Your 2022 Small Biz Content Marketing Checklist
You asked and we delivered! Here’s your 2022 Content Marketing Checklist for Small Businesses. The world of digital marketing is always changing, but we’ve had to really revamp our approach in 2022 to stay competitive. We know a ton of other small business owners are feeling this way too—we get TONS of questions about how to approach video marketing, SEO, and social media in our inboxes. Old tactics just aren’t working anymore.
If your brand wants to use content marketing to convert customers, you need must stay ahead of the competition and embrace new trends and tactics. Here’s what your small business should be doing (or at least moving toward) in 2022…and beyond!
✅ Spend More on Video Content ASAP
Studies show that by 2022, online videos will make up more than 82% of all internet traffic. For perspective, that’s 15x more video consumption than in 2017. And your customers aren’t just watching video more—they’re interacting with it and using video content to inform their purchases. In fact, 85% of millennials have purchased a product after watching an online promotional video. Video content is what your customers want. Period. S it steals the #1 spot on our content marketing checklist for 2022.
We know video content marketing can be intimidating. Here are some of the reasons we hear from small business owners who aren’t yet using video content marketing. And why you should nix the excuses and adopt this tactic in 2022!
Why You Aren’t Using Video Marketing Yet
Every small business is unique, but here are some common reasons we hear from SMB owners.
Videos can be very expensive to produce. And very time-consuming.
Video content sometimes requires animations or on-screen talent. How do you find reliable professionals?
Video might require you to show your face. You don’t want to be the face of your brand.
Shooting video requires equipment. You’re not sure what equipment you’ll need.
Great video content requires planning. You don’t know which topics to talk about or where to start.
Why You MUST Invest in Video Marketing in 2022
Can’t you just double up on other marketing tactics? Sure you can! But video is the future. It’s not a matter of IF you’ll use video marketing. It’s a matter of WHEN.
If you’re not making strides to incorporate video content into your content marketing plan now… you’ll regret it later when you’re playing catch-up.
If you don’t offer video content…your competition has an easy opening to shut you out with slick video marketing campaigns.
You don’t need some crazy high-tech setup. Most smartphones are fully equipped to shoot casual videos, and there are plenty of free editing resources to help you polish your vids and add music, text, and a professional intro and outro.
Consumers, more than ever before, value authenticity and honesty from their favorite brands. You don’t need to invest a ton in a professionally-produced video to get started with video marketing. Make video content yourself or hire an intern or marketing agency to help!
✅ Maintain Your SEO-powered Blog Post Game.
SEO blog posts aren’t going anywhere. According to Semrush, “on average, companies who blog produce 67% more leads per month”. SEO blogs are informative, affordable, and the most search-engine-friendly form of content your brand can create.
How to Adapt Your SEO Blog Strategy in 2022
Quality Over Quantity. The internet is totally saturated with blog content—and most of it is pretty crappy. To see results, you have to have a solid content strategy to inform and organize your written SEO content. In 2022, make sure you are only publishing high-quality, educational blog content with the correct keywords and optimal keyword density.
Long-form Content is KING. Your articles should be at least 800-1000 words in length, with a table of contents and other creative formatting elements that make your writing easy for customers (and Google) to scan.
Incorporate Video. For even better results, add a 10 to 15-minute video to each blog post you publish. That way you can offer your audience the content they want in the format they want, whether they like videos or a traditional blog post.
Spread the Word. Don’t just let your blog content site there once you hit publish. Share it on social, send it out in your weekly email newsletter, and repurpose it creatively to get the most bang for your buck.
Revise Regularly to Add Value. Make sure to revisit old posts once or twice a year to update them. Semrush notes that updating blog posts can increase traffic by 106%!
✅ Work Toward an Omnichannel Content Marketing Experience.
We know, we know. It’s a gross buzzword. But with all the talk of omnichannel you’ll hear in 2022, it rightly deserves a spot on our content marketing checklist.
What is Omnichannel Marketing?
Omnichannel marketing is a huge 2022 buzzword, but is it right for your brand? Welp…you are probably already working towards it!
Omnichannel marketing simply means having a unified, seamless customer experience, both online and in-store.
