At Pink Squirrel Creative, we’re not just content creators — we’re content educators. Discover the 6 content marketing tips your small business needs in 2021. Then, let’s work together to clean up your content.
Content marketing tips that deliver 2021 small business success
Content marketing strategy isn’t about beating your competitors. It’s about elevating your own voice.
It’s hard to stand out as a local small business.
Chances are, you and your competitors all offer the same products, at similar prices, in a saturated market. It might feel impossible to separate yourself from the pack — and that’s without the pandemic.
2020 was a tough year to be a small business. COVID-19 wreaked havoc on your budget. You aren’t going to outspend everyone in your industry. That doesn’t mean you have to give up.
Facing all these challenges requires a creative marketing approach. It means you have to use the one thing you own that nobody else can duplicate.
The one advantage your small business has over your competitors is your voice.
Content marketing is about using your unique voice to reach your target audience in a way no one else can. As a small business owner, you have the unique ability to speak directly to your customers and make personal connections.
Those personal connections are the key to a successful small business marketing strategy in 2021.
More than ever, customers want to personally engage with a brand. They want to be heard, they want to interact, and they want proof you’re listening.
Need help getting started on your 2021 content marketing strategy? Here are 6 content marketing tips aimed at small business success. It all starts with figuring out what you want.
Content marketing tip 1: Set a clear, specific content marketing goal
Most small business owners don’t actually have goals — they have wishes. Knowing how to develop a concrete goal is a great start to content marketing success.
Setting a clear, specific goal for your content marketing is the first step in elevating your small business visibility. It’s the most important of our 6 content marketing tips. A strong marketing goal has 5 components, often called the “SMART” method:
- Specific. Your marketing goal has to be specific. “I want to be #1 in the area” isn’t enough. What specific areas of your small business do you want to improve?
- Measurable. Can you monitor your goal in a measurable way? What statistics and numbers can you look at to measure your progress?
- Attainable. Can you actually achieve this goal? Do you have the means to make it happen?
- Relevant. Some people use “realistic” here, but that’s a repeat of “attainable” to us. Is your content marketing goal relevant to your overall small business goals?
- Timely. Like the Robert Herjavec quote above says, your goal must have a timeline. When do you want to start seeing results?
Don’t work on a specific content marketing strategy for your small business until you have a clearly defined goal. Every word of your content creation process must be written with your goal in mind.
Now that you have a concrete goal for your small business in mind, let’s move on to tip 2. Who are you trying to reach?
Content marketing tip 2: Who is your small business target audience?
Don’t worry about standing out in the crowd. Figure out who in the crowd is important to you.
When it comes to small business marketing, there’s no bigger waste of time and money than talking to the wrong audience.
We told you in an earlier article that content marketing isn’t about the audience you want — it’s about the audience that wants you.
In other words, make sure the customer you’re speaking to is the customer that needs you.
Learn everything you can about your small business’ potential customers. Where do they live? What jobs do they have? How old are they? What are they interested in?
Step outside the role of a small business owner. Customer loyalty is built on clients who feel truly seen and heard by you. Don’t just find out who they are, find out what they love and what they value.
There are 4 simple ways to identify your small business’ target audience for content marketing.
4 simple ways to identify your target audience
- Study demographics of your social media followers
- Take the time to interact/respond to comments
- Offer clients incentives for contact information (email signups, etc.)
- Host your website on a platform that offers demographic breakdowns
Once you have your target audience in mind, it’s time to construct the platform your content marketing strategy will stand on.
Tip 3: Identify your target audience’s problems
Great content marketing strategy offers answers to your customers’ problems. Developing quality content starts by seeing the world from their point of view.
Imagine you own a coffee shop. Sure, the primary goal is to offer coffee to your customers. But what’s really driving them to your shop?
Are they looking for the most affordable coffee in the area? Are they looking for an escape from stress and a place to relax with their favorite drink? Do they want to be remembered and valued on a first-name basis? Are they searching for a remote work hub outside the home?
Solving their pain points of your target audience is the core of your small business content marketing strategy.
It’s great to talk about your products and services. It’s even better to understand why they’ll improve the lives of your customers.
Focus on what your customers want, and why they want it.
Tip 4: Start a blog. Write blog content. Then write more blog content.
Don’t think of sharing knowledge as giving away free content. Think of it as gaining free marketing power.
Good content marketing strategy isn’t about what you can sell — it’s about what you can share.
Create a blog on your small business website to establish yourself as a thought leader and expert in your field. Sharing knowledge with your audience builds trust in your brand.
There are some great website hosting options that allow you to build and maintain a blog easily. Our site’s built on WordPress, which happens to be our favorite. While we’re on the subject — if you work with us as your trusted content marketing partners, we’ll show you how to use WordPress (or any other hosting service) to update your own blog.
Update your blog regularly with quality content that adds value to the reader’s life. Commit to a regular schedule of blog content creation and stick to it. You will develop a dedicated following that looks forward to hearing from you.
And isn’t that what building a brand is all about?
Tip 5: Go where your audience is (especially if it’s not where you work)
Don’t expect your audience to come to you. Use the demographic information you learned in Tip 2 and find out where your target customers like to be. Then, go to them!
Community engagement and social activities will skyrocket as the world opens up in 2021. People are itching to get out in a post-vaccine world. You should be there to meet them.
The time and energy you spend at the places your customers visit is well spent. You’ll engage with your community and allow them to see you as more than a local business owner.
Don’t just settle for business meet-ups and Chamber of Commerce meetings. Ask your customers where they go for coffee. Find out about popular local social activities. Offer to help a customer with volunteer work.
The benefits of community engagement go beyond strengthening current client relationships. You’ll meet their friends, neighbors, and social contacts in an informal setting. It’s networking without the pressure of a business environment.
And when your new leads need a service your small business provides, you’ll be top of mind and first in line for their business.
Tip 6: Optimize and update your content on a regular basis
When you’re armed with a specific content marketing goal, information about your target audience and solutions to their questions, you can create quality content that speaks to their needs.
But that’s just the beginning. Content marketing is a process, not a step.
It’s important to update your content on a regular basis. Make sure your website copy, blog articles, and social media content are current for 2 key reasons:
- Your audience must consistently receive value to feel engaged and informed.
- Your content must be optimized regularly to meet Google page rank standards and search engine content quality algorithms.
If that feels daunting, it’s only because you haven’t started your content creation journey yet. Once you establish a small business content marketing strategy, maintenance is simple. These 6 content marketing tips are a great place to start.
And hey — we happen to know a really cool group of people that are willing to help. They’ll even offer your first consultation for free.
Want more content marketing advice and content creation help? Let’s talk. We’d love to become your partner and create a great user experience for your clients.