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13 Reasons Every Small Business Should Prioritize Content Marketing

13 Reasons Every Small Business Should Prioritize Content Marketing

A few days ago, we sat down with a new client — let’s call her Sarah — to talk about content marketing.

Sarah runs a small business, and she’s at the point where she knows she needs to be doing a lot of content marketing, but she’s not sure where to start or what her priorities should be.

At MediaOne, we always start such conversations by asking our clients what their goals are for their business. What are they hoping to achieve in the short-term and long-term?

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Sarah’s goals were pretty typical: she wanted to increase brand awareness, generate more leads, and convert more of those leads into paying customers.

So, we asked her what she was currently doing to achieve those goals.

Sarah listed a few activities: she’d been blogging sporadically, hired a couple of freelance writers to produce some eBooks and whitepapers, and dabbled in social media.

But when we probed a little deeper, it quickly became apparent that Sarah’s content marketing efforts were far from strategic.

She was producing a lot of content, but it wasn’t the right kind of content, and she wasn’t distributing it effectively.

In other words, she wasn’t getting the results she wanted because she wasn’t prioritizing her content marketing efforts.

If you’re like Sarah, where you know you need to do content marketing but are not sure where to start or what your priorities should be, this post is for you.

Now, before we look at what your content marketing priorities should be, let’s first take a step back and remind ourselves why content marketing is so important for small businesses.

 


That said, here are 13 reasons why every small business should prioritize content marketing:

Reason #1. Content Marketing Builds Trust and Improves Your Brand Reputation: By providing consistent, engaging, and valuable content, you’ll start to build a rapport with your audience.

They’ll begin to see you as a trusted source of information, and they’ll start to associate your brand with positive values and emotions.

In so doing, they’ll be far more likely to do business with you when they need the products or services you offer.

Reason #2. Content Marketing Helps You Rank Higher in Search Engines: If you want people to find your website when they search for relevant keywords, you need to ensure your site is optimized for search engines.

And a big part of that is churning out lots of high-quality content.

The more high-quality, relevant content you have on your site, the higher you’ll rank in the Search Engine Results Pages (SERPs), and the more traffic your website is likely to generate.

Reason #3. Nurture and Convert Leads with Content Marketing: Once you’ve used content to attract visitors to your site, you need to keep them there long enough to turn them into leads.

And the best way to do that is with more content.

You can use gated content (like eBooks and whitepapers) to capture leads’ contact information and lead nurturing content (like email newsletters and blog posts) to keep them interested in your company until they’re ready to buy.

Reason #4. Retain Customers with Helpful Content: Once you’ve used content marketing to attract and convert new customers, your job isn’t done.

It helps to continue producing quality content to keep those customers engaged and loyal.

The more helpful and informative your content is, the more likely your customers will stick around (and keep returning for more).

Reason #5. Get More (Qualified) Traffic with Content Marketing: As we just discussed, one of the main benefits of content marketing is that it helps you rank higher on search engine results pages.

But it’s not just any old traffic you’re after – you’re targeting a more targeted, pre-qualified traffic that’s more likely to convert into leads and customers.

And that’s exactly what content marketing does for you.

By targeting specific keywords and producing content that appeals to your target audience, you can attract visitors who are more likely to be interested in what you have to say (and what you have to sell).

Reason #6. Build Backlinks with Quality Content: Inbound links (or backlinks) are one of the main ranking factors in Google’s algorithms.

In other words, the more high-quality websites link to your content, the higher your content will rank on search engine results pages.

And the best way to get high-quality backlinks is to produce high-quality content.

Reason #7. Connect with Your Audience on a Deeper Level: With content marketing, you have an opportunity to connect with your audience on a deeper, more emotional level.

You can tell stories, share your company’s values, and give people a behind-the-scenes look at your work.

Done right, it will make your audience feel more connected to your brand, which is invaluable in building long-term relationships with your customers. 

Reason #8. Generate More Social Shares: If you want your content to reach a wider audience, you need people to share it.

And one of the best ways to encourage social shares is to produce quality content that is interesting, informative, and valuable.

The more share-worthy your content is, the more likely people will be to share it with their friends and followers.

Reason #9. Establish Your Brand as an Industry Leader: By producing quality content regularly, you can position your brand as an industry leader.

You want your customers to view things from your perspective and see your company as an authority figure in your industry.

When you become known for producing high-quality content, people will start to view you as an expert in your field – which can do wonders for your business.

Reason 10. Get Better ROI from Your Marketing Efforts: What other marketing strategy produces quality leads, sales, and customers while also helping you rank higher on search engine results pages?

Content marketing is one of the most effective and efficient ways to market your business.

And because it’s so affordable (considering you can produce most types of content yourself), it offers an excellent return on investment.

Reason 11. Stand Out from Your Competition: With so many businesses competing for attention online, it’s more important than ever to stand out from the crowd.

Content marketing can help you do just that.

