State of Small Business Content Marketing in 2014 by BoostSuite

Content marketing is the creation and distribution of creative, relevant content that attracts your target audience. You should speak to them, their needs and how your product is their solution. Major holes exist in small business’ content marketing strategies. Here’s what the numbers say:

86% of small businesses don't use data to guide their content marketing efforts

81% of small businesses waste time creating different content for their different platforms (Webpage, social media, newsletters)

74% of small business marketers have never traded content with an online partner

As you can see an overwhelming majority of small businesses aren't allocating their resources to creating consistent, high quality content and are working within their own pillar instead of info-sharing.

Here are some tips for improving your content marketing strategy:

Set Your Goal
What is it you hope to achieve? Would you like to increase sales or brand awareness? Would you like to convert more visitors to buyers? Knowing what you hope to achieve will drive the creation of your content. A goal gives you a measure of success once you've published your content.

Speak to Your Audience
Pick your key demographic. You should know (or find out) what they are looking for. Generally, marketing strategies shouldn't assume all your customers think alike. But in content marketing pick your largest target market and direct your message to them.

Always Include a Call to Action
Don’t think of your content as an advertisement. Give your customers something to do within your content such as “Sign up for our latest newsletters here”, or “Check out our new products first here”. Calls to action help drive your goal.

Be Consistent and Integrate
Don’t feel the need to create different content for different platforms. In addition to wasting a considerable amount of time, you dilute your message in the process. The goal is to create high quality content that all of your customers need to read. So no matter how they access your content, they receive a clear message and their call to action.

Share your content on your social media. Post on your Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Google +, etc. Creating strong content increases your chances of spreading throughout these channels as customers are driven to share your message.

Find a Partner (Or More!)
Working with online partners plays a key role in optimizing your content. Partners share your content and help broaden your audience. Also, partners help generate backlinks to your site, which boosts your SEO. So find a relevant online partner and start sharing.

Content marketing is a prime example of working smarter, not harder. Taking the time to target, create and properly distribute content that drives interest and the need for your product is a sustainable way to grow your business.