understanding content marketing


Content is king. Ok great, but many small businesses still aren’t publishing content, regardless of how much emphasis is placed on it. A major reason for this is a lack of understanding content marketing, what content actually is, and the lack of an action plan to implement it. Before you click away let me tell you some things you don’t know:


  1. There are three genera of content on your website
  2. “Content” includes everything from a customer review to published case study, and everything in between.


So, if you’re confident your writing capabilities are on par with Shakespeare than feel free to scroll past, but if you’re like the rest of us and want to learn how to increase your understand of content marketing and development skills, then keep reading.



What Type of Content Are You Publishing?


Too many times customers think there is a “silver bullet” when it comes to website development and content marketing optimization when in reality it takes considerable time and effort (yup, it is hard). So, let’s take some baby steps and first discuss what content IS.  By understanding what content can exist on a website, it’s easier to implement a plan for creating and marketing that content.


content marketing for small business


Simply put, there are three main types of content:

1. Evergreen

2. Brand

3. Industry


Ultimately, any content on your website will fit into one of these categories and it’s important to have all of them represented on your site for optimal optimization. Each of these generas of content serve a specific purpose and should be created to serve a specific end goal.



What is Evergreen Content?


Evergreen content establishes topic relevance. This content is found on the basic landing pages, product pages, home page, etc. Essentially within a few seconds, a searcher can deduce what a website is about. Evergreen content essentially stays the same for a significant length of time: think facts. This content will still be true and usable weeks, months, and even years later. You get the most traction out of evergreen content because it’s reusable, recyclable, and always relevant.


It’ll save you time and money in the long run too because you won’t need to keep creating original content to use. Once you start posting some evergreen content, record how it performs so that way you’ll know which posts to re-publish in the future. Evergreen content needs to be industry specific, but it does not (and should not in most cases) need to be about your small business specifically.


Here are some evergreen content ideas to get you started:

• Product reviews

• How – to articles

• Product or system tutorials

• Informational posts (change over time articles, best tips articles, resource list articles)

• Q&A posts


The second action a viewer does is establish relevance rather quickly:

• Is it relevant to me?

• Does it meet my needs?


These questions are important because in order to be worth looking at, content must be relevant to the viewer and support whatever goal they have for searching. Evergreen content must answer these questions obviously and promptly, otherwise no one go deeper into your site.



What is Brand Content?


Brand content establishes your expertise in whatever space you have shown relevance. Reputation is conveyed in the brand content. This is usually unique content that sets your company apart from everyone else.


building brand value


For example, someone lands on a page about polar bears. There are polar bear press releases, case studies, and news articles. The searcher knows that this is a credible site that is full of valuable information that can answer their questions and educate them more on the topic. They have an expertise in that particular field, as demonstrated by all the valuable content on their website.


Think about what makes someone credible and trustworthy?  Those posted and published awards, press releases, reviews, and event updates tell you something about a website. That type of content also plays an important role in keeping a searcher on-site to learn and read more about that specific small business and how it’s different from the rest.


Once a visitor establishes that the website is relevant (via evergreen content), they want to know if it’s an authoritative source and represents a capable brand. If there is nothing to affirm this, you’re going to lose them before they even get to your industry content.



What is Industry Content?


Industry content is content that provides insight into your industry as a whole. This type of content can either be general pieces of educational information about changes, trends, and updates in your industry market or it can be your specific take on one of those topics.


Opinion pieces tend to do well because they engage the reader, and don’t be afraid to take a controversial stance on a popular topic! Controversial content tends to get more attention because of the human aspect in it. It will either draw people in who agree or attract those who disagree with your position. Either way, you’re getting web traffic!


What is your company’s unique perspective on the latest industry update? What conclusion have you drawn from The Big Guys newest research?  This kind of content shows you are real, you think, and you have opinions. Hopefully, since you’ll also have awesome brand content, those opinions will matter to others. Infographics, blog posts, and viewpoint articles comprise the majority of this content.


Keep in mind, not all your content may seem exciting. You’ll need to develop content marketing methods to gain traction through links, sharing, and buyer personas. This is also a sphere to have fun, go out on a limb, say something slightly controversial, or use cultural references to make your points. If you want people to read your content, you need to make it interesting and attention-grabbing.


In order to have a truly successful website, all three types of content must be represented on your website, usually in the order they appear here. Like a triangle, all three are needed to give support to a company’s message. If you lack in any of these areas, people will start to question your capabilities as a small business and move on.



In Conclusion


So, what the point here?


Get a plan. Now that you understand the kinds of content necessary for a website, you want to make sure you have an ongoing content development strategy. Websites are active, living, breathing things, and if you keep them static you are going to lose. Take a deep breath and dive in – go out there and start implementing your content marketing strategy!  Get creative, and cover each of these areas of content. Then, with a plan for content creation, build build build…continuously. Content is the backbone of search engine optimization and writing will attract the right customers to help you rank higher in those search engines.