By producing quality content targeted to your audience, you can differentiate your business from your competitors and make it more likely that people will choose you over them.

Reason 12. Get More Mileage from Your Marketing Budget: Content marketing is the way to go if you want the most bang for your marketing buck.

With content marketing, you can produce quality leads, sales, and customers while also helping you rank higher on search engine results pages – all without breaking the bank.

And even better, you continue to enjoy the benefits of your content long after you’ve published it.

So there you have it – 12 reasons why every small business should prioritize content marketing.

Now is the time to start if you’re not already incorporating content marketing into your marketing strategy.

Your business will thank you for it!

That leads us to the next big question…

 


What Should Your Content Marketing Priorities Be?

Now that you know the importance of content marketing, it’s time to start thinking about your content marketing priorities.

Remember, content marketing runs deeper than the random blog posts people publish.

To truly reap the benefits of content marketing, you need to work on a well-rounded strategy that leads to a well-specified business goal.

Don’t get me wrong. Blog posts are a crucial part of any content marketing strategy.

But if that’s all you’re doing, you’re missing out on many other opportunities to connect with your audience and promote your business.

With all said and done, what should your content marketing priorities be?

Priority #1. A Better Understanding of Your Target Audience: You’d be surprised how many businesses don’t take the time to understand their target audience.

And yet, your target audience is the key to successful content marketing.

If you don’t know who you’re creating content for, it’s impossible to produce content that appeals to them.

Most marketers understand the importance of creating buyer personas. But since it doesn’t directly feed the content beast, only a few take the time to do it.

To create buyer personas, you need to understand three things about your target audience:

  • Who are they?
  • What do they want?
  • What are their pain points?

If you can answer these questions, you’re well on your way to creating content that appeals to your target audience.

But it’s a vicious cycle – you can’t create content without first understanding your audience, but you won’t get to know your audience until you create content.

So, where do you start?

Here are a few ideas:

  • Conduct market research: Use surveys, polls, and interviews to get to the heart of who your target audience is and what they want.
  • Check out your competition: See what kind of content they’re creating and how they connect with their audience.
  • Analyze your website data: Look at your website’s analytics to see who’s visiting, what they’re interested in, and where they’re coming from.

The idea is first to understand your target audience and create content that appeals to them.

When Does this Priority Cease to Make Sense?

This priority ceases to make sense when you’ve already grasped who your target audience is.

When you fully know your target audience inside and out, you can move on to other content marketing priorities.

Ardath Albee suggests updating your buyer persona every 6 to 12 months just to ensure you’re still on track.

But there are times when you may have to do it sooner:

  • Regulatory or compliance changes or updates that affect how buyers research and buy
  • Significant changes to your target audience, such as a change in job title or responsibilities or relocating to another company
  • An economic recession or market crash that affects how much money buyers have available to spend (this could be an industry-wide issue or something that only affects your particular region)
  • Technological advancement or change that affects how buyers research and buy (think about how the internet has changed the way we shop)
  • Changes to your own company, such as a rebrand, new product launch, or expansion into new markets
  • Content topics that were once high performers begin to dwindle in engagement
  • Introduction of new roles or decision-makers into the buyer’s journey
  • New content formats that you want to experiment with

If any of these events occur, it’s time to go back to the drawing board and update your buyer persona.

Priority #2. Creating More-engaging Content

How to Create an Engaging Content Experience

If your content isn’t engaging, no one will want to read it.

And if no one reads your content, it doesn’t matter how great it is – it won’t do you any good.

So what makes content engaging?

There are a few things:

  • It’s practical: Your content should be helpful and informative. It should offer value to your readers.
  • It’s well-written: Good grammar, spelling, and punctuation are a must. Otherwise, your readers will lose faith in your ability to deliver quality content.
  • Visually appealing: Use images, infographics, and videos to break up your text and add visual interest.
  • Shareable: Make sure your content is easy to share on social media and other websites.
  • It’s timely: Keep your content current and relevant.
  • SEO-friendly: Use keywords and other SEO best practices to ensure your content is easy to find online.

Creating engaging content isn’t always easy.

It takes time, effort, and a lot of trial and error.

But it’s worth it – engaged readers are more likely to become customers.

And customers are the lifeblood of any business.

When Does this Priority Cease to Make Sense?

Before making your content more engaging, you must ensure it reaches your target audience.

If your content isn’t being seen by the right people, making it more engaging won’t do you any good.

You also need to make sure your content is relevant and valuable.

There’s no point in making your content more engaging if it’s not offering value to your readers.

Once you’ve made sure the right people are seeing your content and that you’re offering value, you can proceed to make your content more engaging.

Priority #3. A Better Understanding of What’s Effective and What Isn’t

Insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.

If your content marketing strategy isn’t working, it’s time to change it.

But before you change it, you need to understand why it’s not working.

There could be a number of reasons:

  • Your content isn’t exciting or engaging enough.
  • Your content isn’t relevant or valuable.
  • The right people aren’t seeing your content.
  • You’re not promoting your content enough.
  • You’re not measuring your results.

