It’s not a complicated process – all you are doing is describing your customers and identifying the type of content that resonates with them.

Are you attempting to reach local consumers? Do you target select demographics, interest levels or geographic locations? Once you have defined your target audience, you can promote to similar, or lookalike, audiences who share many of your target customer traits.

Tip #2: Decide content format

Certain types of content lend itself naturally to sharing (such as articles, videos, photos, etc.). When creating your content, make sure the format is shareable and it’s easy for your readers to share as well.

Your content should be shared on your social media pages, your website (which is mobile-optimized), via text messaging, email, etc. – basically, anywhere your business has a presence online. Make sure that share buttons are readily accessible, and you’ll make it that much easier for your readers to share, too.

Tip #3: Choose your keywords

Choose keywords for SEO — and use them!

Keywords will help your content be discovered quickly and easily by both existing and potential customers.

Google has a great keyword planner (it’s free!) that can help you find the best keywords to use for both your website, content and social media posts. When you’re using the Google Keyword Planner, input keywords you already associate with your business and Google will give you a list of similar ones you can use to beef up your traffic.

It’s important to keep your keywords in the back of your mind when creating content. Always pick a “focus keyword” that you incorporate into the title of your social media post, the title of your content, description, content and URL.

Tip #4: Include a CTA

Lead with a call-to-action and the rest of your content should support that CTA.

This best practice holds true when creating any type of marketing collateral. Your call-to-action should be clear to the reader, ensuring they understand what you want them to do as a result of your content.

A few common call-to-actions:

Whatever your call-to-action, your ultimate end goal is for the reader to engage further with your business; so, if you find people aren’t interacting with your CTA, change it up and test another one.

Tip #5: Link to your content

By linking to your content, you are providing Google’s search algorithm with valuable information: how key phrases in one article relate to another article.

By providing Google’s search algorithm with more information, you help build your SEO and boost your search rankings.

However, your linking strategy shouldn’t only be with your own pages – try to get others to link to your content (called backlinking) and you’ll see a strong boost in traffic. Backlinking shows Google that your website is one of authority and, therefore, it’s one that searchers would value if Google sent them there.

A boost for an article = a boost in overall website authority.

So, how do you go about getting people to link to your content? By making it easy to share as mentioned in content marketing tip #2.

Tip #6: Collaborate!

Collaborating with other people who will share your content with their audience not only exposes your business to a new set of potential customers, but it also plays directly into Google’s algorithm and will increase your ranking (if that person links back to your site).

Some ideas for organizations you can partner with:

  • Chamber of Commerce
  • Industry associations
  • Businesses that are indirectly in the same business as you (and not competitors)

With these 6 content marketing tips you can share the content you’ve worked so hard on and see results as soon as you post, and even months later.

Bonus Tip: Don’t be afraid to ask for assistance!

Even the best tips won’t give you additional hours in your day. Therefore, if you just don’t have the time to create effective content marketing for your business, then turn to the experts. There are a lot of content marketing agencies out there (this is both a suggestion and warning!) Seek an experienced, credible partner, like Vivial, to help you create, execute and track an effective content marketing solution.

And Vivial makes sharing your content even easier with the Vivial platform, which not only gives you a place to share your content, on NearSay, but can show how your website’s ranking is affected on search engines and help you schedule and manage your social media marketing–all from one easy to use dashboard.