As a small business, you’re in the early stages growth and don’t have a huge marketing budget, yet you understandably need measurable results. A good answer to this problem lies in content marketing.
What’s content marketing? It's an online marketing strategy centered around delivering high-quality content to your target audience that they have a genuine interest in consuming.
The purpose is to build an active and engaged audience. To put relevant content in front of your leads and to drive that audience traffic to profitable results on your site, such as converting them to your email list, or directing them to make an outright purchase from you.
The more relevant traffic you can bring to your site, the better your results. Here are eight of the most powerful content marketing ideas to increase your website traffic—driving more leads and sales to your site.
Today, blogging is still one of the best ways for small businesses to draw site traffic. Inexpensive and highly regarded, blogging is a cornerstone of content marketing ideas. HubSpot lists it as the number one way to bring traffic to your website and reports that businesses that regularly blog enjoy 97% more backlinks to their site! More backlinks means more people finding your site and visiting it.
The beauty of blogging is how it easily integrates into SEM or search engine marketing. Whether it’s an organic or paid search, people who search for specific keywords on Google and other search engines see a list of the most relevant results on the first SERP or search engine results page.
If your blog has been properly optimized for its specific keywords, it can be on that first SERP and therefore attract a lot of website traffic. If your blog publishes useful information on a consistent basis that solves your audience’ problems, it will start to be viewed as an authority in your industry.
And in turn, all of this results on your site enjoying more targeted visitors. More targeted visitors means a greater likelihood of them buying your product or service right from your site.
Learn more about how to build an authority blog and start planning your content:
2. Social Media
A mind-blowing number of people spend time on social media today. 65% of all American adults now use social media, according to a 2015 study from the Pew Research Center. With this plethora of potential customers on social, small businesses are beginning to realize the benefits of marketing through networks like Twitter, Facebook and Instagram.
Social allows small businesses to connect directly with their target audience right where they spend time on the web. It’s the perfect mix of opportunity and location. Each social network provides free advertising for your site’s URL because, once you create an account for your business, you’ll be able to post its site URL directly on your account page on any social network.
Once you have this set up, it’s vital to publish high-quality, relevant and emotionally connecting content to generate interest in your brand on social, which inevitably leads to click-throughs back to your website from your leads (read: your fans and followers).
When you have your conversion funnel set up on your site to take advantage of this increased website traffic, your small business will see more conversions and sales. Learn more about how to grow your Twitter following.
3. Email Marketing
With texting being so popular, you’d be forgiven for thinking that email is last decade’s big way of communicating. However, email consistently keeps being identified as one of the most popular and effective ways businesses can regularly drive traffic to their sites and, consequently, get a great return on investment (ROI).
This is because email marketing directly reaches your leads and gives them complete control in the relationship—if your leads don’t want to keep getting your emails, they can just simply click the “unsubscribe” link on the bottom of your email newsletter.
The key to using this powerful method is to first establish a reliable and sizeable email list. This list is a collection of all of your leads’ email addresses, and your marketing efforts are nothing without it. So how do you build such a crucial list in the first place?
Here are some content marketing ideas:
- Run social-media contests where entrants have to provide their email addresses to participate.
- Offer social-media promos where people have to give you their email addresses in exchange for getting coupons or other freebies.
- Show your first-time site visitors persuasive pop-up boxes that prompt them to sign up to your blog with their email addresses.
Also, be sure to use a great email template design, so your emails are consistently designed well and reflect your brand best.
Now that you have their email addresses, you have to send them engaging email newsletters that prove their signups weren’t in vain and get them to open your emails and click-through to your site. Do this by:
- Write relevant subject lines.
- Personalize the email body by using words like “you,” “me” and and insert the leads’ first names.
- Segment your emails to target specific demographics within your intended audience.
Get your results moving with our email marketing jumpstart series or get started with this primer:
4. Paid Search
Paid search is one of the two, main components of search engine marketing or SEM, with the other being search engine optimization or SEO. Both content marketing ideas strive to use search engines and keywords to drive traffic to small businesses’ sites.
You can spot paid search in the form of Google Adwords ads that appear on top of the organic search results for keywords. Here are the results for the term 'paid search':
The point of these ads is to draw a leads’ eyes by writing ad copy that’s relevant to their search. For instance, a person searching for a new Toyota Camry would be interested in a paid-search ad that exclaims how a particular dealership has the cheapest new Camrys in town and is offering discounts, to boot.
The lead will then click on the ad and be brought back to your site, usually on a landing page that advertises the same, specific product or service in the small paid-search ad on the search engine.
When you use paid search to bring more website traffic to your site, be sure to also optimize the landing page you bring your leads to. It has to align with the messaging, design and copy of your paid-search ad to communicate a consistent product or service offering, which drastically ups the chances of conversions on your site.
5. Landing Pages
I briefly touched on landing pages when I discussed paid search above, and that’s because the two are so intimately related. Think of them as a one-two punch. When done well your paid search drives leads to your landing page, and your landing page then converts those leads to buyers or email subscribers. When done right, it directs more traffic to your site.
