Ways to Use Content Marketing to Grow a Small Business
If you are in the business of helping other businesses grow their market share, the one thing you know beyond a shadow of a doubt is that content marketing is an important strategy. However, we’ve come a long way from the days when we simply analyzed keywords for the right amount of competition before employing them. The algorithms used by the search giants are continually advancing and, to put it bluntly, it is necessary to keep up with the times.
For this reason, a great number of content marketers are also advancing their careers and going for the finish line, one broad step at a time. How are they doing this? The short answer is they are literally going back to school!
With a Masters in Communications from ACEJMC accredited universities like St. Bonaventure online and an emphasis in content marketing, they are getting all the latest tools hot off the press. So then, what are some of those tools and how can they help you do your job with greater levels of success? Here is some of what those graduate students are focusing on.
1. Integration Is Key
If you look closely at the graduate-level courses from just this one university, you will see that each and every one of them starts with “Integration.” That tells us from the very start that content marketing is so much more than just the written word in blogs and articles. It is so much more than Google Adwords. In order for any marketing campaign to reach the largest audience, it needs to be a systematic approach within all levels of marketing. From YouTube videos to internal blogs on a client’s website, there is always going to be a strategic plan, a thematic plan, if you will. As an example, check out these four online classes which are part of a master in communications online degree:
- Integrating Digital Media, Mobile, and Emerging Technologies
- Integrating Content Marketing: Planning and Strategy
- Integrating Content Creation: Visuals, Copy, and Optimization
- Integrating Visuals: Communications Design
You can clearly see that integration is the primary thrust throughout and that, unfortunately, is what altogether too many content marketers have missed along the way.
2. In the Beginning Was the Target Audience
Nothing has changed here. It’s just a matter of how you identify your market that may have advanced along the way. This is something many marketing firms have fallen short of in recent years and one of the most basic steps you must get right. After all, it will do you no good to create the most amazing content if you aren’t going after the market where they can be found. This is a vital first step in any marketing campaign of any kind! How and where do you reach your client’s market? You need to know this if you are going to target them, or it would be like shooting in the dark.
3. Yes, Keyword Research Is Still Part of the Plan!
In referring to keyword research above, it may have sounded like this is no longer necessary. That is not true. Keywords are still going to be a very important part of your strategy, however, how you identify them has changed in the past few years. Once again, we call attention to the importance of identifying a target market. There are so many nuances within audience identification that it is imperative to understand how to key in on each segment within a market.
For example, your client manufactures and distributes NIOSH-approved N95 masks to health care facilities around the country. Your client does not target consumers. Baseline keywords will almost always be the same but highly targeted keywords would be aimed at the healthcare industry. You can see how keyword research is vital in reaching a targeted audience.
Full Circle Back to the Beginning
This takes us full circle. If you want to use content marketing to grow a small business, you must learn the very foundation of what makes it effective. That would be integration throughout all types of media. Whether you are going to bid on Google Adwords, create YouTube how-to videos, create internal blogs or articles on 3rd party websites.
Effective content marketing strategies would always fine-tune the identification of targeted audiences and targeted markets. Bear in mind that the search giants have also fine-tuned their algorithms for rating content differently between mobile and desktop markets. This is something that Google has been seriously employing within the past five years and if you want to rank highly in the SERPs (Search Engine Results Pages), then you will also need to know how to employ keywords that may vary based on the market you are trying to reach.
A Final Word on Mobile Marketing
Mobile content marketing is a relatively new concept. It has only been in the past several years that mobile searches have become the number one way consumers find new products or brands. Few people sit at a desktop anymore and so keywords and content marketing integration must always take into account how their audience will find what you’ve created. This is a relatively new aspect of strategizing and one that will be highlighted in a graduate curriculum.
Needless to say, technology is advancing at the speed of light, and this is something no content marketer can ignore. As connectivity and ways of connecting advance, so too must strategies keep up with the times. There is no better way to stay ahead of the market than to continue advancing within your own field. Perhaps it would be better to say that there really is only one effective way to use content marketing to grow a small business. If you really want to have all the latest tools at your disposal then it means keeping up with technology as it advances. Can you think of a better way to stay ahead of the competition than to beat them right out of the gate? That’s what you can do for your clients and for your firm as well. Grow your clients’ market share and watch your company expand as well.
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