Content is King. You’ve heard the cliché. You know you should be creating content, but you have limited time and money. Content creation is one of the most important marketing strategies nowadays, but it’s also one of the most resource-consuming ones.

What’s more, there are so many different types of content and venues to publish content, such as articles, guest posts, podcasts, YouTube, and other video-marketing channels—you name it. So, as a small business owner, how do you decide among all these different types of content? So, how do you know what’s worth your time, money, and effort?

The answer is twofold:

  1. You need to place your brand in as many places as possible.
  2. You need to choose the content marketing activities that bring in the highest ROI.

In other words, as a small business or startup with a limited number of team members and a small marketing budget, you need to prioritize. You cannot drop content creation and content marketing completely, nor can you be everywhere. But you can choose as many of the types of content and content marketing channels as possible among the ones that bring the best results for your business.

How do you do that? By putting content out there, tracking every bit of how it performs, measuring results, and focusing on the actions that work for you.

content marketing maze

Step 1: Create and publish content

Start with what you like doing best. Is it writing posts? Is it speaking on a mic? Or do you feel more comfortable on camera? Whatever type of content resonates with you is what you need to be producing. It only makes sense to start with what you’re best at instead of trying to improve your productivity doing what is of no interest to you.

Just keep in mind that the type of content you create is dependent on your industry and audience. For example, if you are a coach and your business heavily depend on your personal brand, video might be the best fit for your audience. On the other hand, if you’re into internet marketing and want to rank high in Google organic search results, an elaborate step-by-step guide on your blog might attract more prospects.

Step 2: Track how your content performs

The only real way you can make a decision is to have hard data to back it up. It’s one thing to base your decision process on your instincts or experience, and it’s another thing to make an informed business decision based on real performance.

To do that, to actually find out which type of content and on which marketing channel performs better, you need to set a goal or a couple of KPIs and set up a tracking system.

For example, if you want to measure how many leads opt in to download a free e-book, you need to know how those leads land on your page, what they do after that, and how many of those give up their e-mail.

To achieve that, you first need to use custom UTM links to track the source of traffic. Then, you need to have set up a visitor tracking system with complete funnel analytics, like Statly. You will also define your goals in Statly. In this example, the goal is achieved (or the event happens) when someone subscribes to your list.

Finally, you need an autoresponder to add new subscribers to your e-mail list and follow up with them.

Step 3: Measure medium-term results

Now, to have enough data to decide which type of content works best for your business, you need to have your campaigns run for some time. How long? Well, it depends on how fast you’ll get results. Usually, a couple of months will allow you to gather enough data and reach a safe conclusion.

Use a simple Google sheet to gather all meaningful data from different campaigns over time. Keep it as simple as possible. Here’s some basic information you should include in such a report so that you are able to calculate ROI of different campaigns.

  • Campaign name
  • Type of content (e.g. blog post, video, podcast)
  • Advertising budget
  • Content creation budget
  • Number of visitors
  • Opt-ins
  • Number of purchases
  • Value of purchases

Compare different campaigns over the same period of time to reach safe results. And of course, this is just an example where list opt-ins are one goal and purchases another. These are practically two events (opt-ins and purchases) that exist in a basic sales funnel.

Step 4: Rank by ROI and prioritize

After a couple of months, you should be able to calculate your ROI and other KPIs.

How much did you earn for the money you spent – Value of purchases over (advertising budget & content creation budget)?

Which type of content and marketing channel had the highest conversion rate – Number of opt-ins over the number of visitors from a campaign?

These are two basic metrics that should be a good advisor on how to prioritize your content creation and promotion tasks. Rank the campaigns according to their ROI and basic conversion rate, and you should be able to see what’s the way to move forward. Choose one or two content types from text, audio, and video. Go with the channel that performs better, whether it be your blog or iTunes or YouTube.

Then, as your business grows and more cash flows in, you’ll be able to add more content marketing tactics to your online-marketing strategy.

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Content marketing tips

1. Use the right software

Do you need help with your content marketing? you get a high ROI from your content? Try these tools:

Scriptly – Your sales funnel machine

Curately – Your content creation engine

Statly – Your analytics and tracking toolset

You can try any of the tools for free or schedule a complimentary call with us to help you jumpstart your online-marketing strategy.

2. Outsource what you can

Today, in the gig economy, there are a handful of platforms you can use to hire content creators at an affordable price. Go to Upwork.com or Fiverr.com and find writers with 5-star reviews who have the skills that you need and are within budget. As your business grows, hire a permanent team member who will create content that matches your brand, culture, and style.

3. Promote evergreen content

As your content pool grows, you’ll be able to spot pieces of content that not only perform extremely well but are also classic and timeless. Instead of putting 100% of your effort in creating new content, don’t neglect to also promote your evergreen content on social media, email, and PPC campaigns.

4. Create a content calendar

Having a content calendar will save you time and money if you’re managing a large copywriting and editorial team. A content calendar will also help create content strategically to serve business goals and to improve SEO. Use a simple Google sheet or any to-do app to plan content creation and publishing.

5. Create content for all types of customers

Maybe you start with writing blog posts that interest part of your target audience. But what about the rest? You should be able to define different buyer personas and create content that serves them best. Read more about defining your ideal customer in this article. What’s more, you should publish content for all stages of the buyer’s journey. Here’s an article we wrote about generating appropriate content for the top and bottom of the funnel.

Need to create lead magnets and reports that your target audience will love in minutes, not days? Watch this video to learn more about our proven method!