Content Strategies for Local Businesses
Operating a company blog is so much more than just delivering a steady stream of content to your readers. A blog without a content marketing strategy will never be read – regardless of how well-crafted that content might be. A solid content strategy allows you to custom-craft content that a particular audience will find interesting.
There are many strategies that can be employed on your company blog and through your content marketing efforts to ensure that you are effectively reaching your audience and delivering content that they find valuable. Creating that content is only half of the battle though – you have to be able to reach your audience or your efforts are wasted.
You can employ some of the following content strategies to not only ensure that you are creating the “best” content for your audience – but also doing everything in your power to reach that audience.
Determining your Audience
The first step in creating a coherent content strategy is to determine who your audience will be, as it is with any marketing effort. Who are you trying to reach? Who is the individual that you would like to provide information for?
You can help to determine your target audience by outlining personas of your target customer or audience member. Who is your ideal audience? In a B2B business, it may be a business owner with a problem that your company solves. In a B2C business, it may be a customer that is experiencing difficulties with something that your product or service rectifies. These are your target audience.
Preferably, these individuals will be interested in the products or services that you offer. Crafting your content around those that would be interested in your products helps to drum up interest in your company and provide value to potential customers. It’s a trust building activity.
One good way to begin determining your audience is to actually ask them what kind of content they would like to see. By sending out a survey to your email list you can drum up ideas on how to provide value to your audience, in line with their own expectations. Content marketing firms can leverage your current connections for content ideas that will be well-received by your already established customer base. This can help to eliminate a lot of testing that is usually required when feeling out your audience.
When covering a subject, a traditional train of thought suggests that you should post it to your blog where it is easily accessible. This will certainly result in the most overall reads – but does it truly help you to reach the goals that you have set for each piece of content?
Try legitimize your content by presenting it as something more than a blog post. Your customers likely see blog posts each and every day. It makes a great piece of content seem ordinary and run of the mill. Instead of simply posting content to your blog – consider how you can legitimize that content by turning it into a short eBook, an email newsletter series, or a free course for your audience.
By legitimizing your content and turning it into something more than a blog post, you’ll find that your readers value your information more readily. Additionally, delivering content in these formats makes you more likely to achieve your goals – whether those goals are to convert readers to leads (you could have interested parties opt in to your email list in order to view the content), or turn readers into customers – legitimizing your content and making it something more than a blog post is an excellent way to ensure that your content is better received.
Getting Your Content Read
This is where most small businesses require the help of a content marketing firm. As an expert in your field – you likely don’t have issues coming up with content ideas or even creating the content – but getting it seen and recognized by your audience is a difficult undertaking at best.
Getting your content read starts with building and growing a list of interested parties. There is no better way to get your content in front of your audience than informing them as soon as new content is created. Additionally – it’s a self-feeding system. Interested parties subscribe to your list in order to gain access to your content, and then are informed of new content that you create.
There is no better promotion than word of mouth. The issue for most businesses begins with finding where their audience is located and being able to engage with them, and promote new material to them. This is where an agency can help the most – they have the expertise required to know not only how to identify where your audience is located, but how to effectively engage with that audience while staying within the set rules of that given platform.
There is no better online promotional method today than delivering great content to a targeted audience. Most businesses are aware of this fact – but may not know how to go about obtaining the targeted visitors to make use of the great content that they create. Agencies can help you to streamline your content creation and help you to get that content in front of the individuals that would derive value from it.