Content marketing, a growth driver for SMEs

 

Content marketing is a growth lever for your notoriety and sales, which consists in creating and distributing content that is informative, fun, relevant and with high added value for your audience. It helps to create interest and empathy for your company.

 

A real underlying trend in recent years, the content marketing is increasingly adopted by SMEs who wish to echo their brand on social networks and gain notoriety. In its application, a content strategy can take different forms and can have multiple medium-term objectives.

 

In all cases, the ultimate ambition is to create new business opportunities by attracting suspects, converting them into prospects and turning them into committed and loyal customers. With content marketing, your brand becomes its own media.

 

How to build an effective content marketing strategy?

 

Studying your environment, identifying your targets and understanding their behaviours

 

80% of decision-makers in b2b feel more concerned by companies that support them in their decision-making processes, in particular thanks to informative articles published on your website.

 

Establishing a content creation and distribution strategy implies knowing the environment in which your company operates. To do this, you need to study the behaviour of your competitors in order to draw inspiration from them and get an idea of the practices that work:

  • What types of information do they share?
  • In what form?
  • Do these publications create engagement with prospects?

 

Beyond your competitors, it is essential for you to know your targets, your prospects and to establish the profiles of your buyers personas. This is a key point of content marketing. A content must always be addressed to one of your personas. This information allows you to understand the behaviour of your prospects and to identify what influences their experience, their journey and their buying decision.

  • Who are they?
  • What are their problems?
  • How do they communicate?
  • What are their main sources of information?
  • Who do they trust to find out about a company?
  • How do they make an opinion in order to make a purchasing decision?

 

Define measurable, realistic and time-bound objectives.

 

Necessarily adapted to your targets and your company's environment, the content you will broadcast differs according to the objectives you wish to achieve.

You will not have the same discourse and will not communicate on the same media depending on whether you want to generate leads, educate your prospects, or develop your e-reputation.

 

The management of your e-reputation implies a very strong presence and reactivity on social networks, while the education of your prospects is a long-term process, requiring the elaboration of built scenarios, in which you will chain the production and distribution of high value-added content. These contents will be published on your website to be then pushed on social networks and in your emailing campaigns.

 

Lead generation, on the other hand, most often involves the creation of content with high informational added value, white papers or the publication of case studies calling for the validation of a contact form in exchange for access to information.
These objectives will also influence your editorial charter and schedule as well as the frequency of your publications.

 

Choose the themes to be addressed to attract the attention of your prospects, the tools and media to be used for dissemination

 

68% of buyers spend more time researching a brand if it provides content that is useful to them.

 

In a content marketing strategy the most important thing is the quality of the content. It is on it that everything - or almost everything - is based. That's why it must be worked with relevance. Your content must capture the attention of your targets and build trust for your brand.

You must position yourself as a reliable source of information and be identified as an expert in your field. The aim here is to assert your authority on the subject being discussed.

 

To do this, you must:

  • Broadcast messages that answer and anticipate your prospects' questions: if one person is asking the question, then there are probably hundreds of them.
  • Intervene on themes broader than your own activity: don't adopt a self-centred discourse, take an interest in what is happening elsewhere, bounce back on current events, highlight the success of your employees.
  • Adopt a discourse in line with the communication codes of your prospects: length of the messages you broadcast, tone, vocabulary, expressions... establish an editorial charter adapted to your audience so that your discourse is easy to understand, clear and limpid.
  • Vary the illustrations in your messages. More and more, communication is based on images. Illustrate your words with images, gifs, videos, computer graphics. They are an additional opportunity to grab the attention of your audience.

 

Set up an editorial calendar

 

To achieve the goals you have set, your content marketing strategy will need to be precise.

The editorial calendar allows you to plan your publications over a given period of time. You will then have an overview of your action plan, which will allow you to adjust your schedule to ensure :

  • the diversity of your speech, by alternating the themes addressed,
  • vary the nature of the content (texts, images, videos, computer graphics)
  • the distribution of your messages so as not to bore your listeners
  • the regularity of your publications,
  • the consistency of your speech.

The editorial calendar is not fixed and evolves according to the impact you get from your previous publications.

 

Take care of the natural referencing of your content

 

Producing quality content is not enough to make it appear on the first page of Google. It is also necessary to think in terms of keywords and optimize it so that it is ranked in the first lines of search engines.

 

Work on the title of your article, fill in the meta description, work on the semantics. For each subject, focus on the first 10 Google results. If they are well positioned, it's probably because the editor has done his evening homework!

 

Analyze & adjust

 

76% of B2B marketers say they are satisfied with the impact of Content Marketing.

 

You must be able to measure the impact of your Content Marketing strategy: number of interactions received by your publications on social networks, engagement rate, number of contacts obtained following your article...

 

Setting up analysis tools will allow you to assess the quality of your action plan and adjust it, if necessary. You will then be able to try out new content (new themes, new formats), new publication schedules, other distribution media, in order to find what best suits your targets and develop your audience.

 

Your SME does not have time for regular marketing content, focus on the quality of your publications!

 

Preparing and implementing an effective content creation and distribution strategy requires the mobilization of human resources and an appropriate budget.

 

To see the benefits of your strategy, you will need to spend time on it to ensure the quality of your content, the regularity of your publications, and to analyze the impact of your strategy and adapt it accordingly.

 

If your SME / VSE does not have the resources in-house, rely on a communication agency... ours would be an excellent choice 😉.

 

You are afraid of lack of regularity, the time available and the budget are constrained... concentrate your resources on the production of a few very high value-added contents. Combined with a well thought-out natural referencing, they will produce more results than a half-tinted content strategy.

 

At Autour de l'image, we put your concerns and expectations at the heart of our work.

 

Our content approach starts with a good understanding of your market, the players in that market and your company's culture. We propose the most appropriate strategy for the objectives that we will have jointly set, in order to allow you to gain notoriety and develop your activity, while respecting your means.

 

We put our expertise in communication at the service of your development. We support you in writing, publishing, choosing the most relevant distribution channels and adapting your strategy, always taking into account your vision and values.

 

About the author

Philippe Rigault

Philippe Rigault is the founding President of the agency Autour de l'Image. He assists clients in the development and animation of their communication strategy, combining advice, creativity, mentoring and common sense. Autour de l'Image is a global communication agency that simplifies the life of entrepreneurs. It brings together all the communication and marketing skills needed to develop sales and brand awareness.

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