SMEs have no budget. They are in survival mode. They suffer from a lack of internal skills. How often do we not hear these speeches all the time? But whatever the case, SMEs are business entities. They must be able to live and generate profits. Either they innovate, or they remain static and die. When they are bankrupt, one of the arguments put forward is that they lack the money to carry out communication actions, to become visible and to promote their activities. Who says they need a colossal budget to communicate? In this article, you will discover how its dear SMEs can use content marketing in their activity…
If you are not coming out of the planet Jupiter, you must have heard of content marketing.
Content marketing took off when ancestral marketing techniques became obsolete, when they no longer worked.
Imagine this scene: you are spending a budget of 4000 euros for a display campaign on the web. Unfortunately, 75% of internet users don’t even see your ads. What happened ? They simply installed ad blockers. You are losing. This is what companies who still invest large sums of money on disruptive marketing risk. But you don’t have this budget. And even if you had it, you don’t think about putting it on the ad because you’re smart. I will help you.
At the end of this article, you will have some keys to take advantage of content marketing.
For those who ignore it:
“Content marketing is a strategic marketing approach focused on the creation and distribution of valuable, relevant and consistent content to attract and retain a clearly defined audience and, ultimately, to generate profitable customer action. “
This definition is taken from Content Marketing Institute, an avant-garde organization on the subject.
Why should you use this new form of marketing?
It’s the effective tactic to grow your audience, improve your SEO and acquire leads.
Besides, the numbers speak for themselves:
- A business that has an active blog receives on average 67% more leads than a business that does not blog;
- A company that blogs regularly is 13 times more likely to have a positive return on investment;
- 70% of consumers discover a company through its content rather than through its advertising.
These figures come from a study by Hubspot, a world leader in inbound marketing.
If this business generates billions through content marketing, don’t you think you should also get started?
How to initiate content marketing in your business?
I regularly hear companies and managers say this: ” it’s going to cost thousands of euros to get into content marketing “. But it’s wrong. Regarding this idea, I would ask you: how much does a Google Adwords campaign cost over a period of one, two, or even four months?
The figures amount to thousands of euros with the ineffectiveness that we all know and the difficulty in measuring actions. Because even after a change of state like an increase in sales, can we be sure that it comes from an advertising campaign? It could well be the effect of the weather, the sharing of influencers, the virality of publications on social networks. This is difficult to trace.
Now, with content marketing, you have a reliable measure of your actions. And you spend 15 times less.
Here’s a simple step how to apply it to your business.
I want to clarify that this is not a final or official formula. This is just a template that will help you formalize your content marketing actions, which will adapt to your level and will already allow you to change your tune. This will allow you to move from losing SMEs to a business that takes control of its survival with a significant reduction in costs.
Document your strategy
Few companies formalize their marketing actions. We don’t even talk about it when it comes to developing a web strategy. Putting your strategy on paper will help you have a guide and a benchmark for all your actions. This document will act as an intelligent and adjustable compass. This is why I am emphasizing this point.
From my experience, starting your content marketing actions will necessarily involve creating a blog. Why ? Because it’s the simplest and cheapest door. Do you think launching your blog will cost you dearly? Not at all. I can certify that with 300 euros, you have a blog that works and that does not take 3 hours to create. If you already have a website, you can just add a blog tab to your business website.
Your blog will be used to publish content that interests your audience, to relay information related to your sector, to answer the essential questions posed by your audience. In fact, there are several angles to approach on your blog.
However, you should always remember that your blog does not exist for you or your business. Your blog exists to provide answers to the frustrations and concerns of your readers and prospects. Your Ego must be put aside.
Define your editorial strategy
Having an editorial strategy will help you formalize the direction your content will take. Your strategy will focus on:
- The tone you will use (authoritarian-friendly, relaxed, didactic, playful, etc.);
- Frequency: this refers to the rate at which you will produce content and publish it;
- The editorial calendar: it will relate to the frequency of publication, the subjects to be tackled, the roles of each (editor, writer, editor responsible for publication). Since you are an SME, only one person on your team can do it;
- Content types: will you be producing blog articles, white papers, videos, explanatory videos, Facebook LIVE, webinars;
- Definition of keywords: On which keywords do you want to be positioned on the search engines? You have to take time to do it. Looking at the positioning of competitors is indicated. This will give you an idea of the strategy you are going to adopt;
- Produce content that speaks to your audience.
