With a growing number of small business start-ups on the rise, corporate America has downsized which has caused the entry barrier into the market to be low. The 28 million small businesses in America that are comprised of many new tech firms and minority owned firms account for 54% of all U.S. sales [U.S. Small Business Administration]. Within this technologically savvy society, you must apply strategy in order to remain successful. Strategy is key when you are operating and branding your business and many times owners miss this step prior to launching a business. Content marketing strategy not only improves brand loyalty, but it also increases sales and opens the door for growth within your business. Implementing the five steps of content marketing listed below will position your company for growth and success.
Step 1: Create a customer profile. Who is your audience? During the first step it is important that you identify your audience, what their needs are and begin to think how you will engage with them via your content. Utilize the customer profile in order to model the audiences for your content marketing. During the content journey there are four steps before an individual becomes a customer so it is pertinent that you do not waste time due to a lack of understanding as to who your target is. Refer to the content journey below:
Stranger > Reader > Subscriber > Fan > Customer
Step 2: Brainstorm relevant topics based off services you offer within your business portfolio. When creating content for your audience it is important to incorporate “What you need to know”, “Why you need to know it”, and a portion on “how to do it”. Establishing your pillar content will allow you to connect with your audience which will persuade them to commit via the purchase journey.
Step 3: Create a keyword list based on your customers’ common search terms. What do you want your customers to learn? Navigate search engines, start conversations online via blogs and guest blogs and utilize social media to engage with your audience and to hone in on what their needs are. Once you have collected your information, organize the content based on the customer profile you identified as the most important.
Step 4: Create a Content Plan. Now that you have engaged with your audience via blogs and social media and have created their customer profile, it is time to determine optimal ways to highlight your content. How does your audience consume content? Where does your audience consume content? If you have identified multiple customer profiles amongst your audience, direct your content at one in a way that funnels to the other customer profiles. By building a strong plan you are able to provide strong content that engages your target and reach them through channels that resonates with them.
Step 5: Publish your content via blogs, video blogs, books, online courses, etc. In today’s day in age you must be creative with how you reach your audience. It is not enough to use only one channel of communication. Be mindful of how your audience receives information and decide how often you will reach them (daily, weekly, bi-weekly, monthly, etc.).
While implementing Marketing Strategy, do not forget to promote your business and the services that you offer. Convey to members of your customer profile that in addition to providing information, you are able to execute on the topics you discuss. Lastly, remember to build relationships with influencers. Interview them for blogs, mention their names in posts and tag them. Strategy is the key to growth and success.