6 content marketing tips for the time-poor entrepreneur
There’s no point in beating around the bush – marketing your business takes time. In fact, it takes up a crazy amount of time (as in, you might think it's the only thing you ever do?!).
You know you’ve got to stay on top of your content marketing, because you want your business to grow, but it can be overwhelming because it’s no longer a case of paying for some ad space in a magazine and forgetting about it for three months. These days, we’re all trying to communicate with our customers by creating a relationship with them, and finding ways to have two-way conversations with them. This is the task of the modern-day business owner.
As it is with the relationships in our personal lives, it takes time to create relationships with your customers; to get to know them; to get them to talk back to you. It takes time and effort to come up with the exact right words and images to use on your website, newsletter, blog and social media. And, as fate would have it, time is the one thing you're probably a bit short on.
So, how can you make sure that every minute of your precious time is being put to good use? Here’s a few tips on how to get focused and get organised.
1. Get to know your own brand
Anything you do to gain focus and clarity will save you time in the long-term, so spend some real time on your company’s branding. Be sure of who you are and what you’re trying to achieve. Be rock steady on your business identity, voice, your image and personality. What is the heart and soul of your business? Progress and success always comes from having a clear vision. With this information in hand, it’s much easier for you to go out there and speak to people with confidence, and make decisions that will take your business in the direction you want it to go.
2. Get to know your audience
What do you know about your audience and how does it shape the way you communicate with them? Do you have a picture of your perfect customer in your mind when you create your social media posts or blogs? Find out what makes them tick, where they live, how they talk, what they talk about, what they need. All of this will help you to talk with them, identify with them, and be useful to them!
3. Get organised
The hardest part about content marketing is coming up with an actionable content plan. I’m talking about a plan that tells you what day to post content, how often, what it should say and who will do it. Without a plan, what tends to happen is you spend a lot of time flapping from one thing to the next, creating a blog here, a social media post there, going to one event, but forgetting about the next. It’s also impossible to delegate to someone else unless it’s written down with some structure around it. Arm yourself with spreadsheets, templates, lists, post-it notes, calendars – anything and everything you need to keep you on track and take the confusion out of what you’re doing on a day to day basis. Plan, my friends, plan!!!
4. Be the master of a few, not many
If you’re time-poor, you might not have the time to post a daily blog, send out a weekly newsletter, or be present on every single social media platform. Choose the few that you think will bring you the biggest results, and stick to those. Master them, and once you’re getting results, they’re flowing smoothly, and you’re working as efficiently as you can, then look to others.
Give your business a fighting chance to compete against all the other billions of websites out there, by making sure you have covered off the main SEO requirements for your website. You don’t know what SEO is or what you have to do? I’ll cover this off properly in another blog post, as it’s a topic worthy of much more space than this, but a few of the very basic things you can do to optimise your site are:
- Do some keyword research in Google Adwords Keyword Planner, to find out which keywords are trending in your line of business. If you want to know more, this is a really useful article that will tell you all about how to do keyword research: Beginner's Guide to SEO - Keyword Research
- Give each of your website pages a title tag, inserting keywords
- Give each of your website pages a meta description, inserting keywords here, too
- Use keywords in each page URL
- Use keywords in the alternative text behind each of your images (which will not show on your website)
- Make sure your website has plenty of content to help Google to find it. Around 300 words on each page is ideal
- Make sure your website is responsive, which means that it looks good and functions well on mobile and tablet as well as on desktop.
6. Use your analytics
For social media, Iconosquare is great to check out how you’re tracking on Instagram, and Facebook has a pretty effective Insights page that will tell you which posts are getting the most engagement. And have you installed Google Analytics and Google Webmaster Tools? As well as helping your site to become more searchable, they both hold a ton of information on how your website is performing and will help you to really figure out what is working and what isn’t. You can check on things like:
- Your bounce rate - is your homepage doing its job and engaging people immediately?
- Which content is most popular on your site or blog – you might see some surprising trends, and this will really help you to come up with future content ideas.
- How people are finding you: your social media might be driving large amounts of people to your website, which means you’re nailing it! But, perhaps you could focus more on getting more people to find your site through a Google search.
- What device most people are using to look at your site: if it’s mobile or tablet, then you definitely need to make sure your site is designed with a responsive template.
- Reader demographics – this is a great tool to help you build up that very useful picture of your customers.