Creating a Small Business Content Marketing Strategy for 2024

Creating a Small Business Content Marketing Strategy for 2024

As another new year starts, most small business owners’ thoughts turn to planning. It’s the perfect time of year to set new business goals and create a marketing plan to get there. However, it can be hard to find time as you go about your day-to-day work, then best laid plans can be forgotten as the year progresses.

This quick guide is here to help with your marketing, specifically your online content. As a bonus I have created a simple template to help you get your plan down quickly onto paper. Small business owners do not need to create the level of detail that a full marketing department would, so you don’t need to spend vast amounts of time, but it does help to have a good idea of where you are headed overall. This template will help you with that, and start as you mean to go on. Do also read the full blog post below which gives more inspiration for filling it in.

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What is content marketing?

This is defined as online content designed to attract, engage and retain customers e.g. Blog Articles, White Papers, Case Studies, Videos, Podcasts, Social Media, Infographics etc.

Some of the benefits of content marketing are:

  • It helps establish you as an expert in your field
  • It promotes brand awareness
  • It builds trust
  • It increases online visibility
  • It keeps your company top of mind when it comes to purchase
  • It is the foundation of search engine marketing and pushes you up the results

Stages of a content marketing plan

In order to benefit from the power of content marketing, it is a good idea to create a plan. In this way you know where you are heading, and it takes away the panic of not knowing what to post and when.

1. Evaluation

Your audience
Think about who your current customers are, what are their demographics and where might they spend their time online. How did your current prospects or followers find you? Also consider who your ideal customer would be.

Your current publishing platforms
Where are you posting your content online at the moment? It could be on your own website via a blog, on social media, an email newsletter, or a combination. Find a summary report for how the content is performing and re-evaluate what unique value your content provides for the reader.

2. Getting the message right

Your brand story
Everyone loves a story, and this is no different in business marketing. A story consists of characters, setting and plot. Your customer should be the hero or main protagonist of the story so think about the current problem they have and how they save the day by hiring you. What does your product or service solve for them? Your brand values and personality come in here too, so think about how you want your business to come across. Are you approachable and friendly, flexible or structured, professional or down to earth? These values should align to the kind of business your customer needs.

The customer journey
There are several Stages in a Customer Buying Journey and it is important to provide the Right Content for the Right Stage.

  • Awareness / Discovery – provide content that solves a problem for them – e.g shareable blog articles, social media posts, infographics and podcasts
  • Consideration – Introduce how your product / service fulfils their needs – e.g how-to articles, useful downloads, checklists, worksheets, online events and webinars
  • Conversion – Promote your knowledge and expertise, with calls to action – e.g. case studies, testimonials, which will help to close the sale
  • Customer Retention – Rinse and repeat!

3. Your content

If your products and services are not clear on your website or blog, you need to sort this out now and create a separate page for each overall theme. This gives you subject pillars that you can build your content around. You can then align your content plan on these areas and even tie them to certain times of year, e.g. promoting your lawn cutting services / garden furniture line at Easter. Think about important times of year and related content you can create that answers your customers’ needs. This will help you to promote your products and services at the right time, and in the right place.

4. Actions

Now is the time to bring all this together and put it into a plan. Set up a new spreadsheet or download a calendar and mark out the months, plus key seasonal events. Then apply your content ideas to each section and you have a clearly marked out calendar ready to go!

Next Steps

Fill out the form above to request your FREE Content Marketing Plan Template. If you need help completing the plan, don’t hesitate to contact me. I also provide a full range of Content Writing Services which are there for you if you don’t get time to complete the actions on the plan over the course of 2024. Why not let me step in and help!