It’s no secret that content marketing is essential to the success of organizations in our modern day and age. Large companies dedicate entire teams to content creation and marketing, and earmark substantial budgets to do so.
But what about content strategy for small businesses? Smaller players are expected to compete in the same arena as their giant competitors, working with a fraction of the budget and workforce.
It can seem overwhelming if your business doesn’t have a clear path forward. But it doesn’t have to be.
With the right strategy, small-to-medium businesses can leverage the resources they have, source the ones they don’t, and work in a calculated way that maximizes the impact of their content while staying on budget.
What is a Content Strategy?
It’s hard to move forward without a concrete, detailed, goal-specific plan. Creating a content strategy for small businesses can help teams consolidate goals and focus in on what really matters. But what is a content strategy, exactly?
In a nutshell, a content strategy is an overarching statement or outline that clarifies exactly why your organization is creating content, and to what end.
More specifically, a well-crafted strategy answers three major questions regarding content creation:
- Why are we creating this content?
- How will we go about creating, managing, and leveraging it?
- What is our end goal, and how does this content support it?
Why Do You Need a Content Strategy?
For SMBs, a content strategy may seem unnecessary at first glance. You’re already creating content, and it’s more or less serving the purpose you intended it to serve. So, what’s the problem?
Without a plan, you aren’t maximizing the impact your content can have on your audience and customers. This can be costly in a number of ways, from going over budget to missing possible customer connections and sales.
Plus, marketers are producing more content than ever before. This means that in order for your company to stand out from the crowd, your content must be well thought out, flawlessly executed, and laser focused.
Research shows that B2B marketers with a solid, well-documented content strategy in place outperform their less-prepared counterparts. That’s why it’s important to get an iron-clad strategy in writing.
Solidifying your why and how can help your team establish and stay true to a brand identity, which in turn helps to foster trust among your audience, customers, and clients.
Great content, created with your content strategy in mind, can not only serve as an excellent way to market your business, but also as an opportunity to establish your brand as a thought leader in your industry.
If done correctly, all of this can help you achieve an important goal – maximizing your ROI.
What Should a Content Strategy for Small Businesses Include?
Every business is different, which means there’s no universal, boilerplate template for crafting the perfect content strategy for your particular company. That said, most successful strategies tend to have a few things in common.
Define success: First, your team must decide what success looks like for your organization. If you don’t know where you’re going, it’s impossible to plan a route to get there.
Outline goals and other info: Your content strategy should clearly explain what your goals are, what sort of added or unique value you plan to offer your clients through your content, and what that business model might look like.
Note potential roadblocks: You should clearly articulate any challenges, risks, or obstacles that may need to be addressed on the path to content production.
Understand Your Company
A big part of this is homing in on and defining your brand’s story. No matter the product or service you offer, it’s important to consider who your company is at its core.
- What do you, as an organization, believe in?
- What are you trying to achieve?
- How are you different from your competitors?
- What do you offer that sets you apart from the rest of the field?
- What makes you, as a company, you?
Understand Your Audience
Once you understand yourself, it’s time to understand your audience.
- Who are they?
- What do they want?
- How do they make decisions related to purchases and engagement?
- What’s the easiest and most effective way to connect with them?
Learning these details can help you determine what sort of content will be most appealing to your customers, and on what platforms they’re most likely to see it.
Finally, after you’ve gotten all of the above figured out, you need to implement KPIs to make sure your strategy is effective. Measure and monitor performance metrics that can help to gauge how your content is performing.
These can include:
- Onsite search queries
- Organic website traffic
- New sales directly attributed to content marketing
How do we get started?
While creating a content strategy may seem overwhelming at first, it can be completely manageable if taken one step at a time.
Do Your Research
Find out where your audience is and what they’re doing. Find out how your competitors are leveraging their content and pay attention to established and emerging industry trends.
Determine Goals, Budget, Timeline
Using information gained from your research, determine your content creation goals, set a budget, and develop a timeline.
Create Your Content
Once you get to the creation phase, it’s imperative to figure out who will be generating content for you. For the most effective content, it’s important to work with creators who are experienced experts.
You want content creators who know how to craft materials that use your brand’s voice to connect with your customers while staying true to your strategy and vision.
For many, this means looking outside of your workforce and hiring freelancers with the expertise needed to help your content soar.
At WriterAccess, you can use our content creation platform to find the content strategists, writers, designers, illustrators, animators, and editors that are the best matches for your company’s unique needs, at a variety of price points.
Sign up for a free trial today to see how we can help develop or execute a content strategy for small businesses and take your content creation game to the next level.