Content is the driving force behind your website and attracting new leads. Yet, for many entrepreneurs, figuring out the ins and outs of content management is one more task on an endless to-do list.
Fortunately, there are some ways to ensure your content is always fresh and easy to maintain. With today’s tools, planning a calendar and creating effective campaigns is workable for most small business owners. Here are some essential tips to simplify the process and ramp up the value of what you bring to your audience.
1. Study Your Competition
IBISWorld estimates around 26.9% of all business is conducted online in 2023, with an expected annual growth rate of 2.8 percent. As companies look for ways to reduce costs and increase revenue, expect more competition but also more consumers shopping via websites.
What is your competition doing that you are not? Take the time to list what you like on their website and in their content, and what you think you can improve on. While you want to avoid copying the content strategies of another brand, ensure you offer something even more valuable than the nearest competitor.
2. Set Quarterly Goals
Make a list of things you would like to achieve with your content management system. Some worthy goals include:
Your goals may vary from quarter to quarter. Sticking with one or two goals, and working hard to achieve them before moving on to something different is best.
3. Use a Content Calendar
A content calendar achieves several things for small business owners:
If you use a content management system such as WordPress, you will find plenty of plugins that help you track content management and planning. You can also utilize things such as If This Then That (IFTTT) to schedule social media posts when new content goes up on your site. Using IFTTT and other automated tools allows you to gain extra marketing traction from your content efforts.
4. Collect Data
Gathering data on site visitors, callers to your customer service and interactions can be a challenge even for larger companies. The amount of unstructured data is set to reach about 80% by 2025.
Cloud content management offers an opportunity to sift through mounds of data quickly. By tapping into the power of artificial intelligence (AI) and databases, you can discover topics your customers most want to know, what they are asking questions about and troubleshooting information they would welcome.
5. Focus on In-Depth Information
If you have an idea for an article, you can be fairly certain at least dozens of others have already written on the topic. With the popularity of AI, more and more brands are releasing posts and social media uploads on a wide variety of issues.
You can beat out the competition and stand apart as a valuable resource for your audience by digging deeper and finding the details others miss:
The more you focus on pulling out truly valuable information, the more you will stand apart as an authority in your field.
6. Research User Intent
Instead of writing on just anything, take the time to consider user intent. When someone searches for a particular keyword, what information are they actually looking for? Make a list of what you would expect to learn if you read an article or viewed a video about a query.
You can also conduct some surveys with your customers. Find out what type of content structure they find most beneficial. Ask for instant feedback when they finish reading or viewing something. What else would they want to know about the topic?
The better you understand your users, the more likely you are to write things that resonate with them. Study your area of expertise so covering the basics is instinctive. Then, spend time brainstorming how to add something fresh.
7. Repurpose Old Content
While writing new content and publishing regularly is crucial, you can repurpose old content in new ways and make it valuable once again. Rather than pushing down old how-to articles or ignoring things getting less traffic, try this:
At least part of your content management strategy should examine what to do with old content.
8. Ensure Mobile Responsiveness
In September 2023, Statista reported around 95.3% of internet users use mobile phones to get online at least sometimes. If your content is not easily accessible on a smaller screen, you miss out on traffic and potential customers.
Take the time to pull up every bit of content on your website on a smartphone and ensure it looks the way you want it to. Do images resize for mobile? Text should be legible and not run off the page.
Another thing to consider is any calls to action (CTAs) within your content. If the user has to tap on a CTA button or text to go to the next page, is it easy to navigate with a thumb or forefinger? Even the placement can impact the user experience and how positive it is.
Take the time to test accessing website content as well as social media posts. If it is not a one-step process on a phone, then it is time to revamp your design.
9. Establish a Format
When people visit your website or social media page, they want to know they are hearing from your brand instantly. Anything you can do to enhance your brand image is helpful. Coming up with a basic format and sticking to it for every piece of content helps readers identify it is from you.
For example, what is your article hierarchy? Are your headings in a certain size font? Are they bold? You can define how many words a subheading is, whether you start only with action words and even the length of subheading sections.
