Why content marketing?
You’ve probably seen the term everywhere in the last few years, but do you know what content marketing is?
The Content Marketing Institute defines it thus:
Content marketing is 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.
There are several ultra-important words in this sentence – my picks would be: relevant, consistent, attract, audience, profitable.
What does content marketing actually involve?
Most small businesses with an online presence have at least a vague idea of the concept of content marketing. In practice, it’s the process of publishing e-books, videos, articles, images and any other type of content online to market a business or product.
There are a couple of problems, though. Much of the content marketing advice you’ll read online comes from digital marketing agencies, and it’s often overwhelming for a small business that doesn’t have a marketing team. How on earth are you supposed to pump out all those videos and e-books when you’ve products to sell and customers to keep happy?
In a fit of enthusiasm, you create a PDF and then post about it a little on social media. This doesn’t work, which means you don’t get the results you expected and – understandably – you now feel despondent about the whole idea of content marketing.
But the bottom line is that content marketing IS important and well worth getting to grips with. Let’s look at some of the reasons why:
Great content is valuable for SEO.
These days, search engine optimization has to start with quality content. True, you still need some keywords and backlinks to your site to do well in Google searches, but the days when just keywords and backlinks worked are long gone.
Google is pretty smart these days – it understands questions and longer phrases, so a long string of keywords at the bottom of your web page won’t help, and could actually get you penalised. I’m amazed that some websites still have this – and “keyword stuffing” just looks so obvious and unnatural!
Google also looks at other factors such as your social media activity, and the relevance of your content. By that I mean how good you are at answering questions that people are asking – and searching for the answers – in Google.
And while we’re talking about SEO, let’s not forget Pinterest. Pinterest is actually the 2nd largest search engine (behind Google and YouTube which can be considered a single entity). Research has shown that 84% of Pinterest users have buying intent – dramatically different from social media users. Many businesses ignore Pinterest – potentially a serious mistake!
DOWNLOAD MY FREE GUIDE TO PINTEREST MARKETING FOR BEGINNERS
Content brings you traffic.
You need content to encourage visitors to your website, for example a Facebook page post or an Instagram image. Then you need content to let them get to know, like and trust you. Posting regular blogs and videos will be a valuable contribution. If they like what you publish, they’ll come back for more.
It’s an ongoing process; you need to be publishing content such as social media updates on a daily basis, or several times a day – and blogging regularly (I’d suggest at least once a month, but find your own comfort level).
Ideally,you should be creating other types of content such as videos, slideshares, infographics regularly too. Don’t forget that one piece of content (e.g. a blog post) can be repurposed into other forms such as video, slideshare, downloadable checklist etc.
When you understand how to extract the maximum value from your content, it won’t seem like such hard work.
Content brings you leads.
Once you’ve captured attention with your content you’ll need more to generate leads. You can do this by exchanging a useful checklist or guide (yes, this is content too!) for your visitors’ email addresses. Think about the questions that your clients ask you most frequently, and create a guide, checklist or cheat sheet that answers these questions – all you need is a Word document, made into a pdf and uploaded to your website.
Set up your email software to deliver this as a download when someone enters their email address, and bingo – job done and a new subscriber on your list.
Content builds trust.
There are millions of websites out there, why should anyone buy from yours? You need to make a connection with your visitors, to show you understand them and can be trusted to deliver exactly what they need.
Guess how you do that? Yes, with content – relevant content that answers their questions and addresses their concerns, making you the go-to person in your niche. When that happens, watch your business become profitable!
Content grows your brand.
If your content has a consistent message that’s congruent with the rest of your business then your content will tell the world about what you do, how and why.
People will be attracted to you because your message triggers an emotional response, making them feel “I need this”. Quite simply, emotion is the fuel for every successful marketing strategy.
Content helps you sell.
There is an art to writing product descriptions and articles that sell. It’s all about emotion! But to make your sales content work at its best you’ll need to deliver it to your audience when they are 100% ready to buy. How do you know when that is? If you’ve been nurturing and tracking their progress using content marketing, then you’ll have all the information you need.
As you can see, there’s a bit more to content marketing than posting on social media and updating your website a couple of times per year. If done well it can bring you traffic, leads and sales. Off you go…
Questions? Post them below!
Ready to get started?
All types of content are essential to marketing these days but it’s time-consuming to create those images and videos if you’re new to the whole concept of content marketing.
Take a look at these Viral Content Templates that help you create eye-catching, highly engaging graphics for social media. They’re designed for busy business owners just like you, to save you lots of time and effort! All you need is a free Canva account.
Why not join my Facebook group where I share lots of ideas, tips and resources to create visual content for your business?
Or, if you’re looking for an alternative to social media – with no algorithms blocking your links, and no need to worry about follower numbers or engagement – my free guide Pinning To Win (for beginners to Pinterest marketing) is definitely worth a look!
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