How to Use Content Marketing to Grow Your Business
Starting your own business is a tremendously rewarding experience! There’s a good chance that you’ve spent many nights working late and had way too much coffee in order to get everything ready for the big launch. You’re eager for people to start engaging with your brand, but you’re a little stumped on how to actually go about making this happen.
But rest assured that all new businesses struggle with marketing and generating demand. Resources are limited, and paid promotion is often much too expensive for small businesses that are just getting their feet wet. So you’ll have to get creative!
That’s where content marketing can make the difference between a thriving company and one that’s struggling to stay afloat. While it does take some effort to get things off the ground, it’s a really effective low-cost strategy for growing your business provided you commit to your goals and stay consistent.
By now, most entrepreneurs have at least heard of content marketing. It’s basically a marketing strategy that involves developing and sharing online content with the goal of increasing organic traffic through search engines like Google or Bing.
Simple math explains the importance of this goal from a business standpoint. If you can increase your site traffic, you’ll be able to reach a larger pool of prospects, which should result in greater profit over time.
Organic traffic is very valuable these days, and that’s one of the reasons why content marketing has become so popular in recent years compared to other acquisition channels like email marketing, paid search, and social media.
Every business strives to get a higher ranking on organic search results, so they gain more exposure, and this way drive long-term customer acquisition and business growth.
Unfortunately, nothing worthwhile ever comes easy, and content marketing is no exception. It takes time and effort to earn your rankings, and maintaining them with regular site optimization and link building takes persistence. But you know what? It’ll be worth it!
Find Your Target Audience
The first step is to identify your target audience. Then you can start developing customer personas. If you’ve never done this before, you can get the insight you need from looking at both quantitative and qualitative data. Google Analytics is a good source for quantitative data, while for qualitative data, you can get feedback from customers or website visitors through surveys.
This should help you get an idea of who your customers are. Pay close attention to factors like:
- Behavior on your site
- Purchase propensity
- Average order value
- Long-term customer value.
You’ll need this information to figure out what type of content will attract people that are most likely to be interested in your products or services. And it’s not just about the topics you approach, but also the tone and how to present your brand.
Conduct Keyword Research
By now, you should know who your target audience is, so the next step is to figure out what kind of content is appropriate and helpful to them while also benefiting your business. This is accomplished through keyword research and analysis.
So, what is keyword research, and why is it important? Essentially, it’s learning about the keywords and topics that internet users search for.
Let’s say you’re running a vegan restaurant. It’s safe to say that most of your customers will be people interested in vegan food. There will be differences depending on where your restaurant is located and how you present your brand. For example, some brand messaging appeals to certain age groups more than to others. But you know that whatever age they are, they want vegan food.
Then you can use tools like Google Keyword Planner and SEMrush Keyword Magic Tool to look for keywords related to vegan food. You want to know what people who are interested in vegan food search for. The metrics you’re most interested in are:
- Keyword volume – What is the average monthly search volume for these keywords?
- Trend – Are searches for these keywords on the rise, or are they declining?
- Competition – Competing businesses will also be aiming for these keywords, so you need to pick the ones that are most likely to give you a high ranking.
This will seem intimidating at first since you’ll have to do a lot of research, go through all the data you find, and then brainstorm according to the insights you gather, but as long as you’re patient and stay organized, you’ll see that a lot of it is common sense. For the organization part, you can use tools like PDFChef.
At first, you’ll want to choose keywords that are relevant for your business and target audience but where you don’t have a lot of competition. Bear in mind that you’re still new, and it will take a bit of time until you build enough domain authority to start going for the more competitive keywords.
Who Will Be Responsible for Developing Your Content?
Next, you’ll need to figure out who will be responsible for developing your content. Big companies have marketing teams that handle this. Since you’re running a small business that’s just getting started, it’s time to get creative again. And by creative, we mean you either start writing your own content on you find other arrangements like hiring freelance writers.
Platforms like Upwork have lots of skilled and experienced content writers with SEO expertise who will know exactly what type of content you need.
Whether you decide to develop your content in-house or via a third-party service, make sure you have a process in place that includes:
- Someone in charge of content creation
- The tools and information you need to develop your content
- Content publishing workflow that goes through creation, publishing, and promoting.
Set Up a Content Calendar
This part is simple, but it can be really useful for planning out how to keep your audience engaged and show Google how active you are.
And don’t make this step overly complicated. The point is just to spread out content and take advantage of trends and key dates. For example, during the holidays, your target audience will look for more holiday-related information, and you can adjust your content accordingly.
There are two major advantages to using this strategy.
To begin with, it allows you to better nurture your audience and attract more prospects. By publishing and promoting content on a regular basis, you are showing your visitors that your platform is active, which makes it a valuable resource.
Secondly, search engine algorithms favor websites that are constantly updating their material, so it will help you rank higher.