Content Strategy for Small Businesses – Where to Start?

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Everyone seems to be talking about content strategy like the new Grail that
urgently needs to be acquired. But there is nothing new: content marketing is
as old as Google and there is no quick fix, only good strategies. Let’s discuss
the right approach for a small business or startup that wants to start a
content strategy.

What is content marketing?

If you’ve heard my presentation at the Hong Kong Digital Marketing &
Strategy Innovation Summit, you already know what it is. If not, let’s see
together what content marketing is.

To find you on the internet, your visitors use search engines (for example,
Google). When they type keywords, they get links that best match those keywords. If your website only talks about you, your visitors will have to type
very specific terms such as the name of your company or a description of the
services it offers.

If you want to increase your chances of being discovered, you will need to
develop content that reflects what your audience is looking for in order to
appear in their search results.

That’s right, content marketing – building content that meets the specific
needs of a predefined audience in order to increase its visibility to that same
target, for free.

What is content marketing?

If you’ve heard my presentation at the Hong Kong Digital Marketing &
Strategy Innovation Summit, you already know what it is. If not, let’s see
together what content marketing is.

To find you on the internet, your visitors use search engines (for example,
Google). When they type keywords, they get links that best match those keywords. If your website only talks about you, your visitors will have to type
very specific terms such as the name of your company or a description of the
services it offers.

If you want to increase your chances of being discovered, you will need to
develop content that reflects what your audience is looking for in order to
appear in their search results.

That’s right, content marketing – building content that meets the specific
needs of a predefined audience in order to increase its visibility to that same
target, for free.

What are the advantages and disadvantages?

A good content strategy takes time to plan, time to put in place, and, more
importantly, time to observe the first effects. It requires having someone who
is able to write quality content and who is creative and expert enough to
regularly find new topics.

However, the obvious benefit of a good content strategy is that it is free
and its effects are persistent. The graph below shows the evolution of the
inscriptions on my blog:

The first arrow represents when my content strategy started to pay off – it
took about a year.

The second arrow represents the day I stopped writing on my blog – busy with
other projects and a second blog, I had to stop writing

The third arrow represents the moment when I took over the writing of the
blog

As you can see from this graph, the undeniable advantage of a content
a strategy is that, even if it takes a while to activate, its effects persist.
After stopping writing for 18 months loan; my blog continued to generate
traffic and new subscribers by itself because I had developed quality content
from the start.

Now compare this strategy to Adwords – not only does this cost you money, but
more importantly, what happens when you stop? Exactly! The traffic disappears
instantly.

But there is even better! A content strategy does not only bring you
traffic: it builds your credibility. People trust someone who writes a lot on a
specific subject more than someone who calls himself an expert without any
apparent evidence.

This approach will also help you wake up your audience and potentially
develop new connections. Nevertheless, as you have seen, do not expect
immediate miracles: the sooner you start, the sooner you will feel the effects.

Is content marketing another word for SEO?

No. Content marketing is a subset of SEO.

The SEO contains many layers of optimization, such as the speed of the site,
the clarity of the code, the number of links back, etc …

If you’ve heard that your website should focus on SEO, you understand. And a
content strategy is an important step to achieve your goals.

I have a small business or a startup, what should I talk about?

This is the question everyone is asking. Should I talk about my startup? Of
my services? From my price? What makes me different from my competitors?

Certainly not. A good content strategy is not self-centered. You already
have a website that fulfills this mission. It is always good to mention briefly
your company but it is important not to dwell on it.

Here are three steps that should help you find a valid answer to this
question:

Define your area of ​​expertise – you need to master a subject to be able to
process it.

Define who your audience is (to learn more, read “Target your customers
precisely with the Buyer Personas”) and what interests them.

Define a list of topics that you could cover and that would interest your
audience.

To give you a concrete example, I manage my fairtool’s content strategy
through its blog The Exhibitor.

The company offers an online solution for capturing leads at trade shows and
expo fairs. The blog, on the other hand, does not speak at all about how to use
the software, how much it costs, what are its advantages, etc … The blog
focuses on the problems that the audience (the exhibitors) regularly face: how
to set up your booth, how to prepare your budget, how to promote it, how to
follow up, etc.

I first defined my personal expertise (the salons), then, who is my audience
(the exhibitors), what she wants to read (how to manage her fair booth) and I
finally developed a list of topics (budget management, booth promotion, etc
…).

Now is the time to get started: do not think about what YOU want to tell but
what your audience wants to read.

How often should I write?

The keys to the success of an effective content strategy are consistency,
frequency, and quality. You have to keep to a schedule, publish at a high
frequency (not less than once a month) and provide quality articles that teach
your readers something.

If you can not meet these three aspects, content marketing may not be right
for you.

Do not be too ambitious at first. One article a day, or even a week, seems
easy at first, but quickly becomes impossible to keep. Define your real
abilities and keep some items under your elbow for blank page periods.

you should now have all the elements necessary for your success in the world
of content marketing. If you need help defining your content, tone, style or
frequency, feel free to contact me so we can discuss the best approach for your
business.

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