Over the past two decades, content marketing has become one of the most important and definitely one of the most powerful marketing strategies for SMBs. While content marketing is not the only strategy you should invest in, it is a great way to achieve numerous small business goals.
Whether you are trying to build brand visibility and awareness, increase website traffic, build trust with your customers, or boost customer acquisition and retention, content marketing can help you get there. That said, creating quality content that will achieve all of these objectives requires careful planning and strategizing.
Here to help your small business grow in the online world are the top ways to create a winning content strategy in 2022.
Set clear goals and KPIs
Some of the most important foundational pillars of a winning content strategy are clear goals and KPIs (key performance indicators). Goals and KPIs allow you to steer your content strategy in the right direction and set the tactics and steps you need to take to create content that will truly resonate with your audience.
Among the most important KPIs you should track are:
- Overall traffic
- Unique page visits
- Time on page
- Scroll depth and speed
- Bounce rate
- Comments and shares
- Ranking in the search results
- Local SEO ranking
- Leads per marketing channel
- Conversions and customer retention
When it comes to content marketing goals, here are some concrete objectives to consider:
- Improve customer acquisition
- Improve customer retention
- Inspire subscriptions and downloads
- Boost your online visibility and brand awareness
- Build brand authority and trust
- Improve social media engagement
- Generate qualified leads
- Improve customer lifetime value (CLV)
To achieve any of these goals, however, you need to know your audience.
Research and understand your audience
Good content comes from personalization, as you need to personalize your content to your target audience. You need to understand your audience to create content that will resonate with their hearts and minds and inspire them to make positive decisions.
If the content doesn’t portray the right values or tone of voice, or if it’s not truly relevant to your customers, you won’t be able to achieve your long-term goals. With that in mind, make sure to:
- Research your target audience
- Create detailed customer personas
- Identify their key drivers and motivators
- Check out your direct competition and the content they produce
- Identify the most important hashtags for your business and audience
- Identify the online channels where your audience members hang out
Once you have done your audience research, it’s time to start optimizing your content for Google.
Optimize your content for search engines
One of the primary goals of content marketing is to rank you higher on Google and other search engines. Ranking on the first page in the search results is one of the best ways to build brand visibility and awareness and get more traffic to your website. To achieve this, however, you need to optimize your content.
Keep in mind that optimizing your content marketing is a multi-faceted process, so you will need to:
- Identify the keywords you want to rank for in the search
- Ensure stellar website performance
- Implement keywords naturally into your content
- Create backlinks to your site from reputable websites
- Create optimized H1 and H2 tags, as well as meta descriptions
- Publish long-form, highly informative content
Diversify your content types
Content diversification is another great way to build brand visibility and boost engagement. Different platforms have different content preferences, so not only do you need blog posts, but you also need videos, high-quality images, and other forms of content to distribute across the web.
Consider creating infographics, reel-type videos, but run live events on social media as well and post user-generated content on every channel. With more content types out there, you will have an easier time driving traffic from all those sources back to your site.
Create a content calendar and choose your channels
Lastly, you need to create a detailed content calendar and stick to it. People want to know when they can expect updates from you on social media and on your site, and when they’ll get fresh updates in their email inbox.
This creates consistency in your marketing efforts and will help you build a devoted online audience in the long run. A detailed schedule will also help keep your content strategy fresh and will optimize your posting for all social channels.
Over to you
Small businesses might not have a big marketing budget, but the good thing is that content creation can get you amazing results without incurring big financial investments. Provided that you use the tips we talked about today and integrate them into your 2022 strategy, you should have no problem building up your brand in a competitive industry.