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Content marketing is the white-hot marketing space right now.  Every marketer is working on content strategy and trying to figure out how to leverage the power of content to engage with consumers.  For small businesses, this new world of content marketing provides a massive opportunity by leveling the playing field to an extent and creating an environment where a savvy small firm can gain disproportionate levels of exposure.
The big question is how can a small business best jump into the content marketing game and be successful with limited resources?

Know your people

At the core of a good content marketing program is a clear understanding of your target audiences.  Don’t try to create content for everyone, identify your top two or three buyer types and focus on providing the most relevant content you can for those audiences.  

Tell a great story

Based on insight about each of your target buyers, create stories that appeal not just to the functional needs those buyers might have, but also to the underlying emotional needs.  For example, new parents aren’t just looking for a stroller with the right bells and whistles; they have underlying desires and emotions around safety, comfort and quality.  Spend a little extra time trying to understand what your customers want and need at a deeper level.  

Use the best tool for the job

When you know your audience and have a strong story your next challenge is determining which content types are best to tell that particular story.  It may be that a series of videos is the best way to communicate or it may be your customers want documentation and more technical detail.  This is also an opportunity to test different approaches to see what works best.  Keep it simple but recognize even a great story executed the wrong way will have a reduced impact.  

Keep it fresh

For a small business there is always a challenge creating a steady stream of new content.  No matter how often you create new content make sure that what you have out there is refreshed and current.  Materials that reference old product versions or dates need to be updated.  Consumers want to feel like they are getting the most recent information they can.  

Don’t overwhelm

More is not always better.  In fact, there is a growing frame of mind in the marketing world that some of the previous ideas about content and frequency and volume have created too much noise.  Increasingly marketers are focusing more on quality than quantity.  Provide relevant, interesting content less often and consumers may be more likely to engage.  
Creating and distributing content is easier than ever before so for a small business there has never been a better time to roll up your sleeves, create some content and engage new customers.  

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