Content Marketing Tips For Small BusinessOnline content marketing is one of the easiest and most cost-effective ways to promote your small business and can include videos, blog posts, tweets, Facebook updates, articles and images.

Creating compelling content to attract new customers and retain existing ones can be easy, especially if you’re comfortable with your own ability to create relevant how-to articles or videos. Getting that content found and shared, however, can be a challenge.  Here are some tips to help your small business execute a successful content marketing strategy.

Plan for Success

Brainstorming with your staff is a great way to get the creative juices flowing.   Decide what you want to achieve through your content marketing and then come up with compelling topics. A good place to start this process is by going through your business and Web analytics to determine exactly what types of content your target audience is looking for. Are they active in the blogosphere, on Facebook or Twitter?

Create a Hook

Research shows that the typical user spends less than one minute on any given Web page so you should create content that “pops.” Start by giving your audience eye-catching graphics or a catchy title. It’s also a good idea to give them the thirty-thousand foot view before diving into the details. Be sure to use bolded titles and subtitles and bullet points to call attention to the important information and break up big blocks of text.

Optimize Your Content for Search Engines

Once you’ve created a compelling video or article, be sure to optimize it with highly-searched, relevant keywords to increase the chances that it will be found by people searching for it using search engines like Google and Yahoo. Include the keywords in your file names, titles, descriptions, tags, link text and body copy. You should include only highly relevant keywords for each piece of content you create.

Cultivate backlinks

Building backlinks to your content will make it appear more valuable and increase the chances that it will be searchable online. One way to create backlinks is to include a link to your content when you comment on other blogs or participate in online forums. Just be sure that your comments are relevant and add value to ensure that they aren’t seen as spam by search engines and users.

Include Social Sharing Options

Be sure to provide users with clearly defined social sharing options on your blog, website and articles. Don’t assume that users will share your content because they see the widgets and comment fields. Ask for feedback and engage with the people who do take the time to comment. This helps encourage others to comment and link.

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