A landing page is separate from the homepage of your small business site since it’s meant to advertise a specific product or service you’re selling on your main site. Once a lead clicks-through from your landing page, that’s when they’ll get to your main site to actually buy what you’re selling (often directed to a product purchase page).
This begs the question, how do you promote your landing page so that leads find out about it and see it? After all, just having a landing page is useless if people don’t visit it.
Two of the biggest ways actually relate to two aforementioned content marketing ideas: social media and paid search.
How to Drive Traffic to Your Landing Page
On social media sites like Twitter, try tweeting very useful content that’s not self-promotional at first. Then, when you’ve built a decent audience, you can slip in a promo of your landing page, but it’s important to keep self-promoting tweets like this to about 20% of your overall social-media content, according to the famous 80/20 rule.
With paid search, you should take out Google Adwords ads and align it with the messaging, copy and look of your landing page. You want those leads who’ve clicked on your paid-search ad to be brought to a landing page that’s consistent with the ad that interested them. This reduces confusion and greatly increases the likelihood that these leads will convert and make a purchase from you.
Learn more about landing pages and how to find a professional landing page template to get started with:
- Landing PagesWhat Is a Landing Page?Brad Smith
- Landing Pages10 Best Bootstrap Landing Page Templates—With Responsive DesignsSean Hodge
Infographics are ideal content marketing ideas since they take often-complicated concepts and distill them down to very understandable information. They communicate this information in a short, chunked and easy-to-read format that uses vibrant graphics and colors, helpful stats and hard data. In short, they’re ideal for a web audience that frequently skims through content and doesn’t spend much time reading every detail.
Infographics can bring you website traffic if you design them well. You also need to make them relevant, tell a compelling story, and promote them.
At the bottom of of your infographic, you can include an embed code that prompts those who value this shared content to post it on their blogs and sites. Plus, you’ll always have your branding displayed on them.
Use an infographic template design as a starting point for creating professional infographics.
Before people can devour all the high-quality information and dazzling visuals of your infographic, you always have to first promote it.
Here are a few ideas:
- Shop your infographic around to different, influential blogs who deal in the same industry as the information presented in your infographic.
- Take your infographic straight to the media by hiring a PR firm to get journalists to specifically refer and link to your infographic in a related piece they’re writing.
- Invest your own time by starting up a board on a site like Pinterest to curate infographics, yours and others’, centered around your infographic’s topic.
Learn how to design a professional infographic and browse through our best infographic templates:
- Infographics15 Best Infographic Template Designs on GraphicRiverSean Hodge
- Case StudyEnvato Remote Staff Infographic: A Case StudyIan Yates
Videos are becoming increasingly popular. Sites like YouTube prove that there’s a huge demand for online video: The average person spends 40 minutes on YouTube per viewing session. Videos are also more digestible than written content because it’s easier to watch than read. Further, videos create a more personal connection to the content, as they’re interactive. Videos are clearly a great alternative in content marketing ideas.
Before you think that videos and even podcasts are too expensive to create yourself, consider this: professional-grade equipment keeps getting cheaper, making now the perfect time to move into this form of marketing.
Something as basic as creating an explainer video for a product or service that your small business offers and then posting it on YouTube is an effective example of this strategy at work. You also get to have a backlink to your site on your YouTube channel, thereby giving you the potential for a fair amount of website traffic if your videos become popular.
8. Link Building
Really an SEO strategy first and foremost, link building is an effective strategy to gain more website traffic. It rests on the concept of building an ever-growing series of links pointing back to your small business site.
The aim of this strategy is to get backlinks from highly ranked sites that Google considers an authority in their industries since. These backlinks have more power to boost your rankings in search.
Naturally, when your rankings increase from this method, your site will appear higher in searches for your target keywords. This can mean getting closer to the first search engine results page (SERP) or, if your site is already on the first SERP, moving up even higher in the rankings. Higher rankings yields exponential return on conversions from search traffic.
You can pursue a link building strategy by guest-blogging on various sites that are in your industry. For instance, if I have a pet-accessory business, then I’d want to write articles for various sites in the pet industry, including anything from equipment to health and grooming.
Link building will take some time, but its results will noticeably increase your website traffic organically. Be sure to focus on posting genuinely useful content on relevant blogs, so you build your reputation alongside your inbound links. Learn more about how to get stared with guide blogging:
Put Your Content Marketing Ideas into Action!
These content marketing ideas are a great way to start your foray into small-business promotion. On the internet, you don’t need to have a huge budget to get beneficial results from your marketing efforts. What’s more important is to focus on the right tactics and engage with your target audience where they spend their time online.
With this marketing strategy, you can create high-quality and relevant content that will attract you leads, which is the first step to bringing in more relevant website traffic for your small business.
Be sure to test and measure the results of your content marketing campaigns as you grow your small business online.