As the saying goes, “Content is king” - and this continues to hold true in 2022. If you haven’t already added content marketing to your overall marketing strategy, it’s time to level up your business and begin implementing it.
Content marketing is a highly effecgive way to grow your business. In this blog, we’ll define exactly what content marketing is and give you seven actionable ways you can get started to improve your content marketing.
What is Content Marketing?
Content marketing is a type of marketing that involves planning, creating, distributing and sharing content that provides value for your audience and stimulates interest in your products or services.
For example, if you own a clothing brand, a mailer you send out on “The Key Trends to Look Out for This Spring” would be considered content marketing as it doesn’t explicitly promote your brand or products, but is still related to your business and provides value to anyone interested in fashion.
A mailer you send out entitled “Shop Now and Save 5%” wouldn’t be considered content marketing, as it’s directly promoting your products and won’t provide value to an audience who isn’t ready to convert.
Now that you know exactly what content marketing is, let’s look at some strategies to get your company content ready!
1. A/B Test Your Website Content
A/B testing involves creating two different versions of your website and tracking them to see which is more effective. A portion of your customers will be directed to the A version of your website, while another portion will be directed to the B version.
To ensure your A/B test is successful, you’ll need to take a considered approach to determine which factors you’re testing and why. After all, if you change everything on your B version, it’ll be difficult to identify exactly what worked better. Some factors you can test include:
- Your headline
- Sales messaging
For conclusive results, you’ll also need to decide why you’re creating A/B versions of your website. Some outcomes can include increasing website traffic, increasing your conversion rate, decreasing your bounce rate, and decreasing cart abandonments.
2. Put a Face to Your Name
Customers want to know that they’re buying products or services from real people, especially if you’re a small local business. An effective way to do this is by creating video content that gives your customers greater insight your business and values.
Ways you can use video content marketing include:
- Giving a behind-the-scenes tour of how your products are made
- Introducing your team
- Answering frequently asked questions
- Giving product demonstrations
Depending on what type of video content you want to create, you can make anything from a 30-second Instagram video to a 15-minute YouTube video. But remember, the longer and more complex your video is, the more production resources you’ll need to dedicate to it (music, editing, graphics, audio mixing), making it more expensive to produce.
3. Use Customer Testimonials to Spread the Word
When customers are looking for a new product or service, they’re likely to check websites like Google Reviews or Trustpilot for social proof that your product or service meets customers’ expectations.
If you don’t already ask customers for reviews, it’s as easy as creating a link in your next emailer with a call-to-action for your customer to leave a review. You can also post on your social media pages and have your customer service team ask customers telephonically to leave a review.
Remember to only ask for reviews when your customer has just signed up, purchased from you, or had a great experience with your business - the last thing you want is to ask for a review from a customer who has just canceled their service or returned a product.
Make sure check your reviews regularly and respond to all reviews. Even a negative review gives you the opportunity to show empathy, increase knowledge about your business, and leave a positive impression on other potential customers who may be reading them.
Once you’ve collected reviews, you can post testimonials on your website, social media pages, and marketing communications.
4. Personalize Your Content
When creating content, you should always do so with an audience in mind. If, for example, you own a pet grooming business you can create content aimed at the following types of customers:
- People with high-maintenance long-haired dog breeds
- People with low-maintenance short-haired dog breeds
- People with high-maintenance long-haired cat breeds
- People with low-maintenance short-haired cat breeds
- People who are worried their pet is too anxious to go to a groomer
- People who are worried about the cost of professional pet grooming
- People who have never considered a groomer and don’t know why it’s important
The list goes on and on, and the more thought you put into your customer segments, the more different types of content you will be able to create.
When personalizing your content to each audience type, keep two key questions in mind and ensure that you answer each of them within your content: “What does this audience need?” and “How can my product or service help them?”
5. Start Making Interactive Content
Interactive content is a great way to get your audience involved in your brand and keep them engaged on social media. When asking specific questions, it’s also a great way to collect information about your audience so you can tailor your products, services, or customer experience to them.
Some great examples of interactive content include:
- A questionnaire document attached to mailers
- A quiz or poll on Facebook
- A poll on Instagram Stories
- A calculator on your website
- A quiz on your website to help your audience figure out which product or service is right for them
7. Place Greater Emphasis on Local SEO
SEO (Search Engine Optimization) can be daunting for small businesses, but it’s one of the most powerful tools in your arsenal to drive more traffic to your website. By using websites like Semrush, Moz, or Ahrefs, you can reveal new marketing and content opportunities for your business.
Here’s what your business can do today to improve your SEO:
- Optimize your website content using keywords
- Optimize your website structure and ensure all pages have metadata
- Optimize your website for mobile use
- Create regular keyword driven blog content
- Get involved in local events
- Create a PR strategy that gets your website mentioned on other websites
- Work with blog influencers and other businesses on an SEO backlinking strategy
Content marketing is a major part of marketing, so you probably won’t be able to implement all six of our tips in your business at once.
Consider what your business needs, which avenues have the most opportunities to expose your business to your customers, and how much budget and resources you’re able to allocate to content marketing. Once you know what your top priorities are, you can start growing your audience with our content marketing tips.