Content marketing is one of the most important marketing techniques any small business owner can partake in. We’ve spoken at length about the benefits of content marketing and why, if you’re not the best writer in the world, you should outsource your content marketing efforts.

And, with our ultimate digital marketing cheat sheet, we’ve delved into detail about how to write the best blog posts for your business, and how blogging can help you acquire backlinks, improve your website’s SEO, increase engagement levels on your blog and help you land guest blogging opportunities on big blogs to bring more visitors to your website.

But today, we want to take a different approach. If you’ve set up your website and social media handles and write regular content for your blog, then you’ll know it can be difficult to find success. Sure, you might get a couple of visitor referrals from Google if you write an informative post about something in your niche, but were those visitors worth the three hours it took to write the piece?

Below, we’ve put together just some of the ways in which you can make your content marketing more effective. Our handy infographic is packed with useful tips and tricks that you can use to improve your content marketing efforts and bring more visitors back to your website as a result.

How to make your content marketing more effective

The first tip that we offer in our infographic is that you should always write your content for your audience, rather than for Google. Years ago, people would “stuff” their content with keywords and other gobbledygook in order to rank higher than their competitors, but these days are long gone.

So, if you’re writing a piece of content that you want to rank, then make sure that you focus on your audience. Does it answer their questions? Does your content have something that goes above and beyond your competitor’s content? If the answer is no, it’s time to go back to the drawing board and find out exactly what your customers want to read about. Only then will you find success with content marketing. The benefits of search engine optimisation will follow in time.

It’s a common misconception that linking out to other websites can damage your reputation or reduce the amount of “link juice” your website holds.

Make sure that you link out to reliable, relevant sources of information that adds more value to your readers.

So, if you’re writing a piece about your pop-up stall at a local carnival or festival, then add links to the festival’s website, and to other companies and businesses that you think your customers would want to find out about.

Calls to actions are also important, so be sure to add one to the end of your blog post so that you can encourage your followers to do as you say.

Of course, ‘buy now’ isn’t always going to work, so instead encourage people to enter your sales funnel by signing up to your mailing list and acquiring their email addresses. WordStream has a fantastic guide to calls to action if you want to learn how to nail your sales technique and get customers on your side.

Another way to increase the effectiveness of your content marketing is to add visual media – like images, infographics and videos. If you don’t have much experience creating graphics, this might seem like an impossible task, but we’ve rounded up five websites offering free digital resources like infographic makers, royalty free images and fonts to help you create something unique.

SproutWorth research shows that 15% of marketers found visual content five times more effective than traditional text-based content marketing like social posts and blogs, so you do the maths.

The final point on our list isn’t necessarily a point that you can action immediately, but rather some lasting advice that you can take with you on your content marketing journey.

The only way you’ll get better at writing and producing compelling content is by sticking at it – and speaking to your audience and asking them what they want to see from you. Make sure you set aside time for your content marketing efforts every week, even when you’re busy, and ask for feedback along the way from customers and friends and family. If you’re feeling low and can’t face sitting at your computer to start working on your marketing strategy, then check out our motivation techniques.

What techniques do you use to make your content marketing more effective? Let us know on Twitter or get in touch to find out more about how we can help market your small business.