Content Marketing Gives You a Voice
Last week, we covered the five things that small businesses should not scrimp on — business cards, website, mobile apps, content and software.
This column will expand on content, which remains a top priority in 2012 because it gives a voice to you and your company.
And Jamillah Warner, marketing coordinator at Nobuko Solutions, believes that you need to use that voice to connect a relevant message or solution to your target audience.
“Content marketing — blogs, social media, articles, case studies, videos, infographics, etc. — lets people hear your message,” Warner says in a recent Internet post. “It gives them a chance to see who you are, what you have and how you do what you do. It’s a tool that small businesses, even the hard core do-it-your-selfers, can use to get their message out.”
Warner acknowledges that content, in and of itself, is not new. What’s new is:
How we choose to use it.
The tools that help us create and distribute it.
The stories we decide to tell.
“If you can understand what marketers are doing and what they feel is most effective, then you tweak your own strategy and the team that helps you execute it,” Warner says.
According to a recent study, the most used content marketing avenues are articles (79 percent), social media, excluding blogs (74 percent), and blogs (65 percent).
But the content marketing channels that carry the most confidence for effectiveness are in-person events (78 percent), webinars/webcasts (70 percent) and case studies (70 percent).
In other words, Warner notes, the marketers in the study feel they are getting more impact from the in-person events, webinars and case studies than from social media, articles and blogging.
“Now, all of them have their place and can drive traffic to your site and generate attention for your business,” she says. “But it’s interesting to see where the energy goes.”
Obviously, whatever you choose to do, you have to measure it. If you don’t, then how do you know that it’s working? Did your website traffic increase as a result of a specific marketing action? How many new visitors became blog subscribers and regulars to your site? And how many became new customers or made a repeat purchase?
Warner encourages you to use a tool such as Google Analytics to measure the impact of your content distribution. After you sign up for your account, your Web designer can add the code to your website for you.
“Spend a little time learning how to read the charts, and then you’re on your way to a bigger picture,” she says. “You get to see the websites that send you the most traffic and how many people actually go to your sales page and how long they stay. Google is not the only option, but it’s free, so that aspect lowers the barrier to entry.”
The goal is to know what works so that you can do more of it, and what doesn’t so that you can change it for the better.
“There is something to content marketing, but which content and which medium?” Warner says. “If you measure your impact, you’ll be able to get the answer from your audience.”
I wish I had a nickel for every time an advertiser with Sandhills Business Times told me that they were canceling an ad “because it didn’t work.”
“How did you measure your results to reach that decision?” I would ask them.
“Um ... we didn’t,” was the typical reply.
Contact Ted M. Natt Jr. at email@example.com.
More like this story