Publish Date: May
Did you know small businesses make up 99.9% of all firms in America? According to the U.S. Small Business Administration, there are 31.7 million small businesses in the U.S. as of October 2020. So, these companies are literally the backbone of the economy. Unfortunately, they are also the ones who face many of the challenges that come with running a business.
Running a small business is difficult! Believe us, we know because we are a small business too and are all too familiar with the struggle. From getting new clients and advertising to managing workflows and budgeting, we run into most of the same problems you run into. In addition, many of our own clients are small businesses themselves, so we hear about their experiences and the challenges they face daily. Notably, content marketing presents a unique and important challenge to these small companies.
In the early stages of growth, it’s difficult to stand out among the already established competition. You have restaurants that have been in the neighborhood for decades, retail shops that have faithful repeat customers, and boutiques that have long lasting impact in the community. It can seem difficult to break through and even more difficult to stand out among them.
Content is King! You probably heard this phrase countless times. We agree! Developing content is a straightforward way for small businesses to find their place in the market. It can be used to gain more traction on social media and potentially generate more leads. But we also recognize that quality content doesn’t come easy. This challenge is often amplified when business owners have limited resources at their disposal. We often encounter cases where time, tools, and people present limitations to what the company can do. 81% of small businesses in the U.S. work with no employees making it impossible to devote the time to develop a thoughtful content strategy, let alone execute it.
If any of these challenges sound all too familiar to you, here are four quick tips to help you get started writing successful content for your business.
1 – Find your story!
When you’re just starting out, it’s hard to pinpoint exactly what the voice of your brand would be. However, this step is crucial in establishing your brand and your content strategy. Your story allows you to write relevant content that can help you connect with your target audience. For example, our story here at Capetivate is centered around helping other small businesses thrive. Because we have encountered our fair share of struggles running our own company, we easily identify with other entrepreneurs and really understand their problems. We’re honest about our past experiences and it helps us connect with our clients and build long term relationships with them. To help you identify your story, think about your mission and what sets you apart. Ask yourself: What problems does my business solve? What do I want to accomplish through my business? What do I offer that no one else does?
2 – Establish your niche!
You probably heard this more than once! Identifying a niche is especially vital for smaller businesses. Because of the huge competition, finding your niche helps you establish your authority in your industry. By writing about what you specialize in, you give your audience an idea about your level of expertise in the topic. It’s a way for you to showcase your knowledge, your experience, and what makes you the expert you are. This paves the way for your audience to keep coming back to you as a trusted source. Most importantly, writing about your niche can also help you establish your authority online and become a thought leader in your space.
3 – Always write with SEO in mind!
Nothing is more disappointing than writing killer content but having no one read it! If you’re looking to build a content strategy and trying to write your first blog post for example, it is essential to optimize for Search Engine Optimization. We recognize that SEO is a sea of actions and items you can do to help gain more digital exposure for your website. However, and in the sake of keeping things simple, these are 3 basic steps to get organized:
- First, brainstorm and choose a topic to write about. Ideally, the topic will relate directly to what you do and the services you offer. Choose a topic you’re most knowledgeable about. This way, writing it won’t feel like a burden.
- Second, identify the keywords you want to optimize for. If you’re in an industry where many big name companies dominate the space, stick to long-tail keywords that are easier to rank for. Think of long-tail keywords as the less famous words that your customers would use to search for your services. For example, if you run an Italian restaurant, instead of optimizing for “Italian Food”, you want to optimize for longer phrases like “family Italian food restaurant”. Draft your content with those keywords in mind for the best results.
- Third, and after drafting your piece of content, edit and further optimize for SEO. This can include writing a strong headline for your post, formatting your content to be easy to read and follow, and bringing it to life with relevant graphics and images.
4 – Interpret your Data!
You need to know if your content is working. There is no point in writing amazing blog posts if you don’t know they’re reaching your intended audience. This is where measuring your ROI becomes a lot more important with smaller businesses. Because of the tight budgets allocated to marketing, it is essential to know what works and what doesn’t for a more efficient allocation of resources. Understanding your numbers starts with identifying your KPIs; Key Performance Indicators. What KPIs are important to you? For example, if you use blog posts as a strategy, looking at the number of blog visits monthly will give you an idea on the pattern of visitors that look at your blog. You can determine whether certain months get more traffic than others and adjust accordingly.
To conclude, it can be overwhelming to write quality content for your business. Breaking it down to simple small steps can help you get over the hump.