By Juan Martinez published May 24, 2012

Three Quick Steps for Turning Content into Conversations about Your Business

Turn content into conversions, CMIEstablishing a content marketing approach can be daunting. Even the largest brands with a generous supply of resources to commit to the process often struggle to determine the right method for generating and distributing content. So for small businesses with limited resources and staff, content marketing might seem like an unnecessary luxury.

However, content marketing can build brands, drive engagements and, ultimately, lead to vital conversions. For these reasons, no company — no matter how big or small — can afford to avoid to ignore its benefits.

The following three-step guide to building a content marketing strategy for small businesses can help you turn content into conversions.

Step 1: Start a blog

Before posting content on your blog, you should determine your target audience and its primary interests. For example, Mike Klassen, author of “Increase Sales & Build Deeper Connections: Maximizing Your Content to Boost Sales and Generate Better-Quality Leads,” says “[marketing] content should not necessarily be about the exact product or service you offer but what it’s going to do for your customers.”

Klassen consults small businesses on content marketing strategy. He says he often finds that the notion of content marketing, “scares the hell out of some people.” Despite this fear, it’s essential that marketers blog because, as Klassen also says, “a blog gives people a reason to come back to the site. Most small businesses think throwing up a website and a sales letter should be good enough. But nobody’s sales letter is that good.”

The frequency with which content is posted to a blog should be determined by how motivated your employees are to write. While it’s important to produce enough content to keep readers interested, it’s also important for marketers to not force the issue by posting boring or redundant articles.

“The reality is most people who have a fear of starting a blog don’t have something to say every day,” Klassen says. He recommends posting at least one article each week and increasing output if interest and ambition develop.

Step 2: Distribute your content

Just posting articles to your blog won’t give you the reach you need to connect with prospects. Social media is simple-to-use, cheap, and effective, so to extend your influence, you need to use sites like Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, YouTube and Pinterest to share your content.

Klassen recommends brands move beyond “just tweeting and doing a status update.” He says that he urges clients to monitor LinkedIn Answers’ Q&A section to see if people are asking questions about your blog posts. “It’s an ideal place to go in, and answer the question, and share additional content.”

Content distribution isn’t just about sharing your content on social media. Content discovery platforms enable you to integrate content below articles on premium publisher sites so articles are presented to readers who are actively looking to discover new and interesting things. If you have a limited budget, you can use a self-serve platform to determine daily budgets and cost-per-click in order to distribute content to peak audiences for as long as you think the information is relevant.

Step 3: Repurpose your content

Most articles live on a blog’s homepage for a few days and then get buried in an archive. If you’re fortunate, readers will share one of your posts with their friends and the post will continue to circulate several weeks or months after it’s originally published. In order to ensure that interesting articles continue to drive engagement long after their original publication dates, it’s helpful to repurpose some of the most relevant content contained in your posts for use in other interactive formats.

“How you ultimately repurpose your materials will be dependent upon the industry you’re in and where your prospects are,” Klassen says. He recommends webcasts, podcasts, videos, and even PDFs for content repurposing, though he cautions marketers to determine the right channels based on where their prospects are most engaged.

“I did a talk with a group of business people and a woman from a cosmetic brand was in attendance,” Klassen explains. “Video is an obvious channel for the cosmetics industry, for makeovers [and displaying products], for example. Video will be a more likely path for this woman’s content than a white paper or audio would.”

To learn more about blogging, check out our Ultimate Guide to Blogging

Author: Juan Martinez

Juan Martinez is the Content Strategy Manager at Outbrain. His work has been published on Esquire.com, in Publishers Weekly, Direct Marketing News and CRM Magazine. Prior to working at Outbrain, Juan was the Senior Editor at Direct Marketing News. Juan holds a Master of Fine Arts degree in creative writing from Columbia University. He holds a BA in creative writing from Bard College. Follow him on Twitter at @jrobertmartinez.

Other posts by Juan Martinez

Join Over 150,000 of your Peers!

Get daily articles and news delivered to your email inbox and get CMI’s exclusive e-book Launch Your Own Content Marketing Program FREE!

