Small businesses most often do not have the resources to create traditional marketing campaigns like radio, television and billboard ads. One of the best channels that small businesses can use to promote themselves and their products is the Internet. Content marketing has proven to be one of the best, most efficient and most trustworthy online marketing techniques that many small businesses have used to build their brands and customer bases.

A small business needs to have a content marketing strategy that should be in line with the company’s overall business goals. Here are six tips that can help improve the content marketing strategies of small businesses:

#1. Create valuable content

Users want to read content that teaches them something new. Such content is also very shareworthy, so if your readers find your content useful then they will most probably share it with their friends on social networking platforms, giving your brand free publicity. How-to articles are some of the most popular types of content online. List based articles that describe the top-five or the ten-worst things are also extremely popular online. Personal articles that describe problems faced by the author and how the problems were overcome are another type of content that people are looking for on the Internet.

Your blog writer and the content creation team should be able to create informative, engaging and easy-to-understand articles and content that is bound to bring back readers. Also, make sure to include visual content like videos, infographs and images as these are more interesting than just textual content.

#2. Utilize multimedia

As technology advances, you cannot rely only on textual and static content to make you stand out from the rest. Users want a mix of all types of content – audio, textual, image and video. To make sure that your readers get what they want:
• Create and upload podcasts
• Conduct and record interviews with in-house and external experts
• Design and upload slide shows filled with appropriate animations and music
Remember – content marketing is all about story-telling and this process is better with multimedia content.

#3. Integrate with social media

Nowadays, most users spend a lot of time on social networks like Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, etc. They are not actively surfing the net looking for information but waiting for recommendations on these social networks. So make sure that your content in available on various social networking platforms – where your audience is. When you post content on your blog, publicize it on Facebook and Twitter. If you have uploaded images of a company event on your website, include them in Pinterest too. Integrating well with social networking platforms will help people find your content and will drive traffic to your website and blogs.

#4. Consistency is key

You need to be consistent with publishing frequency and with the message that you are sending out. Creating large volumes of content in house may not always be possible and often the best solution is to outsource content writing needs to a writing company. Maintaining a publishing schedule will allow your followers to know when the next article can be expected and will allow your content to have a ready audience. Following a publishing schedule also makes the task of managing the production of content much easier.

You also need to ensure that you are promoting the same message with every piece of content, which will allow your followers to identify your brand with a certain set of values. For example, if yours is a family oriented brand then your content should emphasize the family-friendliness of your products and brand.

#5. Divide and conquer

To attract a diverse audience, you need to see that your content is interesting to people with varied interests. To help your company grow, you will have to cater to people with different hobbies, personalities, interests and needs. Divide your audience into segments by conducting surveys and polls. Next, customize your content marketing strategy to make sure that you are releasing content for each segment. Company announcements, brand messages, content and communications will have more impact if this strategy is followed.

#6. Host contests

Contests create excitement and buzz around a brand. To engage your audience, you need to host contests regularly with worthy prizes. Photo-contests, slogan contests, etc. are great ways to engage your readers. You can use the results and submissions of the contests to create content for your website, blogs and social media platforms.