8 Tips for Good Content Marketing

In the 4th and final video in the Austin Copywriter video series on small business content marketing, I’ve included 8 especially important tips for doing content marketing well.

What’s the point in putting in the time and energy, unless you take the necessary steps to get results from content marketing?

Watch it now:

In case you missed any of the videos that came before, here’s the rundown:

Part 1: Why Use Content Marketing?

Part 2: What is Content Marketing?

Part 3: The Benefits of Content Marketing

If you’d rather read than watch, here’s the transcript:

Hi! I’m Kristen Hicks and this is our 4th and final video in the Small Business Introduction to Content Marketing series.

At this point in the series, you should have a pretty good idea what content marketing is and the kind of forms it takes. So, now you have a decision to make:

Are you ready to get started?

I’ve got 8 important tips to help you create content that gets results.

Tip #1: Choose your Goals

First, you need to decide what you want to get out of content marketing.  If building authority’s your primary goal, your technique should look a little different than if traffic is the top priority.

You’ll probably want to accomplish some combination of these, but having priorities will help refine your strategy to something sustainable.

Tip #2: Keep your audience top of mind.

Make giving your audience something you know they need or want your priority. You’ll win more points with generosity than self-promotion.

For this tip to work, you have to make an effort to understand your audience. Create a customer profile and think hard about how to put yourself in their headspace.

Tip #3: Identify a need.

Review all the questions you’ve heard from customers and potential customers. Talk to everyone else in the company who ever interfaces with customers. From there, build a list of common issues and concerns your audience has and get to work answering them.

Tip #4: Include a call to action.

The end goal of all this content is to gain new customers. To help shepherd them from the role of content consumer to customer, you need to employ calls to action.

These won’t always be directly about sales. They could encourage the reader to leave a comment, reply to an email, or read another piece of content. The point is to continue the relationship beyond that first piece of content they encounter.

Tip #5:Do keyword research.

You want to talk the way your readers talk. The terms it’s most natural for you to use as an industry expert won’t necessarily be the same ones your customers use. Do your research, so you can make sure to be understood (and found more easily in search engines to boot).

Tip #6: Show your expertise.

Show people what you know! For anyone on the fence, or comparing competitors, a piece of content that clearly demonstrates how well you know your stuff will help make their decision that much easier.

Tip #7: Pay Attention to Industry Trends

Knowing what others in the industry are talking about will both make it easier to come up with content topics, and help you become a part of the conversation. By joining the larger industry conversation, you’ll draw more attention to your business and position yourself as an expert.

Tip #8: Network

As in most things in life, who you know matters! The more people who know and trust you, the more people in the world who are likely to share your content and recommend your business. Work to make connections online and off. Community can be a fantastic tool for content promotion.

Thanks for viewing the Introduction to Content Marketing for Small Businesses series.  If you have any questions or topics you’d like to see covered further, be sure to let me know in the comments.

The Benefits of Content Marketing

Now that you know what content marketing is and why it’s good for your small business, let’s talk about some of the specific benefits a business can achieve with good content marketing.

Part 3 in our Introduction to Content Marketing for Small Businesses video series covers what you can expect to get out of content marketing.

Give it a look, and let me know what you think!

If you prefer to read it rather than watch it, here’s the transcript:

Hi! I’m Kristen Hicks and welcome to part 3 of the Austin Copywriter video series on content marketing for small businesses.

Our focus in this video is some of the specific benefits content marketing can offer to your business.

We’ve talked more generally about why it’s useful and what it is, so here’s what you can expect to get out of content marketing.

Benefit #1: A stronger reputation.

So much of small business success comes back around to reputation. Who’s heard of you and what did they hear?

Current and past customers who have had a great experience with you are a really good way to build this reputation, but limited. They don’t know everybody, and you want to attract and impress customers included in that circle beyond their reach.

Imagine a woman in crisis. She’s having a terrible day because she has a problem she can’t solve on her own.

Naturally, she turns to Google. She finds a blog post on your website telling her exactly what she needs to know to solve her problem.

Success! You’ve just made a positive impression on someone who has never heard of you before.

The problem and solution vary depending on what you have to offer, and how you help your customers, but the idea is consistent. Helping people will improve your reputation.

Benefit #2: A convincing demonstration of your expertise.

That same woman we just talked about. Not only does she think fondly of your company now because you helped her solve a problem, that blog post also showed her you know your stuff on: accounting/furniture building/gardening/whatever your business does.

If you’re worried that giving your expertise away for free could lose you business, chances are, it won’t.

Most people are happy to hand over the chores they don’t excel at to someone who does (for a reasonable price).

Benefit #3: Greater visibility.

You need people to know you exist, plain and simple. No one will ever think to buy your product or services without first knowing you exist.

Content marketing helps spread the good word of your business throughout the web. And, once people start liking you enough to talk about you with friends, beyond.

You give people something worth talking about and sharing, and they will. Your reach will extend based on how large of an audience you gain, and how much they like what you have to say.

While not a comprehensive list, that hits some of the most important benefits of content marketing for your small business.

Check back soon for the 4th and final entry in our Beginner Content Marketing for Small Business video series where we get into some of the best tips to make sure you do content marketing right.

Why Use Content Marketing?

Are you one of those people who prefers learning through videos instead of reading?

As an avid reader and professional writer, I don’t really relate, but I figure you deserve to learn about the benefits of small business content marketing too.

With that in mind, Part 1 of the new Austin Copywriter video series all about content marketing for small businesses is ready!

Check it out below, and be sure to let me know if you have any questions or feedback.