How to Launch Omnichannel Marketing Campaigns in 2022
Omnichannel marketing and content marketing are very intertwined. In 2022, how can your brand use content marketing to facilitate an intuitive and seamless customer journey, both online and offline? Is your in-store experience, blog content, website content, advertising content, and social media presence all cohesive and intuitive for customers?
In 2022, you should be creating content with the goal of a unified customer experience in mind. How can you drive in-store traffic online to your website and social media profiles? How can you drive traffic from your socials to visit your brick-and-mortar locations? And how can you make sure your online and offline content are cohesive, branded, and helpful to your customers? Are your ads supporting your content and vice versa? These are all important questions to ask yourself this year, no matter how small your business is!
✅ Tap Into the Power of AI for Predictive Analytics and SEO
Our top tip for better content marketing in 2022? Get an SEO audit and use hard data to inform your content strategy. If you’ve been succeeding by guessing at your content strategy until now, we applaud you! But those days of lucky guesses are coming to a close as the internet becomes more and more saturated and more small biz owners take charge of their SEO.
AI-generated data can better inform your teams of what type of content marketing you should create. And modern SEO tools can to help you automate, enrich, and streamline your SEO efforts. Or, you can hire a savvy SEO agency like us to use fancy tools and develop a no-fuss, jargon-free SEO strategy for you! Many small biz owners simply don’t have the time or expertise to tackle SEO themselves, so we’re happy to help! Add this to your 2022 content marketing checklist and watch your competition fade in the rearview.
What Can SEO and Predictive Analytics Tell You?
Your Content Gap. The content your customers are searching for that you aren’t providing.
Competitive Research. How your competitors are using content marketing to win customers.
Insights on Possible Content Niches. So you can develop more niche content marketing to attract your ideal customers and audience.
Content Strategy Opportunities. What you’re already doing with content marketing that you should do more of in 2022.
Keywords Strategy Suggestions. Actual topics and keywords you need to create content around to be found in Google searches.
Keyword Analysis. How competitive the keywords you’re using are, and how you can use lower-competition, higher-value keywords.
Site Structure Improvements. Ways you can tweak your site navigation, layout, and copy for better SEO and user experience.
Site Speed Optimizations. How to make your website faster for happier customers and to improve search engine rankings.
✅ Ramp Up Content Marketing Spend to Compensate for Sluggish Ads
Ad Targeting Took a Hit in 2021—Especially On Social Media
Content marketing is essential in 2022 as advertising professionals continue to adapt their strategy in the face of changing customer privacy laws that limit ad targeting. How will you continue to reach customers organically if your paid reach falters temporarily? You have to adapt and have a content-fueled backup plan. Because consumer privacy will continue to impact advertising targeting in 2022.
Organic Content Marketing is Reliable. Advertising Targeting is NOT.
While your ads performance may have taken a hit, content marketing is a bulletproof way to offer customers value and tempt them toward a purchase organically. Plus, you only have to invest in it once and it just keeps on giving pretty much forever! Paid media should only be one part of your marketing budget so that even if one marketing channel fails, there will be plenty of other channels to pick up the slack.
✅ Explore (and Reject) New Content Marketing Channels
Add New Content Marketing Channels in 2022
Are there any new content marketing channels you should explore that might really benefit your customers and bring in fresh leads? Get out there and give it a try! There’s always going to be a learning curve as new forms of media become popular. Video is a prime example. Early adopters of Instagram Reels are seeing huge growth on a platform that is notoriously hard to tackle organically.
YouTube is also gaining tons of new small biz users right now as more businesses realize that video is the way to approach their target market. Which new platforms and content marketing channels would be a great fit for your brand in 2022?
You may be surprised what is a good fit for your brand! We have a ton of small businesses adopting Pinterest right now and seeing crazy results….could you win on Pinterest or LinkedIn? While they aren’t the “coolest” platforms, that doesn’t mean won’t be a home run for your brand.
Eliminate Content Marketing Channels That Aren’t Working
It can be disheartening when we try something and it doesn’t succeed, but it’s better to just accept it and move on.
Are there any content marketing channels you should eliminate because they just don’t fit your brand vibe? Or that you don’t have time to fully master with your current budget and in-house capabilities?
