Ad campaigns are still useful, but the truth is they’re not as effective as content marketing. Bill Gates proclaimed “Content is king” back in 1996, and his words have proven to be remarkably prescient. Web users expect top-notch content from the companies they follow.
Easier said than done, right? Well… maybe. You can use lots of great content marketing strategies to create the kind of content that your followers want. If you handle it correctly, the content you post on your website and social media can turn casual visitors into leads and leads into customers.
#1: Content Diversification
What kind of content are you creating? If you’re only creating blog posts or Instagram stories, then you may be missing out on marketing opportunities by not diversifying your content.
The bottom line is that there are three types of content: written, audio, and video. Using all three will help you reach the broadest possible audience.
A good example is Daniel Moyer Photography in Philadelphia. In addition to a compelling website with tons of photographs of happy couples, Daniel also posts videos on Facebook, has a blog on his website, and co-hosts a wedding planning podcast called Put a Ring on It.
#2: Specialized Topics
Blogging is a marketing basic for many small businesses. However, if you’re posting only broad topic content that’s available elsewhere, you might be losing visitors who are in search of something unique and compelling.
Keep in mind that a highly specialized topic may be more universal than you think. Likewise, a focused post can help bring people to your website who are searching for a solution to a problem they’re experiencing.
SimpleCoat is a company that makes a cleaning and sealing product that can be used on stone countertops, stainless steel, and more. Their recent blog topics include a post about the difference between permeability and porosity in stone countertops and another one on how to remove rust stains from stainless steel appliances. Going beyond the obvious uses of their product or generalized cleaning advice, they’ve made it easy for the people who might need their product to find their website.
Writing books can help you to build authority. Some small business owners write short books and guides that they use as lead magnets. Others sell their books on their websites or list them on Amazon. Either way, a well-written book can help you connect with a new audience or deepen your connection with your existing customers.
Neil Patel is a marketing guru who has built multiple successful websites, including NeilPatel.com and CrazyEgg.com. He’s also the author of several marketing books that have helped establish him as someone whose marketing advice can be trusted.
Keep in mind that the book you write does not need to be lengthy, nor do you need to write it yourself. You have the option of hiring a freelancer if writing isn’t your strong suit.
You may have noticed that podcasting is everywhere. As of October 2020, there are over 1.5 million active podcasts and more than 34 million episodes. It seems like everybody is doing it – so why aren’t you using it in your content marketing strategies?
You don’t need to be a giant company with millions of followers to have a successful podcast.
Addition Financial is a Florida-based credit union. Their financial podcast, Making It Count, is entering its second season. They cover a wide range of financial topics, from college tuition to retirement planning.
The benefit of having a podcast is that listening to people talk feels more personal than reading what they have to say. People can listen to podcasts while they drive or work out, and they provide an opportunity to go in-depth about topics that matter to your audience.
#5: Humanizing Your Content
The days of impersonal content are gone. The rise of social media has allowed consumers to have direct content with the brands they follow. Every small business should be getting on board with content humanization in its content marketing strategies.
A big company that has done a superb job of personalizing content is Dove Beauty. While content humanization can mean introducing people to your employees, Dove has taken it in a different direction by putting its customers front and center.
By asking followers for their stories and turning them into compelling content, they’ve made their brand highly memorable and relatable. Whether you decide to emulate them or try something different, personalizing your brand can help you connect with your customers.
#6: Voice Optimization
Voice optimization is one area where a lot of small businesses are falling behind. Even though half of all searches are now voice searches, only a few local businesses are entirely on board with the idea of embracing voice technology.
Let’s look at a big company for an example of what’s possible with voice search. Nestle has partnered with Amazon to create a tool that allows users to ask Alexa for recipes using Nestle products. Alexa will then walk users through the recipe step by step by linking to Nestle’s website.
People love stories. Storytelling is one of the best ways to connect people to your product or service, helping them to understand it on an emotional level. T
The great thing about stories is that they lend themselves to any format. You can write a story, of course, but you can also tell a story in pictures. Footwear brand Minnetonka has dedicated an entire page on its website to its customers’ photographs. Each image tells a story.
User-generated content can be a great way to make your social media followers feel important and included. While big brands such as Dove do it all the time, you don’t need to have millions of followers to make this strategy work for you. You can use the 7 content marketing strategies outlined here to take your marketing to the next level. It’s not enough to create content. You need compelling content that serves a purpose and drives your followers' engagement if you want your business to thrive.
Which of these content marketing strategies will work best for you?
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I help seasoned small business owners create marketing ideas and strategies that raise their visibility, broaden their reach, and grow their revenues.
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