If you are running a small business, you know that the way you market your products or services has irreversibly changed. Now you are either exploring content marketing—or you are already engaged in some form of it—and you are looking to fine-tune your content strategy to get a better ROI from your efforts.
In this article, I will explore the essentials of making a "content strategy" for your small business. The framework (as you might have guessed) has four parts:
- Raise your awareness about areas you can add value
- Create breakthroughs
- Expand capacity
- Distinguish yourself
Let’s look at each one of them in more detail.
It really begins with your awareness about how you can add value to your target audience. You can start by identifying problems your customers and prospects want to solve, but you don’t have to stop there. You can also identify opportunities that your customers and prospects are pursuing.
Your customers and prospects are looking for breakthroughs to help them deal with problems and issues they are facing. You and your people are experts in the industry you are serving—if you are not, you have other problems to deal with. The content you produce (your blog posts, for example) can act as a doorway to share that expertise. Good content builds trust. The more your customers and prospects trust you, the better your relationships. Better relationships in most cases will lead to more business.
Not all your customers and prospects are dealing with major problems, but they are pursuing opportunities that will take them to the next level. Your content can include tips, techniques, resources, inspiration, motivation - whatever can help them increase their capacity to pursue those opportunities.
This is where the “how” comes into play. Since your competitors can also figure out the first three points, the more you can distinguish yourself in the way you help them, the better they will remember you.
Assuming that your blog will be the starting point of executing your content strategy, here are three things to remember.
1. Focus on the ROII
Reading your blog can be an opportunity or an opportunity cost for your customers and prospects. By providing a good ROI for every interaction (ROII) you ensure that your blog is an opportunity. If you forget about ROII, you will definitely ensure that your blog is an opportunity cost because they could be doing something else—like reading another blog instead.
2. Make it as timeless as possible
If you are trying to blog about current things only, you will always be running and trying to catch up. In any case, you also won't have the resources to cover everything that matters on that day. However if you are thoughtful, you can design your blog posts to stay relevant for a longer period. If you do that, your blog gets more valuable with time giving both you and your readers a higher ROI.
3. Never forget your purpose
You started your blog with a purpose. In all the rush, you might forget that. When that happens, you will enter the zone of “busy and unproductive.” You can forget about any positive returns after that. It's good to revisit your purpose (periodically) and course correct to get back on track.
Image credit: mlanghans