7 Great content marketing tips for small businesses in 2016

When creating a website you always have to bear in mind what it’s job is, and that means understanding what the customer wants and how this is best presented to them.

But, you also have to get the customer to a site in the first place, and one of the ways to do this is create great content, content that will either educate, inform or entertain.

If this is done, you get to ‘kill two birds with one stone’, as not only do you give people a reason to stay on the site once they get there (and to come back for more later on), you also can generate traffic from the  Search Engines, the content being indexed and found via the words in the copy.

However, there is more to it than just creating copy every day or week, you have to have a plan and this short article provides a lot of tips. This means that it is a great one to ‘Re-use’ (a process known as ‘Curation’), so we thought we’d share it with you.

One of the services we offer to customers is a ‘content marketing’ by the way, so if you feel you don’t have to time to add to your website every week, then do bear us in mind.

Small businesses have historically been slow to adopt the content marketing strategies that corporate marketers use. But in recent years it has become clear that small businesses need to include how-tos, e-books, comparison guides, and other content marketing techniques to remain competitive in the rankings.

Whether the content is created in-house or outsourced to an agency, there will be a time when creative ideas for interesting new content become scarce.

Here are seven tips for creating outstanding content.

  1. Create a content marketing calendar

    Having a calendar that documents a content strategy is a great way to ensure timely content creation, but this strategy is too often overlooked. 61 percent of marketers say that their biggest difficulty with content creation is that it takes too much time, but only 44 percent are reported to have a documented content marketing strategy.

    Putting together a calendar of content scheduled for the month is a great first step that provides a set amount of time to strategise, brainstorm, create and publish.

    2. Find out what works

    Before researching other sites for inspiration, understand the characteristics of past content that has worked. Dive into Google Analytics and Webmaster Tools to check the top-trafficked pages and search queries to see what content has performed the best and the keywords people have used to find it.

    Social statistics can also provide insight into content that has performed well. Check social media performance by utilizing services like AddThis that embed sharing buttons on blogs with tracking information. There are easy-to-use dashboards that provide information on the number of shares, and clickbacks from those shares.

    Understanding these trends will help better inform what topics and strategies have worked in the past and where to head with future content.

    3. Understand social trends for news-jacking

    Social media is also helpful in providing ideas for topics in real-time. Writing content around trending topics, or news-jacking, help provide valuable content to people actively looking for it. Twitter has had trending topics available for a while, and Facebook introduced trending topics earlier this year. For a more local view of trending topics, Trendsmap provides an intimate view of trending news overlaid on a map with data from Twitter.

    Enhance content by addressing different sides to a story, taking a controversial stance, or supplementing it with different media like videos or infographics.

    4. Create a survey

    Create news with a simple survey. Understanding the consumer stance on a topic in an industry provides material for articles and infographics. This will likely result in backlinks to the content and builds reputation as a primary source of data in a field.

    5. Utilise visual content

    While much of SEO (search engine optimisation) focuses on text that search engines can digest, visual content is much more appealing for human readers.

    Audiences are naturally wired to be more engaged with visual content, as 90 percent of the information that comes to the brain is visual, and content that utilizes imagery gets 94 percent more views than those without.

    6. Start a video blog

    Another easy way to create consistently high-quality content is to create videos. 78 percent of people say they watch online video every week, and 55 percent say they watch every day.

    Starting a video blog isn’t expensive or time-consuming. Short videos are the easiest to digest, and simple to shoot with a personal webcam.

    7. Repurpose content

    If finding a topic and doing the research for it is too time-consuming, create a bundle of content you have already created around a certain topic. Gather content with an underlying theme, like “Website Design Tips,” and package it with a supplemental blog post. This creates a valuable package of materials for readers to digest.

    Another way of repurposing content is to revisit an older piece of content and providing updates. New information is constantly being studied and evaluated, which can be easily reported as an update to an earlier post.

    Content marketing is now a required component of SEO. And it works by engaging new and existing audiences, and encouraging sharing. For small businesses, it is difficult to stay on course, though, and ideas are tough to generate on a consistent basis.
     
    This article was originally published on searchenginewatch.com.