If you don’t know why your content marketing strategy isn’t working, you can’t fix it.

You need to take a step back and analyze your content marketing efforts.

  • Look at your goals and objectives.
  • Look at your target audience.
  • Look at your content.
  • And look at your results.

Once you understand what’s working and what isn’t, you can make the necessary changes to improve your results.

When Does this Priority Cease to Make Sense?

If you’re happy with your content marketing results, there’s no need to change anything.

But if you’re unhappy with your results, you need to look closely at your content marketing strategy.

Priority #4. Increasing Your Content Output

The more content you create, the better your chances of success.

More content means more opportunities to reach your target audience.

More content also means more opportunities to rank in search engines, drive traffic to your website, and generate leads and sales.

To increase your chances of success, you need to create more content.

But creating more content isn’t always easy.

It takes time, effort, and a lot of hard work.

When Does this Priority Cease to Make Sense?

If you’re already creating a lot of content, you don’t need to create more.

You can instead focus on making your existing content more relevant, useful, and engaging.

Priority #5. Diversifying Your Content

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If you’re only creating one type of content, you’re missing a lot of potentials.

By diversifying your content, you can reach a wider audience and achieve better results.

Diversified content includes blog posts, articles, infographics, videos, podcasts, and more.

When Does this Priority Cease to Make Sense?

Simple, if you’re already doing it, you don’t need to worry about it.

Priority #6 Finding More and Better Ways to Repurpose Your Content

Repurposing your content is a great way to get more mileage out of it.

It’s also a great way to reach new audiences and achieve better results.

There are many ways you can repurpose your content, such as:

  • Turning a blog post into an infographic
  • Turning an article into a video
  • Turning a podcast into an article
  • Learn to look at your content as an investment.

The more you can get out of it, the better.

Repurposing your content is a great way to get more value out of it.

When Does this Priority Cease to Make Sense?

If you’re not a fan of repurposing content, then you don’t need to do it.

For example, if you don’t like turning your blog posts into infographics, you don’t have to.

Also, repurposing should be a priority if the piece of content is core to your story and extensive enough to be repurposed in multiple ways. 

Content repurposing also makes sense if your audience is spread across multiple channels and you want to reach them all. But, if you only want to reach a specific audience on one channel, then repurposing may not be necessary.

Priority #7 Investing in Content Promotion

Imagine you have the best piece of content in the world.

But no one sees it.

It doesn’t matter how great your content is if no one knows it exists.

That’s why content promotion is so important.

Content promotion is the process of getting your content seen by as many people as possible.

There are a number of ways to promote your content, such as:

When Does this Priority Cease to Make Sense?

If you have a “meh” piece of content, it doesn’t make sense to invest heavily in promoting it.

You’re better off spending your time and money creating and promoting better content.

Priority #8 Creating Evergreen Content

Evergreen content is the kind of content that’s always relevant.

It’s the stuff that people will want to read, watch, and share today, tomorrow, and for years to come.

Some examples of evergreen content include:

  • How-to guides
  • Lists
  • Tutorials
  • Product reviews
  • Resource guides

While trendy and timely content has its place, evergreen content is the foundation of a strong content marketing strategy.

It’s the stuff that keeps people coming back for more.

When Does this Priority Cease to Make Sense?

If you’re focused on creating timely and trending content, then evergreen content may not make sense for you. 

But, if you want to build a strong foundation and create something that will stand the test of time, then evergreen content should be a priority.

Priority #9 Creating Content for All Stages of the Sales Funnel

The sales funnel is the path that leads people from awareness to purchase.

You have to understand that not all content is created equal.

Some content is better suited for the top of the funnel, while others are better suited for the bottom.

Top-of-the-funnel content is designed to attract and engage people who are unaware of your product or service.

Bottom-of-the-funnel content is designed to convert people who are already interested in what you have to offer.

Examples of top of the funnel content include:

  • Blog posts
  • Videos
  • Infographics
  • Podcasts

Examples of the bottom of the funnel content include:

  • Product demos
  • Free trials
  • Coupons
  • Discounts

A good content marketing strategy will include content for all sales funnel stages.

When Does this Priority Cease to Make Sense?

If you’re only focused on making the sale, creating content for all stages of the sales funnel may not make sense. 

But, if you want to build relationships and create a loyal following, creating content for all stages of the sales funnel should be a priority.

Priority #10 Creating a Content Calendar

A content calendar is a tool that helps you plan, organize, and track your content.

It’s a valuable tool for any business regardless of size, but it’s especially helpful for small businesses with limited resources.

  • A content calendar can help you:
  • Save time by batching your content creation
  • Stay on track by setting deadlines and due dates
  • Avoid duplication by keeping track of what you’ve already created

When Does this Priority Cease to Make Sense?

If you’re not planning on creating a lot of content, then a content calendar may not make sense.

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