Content Marketing: Engagement Tips for Small Businesses

BY: ON THURSDAY, SEPTEMBER 05, 2013

What kind of content marketing do you do for your small business? Whether you run a blog, maintain a social media presence, or write guest articles for your industry, the key to effective content marketing is engaging your readers. You need to provide interesting, informative, or entertaining content that not only keeps your audience coming back for more—but also converts them into customers.

How can you make sure that your visitors actively seek out your content, and share it with friends? These four tips will help you drive engagement and improve ROI for your content marketing campaigns.

Brand Your Content Writing

Just as you work to build a brand for your small business that helps people easily identify with your company, you should make sure you’re creating a brand for your content marketing. Maintain a consistent voice and style across all your content channels—you may want to accentuate your company’s sophistication, or keep things light with a sense of humor.

There are several ways to create a content brand. You can develop your own voice, create a style guide for staff that works on content creation, or even work with a freelance writer to help establish your style.

Keep the Content Coming

Developing a few highly interesting and popular articles for your website can help you draw more visitors—but they won’t keep coming back to read the same few articles. You need to be able to follow up with new content on a regular basis. The same strategy applies for social media content. If your Facebook page or Twitter feed isn’t active, your fans and followers will stop checking in.

You don’t have to publish extensive new content every day. Adding to your blog or website archive even once a week can help maintain your traffic flow. Social media updates should be more frequent, but they’re also much shorter and easier to write.

Another plus to generating regular new content is that search engines will rank your website more favorably in search results.

Extend Your Content to Multiple Channels

The more people you can reach with your content, the better results you’ll see. If your small business is on several social media networks, you’ll be able to get your message in front of more people.

It can be hard to keep multiple networks updated. The good news is that when you’re generating fresh content on a regular basis, you’re creating an easy way to keep your social media channels active—you can post links to Facebook, Twitter, and Google+ every time you publish new content, and draw more readers to your website or blog.

For added cross-channel marketing strength, make sure you have social media sharing buttons posted at the end of each piece of content on your website.

Talk Back to Your Readers

One of the easiest ways to drive engagement—that is often neglected—is responding to comments. When your readers take the time to leave a genuine comment on your blog or social media pages, they’re giving you an opportunity to convert them. Don’t waste it by ignoring comments because you “don’t have time.”

Another big mistake many small businesses make is not responding to negative comments. Unless the comment is outrageous and obviously not meant to be taken seriously, you should reply as soon as possible to customers or prospects who have complaints. Ask what you can do to resolve the situation—and if you manage to satisfy them, you’ll impress not only the person with the complaint, but everyone else who is tuned in to your content.

What can you do to engage your readers?

About the Author

Melissa Rudy
Melissa Rudy is a regular contributor to ChamberofCommerce.com.  She also runs a freelance writing business called Words by Melissa in Cincinnati, Ohio. She specializes in web content, articles, blog posts, whitepapers, press releases, emails, social media, and other marketing text. Before starting her freelancing business in '07, Melissa worked in ecommerce (5+ years) and technical writing (3+ years). She has a degree in English Literature & Journalism from the University of Cincinnati.
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