Our main point here is that you don’t HAVE to have a Twitter account if you hate Twitter and can’t dedicate the time and energy it will take to grow your following there. Or pay someone else to do it. If your profile has been dead for years, it’s time to delete it. If a blog post you wrote in 2019 is still not getting any traffic, re-write it or take it down.
Executing limited content marketing channels well is always better than splitting your efforts between multiple channels and half-assing it across the board.
✅ Choose a Content Marketing Niche
With so much content marketing floating around out there, how can you make sure you’re getting seen by your ideal customer? How can your small business ever expect to outrank huge websites like LIVESTRONG, WebMD, Huffington Post, or Forbes? The answer is to “get niche”. While evergreen, broad topics (like this checklist!) will always have their place, there’s much more opportunity to reach your audience with niche topics.
How to Find (and Keep) Your Content Marketing Niche in 2022
How can you get more granular and in-depth on niche topics your audience is searching for on Google or social media? The focus should be on answering one question expertly, instead of outlining a broad topic.
Which post topics or types of posts does your audience engage with most often? Serve those up more and cut out poorly-performing topics to whittle down your niche.
Focus on WHO you’re selling to, not WHAT you’re selling. Create audience personas or personalities. Address your niche audience as if they were a real person.
Be personable and trustworthy. Is the way you talk to your audience online how you would approach a real person with a shared interest at a social event? If not, then you may not be serving your niche. People will be more likely to listen to your brand if they like you.
Are you approaching the right niche audience on the right social media platform? Younger audiences prefer TikTok and Instagram. B2B might prefer to engage with your content on LinkedIn. How can you adapt your niche and messaging for each social channel? Can you target different niches that will be interested in your products with different social channels?
✅ Consider a Chatbot to Serve Up Relevant Content
Could you reduce customer service emails and calls (and customer frustration) by using content you’ve developed? Content that answers frequently asked questions or gives programmatic instructions?
Chatbots are only as effective as the people-created content marketing that powers them. You could end up irritating your customers with info that doesn’t help them or seems way too mechanical and forced. Proceed with caution.
Chatbot Tips for Small Businesses
Your chatbot should maintain a conversational tone. You can hire a small business marketing specialist to help you with this! Or take a stab at it yourself if you’re brave.
Be succinct. Your customers don’t want to take your chatbot home to meet mom—they just want quick answers to their questions.
Don’t think of a chatbot as a sub for great customer service. Make it super easy for customers to reach your customer service team if their questions aren’t answered quickly by your chatbot.
Make sure your chatbot aligns with your branding. It should “speak” with the same tone and voice as your website copy so your online experience is seamless. Again, you can get help with this from your marketing agency of choice.
Use your chatbot to offer helpful content you’ve created. If you have popular blog posts that address customer service FAQ’s, share these via your chatbot. Don’t have articles that automate customer service requests? Your content marketing agency can help you publish high-value articles like these!
✅ Dip Your Toe Into Digital Events and Live Social Media
Has your brand ever hosted a digital event? How about a Live broadcast on Facebook or Instagram? If so…high five! If not…that’s ok, too. Give it a try in 2022 and mark this to-do off of your small business content marketing checklist!
Why Host Digital Events?
They’re safer post-COVID. And they make all attendees feel comfortable and validated, regardless of vaccination status.
They’re more convenient. Especially for remote teams that work in multiple locations. Often, more people will come if they don’t have to trudge their way to a venue!
They are modern. All the cool kids are throwing virtual events and going Live! Is your brand forward-thinking? Then embrace new event platforms!
They’re cheap. Instead of spending your events budget on booze, food, and decorations, invest it in an awesome giveaway for attendees that tune in and stay for your entire event. You’ll boost attendance AND make one fan very happy!
Up Your Game Through Collabs
If you’re already a pro at virtual events and Live social media broadcasts, then you’ve probably heard or poor tried collaborative online events. A collab event is when two brands throw a joint event. It gives you tons of new exposure, builds community, and is mutually beneficial for many other reasons.
Choose a brand that is in your same industry and niche, so your shared audiences will be interested in what you both have to say. Make sure to make time for a Q and A session at the end, and interact with attendees as much as possible during your live event.