  • QamarfarryZaman

    A growing number of people are leveraging the Internet in every aspect of their lives, including whom they wish to do business with. And while cost is a major factor in this decision, Web-savvy customers are looking for more from vendors. These social customers want companies to listen to their cares and concerns, to use the social media channels they use, and to actively participate with them in transparent conversations.
    seofresh-content-marketing-strategies

  • Stephanie

    Great article! You can also use a mobile ad network, like Mobicow.com to reach the growing population accessing blogs and sites from their mobile devices! Instead of tiny ads or banner ads that are hidden, they offer extremely large ads which really help on a smaller device’s screen. Check it out now because you’ll be hearing about it in the news later!

  • cheap beats by dre

    Beats By
    Dre Cheap
    says he has agreed to a deal with the Mavericks. The 7-foot
    center, who played in New Orleans
    last season, Cheap Beats By Dr
    Dre
    announced his move on his Twitter account. Multiple sources
    reported it was a one-year deal. And the Pistons could be interested in
    pursuing him next season when they have more salary-cap dr dre beats cheap room.

    The cheap
    beats
    Warriors reportedly agreed to send Dorell Wright to the
    76ers in a three-team trade that will net guard Jarrett Jack from the
    New Orleans Hornets, the Associated Press said. The Hornets will receive the
    76ers’ draft rights to Edin Bavcic of Bosnia and Herzegovina in a
    salary-slashing move. Bavcic is expected to remain in Europe
    next seasoncheap beats by
    dre

     

  • cheap beats by dre

    Beats By
    Dre Cheap
    How many other drum machines / production devices can say
    that they have sound packs with hip hop loops designed exclusively for them? And
    by such high profile producers?Beat Thang Sound Pack GenreCheap Beats By Dr Dre
    DiversityBut what can all of these sounds and hip hop loops do for you if they
    all similar? Not as much as if they span across multiple genres, as those
    present on Beat Thang dr dre
    beats cheap
    do.

    Though cheap beats Dallas Austin
    is known primarily for being an R&B and Hip Hop producer,the sounds
    available on Beat Thang are not geared only towards those two genres, and not
    all loops are hip hop loops cheap beats by dre
     

  • http://twitter.com/Techstr1 Techstr

     http://techstr.wordpress.com/

  • http://www.facebook.com/JamshaidHashmi Jamshaid Hashmi

    I like this post, and when you combine SEO, Social Media and content marketing together, you get ‘Optimized Content Marketing’.  That is where the magic happens. 

    I wrote about a similar topic that just augments what you have stated.  There is a video about content marketing in the post for those of us who are visual :)

    Thanks again,

    Jam
    http://clicktecs.com/content-marketing-strategy-what-is-content-marketing/

  • http://twitter.com/bigsands bigsands

    No. 4 would be to develop a YouTube channel: http://www.youtube.com/user/steelbandhire 

  • jimmychoo110

    cheap beats by dreThe
    Most Popular Colors White
    Red And Pendulum Have

    Connection With The
    Christmas Colors..

    Sounds are well balanced mainly, with a passion mid range

    and huge bass. Our products can be suitable for any geners.

    Beats By Dre CheapWhether
    you are interested in classical music or heavy metal,

    the sound quality is excellent at low volumes
    and really

    pumping at higher volumes.

    cheap
    beats by dre colorware
    and also to date it monster headphones in ear
    has

    monster headphones israel gained nearly 44
    million opinions.

    If you haven’t seen it, you can view the video here:

    and date it monster headphones in ear has monster headphones

    israel gained nearly 44 million ideas. If you haven’t seen it,

    you can view the video here:

    cheap
    beats by dre tour
    From time to time the anxiety is driven by a
    distinct understanding model.

    A variety of individuals are much more snug
    with timber than a forest,

    preferring particulars to your huge photo. That is very

    unhealthy mainly because web page visitors normally crave

    the huge photograph earlier than they make investments

    their treatment and clicks cheap
    beats

  • Shellyann

    It’s really not rocket science this thing called marketing. If we have a product or service, we should know who it’s meant for… therefore we use the media that will connect our stuff to that audience. Most important thing in all this is value.

  • cheap nike free

    cheap
    beats
    Now this might not sound like a big deal to some people reading
    this,

    and maybe my ears are just a weird shape or
    something,

    but
    I’ve always struggled to find IEMs that were actually

    cheap
    beats by dre
    comfortable to wear for more than an hour. Normally what

    happens is that I wind up with an actual ache in my ear

    and
    have to take the earbuds out for a while.

    cheap beats by dr
    dre
    ..