Maybe your small business is already focusing on content marketing, and maybe it’s not. Either way, content is still king and 2014 is the time to either figure out what it’s all about and jump in or adjust your strategy to be more effective. Let’s take a look at small business content trends for 2014 to get some ideas to strive for.
The measure of success
Small businesses not currently measuring ROI should start tracking metrics in 2014. Without tracking, there’s no way to measure success. With so many organizations using social media to promote their brands, you need to know that your strategy is working and you aren’t just spending time making noise.
For those companies who are tracking their ROI, the focus needs to shift from web traffic stats to more meaningful metrics like conversions. Paying attention to downloads and viable leads that come in from social media should be more important than just measuring engagement. It’s time to think about what potential customers are doing once they get to your site from Twitter. Conversation is great, but social media is a marketing tool, and it also needs to drive business.
More focus on the customer
As more and more brands jump into social media, customers are getting better at tuning yours out. Content needs to be even more focused on what customers need and expect from a company. Without that, your audience will lose interest. Content needs to get more personal. Businesses need to find their niche and focus on appealing to the needs and expectations of their customers, offering them something they cannot find anywhere else. And trust me, they can find push marketing somewhere else.
Finding a niche involves both truly understanding and defining what your small business excels at and a focus on exactly who your customer is. It will also likely come with narrowing down the platforms you’re using for content and making sure you’re on the right ones reaching the right audience.
New ways to engage
Your connected consumer is always on, and your small business needs to be as well in order to keep up. Think real-time updates, live tweeting and Twitter chats. Content will still be automated to a certain degree, but there will be a shift to more organic conversation, using hashtags to create natural buzz and offering a personal experiences for your audience around your brand.
As small businesses focus more on their customers and customer experience with their brand, finding new and meaningful ways to engage will be a natural result.
If small businesses haven’t gone mobile yet, 2014 is the year to do it. The mobile internet is going to surpass fixed internet access in 2014. Small businesses can’t afford to put off mobility. That means your small business has a responsive website, maybe a mobile app and you’ve looked into using SMS campaigns, QR codes and location based marketing, to get you started on some ideas. Start with your website and work your way up from there.
Content marketing is growing up; it’s no longer just a buzzword. It’s not easy, it isn’t free and it takes time, which means you need a content strategy to maximize your ROI. With all the changes in tools and customer expectations, it’s more important than ever for small businesses to have a well-defined content strategy. The post and hope method is a waste of time, and your small business probably doesn’t have time to waste.
Content marketing has been around for a long time. The tools may change, but the idea of getting customers to engage with your brand remains the same. The content trends for small businesses in 2014 aren’t all that much different from those of 2013 or 2012, but now is your chance to reevaluate your efforts and put the focus on how you can use content marketing more effectively for the the coming year.
Not sure how to get started? We’d love to help.