Some say content marketing is only for people with deep pockets, and that short of creating Star Wars, you’ll struggle to make an impact. We happen to disagree.
Over the past three years, we’ve been diligently working with SMBs to find success with content marketing via our products, our blog, a Meetup series, and endless conversations with clients as well as subject matter experts. The results of this work have added up the lean content marketing ideology, which is the practice of optimizing content strategies in order to create the highest impact with the smallest amount of time and resources.
Now more than ever, SMBs are in need of lean content marketing strategies. It’s for this reason that we’ve put together this 85+ page ebook containing all of the information needed to make that happen. This handbook is a combination of original, curated, and repurposed content coming from the Scoop.it blog and its contributors, the Scoop.it team, and more than 15 experts in the content marketing space.
Lean Content: Why 2015 will be the year SMBs embrace content marketing
Pre-Internet, the media belonged to the giants with deep pockets. Now, though, it’s easier than ever for anyone to become a publisher, leading to a vast sea of noise in which it has become next to impossible to stand out. It’s because of this that the new trend of lean content marketing has emerged: SMBs who are able to develop an online presence with positive ROI by means of clever publishing can now succeed.
If this sounds complicated, don’t fret. It has actually never been easier for SMBs to become media. Why?
- Now is the time of the niche media. Those able to define a specific editorial line within a niche market are less likely to be overshadowed by the larger players who tend to be, by essence, more generalist.
- There now exists a rich spectrum of SaaS-based software solutions to help small businesses succeed without having to spend an arm and a leg.
- The practice of content curation allows marketers to leverage the abundance of content already in existence, enrich it with insight, and share it in a contextual way, effectively rising above the noise and generating measurable results.
The Lean Content Marketing Handbook for SMBs will guide you through the concrete steps to take now and deliver ROI from your content strategy. Here’s how:
- Align content marketing goals with business objectives of the company
- Define an editorial line, content genres, and target personas
- Plan your resources in order to squeeze the highest potential impact out of them
The ability to define and understand a target audience and deliver content accordingly is crucial. If done correctly, your content should solve the same problem that your product solves, albeit on a different level.
Barry Feldman, content strategist and founder of Feldman Creative, says that “the formula to achieve each of your content marketing goals is to get inside the minds of prospective customers and figure out what questions they have. Answer them. Do it proactively and regularly.”
Doing this regularly, though, can add up:
It’s because of this that planning resources and how to get the highest impact out of them with the least amount of spend is extremely important. There are tactics that SMBs can use in order to reduce the cost of content without sacrificing the impact:
- Using curated content as a part of your marketing mix
- Using software and tools to optimize your productivity and that of your team
Build the foundations of your content strategy
- Build and integrate a content hub with your website
- Isolated social media publishing is dead; social media distribution is not
- Landing pages and inbound marketing to help generate demand
- Email marketing and marketing automation to help distribution and lead nurturing
Publishing at scale with limited resources
- Invent a captivating introduction
- Include an attention-grabbing image
- Cite outside data or information
- Present content in an easy-to-read format
Content curation, contribution & outsourcing
It’s not all about creation, though. Content curation is a proven way to scale content volume while maintaining quality.
- assembling several posts into an ebook or white paper
- designing a SlideShare presentation
- narrating and recording slides and creating a YouTube video
- rewriting the ideas into a new post
- using the post as a chapter in a book or customer guide.”
- Synchronize your owned channels
- Leverage existing channels
- Run paid media campaigns
According to Ian Cleary, founder of RazorSocial, warns, “there is so must content available you will not succeed unless you get your content to stand out among your competitors…you need to allocate time to promote it because great content just sits on the shelf without the relevant promotion.”
SMBs should leverage social media, email marketing, and even existing communities and publishing sites to gain higher distribution for their content.
Convert through Content
- Turn readers into contacts by collecting information
- Create landing pages and content for lead generation
- Create content for lead nurturing and social selling
- Measure the output (the investment)
- Use analytics to measure the performance of your content
- Use Google Analytics to measure progress on brand awareness
- Measure thought leadership through pingbacks and social mentions
- Track conversions with Google Analytics
- Track your SEO progress with tools like Moz or SEMRush
So why, you may be wondering, should you choose to read this handbook over all of the other useful and informative guides out there? Because this is the first one that is focused strictly on SMBs and companies wo are on a budget but still reliant on content marketing. 2015 is the year of the SMB and we are ready to help those businesses succeed.
If you’re ready to jump into a lean content marketing strategy, to create processes that allow time and resources to be saved while making the same, if not more, of an impact, and to measure ROI and finally prove the value of content marketing, we’re here to help you get started.
Tell us what you think in the comments: how can we help you make the most of your content marketing?