We’re a quarter of the way through 2016, and hopefully your content marketing strategy is sailing along smoothly. It’s no secret that content marketing for a small business can be an uphill battle, and some companies completely miss the mark on their content strategy.
If you’re looking for ways to amplify your content strategy this year, let’s discover them together with our #SEOcafe chat participants and our special guest Aaron Aguis, search, social and content marketing expert and founder of Louder Online.
Content Marketing: What's the Bare Minimum a Small Business Needs?
Unfortunately, the reality is that a lot of businesses lack good, solid content on their websites. This problem is especially critical for e-commerce owners, whose websites consist mostly of product pages. Not every business has enough time and resources to constantly produce tons of in-depth, optimized content, so here is the bare minimum you need to establish a good foundation:
- Information about your company explaining who you are and why your clients should work with you
- A “contact us” page that includes your location keywords
- A “products and services” page with unique and optimized descriptions
- FAQs - By answering customers’ questions, you’ll both help them and increase your chances of showing up for popular queries in Google SERPS
Resource library (white papers, e-books, etc.) – create at least 2-3 white papers a year.
A company blog that is updated on a regular basis to bring traffic and keep feeding content to search engines)
When crafting a content strategy for a small business, you’ll want to keep your topics laser focused. Share your content on social platforms where your customers spend time, and keep them coming back with even more interesting content.
Improve Your Content Strategy: Best Tools and Resources
When you’re short on time and struggling to get the most out of content marketing, there are many free tools to help amplify your strategy.
- Use SEMrush to explore keywords that competitors are using. Find even more new keyword opportunities with Google Keyword Planner, Ubersuggest and Keywordtool.io.
- BuzzSumo is an excellent tool for brand monitoring and trending content.
- Test your topic titles with CoShedule's Headline Analyzer or find new ideas with Portent’s Content Idea Generator.
- Tap into Quora, Reddit or FaqFox to discover questions about your industry, your products, or the most discussed topics.
- Use Google Analytics to understand which topics best resonate with your audience, and which pieces of content were the most successful. You can discover more insights from the article “How to Use Google Analytics to Improve Your Content Strategy.”
Ways to Repurpose Existing Content
Persistently searching for new ideas and generating new topics is not an easy task. But even if you’ve run out of fresh ideas, you still have a rich source of new content – your existing content.
Repurposing your own content can help stretch your content marketing ideas further. It also allows you to distribute popular content across multiple mediums, which increases your overall exposure. Here’s couple of examples of how to do it:
- Take helpful content from your website and turn it into an educational email series for your subscribers
- Collect popular questions posed to your customer support and sales people and turn them into blog posts
- Turn a series of related blog posts into an e-book
- Turn popular blog posts into SlideShare decks and embed your presentations in the posts; presentations from speeches, tips from experts and roundtable discussions can also serve as great SlideShare content
- Slice your presentations into slides and share them on social media
- Create images with tips from opinion leaders and industry experts and post on them social media
- If you have a collection of interesting data, hire a graphic designer and have them turn these data into an infographic
- Turn your webinars, Blab chats or podcasts into blog posts. “Turn every video into a blog post and embed videos in the post. We had a huge success with Google Analytics webinar with Benjamin Mangold” - Olga Andrienko.
How to Use Content Created by Others
In addition to repurposing your own content, why not use content created by others? Take their content as a foundation and add your own opinions or experience. This will help establish you as an industry leader and add value to a topic that is already popular.
Here’s how you can create your own content from an existing source:
- Browse your competitor’s blog for unanswered questions. You can turn these questions into a blog post and help pull traffic to your own website.
- Collect valuable data from reliable resources and turn it into an infographic, but always be sure to give credit to the source that conducted the research.
- Take a look at your competitor’s social media profiles – content that is performing well can be repurposed into something you can call your own, as long as you add original content into the mix.
Low-cost Internet Marketing Ideas
Let’s imagine you’ve just opened a local cafe. As with every startup, you probably have a shoestring budget and can’t afford to spend a lot on content creation. What are some tricks that you as a local cafe owner can use for a low-cost content marketing strategy?
Launching your own blog is a great way to engage with your customers. Publish recipes and interesting facts, share your success stories, and announce and cover industry events, meetups or workshops.
Make sure you optimize your site content and your blog by using local keywords.
A Google My Business page is essential if you want to rank in local search - make sure your cafe is listed and verified. Choose a relevant business category – for better results, choose as few as possible. Check if your business name, address and phone number matches the information on your website. Write a brief and accurate description that includes targeted keywords. Ensure the Google map pin is located correctly.
Be active on social networks, where your potential clients are hanging out. Create a Facebook business page, as well as Twitter and Pinterest accounts. There you can share your news about your café, menu updates, and announce special offers and post pictures.
Run contests with prizes – this is an awesome way to engage your customers to create user-generated content so you can share it on social media. Here is a nice post on how to organize an Instagram contest for a restaurant.
Try to attend local meetups and participate in industry discussions. Another idea is to organize an offline event:
Establish strong relations with local food suppliers and other complementary businesses and use them for link building.
And here are some more valuable money-saving tips that our chat participants shared:
So how are you amplifying your content strategy in 2016? Let us know in the comments below!