A neglected area for most small businesses and startups is their content marketing strategy. Most startups and small businesses don’t realize that having this as a primary focus can go a long way in giving them the edge they need in their given industry. In fact, small businesses and startups can cement their place, in whatever field they are in, with high-quality content marketing strategies.
So, what steps can small businesses and startups take to achieve this? Let’s talk through the 8 steps you need to start your content marketing strategy.
Know Your Competition
Before you start even devising strategies and spending money, take the time to research who your competitors are. Understanding the types of strategies they are employing and the kind of content they are making is important to inform and shape your own strategy.
Start with questions like…
- What types of blogs and articles do they direct their customers and clients towards?
- How regularly are they publishing content on their websites and social media?
- And finally, who are they targeting?
It’s important to observe what these companies are doing, but not copy their strategies completely. Learn from them, take inspiration, and then develop your own blueprint for content marketing from there.
Decide On the Platforms You Will Use
Once you know your customer base, you can start making decisions about the platforms the majority of your content marketing will be on.
If your business tends to thrive on younger adults, then Instagram or TikTok might be the best social media platform. If your audience is largely B2B and targeting C-Suite executives, LinkedIn is likely a more important place for you to prioritize.
While social media is a critical component of content marketing, don’t neglect your website and leverage its power for thought-leadership and educational content through blogs, pages, and other resources.
Remember to keep a focus on creating SEO-enriched content that will drive search engine traffic toward your website through blogs, specific pages, and lead-generation content.
Devise A Content Calendar
Once you’ve completed brainstorming, collaboration, and team strategy meetings it’s time to develop a calendar for your content.
A great place to begin is by developing what your brand’s “Content Pillars” will be. These are different categories of the types of content that you will create. Some examples include:
- Brand Awareness
Once you have established the 5-8 pillars that your brand will create content within, you can lay these out as a template and framework to begin planning content.
From there, begin to develop 3-4 big topical ideas. A simple way to fill out a monthly content calendar is to use those ideas to create blog posts, then parse out small tidbits from those blogs for all your education or thought-leadership content.
From there, you can fill in the gaps with other content pillar types.
Set Attainable Goals – And Stick To Them!
After developing your initial content calendar, you’ll also want to create goals in relation to that content. The goals should be SMART.
The actual goals themselves might take the form of:
This is by no means an exhaustive list, but these are a few of the tangible measurables that you can use to gauge how content is performing.
Overall, the content should be geared towards growth and expansion. What that looks like is of course up to you.
Don’t forget: Goals can always be revised. If you set the bar too low initially, why not set higher goals for the next quarter? If the goal wasn’t achieved, revise it, but don’t abandon it!
Experiment From The Outset
Your first few published posts of content (whatever form they take) should be seen as little experiments. Don’t expect it to be a masterpiece from the get-go, but also don’t expect a hot mess. It’s important to find out what your audience engages with over time because you’re unlikely to get it totally right from the beginning.
The content made for your marketing strategy will evolve. Give yourself and your team some time to get a feel of the target audience in this context and the platform they are writing for.
Because content marketing is predicated on establishing authority and building credibility, things like grammar, spelling and high-quality design work are simply a must.
You want to convey that you are experts and professionals in your space, so basics like spelling and grammar in that content must be flawless.
Have multiple people check over a piece before you publish it and consider a tool like Grammarly to make sure you catch any mistakes that might be present in the copy.
Promote The Content
Creating ongoing content is a commitment, time, and resource investment. Once you begin a content marketing strategy, you want to be sure to get every bit of value out of that content that you can.
That includes promoting it in as many ways as possible. How many of these places can you promote the content that your company is creating?
- Social media
- Pages on your website
- Pop-ups on your site
- Text message campaigns
There are so many ways to use, re-use, and distribute your brand’s content. Make sure to take advantage of every one of them.
Remember to constantly review what is and is not working with your content and how your targeted audience engages with it. Measure audience engagement and take cues from them for future creative direction.
PS: This is why SMART goal setting is critical from the beginning.
If you’re ready to launch a content marketing strategy, but lack the resources, support, or people to do it, we can help!
At Breezy, we give you access to an entire content marketing team right away to help you develop your strategy, set goals, create all of this important content, and measure its effectiveness as well.
See how we can help you, here.