Syed Balkhi is the co-founder of OptinMonster.

Content marketing is a buzzword these days. According to the Content Marketing Institute, over 89 percent of brands use content marketing to grow their business. And in so many ways, content marketing is especially important for small businesses.

As a small business, you may not have massive budgets to invest in advertising or other expensive marketing tactics to grow your brand. If you want to grow your brand with limited resources, content marketing is the best bet for you.

If your company is not using proper content marketing strategies, you're missing out on a fresh opportunity to grow your brand.

Let's take a look at how to use content marketing to grow your brand.

Start With a Content Strategy

According to the Content Marketing Institute's 2017 benchmarks, lack of strategy is one of the biggest reasons why content initiatives fail. However, only 37 percent of B2B marketers have a documented content strategy.

It goes without saying that if you don't have a strategy, it's likely that you'll experience significant challenges in implementing content marketing tactics.

To build a content marketing strategy, you'll need to define your goals that you'd like to achieve and check if the content you produce is in line with your goals. You'll also want to review your existing channels of communication and make an audit on everything you've been publishing on those channels.

Streamline Your Content Marketing Process

One of the biggest struggles for content marketers is to constantly produce engaging content that your customers will enjoy. Streamlining your content marketing efforts helps you to be fast and efficient in producing content. Below are a few tips that will help you streamline your content marketing process.

  • Define team roles: Whether you're a small team or a publishing powerhouse, clearly defining team roles keep everyone on the same page. It helps you delegate the right roles for each on your team so that you can set clear expectations for the entire team.
  • Plan an editorial calendar: Brainstorm your content ideas in advance and plan out your editorial calendar so you can keep campaigns on track of what you are creating when you need to create and when it needs to be published.
  • Repurpose: Many bloggers fall into the trap of believing that more content is always better. Not necessarily. In addition to creating new content, you can make most out of your existing content by repurposing it and publishing it on different channels.

Build a Reputation

Building a reputation is one of the best ways to grow your brand. When you have a strong reputation in the marketplace, it is easy to encourage your potential customers to put their trust in you and become loyal to you. This way you can also influence purchase decision of your potential customers.

One way to establish an authority and reputation is by publishing high-quality content regularly on your site addressing the needs of your potential customers. This way you can show your customers that you're a trusted authority in your industry, and they can easily turn to your site whenever they have questions about your industry.

The tips below will help you to build a reputation and to make your site a useful go-to resource for your prospects.

  • Create buyer personas so you can get a clear idea about who you're targeting with your content.
  • Map your personas to different phases of the customer life cycle so that you can address the concerns of your customers in various phases with your content.
  • Use keyword research to identify what your buyers are looking for. When creating content, ensure that you speak the same language of your customers.

Analyze Your Progress

Analyzing your progress allows you to identify how well your content marketing efforts are performing in terms of growing your brand. To analyze the progress of your campaigns, you need to gather various key metrics from your company's website that give you insights into referrer sources, onsite behavior, navigational and exit paths of each visit.

This way you can identify the drawbacks of your content marketing campaigns so you can fix them and build on your momentum.

Content marketing is critical irrespective of the size of your business. With the above tips, you can build a reputation, attract new customers and grow your brand.  

Syed Balkhi is the co-founder of OptinMonster, a conversion rate optimization software.

Published on: Nov 9, 2017