This saying has been repeated for decades and refers to the investments business owners must make. One common cost of starting a business is money spent on advertising.
But decades ago advertising looked pretty different. I mean, do you remember marketing before the internet?
Today, there’s no shortage of digital marketing strategies, but I’m going to share my favorite with you: content creation.
You can significantly cut costs by investing your time in creating content for your audience. Some entrepreneurs have found that getting free/low-cost content in front of their audience even provided a higher ROI than paid advertisements.
Ready to grow your business with content creation? Keep reading.
5 tips to grow your business with content creation
Creating content allows your company to connect with your ideal audience. Whether you create blog content, post to social media, or write a weekly email newsletter, all this work can result in more traffic to your website. When people get to your website, they’ll learn even more about you and the products/services you have to offer—which translates to more sales.
If you’re ready to grow a business with content creation—whether it’s a part-time side gig or a social selling empire—here are some tips that can help.
1. Create a strategy
Having a content strategy is key. Otherwise, you’re going to waste your time—one of your most important and limited resources. Unfortunately, according to the Content Marketing Institute, over 20% of businesses do not have a strategy. Out of the 78% of businesses that do have a strategy, 60% of them do not have it documented.
Creating and documenting your strategy will ultimately save time and help track your goals, which will prove helpful when reviewing your analytics.
Creating your strategy is not only about figuring out how many times you’ll share a blog or post on social media each week. A strategy is going to tell you so much more, such as what type of content to create for your audience at each stage of the customer journey.
To create your strategy, ask yourself the following questions:
What is your mission?
What are your business goals?
Who is your audience? (Write down everything you know about them, including demographics and pain points.)
Where does your audience hang out? (This will help you narrow down which social media platforms you post your content on.)
What type of content is your audience most likely to consume? (Blogs, videos, case studies, courses, etc.)
How much time do I have to work on content creation?
How much money do I have to invest in content creation resources? (Content calendars, web hosting, the domain name(s), project management tools, etc. It’s important to note that many of these resources have free versions. That’s great news when you’re just starting out!)
2. Answer the question your ideal audience is asking
While you want to be passionate about the content you’re creating, you also want to make sure that it’s useful to potential customers.
Whenever someone considers spending money on a purchase or spending their time on reading content, the question that’s going through their head most often is: what’s in it for me?
Your ideal customer has wants, needs, and pain points that need to be addressed—needs that your product or service can address and potentially fix. Show your audience that you understand what they’re going through, that you have compassion for them, and that you really want to help them.
3. Do keyword and hashtag research
If you research and apply keywords to your blog posts, your audience will be able to find your business online more easily. The same goes for hashtags on social media.
Keywords are the words/phrases that people type into the Google search bar. Similarly, on social media, hashtags are used to find content the searcher is looking for. By following certain hashtags, users receive updates on those topics.
According to Databox.com, 70% of marketers find that SEO (search engine optimization) is more effective at driving sales to their business than pay-per-click advertising.
You can find numerous tools to help with keyword research. They’ll help you find the most relevant keywords to your topic and audience backed by data, so you don’t have to guess which words will drive more traffic to your website.
A content calendar will help you stay organized and on track. When starting out, you can use an Excel spreadsheet or free versions of project management software such as:
These resources can help you keep track of the content you create for each platform, from researching and writing to adding graphics and posting.
Batch writing your content and scheduling posts can help take some of the pressure off your content creation goals.
5. Create content for every part of your sales funnel
Blogs and social media posts can draw new people to your business. They can show people what your business stands for and help to build trust in your brand.
Those who have been following you for a while are those who read your content and may have even downloaded one of your lead magnets. They’re ready for the next step, perhaps investing time in a free webinar.
People at the bottom of your funnel trust and like you. You can use the direct approach with them because they are more inclined to make a purchase than someone at the top of your funnel who is just getting to know you.
Sales experience will help, too
Sales and marketing go hand-in-hand. Once you attract attention with your marketing content, your next step is to make the sale.
This part of the process is often one of the scariest for new business owners. One way to work through the fear is to practice.
Doing part-time work with a company like Vector can help you build valuable sales skills. The best part: you get all the training you need to be successful without a monetary investment. All we need is your time.
Working with Vector can help you improve your sales skills so that you feel as prepared as possible when you start your own company.