How to Develop an Effective Content Strategy for your Small Business

What is Content Marketing?

The phrase “Content Marketing” is being thrown out a lot lately in the marketing world. But what does it really mean and how can you develop and effective one that’s sure to bring you leads?

"It’s true: If you talked to people the way advertising talked to people, you’d pretty much end up getting punched in the face."

- Steven Matt

This is because ads are designed to interject and force its way into the audience's’ minds. The only difference between you and the ads is the fact that people have already accepted the fact that it’s an ad. However, they won’t expect another person to speak like that in real life. What’s curious is the type of ad that speaks to us in a profound level. It seems like it relates to us and it empathizes with us, making it feel more compelling and easier to remember.

This is Content Marketing.

Content marketing is not new (it started with TV and radio), but it's more important now than ever before. And it can greatly affect SEO.

Content marketing is not new (it started with TV and radio), but it's more important now than ever before. And it can greatly affect SEO.

Marketing has always been about content. After all, marketing’s primary objective is to bring the content to the consumers. However, Content Marketing aims to include content in the whole process itself instead of it being the main goal.

positive effects of content marketing:

  1. Expands your reach

  2. Provides lasting value

  3. Leverages resources and scales well

  4. Contributes to Search Engine ranking

The whole gist of content marketing is to be helpful, relevant, and engaging. It’s like a friend that consistently and captivatingly shares timely, relevant advice. Today, content marketing has garnered a lot of success that it kick started a lot of startups and revolutionized long-considered stale brands.

Content marketing has perfectly synced with the surge of social media that it paved way to three significant online media categories: Paid, Owned, and Earned.

Here are the core differences between the three:


Handling all these online medium is necessary to keep your brand afloat in the cyberspace, but it’s apparent that with the diversity of each online media component can’t be handled by a single person alone, especially if the person is not fairly acquainted with the intricacies of digital marketing. The knowledge, skills, experience, and support of a digital marketing team will be highly necessary.

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How to Create Compelling Content

Before thinking about how to create compelling content, first you have to think of how to ensure that each content marketing activity presents a consistent message and that the creation of materials are properly guided to be according to the brand, since brand voice shines through your content.

Increasingly, differentiating yourself online is very much about branding. Content is branding.

You should consider tone a subset of voice. If voice is the personality of a story, then tone is the mood. For example, a brand could describe their voice as funny; the mood of their individual pieces might be dark or biting or silly or sarcastic. The voice remains the same but the mood changes depending on each piece of content and topic.

To create compelling content, to come up with a content that delivers impact requires a huge dose of empathy and relatability. In order to have those two, you should be able to engage the audience’s senses and answer key questions like these:


Of course, to come up with a compelling content requires some introspection. This is required to ensure your goal, your brand, and your team is properly aligned.

Answering questions like these will help a lot:

  • What is your voice? Can everyone on your team speak “the brand”?

  • What can you manage? A content strategy is only as valuable as your ability to execute it.

  • Why do people care? You’re not writing for you; you’re writing for your customers. Content that people don’t care about is called a press release. Press releases suck.

In general, great content marketing is generous and seeing results requires patience. The presence of a team of digital marketing experts will help speed up the results, so make sure that you have an expert team to help you deliver compelling content that will win you loyal customers.

Steven Matt

I am the Director of Digital Marketing at one of the world’s largest financial institutions. I teach Digital Marketing courses to small businesses on behalf of the NYC government and General Assembly in NYC. I am a graduate of Pratt Institute in Brooklyn with a Bachelors degree in Communications Design. I have a Masters degree in Management and Technology from New York University. In my spare time, I organize volunteer glass cleanups in NYC parks and I make jewelry out of the broken glass that I and the volunteers collect. I sell the designs at an artisan market in Brooklyn.