We don’t mean to beat a dead horse here, but today it’s more true than ever that content is king. When it comes to online lead generation for your small business, content marketing still ranks as one of the most effective (and cheapest tools) to build brand credibility and drive traffic to your site. So if your online traffic has been waning, now is the time to start looking at how you can boost your online presence by revamping your content strategy. Here are a few ideas to get you started.

1. Add visual content to your content marketing strategy.

Often when business owners think about content marketing, strictly text-based content is what comes to mind. However, video and images play a huge role in generating more leads.

Studies show that by the year 2017, as much as 69 percent of web traffic will be attributed to video content. Not only does visual content help get your message across quickly on your website, but it generates high engagement on social media platforms like Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn.  Not to mention image-centric platforms like Instagram, Pinterest and Snapchat are becoming social media staples as well.

To work visual content into your content marketing strategy, test different types of video and images on your website and on social media. Whether it’s video product reviews or a quick tutorial video, implementing video content and visuals into your website and social platforms is sure to have a positive impact on your audience engagement.

2. Leverage email to share your content.

The key to getting noticed as a small business and staying top of mind with potential customers is to keep in touch – and email makes it easy and inexpensive to do just that.

We’ve said it before, but we’ll say it again: email marketing is more relevant today than ever. Make sure you’re not only optimizing your site to capture contact information, but that you have a solid email strategy in place to use that contact information.

That’s where email nurturing comes in. With a solid email nurturing strategy, you can send relevant, well-timed content to your list.  Sharing content through email provides value and builds trust with your audience. It also drives engaged prospects back to your website, where – if your website is well-optimized – they’ll convert to a customer.

A well-planned email nurturing strategy paired with your content marketing strategy will help to keep your company top of mind, grow customer loyalty for your brand and generate more leads in the long term.

3. Build a blog (and keep it updated).

You can’t mention content marketing for lead generation without the mention of a blog. A blog is essential to helping your website rank in organic search on popular search engines like Google and Bing, driving top-of-funnel leads to your site.

But you can’t just create a “Blog” tab on your site and forget about it. Like all the tools we’ve listed in this post, you need to have a solid content calendar in place to maintain a regular cadence of new posts. First, a site that is updated with good content on a regular basis gives search engines a reason to crawl your website – and improve your ranking for the search terms that are important to your business.  In addition, fresh new content on your blog means you have something new to share with your audience, whether you’re building a new email campaign or schedule posts for social medial.

At Hatchbuck, we’ve seen incredible success with our blog (duh – we’ve got you reading it!). We strive to create content that not only educates our prospects and current customers on all things marketing, leadership and small business, but also allows visitors to learn more about all of Hatchbuck’s capabilities for small businesses.

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4. Take advantage of social media with your content marketing strategies.

Social media makes it easy to get the word out about your business; that’s is no secret. But on top of that, the most popular social media outlets like Facebook and Twitter can be an excellent way to elevate your lead generation strategy. By sharing blog posts, newly uploaded videos, and webcast announcements via social media, you’re not only educating your followers but driving relevant, engaged traffic to your site.

Adding a social element to your content marketing is a must. At Hatchbuck, we’re big fans of curating outside content from partners and other stellar brands through our social platforms. We do a lot of reading in the small business space, and we feel that our social channels should be a fantastic go-to resource for small business owners. There’s so much killer content out there that it’s often hard to sift through the noise – our goal is to do that for small business owners who don’t have the time.

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In the end, the effectiveness with which you handle your content marketing can be the secret to lead generation success for your small business – so don’t let strategy fall by the wayside. The time is now to build your small business content strategy.