Whether it’s blog articles, videos, webinars, or white papers, your content must always be relevant or it will drive your audience away. This is an opportunity to recall something said above: your content focuses on your audience, not on you. Today, Internet users are no longer there to read news about your business or the exploits of your team. What they want is content that gives them added value.
A word hi.
Choose your social media
Today, Internet users are everywhere on the web. Whether you are in B2B or B2C, you must reach your prospects where they are. Creating profiles on various social networks makes perfect sense. If you are in B2C, Facebook, Instagram or Snapchat will be adapted to your target. If you are in B2B, there is LinkedIn and Twitter. Facebook can also be used for branding and email harvesting using targeted advertising.
So remember to secure your profiles by registering even if you are not going to use them immediately.
Build your list of registrants
Succeeding in your prospect acquisition strategy requires you to create a list of registrants. With your list, you will be able to build relationships of trust with your audience, share your latest content, do upseling. In other words, it can take them from a lower stage to a higher stage, from the cheapest product to the most expensive.
Creating your list of registrants will make THE difference and define your success.
Integrate an email marketing service
You will need to subscribe to an email service. It is with such a service that you will be able to create your list and manage your email campaigns without risking landing in your readers’ spam. The price ranges from the most accessible to the most expensive. A service like Mailerlite that I have been using for 2 years costs around 10 dollars for 2500 registrants.
To carry out your emailing strategy, you first need to capture the emails of your prospects. How to proceed ? It’s not complicated. See how to do it.
The easiest way is to create valuable content for free. It could be a white paper, a template, an Excel application, or some fun and useful little software. It depends on your profession and your target vote. Then, you integrate a landing page on your blog and direct your visitors to this page. When they want to download your free content, they have to leave their emails. Ban! These are emails you have captured.
Simple isn’t it?
If you don’t have a dedicated lead magnet and landing page yet, put an email capture opt-in on the side of your blog or at the end of the blog post with a strong call to action to force readers to leave their emails.
Initiate emailing sequences according to the profile and attitude of your visitors
To target medium-term sales, you need to set up a sales process. This sequencing phase will need a set of emails from the start of prospect acquisition to the sales phase.
To succeed in attractive email sequences, you need to infuse a flavor of copywriting. Copywriting is the art of writing content that sells. Not everyone has this skill. Even experienced writers need to learn it to use it well. If no one on your team has the required skills, you have two solutions: either train them or entrust them to a copywriter.
If the content of your email is rotten, you can say goodbye to your sales.
It is also essential to segment your audience. Not all registrants are created equal. One simple way is to focus on those who open, read, and click the links in your emails. For the remaining ones, you can decide to delete them from your email list.
Promote your content
You are an SME in bankruptcy if you think that producing your famous content will be enough to bring you traffic and conversions. You are going to have to go fishing. Your goal is that as many people as possible learn about your content. Promotion is the factor of success or failure in a content marketing strategy. Because what’s the point of creating content that nobody consumes? So you understand that you have to act.
Here is a list of actions to take:
- Share your content on your social networks;
- Advertise Facebook to increase views;
- Send the link of said content to influencers and kindly ask them to share if they find it interesting;
- Do guest blogging on high traffic sites viewed by your target;
- Interviews with influencers;
- Get talked about by other bloggers and influencers;
To avoid making an exhaustive list, become visible to those who matter to your business. You will win big.
Measure your actions
How do you know your actions are paying off? You simply have to measure your actions.
Examining metrics is not just about observing and appreciating. They are useful to help you rectify a negative trajectory and prevent you from going straight to failure.
Here are the metrics to consider:
- The number of views of your videos on YouTube, Facebook or LinkedIn;
- The number of shares of your content on social networks;
- The number of visitors to your business website;
- The number of reads of your articles;
- The number of times a link is clicked on the web. To do this, use a utility that shortens links. My favorite is Bitly, but there are others. You choose.
Getting started with content marketing will only bring you benefits … but it won’t happen overnight! Yes, you will be sad at first. It’s normal. This is still brand new to you. Each change always involves an adaptation period, so we will have to be patient. However, I assure you that if you put all of the tips in this article into practice, you are well on your way to leading your SME to success. While other SMEs are struggling to get by, you will get all the good customers and increase your turnover like never before.
So tell me: have you ever invested in content marketing? What has been your main obstacle so far? I look forward to hearing from you !