If you use an image with your posts — which you should — what type of visual is it? Where is the photograph placed? Do you add a caption? Get down into the little details to make maximum impact with your readers and set your blog apart from every other small business out there.
10. Post Frequently
If you had a friend who only contacted you once a year and did not have much to say, you probably would not consider them a close one. Yet, many websites post very sporadically, then expect their followers to engage and add to the conversation.
If you want a highly interactive group of fans, you must post frequently and on a predictable schedule. Part of creating a content calendar includes setting aside specific days and times when people can rely on you to post something new and interesting. Consider it your talking platform via your site.
While you should plan to post at least once or twice a week, it is okay to start small. Most businesses do not need to post a new article every day to draw attention. Post what matters and focus on quality content on a consistent day, and you will gain a following more quickly than you might expect.
11. Choose Amazing Visuals
The human brain processes images much faster than text alone. It takes about 13 milliseconds for people to comprehend a visual. Adding photos and illustrations to content is crucial to leaving a lasting impression on users.
Here are some ways you can incorporate images into your content management system and enhance understanding:
While using unique images for your designs is always best, adding a few stock pieces can stretch your budget and still add interest.
12. Go Viral
How do you choose topics that go viral and draw people in? A magic formula would be a nice way to achieve high traffic. Unfortunately, no one can reliably predict what people might flock to. Instead, take the time to get to know your niche:
Think about what you would want to know if you were just learning about your business or the topics you know best. The more you can break things down into specific keywords and find the longtail ones people search for most often, the more impact you will have and the greater chance of people sharing and taking you viral.
13. Interact With Your Audience
If you plan to make social media part of your content management strategy, you will want to learn to engage your audience. Do not just throw stuff at them — instead:
To get the most traction from social media, you have to do more than just share content you place on your site. You must have a give-and-take relationship with your audience.
14. Enlist User Help
Coming up with fresh content consistently is challenging for most smaller brands. You can likely only afford a few freelancers here and there, and do much of the work yourself. That means you may need to enlist help from time to time.
One way to excite your users about the brand is by asking them to contribute through user-generated content (UGC). You will grab free content to use, build goodwill amongst your customers and get quite a bit of viral buzz going. Here are some ways to utilize UGC in your content schedule:
Find ways for your buyers to be more involved in getting the word out about your products and services. They will feel heard and you will gain free content you otherwise would not have. Allow them to express themselves honestly and in their own words — you should only edit for format or typos.
15. Collaborate With Other Experts
You might be your industry's go-to person, but you cannot know every intricate detail about everything. Look for experts who are not your competition that can add to the discussion, and invite them to a video chat or to write a guest post on your site.
Let someone whose business complements yours take over your Facebook group for the day or post on Instagram for you. One example might be a parenting expert who invites a renowned children’s psychologist to come share the latest research in the industry. Find people who add to the discussion and collaborate with them to expand both of your reaches.
16. Hire Top Performers
As your business grows and you produce more content, you will need to hire some help to write new blog posts or schedule social media. It might be tempting to go to one of the cheap sites and get the least-expensive person to do this work.
In content management, you often get what you pay for. You can generate content with a bot, but it is not going to be as good as what you will get when you hire someone who has written on the topic for ten years. You can get someone to throw up social media posts, but if there is no strategy behind the ones they choose and when they schedule them, you may miss out on new customers.
Finding the right balance between hiring people you can rely on to deliver consistently and staying within budget is challenging. Keep those who are hard working and excellent producers happy — you do not want to lose them and have to start the process of finding and training someone new again.
Content Management in Minutes
While producing the actual content can be a bit time consuming, coming up with a plan does not have to be. Content management can be as simple as planning to produce one article and one video a week, release them on Monday and Friday, and promote on Facebook and Instagram.
Start with the time and resources you have, and grow as your revenue grows. Each quarter, come up with a fresh plan for how you will manage your content for the next three months. Eventually, the entire process will be second nature.
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