Most small businesses know the importance of content marketing, but often don’t feel like they have the time to produce content or don’t have the money to have someone else produce the content for them. However, content marketing doesn’t need to be a big demand on your time (or your budget)! Find the content marketing tips that can turn integrate your content marketing into your overall strategy

The secret to content marketing is to make the most use you possibly can out of what you create. There are many ways to use your content over and over again, in various forms and channels. Be sure you are aware of the creation and sharing best practices when you start, and your piece will have long legs and be a strong contributor to your small business.

78% of customers equate content marketing to relationship building, but to build relationships you need to reach your audience. Follow these 6 content marketing tips that can help turn your content into a successful marketing piece that will connect with your audience time and time 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 the identifying the type of material that resonates with them.

Once you have defined your target audience, you can take that information and build content that 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 lends itself naturally to sharing (such as lists, 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), email, etc. — basically, anywhere your business has a presence online. Make sure that share buttons are readily accessible (such as the one on the top and side of this article) for all your communication materials from email to articles, 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!Content marketing is more than the content.

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. Your content marketing should ask your audience to do something.

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

A few common call-to-actions:

  • Subscribe to an email list
  • Use a coupon
  • Visit a store
  • Follow on social media

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’s search algorithm 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).

Here’s a good example of how working to create content with another industry or business expert can expand your audience:

Imagine you are a dairy farmer and have a small farm stand where you sell your milk. Instead of taking out lots of ads in the local newspaper to promote your farm stand (which costs a lot of money), you could partner with the local apple farm a few towns over and sell your product at their farmstand (you could even go as far as selling their apples at your farm stand). This is a mutually beneficial partnership and exposes both businesses to new customers (at a fraction of the cost of a traditional advertising campaign). Now, substitute milk and apples for content and you have yourself a great cross-promotion campaign that brings value to two separate audiences.

Some ideas for organizations you can partner with:

  • Chamber of Commerces
  • 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.

Make 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.

  • I work for a small business and we are trying to do better with our content marketing. I like tip 4, to include a call to action. I’ll make sure that all our marketing includes a CTA so we can get our customers to engage more. Thanks for all these helpful tips!

  • I’m definitely not a marketing expert. I really appreciated these tips, especially the one about choosing keywords. I had never heard of the Google Keyword Planner, and I’m glad that it’s free. This was something I definitely needed help with, so thanks for sharing this.

  • Matt R.

    Hey Catherine – Thanks for your list of tips on contenting marketing. All things I can add to by content marketing action plan! I also use a tool called Pagezill to help track my blog performance. I have the beta, but it’s good enough for what I need it for.

  • You’re right about how a call-to-action is necessary for small business marketing. Lee Odden was right about how “Content should ask people to do something and reward them for it.” Being clear with your audience about what you want from them and how they can be rewarded for it will give them incentive to pay money for your product or service.

  • You went over many great points. Knowing your target audience is crucial! Great list Catherine! Thanks for sharing!

  • Great post, thanks!

    In addition to tip #4, I think that if you really want your readers to share your content, the content should make them look good or intelligent within their community.

    P.S I have send you an E-mail – I hope you’ll respond 🙂

  • When looking for keyword ideas, Google Keyword planner is a good tool. However, another good practice is simply searching Google for the term you’d like to rank for and then scrolling to the bottom of the results. There will be several other “related keywords” that you can click and search. Google shows these because they are the most searched for terms when people search for the term you entered in the first place. It’s a good idea to consider using these as Google has already proven them to be higher traffic than others.

    Also, CTAs are very important just as mentioned in the article. You don’t want a prospective customer to be confused at all in the buying process (or whatever you have defined as a conversion). Without a clear CTA, you’d be surprised at how many people will simply leave your site and go to another that offers the same content but a clear CTA.

    Great article, though!

  • Mirta R. Combs

    What a great article! A lot of useful tips that can be used by small businesses. I was looking for similar articles and stumbled upon another impressive article that has covered some more tips regarding the same. you can check it out if you like here