Guest Post: How to Write a Small Business Content Marketing Plan
Small business owners rarely have enough financial resources for huge marketing campaigns. They always look for some less expensive methods to promote their businesses and in most cases, they decide on content marketing.
Over the past few years, content marketing has become one of the most popular advertisement methods. Almost half of the world’s population uses the Internet, so the area of reach is rather extensive. Of course, the competition is also fierce. But online methods of promotion are available to everyone, even those who do not have enough money for advertisements.
1. The importance of planning for a small business
A successful business can never exist without a plan. But young and inexperienced entrepreneurs frequently ignore the importance of planning. They prefer to act intuitively and as a rule, this results in failure. If you don’t want to be one of the startups that don’t exist for longer than a year, you need to start planning your strategies from the very first days of running a business.
Content marketing needs detailed planning and in this way only, it will be effective enough. Even if you can afford to invest several thousand dollars into promotion, you may just waste this money if your strategy is poor.
2. Why a content marketing plan is important
The benefits of content marketing cannot be overestimated. If used properly, it helps to increase brand awareness, attract leads, and nurture them into clients. Moreover, this is the best way to build a community that will help you stand out with your brand among your competitors.
Content marketing is equally important for B2B and B2C markets. If you choose a proper channel for promotion, you may expect the growth of your business and loyalty from your customers.
3. Formats of content marketing
Prior to writing a content plan, you should know the types of content that you may use. Pay attention how the types will differ according to the channels that you choose for promotion:
- Articles and blog posts (for blogs, guest-blogging, cross-promotion)
- Podcasts and videos (suitable for blogs and social media marketing or SMM)
- White papers and ebooks (ideally, they come as a lead capture form on your website)
- Newsletters and emails (for email marketing)
- Photos and images (for blogs, SMM, emails, etc.)
Do remember that content marketing is not only about written content! Recent studies prove that people prefer to watch videos, as this is the most attractive content for them.
4. Set your goal
What results do you want to achieve with your content marketing strategy? Never start to work on a plan until you have the answer to this question. Perhaps, you will use different channels for different goals and your strategy will be different for emails, SMM, and your blog.
For example, you may use your blog for lead generation, SMM for building loyalty, and emails to turn leads into prospects and clients. Make sure your plan suits the goals you pursue!
5. When to publish to get noticed
Some will say that it’s better to post articles early in the morning, while others will insist that the best way to reach your audience is to post every single Friday at 10PM. But there is no common strategy for all cases.
The reality is that the audience of every business is different and approaches to the time when it’s better to make posts will be different as well. You need to analyze the behavior of your audience to understand what will work better.
6. Schedule your posts
Of course, the time of publishing is important. But there is another thing that is even more important for users and this is how frequently you update your content. If you make posts once in a while, your users will just forget you. It’s always better to schedule at least a couple of publications per week in order not to annoy your readers but at the same time, to let them know that you keep working on your content.
7. Where to find ideas for writing
It’s not easy to create content. If you feel that you can’t handle it on your own, it’s better to make use of professional writing help that generates content for different purposes. You can always become a content contributor on your own, especially if you have enough time for creating posts. However, we would recommend you hire a specialist who will work on your content marketing strategy, while you solve other issues connected with your business.
Content marketing is not extremely difficult, but just as any other strategy, it requires being persistent and attentive to details. Do remember to analyze the results and try different approaches that will help you gain better results with the help of your strategy.
Richard Nolan is a professional educator and team building coach, sharing his experience in writing, blogging, entrepreneurship and psychology. Richard writes for numerous blogs and gives useful tips for bloggers and students. Currently, Richard is a general blog editor for EliteEssayWriters.