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How to Put Content Marketing to Work for You – 5 Tips

How to Put Content Marketing to Work for You - The 123Print Blog

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Elvis has left the building, folks — Content is the new King. As you put your blue suede shoes in the donate pile, first let’s answer the question: what is content marketing? Content marketing is all about creating value and providing desired information to your customers. With content marketing, it is not about the hard sell, but about establishing your business as a trusted leader in your marketspace. To do that, you need to provide your prospects and clients with relevant information in an appealing and timely manner.

If you are worried that this sounds like more work for you to tackle on top of the 25 other things that you have to worry about as a small business owner, never fear! The best thing about content marketing is that you can effectively utilize this strategy for any size business. Keep reading for five tips on utilizing content marketing for your small business.

#1 – Get Personal

Personalizing your content is one of the most important elements of effective content marketing. The whole point is to provide value and establish yourself as an expert in the field. What do your customers and prospects have questions about? What information can you personally provide to help them make informed decisions? Write an article for an upcoming e-newsletter or post a blog article on a topic relevant to your company and your customer base. This positions you as an expert in your field while delivering valuable information. Think of what differentiates your company from the rest — play up your personal strengths — and you will create content that people actually want to read.

#2 – Be Social

Content marketing is best used across a variety of platforms. Start a blog and house it on your website (be sure to optimize it for SEO purposes). Use your email channel to write and send e-newsletters targeted to your subscriber base. Make the most of social marketing by posting links to your blog article on your social media channels, as well as sharing relevant articles, photos, and video content that your customer base would appreciate. It’s okay to share something even if you didn’t personally write it — people will appreciate that you want to get pertinent info out to them. It gives you credibility that you aren’t only selling yourself.

#3 – Go Green

I am an avid recycler and upcycler, but for the purposes of this article I want you to think of ways to reuse your content, not your aluminum foil. You worked hard on that relevant, highly targeted article — don’t just post it once and let it languish in the blogosphere forever. Compile several related blog articles together and create an e-newsletter. Post updates to your social media sites like LinkedIn and Twitter and make sure you include links to your content. Take a poll or hold a contest on Facebook, then repackage the outcome and reuse it in an upcoming e-newsletter. Transform your webinar PowerPoint into a short video and post it on your YouTube channel. Make your content work hard for you! If you are looking for other creative ways to re-purpose your content, check out this article from Right Mix Marketing.

#4 – Consistency is Key

Just like in traditional marketing, your brand message should shine through clearly and consistently in all content marketing. To successfully position yourself as a trusted advisor and market expert, you need to maintain the branding components that your customers and prospects expect from you. And, just as timing is important in social media posting and email marketing deployments, so too is timing your content releases. Timely articles about seasonality trends in your industry are just as important as publishing evergreen content that remains relevant.

#5 – Measure Your Results

Like with any other marketing strategy, you won’t know if you accomplished anything if you don’t measure your results. Think about what you want to accomplish: Is it to close the sale? Increase the number of content shares?  What results make sense for your business? Decide what your desired outcome is and establish a set of metrics to measure results. As you continue to work through your content marketing strategy, examine your results and make necessary adjustments and tweaks until you hit upon the sweet spot for your business. Keep in mind of course — that sweet spot is ever-changing, so your work will never be truly done!

These are just five ways to make content marketing work for your small business. What best practices do you have to share? Leave a comment below, tell us on Facebook or tweet @123Print.

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