No matter the size of your business, you're often going to come across the same types of issues and have the same overall goals. Plus, content still has identical meaning and rationale, and you can employ necessary strategies one and the same.
As a smaller business, you want to be able to define your audience and create content that's going to be meaningful to them. Just because you might be one of the smaller guys doesn't mean you can't learn from what the bigger sites out there do as well.
Think about it: if you're a smaller site, you have a serious advantage and ultimately have it easier. You don't have to jump through all of the hoops that larger sites do in order to get your content out there and encourage your followers to take the plunge into your business offerings.
When I used teach back in the day, I would educate my students about the five Ws (who, what, where, when, why, and how) and why they should consider them in everything they read and write, and this notion goes hand-in-hand with content marketing.
You should always be cognizant enough to create the right type of content for your website. Larger sites are obviously going to have a lot more content to deal with, but it should always be significant no matter if you have only a few pages or whole horde that are more intricate and detailed.
Why Are You Doing Content? What do You Want it to Accomplish?
When creating content for your business, you want to think about why you're doing it above all else, otherwise you might be putting something out there that doesn't have meaning to your readers. What good is that doing?
It seems easy to make the statement, "I'm doing content to better my site and my business." Of course you are, but the greater answer isn't quite as simple as you may think.
When it comes to the what, you should find out what your customers are most interested in and build upon that, using your content marketing as the core of it all.
Next: Think About Who, Where, and When
Before you put any content out there, you want to be sure that you know who your following consists of. Otherwise, how are you going to create relevant content that your followers want to be a part of?
This is why you want to understand what your customers need and want, and you can in turn present these answers via your content.
What methods and channels are you going to use to promote your content? For instance:
- E-mail campaigns
- Guest blogging
The when consists of deciphering ideal times to get your content out there to your audience, so try out different times of the day to see what gets the best reaction and push your content out there more than once.
Take into consideration that some of your followers may be all over the country (or even the world), so promoting your content at different times during the day will increase your chances of getting a better response.
How About the How? Be Creative and Proactive
When many people think about content, blogging comes to mind. However, diversifying your content will only make it more entertaining for your visitors, in turn keeping them happy, coming back, and referring your site to others.
Content such as videos, infographics, slideshares, podcasts, interviews (you can search these out using services such as HARO and Profnet), guest blogs, images, testimonials, and even whitepapers are excellent approaches to content. This is the substance that you want to consider presenting – the more diverse, unique, and relative, the better. The other thing you can do is think BIG, even if you're a smaller site.
Think about the big content that can help you to achieve the results that you want in the long-run. As Dr. Pete from Moz explains, driving big content and big ideas (and more than one at that) can help you to increase your endurance in the industry and give you a huge opportunity that you may not have even realized was there. Don't be afraid to get out there and come up with some big ideas – you never know where they might take you.
Include your content in all of your social media, and be diverse! Include unique types of content. There are ways that you can be informative and interesting while also being a good read for your followers.
Make sure to keep track of your content. It's not something that you can just let sit and brew, so keep your eyes peeled on its productivity and ensure that you're being relevant and while adhering to industry changes as they happen.
Don't Create Mediocre Content
Make your content good and make it tangible.
Before putting any content out there, define your voice and your brand. Ensure that you are being clear to your followers and relaying your business exactly how you want to be received. You should always evaluate your content so that you can interpret if that's the way you want to approach it as you move along the circuit.
Concentrate on Your Competitors
While you are more than likely to worry about your website and want to pay attention to what your visitors want to read, you should always have a leg up on your competition as well. Taking a look at what they're doing on a regular basis is going to, believe it or not, be even more valuable than looking at your own site metrics.
Use analytics tools to take a look at what your competitors are doing and you can follow suit with certain tactics when and if necessary. Keep in mind: looking at what the bigger sites are doing can be helpful, as well.
What About Your Content and Hummingbird?
When it comes to the future of SEO and your content, the new Hummingbird algorithm is all about relevance while also being fast-moving and detailed. In addition, it's about having a conversation in our natural language – you can type as if you are speaking to Google, and even do just that by speaking your search. Hummingbird is about relevance and knowing what you are actually searching for and the true, actual meaning behind it.
For instance, Hummingbird is paying attention to every single word in your query rather than just the statement as a whole, and you can make your content adhere to this pretty easily. Keep with the style of the conversations that we have every single day.
Completing the 5 Ws
All in all, it comes down to covering your bases with your content strategy and following the five Ws. Do everything you can to get your content out there – good content, that is – and follow its traction. Even if you're a small business, it doesn't mean you can't think big in your content and overall business strategy, so go to it!
Meet Your Favorite Search Engine Watch Contributors
Many of SEW's leading expert contributors will be at ClickZ Live, the new online and digital marketing event kicking off in New York (March 31-April 3). Hear from the likes of: Thom Craver, Josh Braaten, Lisa Barone, Simon Heseltine, Josh McCoy, Lisa Raehsler, Greg Jarboe, Dan Cristo, Joseph Kerschbaum, John Gagnon, Eric Enge and more!