Guest Author: Charles Costa, author at fitsmallbusiness.com

Content marketing is one of the hottest trends in the small business marketing world today, yet it’s such a vast field that most people don’t know where to start.

In fact, many small business owners are worried that their content marketing efforts won’t produce significant results, such as an increase in website traffic; after all, great content is useless if nobody reads it, right? That’s not always the case.

The key to success with content marketing is to produce quality information that resonates with prospective customers and adds value to your relationships with existing clients. By following the six tips below, you should be able to develop a solid content strategy that aligns with your small business’s goals and drives traffic to your website.

Six tips for content marketing success

1. Create evergreen content

As a small business owner, you are busy and don’t have time to sit down multiple times a month to write new content. Instead of constantly posting new articles, focus on creating evergreen content that will withstand the test of time and draw new readers to your website.

The main types of evergreen content:

  • How to guides and tutorials
  • Resource lists
  • Frequently asked questions
  • Industry definitions (e.g. acronyms and jargon)

With evergreen content, you want to ensure that you place it in a highly-visible section of your website so that customers easily and quickly locate. Don’t bury your evergreen content on an unlinked landing page or on a page that requires someone to click through multiple sections of your site. You’ll want to call them out and occasionally repost them on your blog.

One of the best features of evergreen content is that you can recycle and repost it in multiple places on your site. In addition to reposting on your blog, you can also link back to your evergreen content from multiple pages on your website.

Just remember that you can’t “set and forget” evergreen content. As time goes by, you need to ensure you’re updating the content so the information is always accurate.

2. Follow SEO best practices

When you’re developing your website, you’ll want to ensure you’re following search engine optimization (SEO) best practices. Many web platforms handle the technical side of SEO for you, so you are able to focus on creating quality content and worry less about things such as h1 tags and meta descriptions.

While SEO is an extremely diverse online marketing activity, there are a few trends that you should be aware of when you are creating content for your small business’s website.

  • Guest posting is a great way to build backlinks and generate publicity around your small business. Just ensure you’re only guest blogging to sites that are relevant to your small business so that you don’t overdo the posting.
  • Focus on quality content vs. articles that are jammed with keywords and posted simply to rank on search engines, like Google, Yahoo and Bing.
  • Build your website’s authority with backlinks, social shares and reviews on websites, like Yelp, Facebook and Google. Not only will search engines see that your small business’s website is an authority in your industry, but you will also reach new audiences that are looking for products and services you provide.

3. Follow social media etiquette

One of the reasons social media has taken off for businesses is because it opens your small business up a entirely new audiences of potential buyers, both locally and regionally.

However, it’s important that you follow social media etiquette in order to ensure you bring new customers to your business, not drive them away. Look at social media as a place where you can have meaningful conversations with your customers, not a place to simply broadcast content, and the channel will be one that drives traffic back to your website.

4. Make your content shareable

Social media users respond best to small businesses that engage with their followers and provide them with content they can easily reshare.

The best way to create content that gets shared is to focus on providing value to your followers, which they can then take and give to their followers. In addition to providing value with your content, you should also build social sharing buttons into your website that your website visitors can quickly and easily share your content across their social media networks.

Of course, having a great headline is essential to getting read. Although it requires a bit of effort –the best writers spend half the time it takes to write an article just on the headline — you can use these simple tips to quickly get started.

  • Numbers, digits, and lists: Starting your headline with a number is one of the easiest ways to stand out from other content on the web. Lists also tend to be popular with readers because they’re useful and are straight to the point.
  • Present your goal upfront: Tell your reader in your headline what they will learn from reading the article. Here are a few words you can use to show value, while clearly articulating your goal:
    • Tips
    • Lessons
    • Tricks
    • Ideas
    • Ways
    • Facts
  • Keep it short and sweet: According to CoSchedule, the ideal headline for Google and Bing is 65 characters long. It’s important not to go over 65 characters because your headline will get cut off on mobile devices that have a smaller screen.

5. Leverage visual content

According to Unbounce, the average person is bombarded with 174 newspapers worth of content — in a single day.

In order to stand out from the crowd, many companies use videos, presentations, infographics and other visual content. Not sure how to get started? Infographics are a great starting point since you don’t have to be an artist to get started.

6. Write press releases

Product launches, expansions into new markets and successful company events are just a few occasions where you’ll want to write up a press release. You can download a free press release template here.

Even if your press release doesn’t get picked up in the media, it’s still a great way to keep customers in the loop about what’s happening at your business — and reach new ones searching for products and services you offer.

If you’re not sure how to write a press release, check out these press release examples written by experts.

Start Small

Although it might seem overwhelming, incorporating these content creation tips into your marketing strategy is a great way to showcase your expertise. By breaking down your content tasks into actionable steps, you can tackle even the toughest marketing challenges and grow your business.

  • Thanks for the traffic ideas. Evergreen content is one of my favorite ways to drive traffic as an online business. I think it also pays off in the long run as evergreen content can be relevant for months or even years to come.