Content Marketing: How Small Businesses Can Get It Right the First Time

Content marketing is a crucial part of your small business' success. Here's how to get it right the first time and keep customers informed.

In a survey by the Content Marketing Institute, 61% of customers are more likely to spend their money with a company that offers them free, relevant, and useful information in an easy to access format.Therefore, content marketing becomes important to the success of a business.

What is content marketing?

The Content Marketing Institute puts it best:“… a marketing technique of creating and distributing valuable, relevant and consistent content to attract and acquire a clearly defined audience – with the objective of driving profitable customer action.”If you feel like you should be learning about and using proven content marketing tactics, you’re on the right track.Microsoft, John Deere, Cisco Systems, and P&G are just a few of the big-name brands that depend on content marketing to tell their story and drive sales.It also works great for businesses with only a single entrepreneur behind the scenes, companies that are experiencing fast growth, and companies that know they need to grow but aren’t sure how to accomplish their goals.Every company makes mistakes. Luckily, in the world of content marketing, there’s plenty of information available about what works and what doesn’t work.

Here are a few common mistakes to watch out for:

  • Keyword stuffing

Google has aligned its algorithms with the wants and needs of your human audience.The rules are always changing, so old-fashion SEO tactics like keyword stuffing will probably just get you in trouble.Write for your human audience and Google will reward your efforts. Deliberate link building is less effective than real socializing with your audience across multiple platforms.Few SEO experts are willing to offer a “magic number” where keywords are concerned. Use plenty of synonyms and variations to be safe.

  • Refusal to learn new tricks

The landscape of content marketing is always changing. This isn’t a skill you learn, like carpentry or driving a car, and then simply repeat for twenty years.If you won’t learn and implement new tactics, you’ll be left in the dust. Adopt innovative content marketing strategies as quickly as possible.

  • Talking to too many people

Tailoring your message to speak directly to your chosen audience is a lot easier. It’s also effective, than trying to get the attention of too many people.According to a recent survey conducted by Techvalidate, 47% of consumers think that a lack of content targeted toward your audience is the biggest mistake companies make with content marketing.

  • Ignoring important metrics

Analytics that let you know whether your content is actually effective are more important than how many people commented on your post or how many words your team wrote in one day.85% of B2B marketers who say they’ve experienced increased success with content marketing in the past year give higher quality and more efficient content creation credit.Focus on ROI, new leads, keyword ranking, and site visits to find out how your content marketing strategy is performing day-to-day.Therefore, use that information to make the quality of your content better.

Giving in to the temptation to join a controversial discussion

Viral posts can get a lot of views, but they also may create bad publicity for your company if you join the conversation.In some cases, it’s fine to get your hands dirty in a heated discussion, but have the plan vetted by several other people before moving forward.

Not taking advantage of the influence your best customers have over their peers

Your fans are your best advocates. In our information-overloaded world, testimonials from family and friends weigh heavily in nearly every decision we make.A Nielsen survey on consumer trust revealed that 90% of modern consumers would take a recommendation from friends or family over any other, including social media, blogs, and advertising.

Content marketing done right:

While you are busy trying not to make any giant blunders, you may find it helpful to see some examples of content marketing that won the Internet.

Offer high-quality free content that your audience will value and focusing on the long game

Farrow & Ball is a UK-based wallpaper and paint supplier that created The Chromologist, which is a separate website that focuses on giving their audience relevant, timely, and interesting information about color.Their content varies widely, and their only brand mentions are subtle.

Use the audience as a source of relevant and engaging content

The NSW Parks and Wildlife service wanted to increase the number of visitors during the winter season.They launched, “Wild About Wales” and invited whale watching visitors to contribute their photos to their website.They supported the user-generated content by inviting local businesses to chime in about where to eat, shop, and even spend the night in the area.Other relevant content includes how to take photos of the sea and whales and where the best whale watching spots are along the coast.As a result of this brilliant content marketing plan, the number of park visitors increased 10% during the first year.

  • Offer a full experience online to get visitors through the door

Holiday World & Splashin’ Safari is an amusement park in Indiana that lets visitors experience as much of their place of business as possible through social media, its website, and videos.Because planning a vacation can be a time-consuming and difficult task. But these folks lay it all out for their visitors, so they know exactly what to expect.This kind of well thought out content marketing helps set customers up for a happier experience, overall. Reducing uncertainty is a great way to increase revenue.

  • Create content that revolves around your core concept

Casper is a mattress company that seems to be quite obsessed with sleep.Their content site,, covers all kinds of sleep topics from how scientists sleep while they are living in the South Pole, to sleep research study findings. Some of their articles border on the hilarious.

How can a small business learn how to implement their own strong content marketing plan?

One of the most important lessons to take away from companies (both large and small) that are doing content marketing right, is to be generous with valuable information.In fact, The Content Marketing Institute is a splendid example of a company that has this tactic nailed.They are a great resource for businesses that need help with content marketing examples, strategy, and consulting.

Here are just a few of the free resources they offer:

Content Marketing Getting Started Guide

Get a better understanding of content marketing and receive guidance on how to put a basic plan into place.

CMI Content Marketing Framework

This is an outline of the building blocks that will help you build your own successful content marketing plan.Content Marketing Industry TrendsThis free magazine, Chief Content Officer, will help you stay in-the-know on the latestindustry trends.

Content Marketing Examples

Also, here are 75 excellent real-world content marketing examples in an e-book format.So, deciding to commit to content marketing success is the first step to getting on board with this powerful tactic.The best content marketers have a few things in common.91% of the top content marketing performers in 2017 say they are more committed to their content marketing success this year than they were last year.85% of them are more likely this year to consistently deliver high-quality content to their target audience.


No matter where you are on your content marketing journey, if you simply commit to the challenging work of getting your message out, you’ll be a lot further down the road to success than you were even one year ago.


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