CONTENT MARKETING: 7 Tips for Beginners

October 26, 2020
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This article is designed to assist small businesses in creating engaging content that resonates with their target audience. The focus of content marketing should be on providing value to your target audience. By creating valuable content in forms of blogs, articles, educational or informative videos, and ensuring it reaches the right people, you will enhance your brand authority and impact the success of your business.

 It can be overwhelming, especially if you have a lean team and not yet looking to hire someone marketing focused, however, options such as drawing on your customers or brand ambassadors, or using specialist agencies, can provide cost effective alternatives. For your first foray into content, we have provided some tips to help get you started.

1. Clearly define your product and target audience

You probably have an idea of your product and the problem or opportunity you are trying to solve. Try to be as clear as possible as to who your product or service will resonate with and what that opportunity looks like. You can also define your customer base through analytics, information gathered upon registration, or purchase behaviour. Once you understand your customer, you will be able to get an idea of the questions and information they will be seeking related to your product or service. 

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2. SEO and content strategy go hand in hand

SEO and content marketing are not mutually exclusive. In our next article we will provide some great tools to help with SEO research including keywords, long tail keywords, and how to discover questions related to specific keywords. This will inspire ideas on valuable content and will ensure you are ranking for relevant keywords.  

For example, a Muay Thai gym discovered high search volume around the question: ‘How to correctly do a Muay Thai Kick’. In response they can provide educational materials on ‘Correct technique for Muay Thai Kicks’ etc.

3. Focus on educating, rather than selling

How can your business provide informative, educational or valuable resources for your audience? What is the best channel to host or release your content on? Can you provide content on multiple channels? Examples of resources are blog articles, instructional videos, buying guides, infographics, social media posts, reports, magazines, the increasingly popular form of content podcasts, and so much more. 

For the above gym example, a great place to start would be a video that correctly demonstrates how to do a Muay Thai kick. It should show incorrect form and how to make adjustments. You can host this on YouTube and embed on the company website. It could also follow with a blog article featuring drawings with correct form and the embedded video, for example. The gym can then share this content through marketing channels such as social media and email marketing etc.

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4. Conduct competitor and industry research

If you are not sure where to start, it’s always a good idea to see what your competitors are doing. Follow them on social media and discover what content they are sharing and have a look at their audience’s response. It may give you some ideas on what is resonating. You can also look on their website, landing pages and sign up to their emails.

It’s very important to keep ahead of trends or events that’s happening in your industry so you can respond accordingly. This can mean key sales periods such as ‘Black Friday’, or industry-wide campaigns such as the ‘Denim’ campaign, retailers release at a specific time of the year.

5. Ensure you have a professional website

The value of a professional website cannot be ignored. It’s worth the investment prior to implementing content marketing strategies to ensure your website is up to scratch. There are many reasons for this. First and foremost, you want your website to look professional and attractive, and to provide a clear journey for your customers. Secondly a large benefit of content marketing is its impact on SEO. Website experts will ensure the technical side of SEO is implemented correctly in order to gain from your efforts.

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6. Draw on your networks and ambassadors

Sometimes your customers are already doing the heavy lifting for you. A homeware business for example, may notice their customers showcasing their product on instagram, in a beautifully designed lounge room. This is especially valuable if they have a large following and their profile is focused and ties in with your product. For example, the instagram account could be entirely focused on flipping houses.

Make sure you share and respond to great content. You could even use their images in other forms of content such as blog posts or decorating guides (with their permission of course). Sometimes it’s also nice to reward your unofficial ambassadors with a discount or even a gift of their own choosing, trusting that they will showcase and share it with their networks in the future.

7. Test, Try & Evaluate

Don’t be afraid to take the plunge and test your ideas. Testing ideas can sometimes be quite stressful, especially if it’s say an instagram live. But trust your instincts and your customers. If you only have their interests at heart, hopefully you will see positive results. Content marketing is a continuous learning experience so don’t be put off if initial results are not what you expected. Sometimes the influence of your content marketing piece won’t be felt until further down the line.

Ensure you are tracking and evaluating the impact of your content. Evaluating the impact of your content marketing is another article in itself, but at a basic level you should at least be tracking engagement with your posts, direct actions such as downloads or clicks, through GA and social metrics.

I hope those seven tips have given you at least a place to start when developing content marketing ideas. If you have any questions or comments please post below. Alternatively if you want to discuss how we can help build your own content strategy please get in touch here. or even leave a comment below. I will also be following up with an article featuring some examples of great content marketing in the coming weeks so stay tuned!

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