Pick one online marketing technique and do it well
If you are a small business owner, you probably engage in quite a few online marketing strategies and techniques, such as search engine optimization (SEO), social media marketing, pay per click advertising (PPC), or email marketing.
If you’re ahead of the curve, you may have even developed a formalized digital marketing strategy or marketing plan.
Or maybe, like a lot of business owners, you just keep a running list of marketing to-dos in your head, and you get to them when you have the bandwidth.
Whether your plan is formal or informal, organized or disorganized, you’ve probably realized by now that there are tons of different online marketing techniques, all vying for your attention and budget.
Where do you even begin?
The truth is, there’s no way you can pursue them all.
Even if you had the budget, your attention would be pulled in too many different directions at once. The results would be mediocre at best.
That’s why I always recommend narrowing your focus. Pick a few techniques and do them well. If you have very little time, just focus on one or two techniques.
You’ll get better long-term results if your approach is consistent and narrow in focus rather than scattershot.
Content marketing should be a central part of your digital marketing strategy
In this post, I’m going to make the case for pursuing one very powerful technique: content marketing.
What is content marketing? It’s simply creating and sharing valuable content to attract and engage your target audience. For most small businesses, the central tactic of a digital marketing strategy is blogging.
Blogging can be a lot of work, so many business owners decide to skip it. Or, worse, they start a blog that just sits there for years with no new content.
I think this is a mistake for most small businesses.
If your time and budget are limited, you need to be choosy about what you take on. Make sure you include content marketing as part of the mix. It will give you excellent long-term results.
Is content marketing worth the effort?
Yes! Content marketing and, specifically, blogging can be a game-changer for small businesses. Here are a few reasons:
- It builds credibility for your business online: If done well, content marketing can build trust among your audience. By consistently providing high-quality content, your company can become a trusted authority in your industry. Rather than spending your time and money serving up ads that the public can’t wait to close, wouldn’t it be better to answer their questions and provide useful information instead? Yes, it would!
- It increases brand awareness: Engaging blog content allows you to showcase your brand’s unique personality, values, and expertise. With every well-crafted blog post, you create opportunities to increase your brand visibility, expand your reach, and capture the attention of potential new customers everywhere.
- It brings people to your website: Blogging also helps to improve search engine visibility. By optimizing your blog posts with relevant keywords, meta tags, and well-structured content, you increase the likelihood of ranking higher in search engine results. This, in turn, increases organic traffic to your website. I can’t emphasize the value of this enough. Simply creating a static website and publishing it will not bring you website visitors and leads. If you depend on paid ads, that traffic will stop as soon as you stop paying. Relevant and useful content, on the other hand, will keep bringing you traffic indefinitely, and it will build over time. Small businesses that have been blogging for a few years can have traffic that would cost tens of thousands of dollars a month if they were using online (PPC) ads.
Developing a Compelling Blogging Strategy
To unlock the full potential of content marketing, developing a successful blogging strategy is crucial. Let’s explore some blogging basics.
Define your target audience
Understanding your customers is crucial. Who are they? What are their needs, interests, and pain points? Conduct market research to determine these important variables and customize your blog content to address these specific vulnerabilities and offer creative solutions.
Develop a content calendar
Consistency is key. Plan and create a content calendar that outlines topics, timelines, and publication schedules for your digital marketing campaign. This ensures a steady stream of engaging content and helps you stay organized.
Storytelling and authenticity
Connect with your audience by telling stories that resonate with their emotions and experiences. Authenticity builds trust and creates a genuine connection between you and the consumer. For example, share your brand journey, case studies, or consumer testimonials to engage your readers.
Quality over quantity
Focus on producing high-quality, well-researched content. Each post should provide actionable insights, expert advice, or educational content for your consumers. Strive for depth, relevance, and value to gain new paying customers. I recommend posting once a week. If that is too difficult at first, try for at least two posts per month.
Use visually appealing elements such as images, infographics, and videos to increase the readability and impact of your blog posts. Visual content not only grabs the reader’s attention, but also helps convey complex information in an easy-to-digest format.
Promotion and distribution
Your blog content deserves the spotlight. Depending on your time and resources, you can promote it through various channels, including social media platforms, email newsletters, guest blogs, influencer partnerships, and search ads. Maximizing exposure helps to expand your reach, achieve your marketing goals, and increase the visibility and effectiveness of your blogs.
