By Emily Suess

Content marketing still gets a lot of attention when it comes to generating leads and sales for your small business. While it may seem like big business is dominating in the area of content marketing, it’s just as effective for small businesses, too. The trick is formulating a plan to help you tailor the content you’re putting on the web. Fifty blog posts that get real attention are always better than 500 blog posts no one bothers to look at.

1. Produce Content for Your Target Audience

Let’s say you’re a B2B business providing cleaning services for other small businesses. Sure you could probably make a few dollars providing residential cleaning services, too. However, unless that group is part of your previously identified target market, it will detract from your overall marketing efforts to produce content for a new audience. Ideally, every piece of content you create is written solely for your target audience in accordance with your marketing plan.

2. Entice Your Audience with a Freebie

For new businesses it sometimes takes a little enticing to get people to look into your product or service. This can be accomplished by offering a content freebie. Many freelance and self-help business owners do this by offering a free download with expert tips. Others give away helpful information on their blog. Some provide valuable information to potential shoppers using a number of different methods. Giving away a freebie is one of many ways you can demonstrate your industry expertise and reduce the risk first-time customers might feel when working with someone new.

3. Master the First Impression

Never produce content with the intention of “just getting it out there” and promising yourself you’ll fix it later. For one thing, the odds that you’ll go back to freshen up existing content are very slim. But the more important thing to remember is that first impressions are everything. The content you produce needs to be the very best you can possibly make it. It needs to grab your audience’s attention, be professional, and have a very clear purpose.

4. Create Content for Specific Goals

If you have a goal to publish 100 blog posts this year, you’re not doing your small business any favors. This goal is at least a measurable goal, but that’s about all that can be said for it. When you generate content with a very specific purpose, it’s bound to be more effective. For example, image the difference in posts you’d create for the following goals:

  • Post to Twitter 3 times daily.
  • Generate 3 new leads each week by posting links to our downloadable content on Twitter.

5. Keep an Editorial Calendar and Stick to Your Deadlines

Finally, create an editorial calendar. With this master timeline you can stay on track of content production by giving yourself or your marketing team deadlines. Without deadlines things tend to slip through the cracks, and you won’t reach your goals without holding your team accountable for getting content out there in front of your target audience.

What content marketing tips would you add to this list?