Give Your Customers What They Want and They Will Return the Favor
If you Google “Content Marketing for Small Business” you’ll get about 113,000,000 results. At least that’s what I got just now. Why so many hits? It’s the hottest thing happening in marketing right now and will likely be that way for the foreseeable future. To get people to pay attention, you have to provide value. One of the best ways to do that, and to establish yourself as an authority in the eyes of your customer, is to produce the kind of content your potential customers want. That’s content marketing.
Understanding where your own audience is in terms of these trends is important. You can use Google Analytics to find out what devices your audience is using to consume your content. If you’re not sure about Google Analytics, stay tuned to this blog. I’ll be going into more depth soon. If you’ve had a drop in visitors the last year, consider whether or not it could be because your content is not useful, relevant, or available in all formats.
Here are the trends you need to be aware of. Ignore them at your peril.
- Mobile Consumption Is on the Rise — It’s been said many times in many places. If your website isn’t mobile friendly now, you’re going to lose out big time. More people are consuming content via mobile devices today than they are via desktops or laptops. Many work places have blocked certain types of websites from their workers, so they’ve moved to their mobile devices during the day, and may use their home desktops or laptops in the evening — when they have time.
- Content Must Be Original — Gone are the days of the spreading the same content throughout the web in the form of reused guest posts, article marketing sites and so forth. You can still participate in guest blogging, article marketing and so forth, but all the content that you contribute needs to be unique and not used again elsewhere – not even on your own website. If you want to attract people to consume your content, make it new, make it original, and make it frequent.
- Content Needs to Be Targeted — You probably knew this before and it’s not really a “trend” as such. However, it needs to be repeated. Making original content that has nothing to do with your target audience is an exercise in futility. Make unique content that puts your target audience first and you’ll be more successful.
- Content Needs to Be Useful — If you are spitting out content without any thought at all, then you’re not making useful content that will get your audience excited. Instead you’ve become nothing more than a content bot putting words together into word salad that makes no sense. Your content must put the audience first; remember it’s all about them, not you.
- Content Needs to Be Multimedia — Video, infographics, images, audio, eBooks, articles, blog posts and more should all be used together to create a storm of new content that works together to promote the products and/or services that you want to promote. Content can still be repurposed into new forms, but you need to put a unique spin on it. This is such an important trend, even I am creating videos. Believe me, I wouldn’t be doing it if people weren’t wanting it.
- Responsive Content Is a Must — The comment earlier that content should be mobile doesn’t really do justice to what is happening. Creating a separate mobile website, and then a regular site, and then separate content and sites for each type of device is a waste of time and money. Instead, ensure that your content is consumable on all types of media.
- Content Curation Requires Attention to Detail — Mobile devices offer apps to help deliver the type of content that your audience wants to see on their screen, often removing graphics and ads. How you deal with these apps and deliver your content to your audience your way will be up to you.
- Capturing Attention Is Paramount — How you go about capturing the attention of those who may consume your content is changing. Your use of content, images, promoted posts, advertisements, video, audio, events and more all matter if you want your content to be seen.
It’s your job as a small business owner to understand what is happening in terms of your audience and content consumption. Read industry news so that you can get a better understanding of what your audience is consuming and expecting from you. If you’re not sure, poll your audience and ask them directly what they want. You might be surprised at the answers. If you’re ready to dive deeper into content marketing, I suggest you start with Joe Pulizzi’s Content Inc. for a fascinating look at what you can do to build your audience and your business. Lastly, be sure you’re subscribed to this blog to get actionable marketing advice on a regular basis.