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Grow Your Business Sales & Marketing

4 Tips for Effective Content Marketing

content marketing, advertising
Your content marketing strategy should include more than just sharing links on social media. / Credit: Content marketing image via Shutterstock

If your small business has a website, it's likely that you have some kind of outlet for digital content creation, such as a blog or a video channel. In order to drive traffic to your content, you probably post images and links to it on your business' social networking sites. But what do you do after those links are published?

All too often, small business owners stop their content marketing strategy after the link-sharing phase. However, a lot happens between the time a potential customer views a brand's online content and makes a purchase. David Greschler, CEO of publishing and content engagement platform PaperShare, urged business owners to have a solid marketing strategy if they're producing any kind of digital content.

"Data suggests that people are about 70 percent through their buying decision process before they reach out to a vendor," Greschler told BusinessNewsDaily. "They're consuming content before that. From a sales perspective, you need to find out how your content is performing and who's looking at it during that 70 percent so you can reach out to them first."

[CMS: Content Management Systems & Software]

Whether it's an infographic, a blog post or a video, you can follow these four tips from Greschler for effective content marketing:

Know your "why." When a customer views your content, he or she is showing intent to look at your company's product or service and possibly purchase it. Therefore, it's important to measure not only how your social channels are doing in terms of likes and retweets, but also how many people are viewing the content you share. Once you have that data, figure out what you're going to do with it and why. What are your key objectives? How will you turn these viewers into customers?

Be helpful instead of just informative. The content you create and share might provide a wealth of information about your company or product, but that's not necessarily going to engage or excite a viewer. People are looking for answers to bigger problems when they look up your company, so make sure your content is both informative and helpful to consumers. Instead of just giving them that hard sell and saying, "Here's how much it costs," include tips and things to look for when trying to solve these problems.

Be accountable. Especially in small companies, content marketing can really help sales. As a business owner, you need to measure your return on investment (ROI) to show your team and/or investors that you're accountable for meeting your business goals. Your content marketing strategy should tie all your efforts together, showing what you're going to do, how it's going to get to people, how many people it actually reached and how many of those people turned into sales.

Promote a variety of content. The content you've created isn't the only thing you can use to attract people. If there's a great article written about you on another site, share it. If there's a helpful piece related to the problem your company is solving, promote that, too. Your customers look to you as a trusted adviser; show that you're engaged in the community by providing a variety of content from other sources.

Originally published on BusinessNewsDaily.

Nicole Fallon

Nicole received her Bachelor's degree in Media, Culture and Communication from New York University. She began freelancing for Business News Daily in 2010 and joined the team as a staff writer three years later. She currently serves as the managing editor. Reach her by email, or follow her on Twitter.