Content creation is a key part of a flourishing business. Great content is a way of connecting with your audience and building a community. Here at SoVerve Marketing Group, small business content creation is our expertise – it’s something we’re passionate about, which is why we’re so proud of our content marketing services.
Even if you’re not a content marketing expert, you can still produce a substantial amount of content in a short time. In fact, with good planning, you can outline six months’ worth of content in under an hour.
Don’t believe us? Read on!
Why Content Mapping is Crucial to Marketing
Sure, you can write content without mapping out the content first, but why would you? Without content mapping, there’s no cohesion to your marketing. You run the risk of sharing the wrong content at the wrong time or to the wrong audience – even if it’s a great individual piece of content, without being tied into a strategy it could fall flat.
Content mapping is about aligning your content with your prospective client’s journey. Their needs are going to change depending on their stage on that journey, whether it’s pre-awareness, consideration or decision.
Thorough content mapping is what makes content marketing for small businesses stand out and feel personalized for your customers. Having a clear path also paves the way for you to be more creative with your content writing – and that’s the fun part, isn’t it?
Step 1 | Determining Content Buckets or Categories
Content buckets are the main themes that you can identify around your business. This could be what interests your audience or subjects they need to know about. Imagine the questions that float through clients’ minds – how would you group them?
Your content buckets should correlate clearly with your business’s services or products. Review your marketing goals and current content marketing to see what topics you are sharing with your customers and how these could be communicated. Common buckets include ‘success stories’, ‘product information’, ‘customer questions’, ‘service information’ or ‘identifying needs’, but they vary depending on business.
Some of your buckets might be bigger than others and over time you might need to review them based on engagement and audience feedback. But having them in place from the beginning makes content creation much easier.By reviewing your marketing goals and current content marketing efforts, you will create better content buckets for your audience.Click To Tweet
Step 2 | Determine Relevant Holidays and Events
Once you’ve created your buckets, have a look at any relevant holidays and events that lend themselves to great content. Consider peak sales holidays, months and seasons. Christmas, Black Friday and Cyber Monday are obvious ones if you sell products; if you provide B2B services how about the start of the tax year as that’s when many reevaluate business plans?
You’ll be amazed at how quickly the six months fill up with these events. These then provide some great inspiration for content marketing for small business, as you can brainstorm related ideas. Once you start working backward from the key dates to schedule posts, you’ll find that you’ve got more ideas than you have time for!
Step 3 | Research Topics and Keywords
Yup, the next phase is research. Thorough research is the greatest gift you can give yourself in planning content. Think about all the questions, comments and feedback you’ve received from your community. Are there any topics that come up regularly? What seems to generate the most engagement?
It’s also worth considering the highest ranking keywords in your niche. Obviously, you want your content to be findable as well as interesting and learning more about high-ranking keywords will help you bring more people to your content and offer you some inspiration along the way.
Once you’ve got a good picture of topics and keywords, you can start filling your buckets and your calendar with content ideas.
Step 4 | Generate Monthly Themes
One of the simplest ways to plan out content quickly is to create monthly content themes around sales events or launch campaigns. This makes the creation process so much easier as you have clear parameters to work within each month. Having a monthly theme results in a coherent message for your content marketing.
This sense of unity makes your content much more impactful as your clients or potential customers since the link between posts and feel more engaged in your output. Brainstorming content creation is also much more streamlined if you’re working within specific themes.
Your monthly themes could revolve around holidays, of course, if that makes sense for your business. You might also have upcoming launches or sales events that you want to build towards. Similarly to how you work with holidays like Black Friday, you can work backward from there to map out your content and your months will fill up quickly.
Additionally, if you’re outlining six months’ worth of content marketing for your small business, you only need to think of six themes and you’re over halfway there already. Not so time-consuming, right?
Step 5 | Create a Posting Schedule
Once you’ve brainstormed your topics and themes, your final step is to create a posting schedule that is achievable and realistic (no point in beating yourself up about missing targets), while based on your marketing goals and objectives.
Think about what you want to achieve with your content creation. It could be more engagement on social media, converting leads or tangible sales; whatever it is, make sure your posts are scheduled to make this happen. They need to be consistent across all your channels and there should be a clear ‘flow’ between different content.
Weave the lead-up to events and holidays smoothly into your updates, informational posts, and authentic shares to create a schedule that’s both varied and cohesive.
Trust us, content marketing doesn’t need to be time-consuming. One hour’s outlining and you’ll have such a clear path that you’ll feel like a real content marketing expert as you create engaging and consistent content to build your community and client base.