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There is no question that the current health and economic crisis has shifted priorities for small businesses. However, one priority above all remains unchanged, and this creates a healthy bottom line. Profit isn't the only priority, of course, but it's a major focus. Staying profitable means staying in business, and that usually means marketing.
As a small business owner, with all that changes around you on a daily basis, how can you maximize your business’s marketing efforts while taking into account changing consumer expectations, economic downturns and startups, and different buyer behavior?
Related: Why You Hurt Your Bottom Line When You Only Care About The Bottom Line
Content marketing remains one of the most effective ways to achieve your marketing goals. To succeed in content marketing in this new economic environment, you need to think creatively about content, how to create it, where to post it, and how to promote it. Consider these eight ways to improve your content marketing game right now.
1. Start with a funnel-based content review
Do a content review for your brand that takes into account the stages of your brand's sales funnel. For each stage in your sales funnel, your content should speak specifically to the prospects there. What does this target group need to know? What do you have to do to take them step by step to the next level? Review existing content related to this funnel so you know where the existing gaps are. This will tell you where to focus your energies and prioritize your efforts.
2. Explore the internal content features
Thanks to advances in technology, creating all kinds of great content assets for your brand has never been easier or easier. You may also have an unrated talent among your existing team members. Taking and editing pictures, short videos, blogs, white papers – everything can be done in-house and you don't need a huge financial investment to make such content a reality.
3. Hire a freelancer
Or go the other way around and hire a freelancer to deliver quality content to your prospects. You don't necessarily have to agree to a long-term, frequent-use contract. One blog post per week or month, or one whitepaper per quarter, may provide the competitive edge you need to convert more users into paying customers.
Related: 9 Ways To Support Your Local Economy During A Crisis
4. Take a fresh look at storytelling
Storytelling in marketing has evolved from a catchphrase to a tested strategy. Now is the time to start looking for better, smaller stories – not just the big, great founder story you've already told, but quick reports from employees, prospects, customers, and even the entire community, including influencers.
Incorporate these stories into new content. Which stories help you to counter setbacks from your perspective? Consider whether you will receive testimonials from satisfied customers over the phone and then integrate them into video, graphic and written content.
5. Use existing content (harder)
Review your analytics for your website and social media accounts and identify the top performing and most popular content. Then look for ways you can reuse that content and extend its useful life. Update old stories to keep their SEO punch. Expand blog posts into white papers. Combine images into infographics. Do case studies on episodes of a podcast. You are only limited by your imagination.
6. Let yourself be animated
The reality of the current health crisis can make it unsafe to put people right next to each other. So making videos can be a real challenge, if not impossible. Instead, explore animated demo and explanation videos.
Agencies can create dynamic, visually engaging, and very compelling videos for your brand. And these days, video marketing is no longer optional. No other content medium is so full of potential to promote your message and keep it landing with your potential customers.
Related Topics: How to Reward Employees in Unstable Times
7. Loosen up on social
If you weren't sure about your approach to social media, consider brightening up and making your personality shine. Lots of brands crush it on social media with a little personal flair. Check out brands like Wendy and MoonPie on Twitter or the National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum in Oklahoma City on Instagram.
Yes, it is possible that you rub a few people wrong, but the ones that resonate with your brand and mission might love you even more.
8. Show your audience that you are still there
Digital marketing efforts should be aimed at getting your potential customers to join your list so that you can initially segment those subscribers in a way that makes sense for your product / service. Then send them customized messages encouraging them to go down your funnel. Make sure to add calls-to-action and lead capture forms to your best content. You can also think about how to apply the first seven tactics to your email marketing efforts.
At least use your list to get your content known to your existing audience. Send links when you have new blog posts, videos, white papers, and important conversations or topics on social media to share.