How to measure the success of your content marketing strategy
Tracking your blog’s performance is key to fine-tuning your content marketing strategy. Here are the key metrics to monitor:
Install the free Google Analytics code snippet in the <head> of your website to get insights into traffic sources, page views, bounce rates, and user behavior. Some, if not many, of your posts will fail, so keep a keen eye on this data to understand what resonates with your audience. Make sure to optimize your strategy accordingly.
Measure how effectively your blog content contributes to lead generation and conversion rates. Implement clear call-to-action elements in your posts and track the number of conversions to gauge the effectiveness of your content in triggering desired actions, such as webpage clicks and sustained website traffic.
Monitor social media metrics, such as likes, shares, and comments, to measure the impact and engagement of your blog and social media posts. Pay attention to the topics and formats that generate leads and the most interaction so that you can utilize it in future posts. I check any comments about blog posts I share on my social media channels to see how people react. Their comments and questions are often great inspiration for future blog post topics.
6 Content marketing tools we love and use
Setting up your company blog doesn’t have to be complicated. Just contact your web designer and ask to add blog page and post templates to your company website. However, as you become more advanced in the content and digital marketing strategies arena, you may want to take advantage of some additional tools. Here are a few that we use regularly.
- Surfer SEO: Surfer helps with keyword research, but it’s most powerful search engine optimization feature is its Content Editor. Surfer’s algorithm scans top ranking posts and offers you suggestions for optimizing the post you’re writing, including content structure (number of words, headings, paragraphs, and images) as well as specific keywords to include in the text. I write directly in the Content Editor, paying attention to the visual gauge that rates my post from 0 to 100.
- WordPress: This site, and most of the sites we create here at Electromagnetic, are built on WordPress. Since it was originally developed specifically for bloggers, it’s native blogging features are excellent, and you can expand it to include any additional feature you could ever imagine using available plugins.
- Rank Math: I use the Rank Math Pro WordPress plugin to help optimize the pages of our sites and optimize individual posts for SEO. Rank Math makes it easy to add the appropriate title tags, meta tags, meta description, etc. And it has its own Content AI tool, which offers keyword and content structure optimization similar to Surfer. I’m currently evaluating it as a Surfer replacement.
- CoSchedule: This is a WordPress plugin that adds a marketing calendar right to your WordPress dashboard. The highly useful and user-friendly free tier is all you need to get started scheduling and organizing your blog posts, scheduling social media posts, and more.
- Semrush: This tool does a lot, but the most relevant task it allows you to accomplish for blogging is to research keywords. Using Semrush, you can come up with a list of relevant keywords that have a lot of traffic on search engines but are not so difficult to rank for.
- Hubspot: Hubspot’s free and lower-tier plans allow you to easily set up a blog and start generating traffic and leads. Unless your main site is also hosted by Hubspot, you would probably want to set up a subdomain (like https://blog.yourdomain.com) to host your blog. Their higher-tier plans unlock many additional features that go beyond basic blogging and help with your digital marketing strategies.
So you’ve set up your blog, and the traffic and leads are rolling in. Great! It might be time to branch out from the standard blog post format. Here are five content marketing tactics you can add to your internet marketing arsenal.
- Infographics: Create visually appealing and informative infographics that convey data, statistics, or step-by-step processes relevant to your industry. Infographics are highly shareable and can help simplify complex information for your audience.
- Podcasting: Launch a podcast where you discuss industry topics, interview experts, or share insights. Podcasts are a popular form of content consumption, and they allow you to reach an audience that prefers audio content.
- Video Tutorials: Produce instructional or educational videos that demonstrate how to use your product, offer tips and tricks, or provide insights into your industry. Video tutorials can be shared on platforms like YouTube or embedded on your website.
- Case Studies: Showcase success stories and real-world examples of how your products or services have benefited your customers. Case studies provide valuable social proof and demonstrate the practical application of your offerings.
- Visual Content: Create visually engaging content such as memes, GIFs, or interactive images that resonate with your target audience. Visual content can be easily shared on social media platforms, enhancing your brand’s visibility and engagement.
By creating valuable and engaging blogs, you build trust, increase brand awareness, and foster lasting relationships with your audience, plus you help your site get found on search engines. Remember to create a compelling blogging strategy, stay authentic, consistently upload new content, and regularly measure your success. If you only have time for one or two marketing strategies, make sure that content marketing is one of them.
Need help with content marketing?
At Electromagnetic Web, we can help you develop a digital marketing strategy. We take the time to get to know your business and your voice so you can connect with your potential customers online. We also utilize powerful SEO tools to help ensure that your posts are found online. Contact us today to discuss a content marketing strategy for your business.