✅ Get Strategic With Customer-first Automated Email Campaigns
Automated emails don’t have to be impersonal, cold, or boring! Make sure yours are dripping with personality and make your customers feel special—even if they are automated.
When to Use Automated Emails
Does your brand send a welcome or thank you email when someone joins your mailing list or makes a purchase? This is usually an automated email. But…there should be an entire email campaign that comes after it. Not just one email. Otherwise, you’re missing out on a huge opportunity to nurture one-time leads into lifelong customers. Add the tasks below to your personal content marketing checklist for 2022! It’ll make your life a lot easier and your customers happier.
Plan out email journeys for each type of customer.
Think about their motivations, what type of value you can offer them to keep them coming back, and how often they might want to hear from you. Use this info to craft a series of 3-6 emails that are automatically sent to your audience based on their specific needs. Then, gather as much data as you can to make your email campaigns better in 2022!
Automate repetitive emails.
Do you or your customer service team answer the same questions over and over? Automate responses to save time! Better yet, publish how-to articles to help customers bypass customer service completely and answer their own questions. It’s 2022, y’all! If you aren’t using the power of automation in your emails to save time and provide more in-depth customer service, then you’re sorely behind the times. If you’re not sure where to start or which tools to use, we’re here to help you plan out your email strategy.
✅ Double Down on Your Social Media Efforts
You might be wondering why social media is on this content marketing checklist. Duh..you’re already on social media. But are you getting the most benefit out of your social media presence? And are you spending enough time on your strategy to make a truly positive impact?
Social media is THE content marketing tactic for 2022. But, it’s pretty competitive and you’ll have to be on your game to see the benefits because EVERYONE has social media accounts. And, if we’re being honest, you need to have a social media strategy plan for your small business or you’re wasting your precious time. Because no busy entrepreneur wants to spend hours on a Reel or Story that flops.
How Can Strategic Social Media Grow Your Small Business in 2022?
Helps you create original, shareable video content with simple tools. No matter which social media platforms you choose, there are a ton of native, in-app tools to make the goals on this content marketing checklist way more doable. Creating interactive content (like quizzes and polls) and video content (like IGTV, Reels, and Video Pins) has never been easier! If you find creating content intimidating, begin by using social media tools.
Broadens your audience for your content marketing. Social allows you to organically reach tons of customers you otherwise could not. especially if your content marketing budget is modest.
Allows you to target certain niche audience groups more effectively while keeping your website targeting broad. You can speak to one niche audience on Instagram, another on Pinterest, and another on LinkedIn. With slight tweaks to messaging. Or, you can dedicate all social channels to one very specific niche. The possibilities are endless!
All it takes is TIME. If you have a solid social media strategy plan informing your efforts, social media is pretty easy t0 execute, as far as content marketing goes. But it does take a ton of time to do it right, so get help if you need it, and don’t stress. yourself out if you don’t see results the first time you post. There are many virtual assistants, freelancers, or marketing agencies out there who can help—like LoudBird!
✅ Be CONSISTENT
If there is one thing you take from this content marketing checklist, let it be that consistency is key. If you can’t dedicate yourself to doing all these things we’ve outlined in this post, that’s completely OK. But you HAVE to be consistent.
If you know you can only manage to post one blog per month, 3 social media posts per week, and an email newsletter quarterly…then plan your content marketing out in advance with that cadence in mind and stick to those goals. You can always add more content later! The key here is to just DO IT. Or, hire someone who can help you reach your content marketing goals each month.
Ok But…How Do I Actually DO All This?!
We hope you got some insight from our 2022 content marketing checklist for small businesses. There’s a reason so many business owners have a content marketing budget: it works! But we also know many of you will be scratching your heads wondering how the actual crap you’re going to put this plan into action.
You absolutely want to revamp your content marketing strategy. You want your brand to be a modern thought leader with an enviable online presence. But…how?
Getting help with your blog, social media, website, and email campaigns is one of the best investments you can make in your small business. If you’re ready to get serious about your content marketing strategy in 2022, send us a message. We’d love to help! We specialize in helping small businesses thrive—and especially women-owned businesses. We can teach you the skills you need to take charge of digital marketing…or do it for you affordably!