The amount of content being produced and shared across the Internet can seem overwhelming. How can your content marketing possibly break through all the noise to reach your customers when there is already so much coming at them every day, every hour, every minute?
Trust me, you can. And you should. Because fresh, interesting, helpful content is always in style, even if the content marketing strategy itself may change over time.
These five tips will get you on your way to creating a personalized content marketing plan for your small business:
1. Get that camera rolling!
Video has been at the top of its content marketing game for some time now. It shows no signs of slowing down. Using video to showcase the unique personality of you and your brand is one of the best ways to get your audience engaged. If you own a small clothing boutique, post a sped-up video of you dressing the front mannequin display in the morning. If you own a neighborhood coffee shop, post a video that sweeps across the range of mouth-watering pastries on display for the day.
Live videos, particularly on Facebook, are gaining in popularity and can be a fun way to engage in real time with your customers. But really, any kind of video is a content marketing powerhouse these days.
2. Blog about it.
Blogging remains a key way for your small businesses to create useful, relevant content for your audience in a way that goes deeper than a quick Tweet or Facebook post ever could. Restaurants can blog about recipe ideas. Stores specializing in clothing, shoes, bags or jewelry can maintain a fashion blog to help customers pair their new, trendy purchases with their wardrobe staples. (If writing isn’t your thing — or there simply aren’t enough hours in the day — don’t worry! We’ve got your back.)
3. Let the e-newsletters flow.
Email marketing is FAR from dead. In fact, it is likely still the most effective way to reach your target audience directly and translate those connections into actual sales. That’s because more than 90 percent of adults in the United States use email (and so do 74 percent of teenagers)! Not to mention the fact that each person on your email list actually opted into it, thus INVITING you to email them. Email is a direct conduit to the core group of people most excited about the product, service or expertise you can offer them.
A few of my favorite email marketing tools are Get Response, Mail Chimp and Constant Contact. Zao uses all three of these companies on behalf of our clients, and each company has pros and cons. Pros including their affiliate link programs 😉
4. Try telling a story.
An Instagram story, that is! If you’re not familiar with Instagram stories, they live in those little round images that appear at the top of your Instagram feed. When you click one, it takes you through a slideshow of all the content that particular person/brand has posted in the past 24 hours. To create your own, tap your profile picture under “stories” (top left corner), select existing photos or shoot new photos/videos. Add filters, text or drawings for extra flair. Use them to promote a blog post or to share tutorials, giveaways, news or inspirational quotes.
The bad news is: They’re gone in 24 hours. The good news is: You can swipe up on your story for analytics with all the data on who has seen each photo or video.
5. Mix trends with tried-and-true.
It’s great to keep up with the latest content marketing and social media trends. However, there’s no need to live and die by them. Track your own engagement numbers to see what traditionally works for you and your specific audience. Have fun experimenting with new trends and media, but don’t do it in place of what is already working for you!