Successful content marketing is simple. All you need is the best quality writing, images and videos, covering the full scope of your industry and related topics. It just needs to be fresh and updated once, twice, three times a week, and you only need a team of 10 – 15 people to produce it in a consistent and distinctive brand voice.
For large businesses, with substantial marketing budgets, this is achievable, but it doesn’t come cheap or happen easily. With a small business it becomes even more difficult and time-consuming. Without the specialist people to plan and execute the strategy, content marketing falls by the wayside for many small businesses. By following a few simple tips and guidelines, your business can create an effective content marketing strategy that won’t leave you out of pocket or distract you from the other important parts of your company.
Understand The Costs
Content costs in a number of ways.
If you write it yourself, then you need to account for your time and what you could be doing instead, whether it’s working on another part of your business or your free time. Freelancers will take the job off your hands for a fee, however you get what you pay for and striking a balance between cost and quality can take a little trial and error.
Another option is crowd-sourced content, which involves building a community of engaged contributors who will trade their work for exposure. This will produce content of varying standards and can be time consuming to set-up and moderate.
Aim For Quality Over Quantity
User experience, sharing signals and engagement are all important rankings factors. While the amount of content your site has is important, if your content isn’t being talked about and spread through the Internet, it’s virtually worthless. Google’s algorithms have been shifting away from valuing sites that are flooded with keywords and phrases, and becoming more aimed at quality content. This isn’t simply a matter of writing coherently and posting it; the content must be more than “good and unique” and be exceptional, or “10X content”. Writing a top-quality piece a few times a month will provide more sustainable success than posting several pieces a week of low standard work.
Short tail keywords require an expensive SEO campaign with a focus on targeted words and phrases, as well as a plan to build a concentrated back-link profile. This is either a time-consuming exercise for a small business, or an expensive one that requires hiring an agency to perform the work for you. Generally this comes without guarantees and can be costly and damaging if it isn’t performed in adherence with Google’s guidelines.
Writing quality content will enable you target long-tail keywords for specific niches. These aren’t the type of keywords that are necessarily researched and specified, they are developed through a constant campaign of quality content about specific topics. Writing about topics in a broad sense is valid and valuable, however once you start creating a body of work targeting micro niches your long-tail campaign will start to flourish.
Re-purpose Existing Content
Duplicate content is not advisable, however content can be used in more than one context. A top-quality video that does well can be re-purposed and transcribed into a blog entry. It could be turned into a slideshow, and vice versa, thereby turning one piece of engaging content into several, across a range of mediums.
Add Value By Revealing Details About Your Business
Your company is a valuable source of insight and experience waiting to be tapped. Using real-world examples from your company’s successes and failures will give your content a legitimacy and integrity that can’t be created with hypothetical examples. Revealing this data helps in two ways. Firstly, it lends weight to your claims or what you are trying to teach. Talking in vague, non-specific terms can be fine for developing an overview of a topic, but when you really want to bring your point home, an actual figure and example will be more credible. Secondly, it allows customers to see further into your business, which is an important engagement factor of building a brand.
Crowd Source Your Content And Host Contributor Blogs
The cheapest way to source content is through crowd sourcing. This entails tapping into your audience and peers to build an audience of engaged followers. Allowing users to contribute to your brand is a good way to create strong, invested advocates who will disseminate the content they have created among their friends, followers, and to key influencers they know. Crowd sourcing can start small with just a simple question/answer format, and then as your audience becomes more interested they can start contributing with blogs, videos, and more. GoPro is a fantastic example of how crowd sourced content can build a brand and become a strong part of its identity. Users upload their videos to the GoPro site or YouTube channel and these are used to show how the cameras can be used in hundreds of different situations, from sport to travel, film making and more.
Revise Existing Content For New Developments
A quick way to freshen up your site is to simply update the existing content. This is great in the tech world where things move quickly and there is always something to report on, but can be equally effective in other sectors and doesn’t have to be related to news or developments. It can be a new product you are offering or an improvement to a service, or anything that allows you to add to what is there and put it back into the new content cycle.
About The Author
David Pagotto is the Founder and Managing Director of SIXGUN. He has been involved in digital marketing for over 10 years, helping organisations get more customers, more reach, and more impact.
SIXGUN focuses on scaling organisational growth and building sustainable results for the long-term, with a data-driven approach to developing strategy. As a Melbourne based digital marketing agency, SIXGUN focuses on Search Engine Optimisation, Search Engine Marketing, and Social Media Marketing.
David is passionate about seeing organisations grow while working on his mission to support meaningful causes.