Every time I decide to do a puzzle there is an initial shock and awe that comes over me. It’s the moment I pour out all 500 — OK, fine — 100 pieces, and question what exactly I’m doing. There are numerous pieces that must fit together, the same goes for a successful content marketing campaign. In both situations you must track the results efficiently to see what is working and what isn’t. One major plus content marketing has over puzzles, though, is the help of technology and its ease of use.

Content marketing can be a challenge that many small businesses face, fortunately it is a hurdle that can easily be overcome by following a few simple tips and tricks. Utilize your resources, 2015 has equipped us with smart technology and the Internet of things so take advantage, whip out that smart phone and mobilize your world.

Plan Ahead

When working on a puzzle, planning can be as simple as deciding to gather all the edge pieces at first and work from the outside-in. It’s a bit more complicated with content marketing but not very.

Take your planning to the next level and utilize the mobile world we live in today. If your small business has a mobile app, find out what customers best respond to and why. Create a plan to develop and distribute the content accordingly. Too many times marketers skip this step and jump into content creation, which only brings down the effectiveness of the campaign as a whole.

In developing a solid plan for your content marketing campaign, decide on a target audience, figure out the best way to get in touch with them, and create a schedule to publish your content so it will remain fresh on the mind(s) of your audience. Having this framework, and constant feedback through technology, gives you a roadmap of what you should be achieving on a daily basis to continue moving forward with your campaign.

Set Goals And Stay The Course

Personal puzzle goals include: finding all four corner pieces, help with flipping over all pieces to the correct side, and placing the last piece for completion. Simple and clear; exactly how your content marketing process should be. It’s tough to track how well your campaign is performing without setting precise goals and creating a method to track your progress. The goal of the campaign can vary from increasing the number of social media followers to converting more viewers and app users into returning, paying customers. Again, this is where a mobile app can really come into play — link to social media, build customer retention, give customers a reason to keep coming back for more.

The campaign’s progress can be tracked by using some of the numerous analytical tools you sync up to your smartphone. This will help you and your team see what is working in the campaign and what needs to be changed.

Captivating Content Is King

One of the biggest hurdles a small business faces with content marketing is creating content that is relevant to both their company as well as the target audience. As mentioned previously, encourage your consumers to check out more with interactive and entertaining content. Provide viewers with the ability to share with others and reward them for doing so.

Take the feedback provided by the audience to heart; they will provide honest and vital words that are aimed to help you grow. Visually, aesthetically pleasing content will only help with drawing a larger audience. If you’re in the mobile world, make the most of your mobile content through customer interactions, attention-grabbing designs, and hands-on interfaces are all great ways to help grow interest.

Content marketing does present a lot of challenges for small businesses, much like puzzles do for myself. And while I understand the difficulty with puzzles may be a personal hurdle, small businesses need to provide themselves with the tools to be successful by taking advantage of today’s technology driven world. With the use of smartphones, mobile apps, and other resources, there are fewer excuses now more than ever to not take full advantage of your content marketing strategy.

Provide yourself with the tools to grow by first creating a clear path for success because let’s be honest, there are a short list of things more rewarding than putting the final piece of a puzzle in place.