Content marketing is an important part of keeping a small business growing. It can help you to build credibility and authority, win you good positions in search engine results, and develop important relationships with your actual and potential customers.

The main problem for most small businesses is producing content at a consistent rate. There is so much to do when you’re trying to get a new business off the ground or take a semi-established small company to the next level.

Here are some tips to help you keep the content flowing – and your audience engaged – without pulling your hair out trying to make time for everything.

Consistency And Quality Are Not The Same

The goal of content marketing is not to just produce as much content as you can and keep pushing it out there. Quality trumps quantity every time.

You don’t need to be updating your blog or adding another page to your website every day to stay in the game. Concentrate on quality and slow things down if you have to. You don’t want to be leaving two month gaps between updates, but don’t you don’t need to be scrambling every day to figure out what you should be doing next either. It’s fine if you can only manage two or three updates a month, just make them count.

Create A Schedule

Creating a schedule for creating and publishing content can alleviate a lot of stress and help keep things on track. It’s easy to push things off when something else comes up. Thinking, “I’ll take care of this today and put that blog post together tomorrow” is your worst enemy.

You don’t need to plan out everything you’re going to do for the next year, or even the entire month. Just setting up a weekly schedule will help you fit your content needs into your daily plans without it feeling like extra work. For example:

  • Monday – Publish new blog post and share to Twitter & Facebook
  • Tuesday – Lay out ideas for next week’s topic
  • Wednesday – Respond to comments on blog/Twitter/Facebook
  • Thursday – Decide on topic for next week and bookmark research articles
  • Friday – Repost to Twitter/Facebook and send email newsletter

This is, of course, an overly simple example, but it should give you an idea of how you can organize things into an easy to follow schedule.

Be Creative About Creating

When thinking about publishing content, most people automatically think about writing something on a blog and working to get as many readers as they can. Try be a little bit more creative. Content can come from many places.

Consider polls on platforms like Facebook or Twitter. They can actually help you in three different ways. By asking questions you keep your audience engaged, even if you don’t have something new to show them. Your audience is also going to answer, giving you valuable feedback that can help you improve products and services as well as formulate ideas for future content they’d find useful. And finally, they can be a good way to generate user reviews that you can also incorporate into future content.

Contests, if they fit in with your business, can be another great way to pull in users and pique their interest, as well as generating feedback, sharing and more user-generated content.

Listen And Respond

One of the greatest things about content marketing and social media sharing is that your audience is always happy to tell you what they think. If you listen and engage with your audience they will tell you exactly what their pain points and problems are. They will guide you from one piece of useful content to the next. You may be able to drop brainstorming sessions for upcoming topics completely. Follow the audience’s lead and give them what they want and you virtually guarantee success.