Despite what many people think, marketing approaches for large businesses and smaller businesses are entirely different.
A larger business has more tools, connections and funding available, meaning they can advertise their products and services on larger platforms aimed at larger audiences.
As a smaller business, you don't have the luxury of a larger budget. With limited funds, you need to invest wisely into marketing and this is where strategies such as content marketing can play a huge role in growing your online presence.
So to give you an idea of what to expect, here are 18 content marketing tips for SMEs.
While it can be tempting to wing your marketing strategy, it's vital that you have a plan in place from the very beginning so that know where to invest your time and resources.
Without a coherent plan, you'll find it difficult to cover all of the different marketing channels and content types that are available to you, so make sure you invest your time into learning as much as you can about content marketing.
Determine what type of content type suits your needs and consider which platforms you should be using. If you are just starting out developing your website from scratch it is a good idea to choose a service that will provide a firm marketing process that has been tested and proven successful.
The one that we support and recommend as affiliates is the process that built this website:
An online presence is a fantastic way to get noticed. It helps people find your business through search engines, it gets you linked on social media and it turns you into an authoritative source of information.
However, it also gives your audience a way to interact with you over the internet and this is vital for certain types of content such as blog posts and articles where interacting with your users is expected.
Once you've created an online presence, you'll find it much easier to interact with your audience and get noticed online.
Every business needs an online identity too. When establishing your presence, it's important to think about how you wish to be perceived by your audience.
Most companies aim to create an attractive persona that helps make them feel more relatable and human, but other businesses may focus on having a corporate appearance that makes them trustworthy and serious.
The content you display on your website and social media pages will greatly affect this your identity, so be careful what you choose to show publicly.
By publishing high-quality content that reflects your brand identity, you'll have a much easier time getting noticed on the internet.
You should also attempt to learn about the technical side of content marketing, namely search engine optimisation. SEO is important to understand because it's how your website is found through search engines like Google.
You need to optimise your content by making clever use of keywords, by improving your website so that it's easy to navigate and also by creating mobile-friendly versions of your website.
All of these factors contribute to SEO and can have a huge positive impact on your website's discoverability.
Although optimising your website for searches can seem intimidating, it's an easy concept to grasp once you've mastered the basics.
One of the issues with content delivery is that most people only think about it from the perspective of a single user.
For instance, you might be planning your design around a desktop interface because you use a laptop, or you might be focusing only on portrait-oriented website layouts that don't look as good on a desktop.
If you want to attract a wider audience to your content, then you need to first adapt your website to make it more usable by multiple different audiences.
Another huge way to improve your content marketing effectiveness is to create original content that is compelling and interesting to your audience. People aren't going to come to your website for content if the content itself isn't good enough.
Make sure everything you publish is original, make sure it's full of helpful insights and consider focusing a lot on evergreen content that will stick around for a long time. If you cannot create your own content for work priority reasons than consider outsourcing.
Here is one provider with which we have an affiliate agreement which you can review by clicking here.
Content marketing is difficult for a number of reasons and most people incorrectly believe that the number of followers on social media you have directly correlates to your popularity and engagement.
This isn't exactly true because an active and well-known social media account can have fewer followers than an old account that has been around for several years.
Don't fall for those services that sell you followers and likes on social media. Instead, focus on building up your fanbase organically so that there's a higher engagement rate with your content.
It's also important to interact with your audience as much as possible to encourage discussions and sharing of your content.
When you create unique content, marketing it is a matter of getting enough shares and attention to make it more attractive and have more authority than other pieces of content that share the same subject matter.
By engaging with your visitors, you create a more human identity for your business and make it more approachable.
You might feel that email marketing is spammy and doesn't convert, but it's still one of the more popular methods of content marketing especially if you have a relatively wide audience that has opted in for email.
The key with email marketing is to make it more personalised and there are a variety of ways to achieve this.
Addressing the person by name, offering them unique codes on products they've bought in the past and sending discounts on their birthday are good ways to introduce email to your content marketing strategy.
A mistake that many content marketers make today is that they never measure the impact of their efforts. It can be hard to measure just how effective your email marketing campaign is if you're not setting up analytics and using different metrics to measure the success of the campaign.
Make sure you're using tools to observe how well the content marketing is going and use this data to determine where you can improve future attempts.
This may require the help of external tools aimed at content marketers which can incur more costs, but is often worth the investment if the data can be analysed and used effectively.
It's a good idea to try and mix different forms of content into your marketing to make it more compelling for various audiences. For instance, you should think about adding video content when appropriate and potentially even podcasts.
Video content is preferable since it enables you to post more visually pleasing content on social media and can even kick start YouTube channel.
However, it does require an investment into software tools, potentially cameras and even an editor, but it's well worth the extra cost.
Whether it's Twitter, Instagram, Facebook or any other social media channel out there, it's vital that you approach each one with different goals and expectations.
For example, Instagram is a visually-oriented social media platform that focuses a lot on video content and images, whereas Twitter is better for short and snappy messages and also encourages interaction.
Facebook offers a mix of both styles and can be used to great effect for content marketers.
Pinterest and the use of infographics has become increasingly favoured by business. The creation of infographics requires specialist research and graphic design skills which many businesses do not have.
Here is one provider with which we have an affiliate agreement which you can review by clicking here.
No matter how long you've been in the content marketing game, it's essential that you learn to revise your content and refine your processes to constantly improve your content marketing.
This can mean re-visiting old evergreen content and updating it for modern opinions, it could mean analysing data and taking a more fact-driven approach to marketing or it could just mean putting a heavier focus on different kinds of social media platforms that are better geared towards your needs.
Whatever the case, never stop criticising your own work and striving to improve and refine it.
Landing pages are aptly-named because they're often the first pages that people arrive at when browsing for content related to you.
These landing pages need to be convincing, they need to be understanding of your audience and they have to be packed full of useful information that convinces them to click ahead and check the main bulk of your website.
A good landing page will help to increase conversion rates and you'll want to hire a good content writer and designer to help you improve your landing pages if you haven't already.
Interacting with customers should have a lasting effect on your business. It's vital to record how interactions went so that you can start amassing data which can help you understand your audience better.
For example, if one of your blog posts about changing your product was met with poor reception then it's a sign that your audience likely won't enjoy those changes you have planned.
Similarly, if your audience reacted positively to messages on social media that were posted by your new community manager, then it's a positive sign that a new brand identity and personality could be beneficial to your cause.
The types of tools you use for content marketing will also have a huge impact on your success.
From simple SEO optimisation tools that check for keywords to tools that focus on analysing consumer behaviour and compiling it into actionable sets of data, you'll have a much easier time creating an effective content marketing campaign that can draw in audiences with more ease.
There are also automation tools that can help you with mundane tasks that will slow your efficiency.
If you are a freelancer providing services to small to medium business this article is useful material for you to help business owners.
However, we have also looked at the content marketing Guest Posting Strategy as a service that you can provide in addition to what you already do.
This can apply to social media managers, Facebook Ads consultants, Google Adwords consultants or a host of other online services to businesses.
We have written a special article entitled 20 Steps To Becoming A Freelance Write For Us Guru For Business which you can read here.
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