Content marketing. The idea isn’t anything new, but the execution is constantly evolving. As the way companies present information to their customers moves more and more into the digital space, it is becoming easier for businesses of all sizes to hop on board to the CM trend. But without huge paid media budgets (if any), or large staffs (if any), marketing a small business can be tough.
Who has the time, the people, the cash, or the ideas to keep up a marketing strategy, right? Wrong. “Content marketing is most important for SMBs,” according to Joe Pulizzi, and as the founder of the Content Marketing Institute (CMI), it’s probably smart to listen to him.
“Talking to your customers is crucial… See what your customers are sharing”
Okay, let’s face it: you run a small biz… not the marketing department at Google. How are you supposed to know anything about creating content, writing blogs, or planning a marketing strategy? Pulizzi, author of four books on the subject, advises small businesses owners to “focus on building an audience over time through consistent content delivery,” and to start with your customers. “Talking to your customers is crucial. Use surveys. Check your keyword performance and what your customers are searching for. Check the direction of those keywords in Google Trends. Look at Twitter to see what your customers are sharing.”
Put yourself into your customer's’ shoes… What is it that you would want access to? How-to guides? Product information? Blogs on industry topics? Figure out what it is that customers want, and then think of how to best give it to them. “Focus on being great at something. Then figure out what it will take to actually be great,” Pulizzi adds.
“They built an audience over time through consistent content delivery”
Imitation is the highest form of flattery, right? For ideas of how to get your content marketing strategy off the ground, check out how other companies do it. Pulizzi’s favorites include Openview Venture Partners, who “built a content brand called Openview Labs that is a leading destination for fast growing startups,” River Pools & Spas, who “created the leading online resource for fiberglass pools,” and even Matthew Patrick whose Game Theory videos have more than 4 million subscribers.
What can be learned from these top models? “They all focused on building an audience over time through consistent content delivery,” and they succeeded.
Joe Pulizzi: The King of Content
Pulizzi is an entrepreneur, speaker, author, pod caster, (yep, more) father, and lover of all things orange. He is the founder of multiple startups, including the Content Marketing Institute (CMI), the leading content marketing educational resource for enterprise brands, recognized as the fastest growing business media company by Inc Magazine in 2014. He’s responsible for producing Content Marketing World, the largest content marketing event in the world, as well as the leading content marketing magazine, Chief Content Officer. Tweet him at @JoePulizzi (and mention orange!)