In case you’re not able to watch it, here’s the transcript:

Hi! I’m Austin Copywriter, Kristen Hicks. Look, I know as a small business, you have limited resources and really need to be careful where you invest your time and money. There are lots of options for advertising and marketing, so what makes content marketing worth considering?

Here’s the thing, people are sick of advertising that feels like advertising. Do you actually sit through commercials anymore if you have the option to fast forward?

Do you bother to look at the billboards, the ads on public buses, or the ones they even put in bar bathrooms these days? Probably not. I don’t

We all encounter too much advertising and have gotten really good at tuning it out.

The solution to that problem is content marketing.

Content marketing is based on a simple idea. Tell people what they want to hear, rather than what you want them to hear.

But how does that lead to sales? We’ll get to the how and why more in parts 2, 3, and 4 but it does!

Small businesses have long recognized the value of building a solid reputation on good products and personal customer service. Content marketing just helps bring those proven values into the Internet age.

Check back soon for Part 2 in to the Introduction to Content Marketing for Small Businesses series, where I’ll discuss just what content marketing is.

3 Steps to Prioritize Your Small Business Social Media Strategy

If you’re a small business owner, you’ve likely been hearing left and right that you should be using social media for business. Although it’s been a ubiquitous marketing buzzword for some time now, if you’re new to using social media for business, it looks like an intimidating, time consuming undertaking.

There are so many social media platforms that it’s hard to know where to be and what to do once you’re there.

If you’re thinking about taking the plunge to get started with a social media strategy for your business, you should start by accepting that it will take some time. By thinking strategically and determining where to prioritize your social media efforts, you can make sure that time is spent effectively.

Step 1: Consider your goals.

What do you want to get out of the time you spend on social media? Some possibilities to consider are:

  1. Greater engagement with current customers
  2. Establishing authority in your industry
  3. Increasing brand awareness
  4. Developing new leads and increasing sales
  5. Improving SEO

These are far from the only goals achievable with social media, but can offer a sense of some of objectives to be thinking about.

Step 2: Understand the difference between the main platforms.

Facebook – A dominant force in social media, largely because it’s where the most people are. Most people use it primarily to stay connected to friends and family members. The upside to a presence on Facebook is that it might be the best of the bunch for attracting eyeballs. The downside: people don’t log on to facebook to buy things, some are annoyed to see marketing items show up in their feeds and are unlikely to engage with your business that way.

Nevertheless, it might be a good fit for your business based on the goods and services you provide and your target audience. If you’re B2C, especially if you’re offering something that falls in the realm of entertainment, Facebook may be the perfect fit.

Google + – Until recently, Google + wasn’t a key player, in spite of its owner’s online pedigree. Now, Google’s tying its ever important search algorithm to Google + usage, meaning a presence there can play an important role in improving site SEO. If your business is producing content as part of your marketing strategy (and you should be) , Google + is a very useful platform for sharing your content and interacting with others in your industry.

Twitter – Everything on Twitter is short and fast. Unlike Facebook, most users are quick to connect with a large number of people and businesses, and are less inclined to care if something that shows up in their feed is promotional – it’s just one of a steady stream of messages of varying level of interest.

LinkedIn – Designed for professional networking, LinkedIn allows businesses to create pages and share business news. Individuals can also share the company’s content in order to help give it a larger reach.

YouTube – Specifically for videos. If you have created any video ads, tutorials, webinars, or any other form of video content, it’s good to have a YouTube page to share it on. (Vimeo is another network to consider for this purpose)

Foursqaure – While not serving as large of an audience as most of the platforms on this list, Foursquare can be a great tool for local businesses. If you’re business primarily serves a local audience, especially if you offer the kind of service that people value geographic convenience for (e.g. restaurants, retail shopping, entertainment venues), this is a good place to be listed.

Pinterest – This is an extremely visual platform, based on people sharing cool images or visual ideas they come across. There are some type of businesses this is a perfect fit for: photographers, graphic designers, artists, florists, etc.


That’s a long list. Maintaining an active presence on all of the above platforms is a daunting task, and not social media strategynecessary for the vast majority of businesses. Based on your goals and industry, think about which of the list is likely to be the most useful for your business. Where is your target audience most likely to be? How are they most likely to interact with your business?

For all of these, it’s important to engage. You can’t effectively use social media if all you do there is promote yourself. You need to interact with others: reply, share others’ content, like, re-tweet, etc. Mix in your interactions with your own promotional updates and content shares and people will be more likely to follow and pay attention to you.

Step 3: Develop a social media plan and content strategy.

Determine how much time each day you intend to devote to social media. Developing a content strategy ensures you regularly have something to share (and comes with a whole host of other benefits). Research and make use of social media tools like HootSuite to make managing your accounts and scheduling your updates easier.

Now, get started!

If it seems overwhelming and you need help, there’s a whole industry of social media and content specialists you can bring in to take over some of the more time consuming parts of the work.

Time for a Change

austin freelance copywriter

If you’re here, then you’ve probably already noticed that the writing and marketing blog of Kristen Hicks has changed from Hicks Marketing to Austin Copywriter. You may have also already seen the new and improved Austin Copywriter website.

In the past year of offering freelance copywriting and marketing services, I’ve gained a greater knowledge both of where my personal strengths lie, and the services likely to be of the greatest value to small businesses. The shift to the new Austin Copywriter brand is indicative of these realizations.

Quality content is the key to increasing online visibility and defining how consumers perceive your brand. The change to Austin Copywriter conveys an increased emphasis in my offerings on the importance of content marketing to generate new leads and foster ongoing relationships with customers.

Check out the new website and contact me with any questions, suggestions or to discuss ways I can help your small business.