This is the first article or our content marketing series. In this series, we will provide in depth coverage that includes key aspects of the content marketing process to help you successfully implement your own content marketing strategy.
Marketing is one of the most challenging aspects of business development. As a business owner, you understand how difficult it is to identify, attract, convert and retain valuable customers. From using DVR to fast forward through commercials, to banishing emails to the dreaded “junk mail” folder, intelligent buyers have found creative ways to tune out many marketing methods. So how do you cut through the clutter and get your message to the right people?
In this technology-driven society where there are so many options, it is not enough to get noticed; you must provide something of interest and value for your target audience so that you become a trustworthy, and reliable “go-to” when they are ready to make a buying decision. A good content marketing strategy and careful execution can give you the competitive edge you are looking for.
Content marketing is the most effective way to communicate with your target audience through a variety of methods, including mediums such as blogs, articles, ebooks, emails, videos, podcasts, social media and good old print materials. The goal for your content marketing is simple…give your potential customers something interesting, exciting, persuasive, important, relevant or valuable that will entice them to take notice and come back for more.
Your goal is not to get attention by bombarding your target audience with information about your products or services, but to draw them in by appealing to their sensibilities. Make the argument as to how your product or service can solve a problem or make them better, faster, stronger, more efficient or happier.
Here are some different forms of content that you can implement in your content strategy. Depending on your resources, choose a combination of those that are most relevant and meaningful for your audience.
Blog posts: There are many benefits to blogging. Blogs can offer an avenue to your website and social media sites, and allows your audience to form a relationship with you through comments and feedback. Blogging on a consistent basis helps establish credibility for your organization and enhances your brand. It also gives your audience the ability to share your information by linking to it, giving you more quality links to your website. Also, using effective keywords and linking, blogging can help your SEO.
Web Videos: You can greatly improve your site traffic, site stickiness and search engine popularity by including video on your website or linking to it through YouTube (which is owned by Google). It is estimated that web video now makes up about 40% of internet traffic by consumers. Video has become an increasingly popular medium for businesses as it offers valuable data and imagery, eliminating the need for site visitors to “hunt” for information.
Articles, whitepapers and other written content: Relevant, optimized text published on a consistent basis provides value to your audience, enhances your credibility as an expert in your field, and gives you the ability to increase your search engine rankings. As a cornerstone of any good content marketing strategy, written content such as articles, case studies, white papers, and ebooks provide clout and keep search engines well fed.
Podcasts: Podcasting can be a valuable and unique addition to your content marketing strategy. In this increasingly mobile society, podcasts and audio casts allow audience members to listen to content, even if they are driving or engaged in other tasks. It is also a quick and easy way to create content. Additionally, podcast links can be posted on your website or blog with a properly optimized title, meta description and written transcription, giving search engines valuable new content.
Press releases: If you have information worthy of announcing, press releases can be a very effective way of reaching consumers. By optimizing your text and distributing your PR to various media outlets (including blogs, social media, and news wires), you can create maximum exposure. Be sure to include a click through opportunity within your text!
Infographics: Infographics combine text, images, and data to present lengthy, arduous amounts of information in a neat, visually-appealing little package. Because roughly 90% of the information that the brain takes in is visual, infographics offer a powerful, engaging form of content to the viewer…one that is much more likely to be remembered and shared.
Social Media: Love it or hate it, there is no denying that social media is a highly effective tool to get your message out. When utilized consistently, social media offers the opportunity for businesses to provide a brand/identity, create relationships with potential consumers, and promote products and services. This is also a simple, inexpensive way to increase your search engine optimization.
Newsletters/Email marketing: With companies like Constant Contact and Mail Chimp, email marketing remains one of the fastest and most inexpensive options for reaching your target audience. Be sure to incorporate engaging, valuable content into your emails/newsletters to ensure that your emails will be worthy of your audiences’ attention. If you want get the most out of your newsletter, link it to social media so that it can be shared, linked and “liked” by viewers.
There are countless benefits to constructing and implementing a content marketing strategy, but here are ten reasons to consider adding it to your overall marketing initiative.
Traditional marketing methods are not as effective as they once were. In our modern technology-based society, modern inbound marketing methods have emerged to allow us to reach our neighbors across the street or potential customers on the other side of the world. Oftentimes, people are weary of traditional advertising because it doesn't provide valuable information and gives little justification for purchasing goods or services. In many cases, consumers have become frustrated with past purchases as a result of such ads.
Buying attitudes have changed. Potential buyers are more savvy than ever and will often turn to the internet to gather information and make informed decisions before purchasing. This presents a remarkable opportunity for you to grab the attention of consumers with your optimized, compelling content and convert them into customers.
Few companies are using content marketing. Many businesses are unaware of the power of content marketing or have been unable to successfully implement it. This provides you a golden opportunity to get ahead of your competition and reap the rewards and benefits that accompany a strong content marketing plan.
Content marketing is less costly and more effective than traditional marketing alone. Unlike traditional marketing, content marketing costs less and yields better results and a higher return on investment (ROI). An intelligent approach in your content strategy can save you thousands of dollars in advertising and will improve your customer conversion rates.
A good content marketing strategy provides long term benefits. With content marketing, you will not have to worry about ongoing marketing materials and costs. Your carefully planned and executed content strategy, continually updated with fresh content, will build your brand, solidify your status as a trusted source in your niche, and result in exponential business growth over the long run.
Content marketing improves your online presence with higher rankings and visibility. When you consistently provide fresh search engine optimized web content, it enables Google and other search engines to index that content. This, in turn, will increase your search engine results page (SERP) and Google PR. Providing valuable, relevant information will give you the ability to appear above your competition in search results.
A good content marketing strategy produces quality lead generation and sales. Instead of chasing after your ideal prospects, you can leverage your content to encourage visitors to convert to loyal customers. Most people avoid sales pitches and prefer to decide for themselves what products and services best fit their needs based on the information that they have gathered. Good content empowers consumers to make good decisions and makes them feel comfortable about their purchases. Effective web content and a website with a user-friendly interface provide an easy and natural process of conversion, saving your staff and the visitor the hassle and awkwardness of trying to complete a sale.
Content marketing increases brand awareness. When carefully planned and executed, a good content marketing approach will accurately reflect your brand and image across multiple platforms for unlimited exposure. This not only popularizes your brand, but can elevate you to the status of industry leader over time.
Useful, relevant information builds trust with your audience and solidifies your position as an expert in your niche. People are wary of spending money without becoming well informed in the products or services they are seeking. By providing solid, insightful information on a consistent basis, you position yourself as a trusted source in your niche and become a trusted "go to" source for valuable information. As visitors and peers share your information with others through various social media outlets, you will build a reputation as an expert in your industry.
Content marketing provides valuable SEO benefits. Search engines crave regular content so much that a website that updates frequently with optimized content will be crawled and indexed faster than a static business site. This can help improve your website's overall ranking position on Google, Yahoo and other search engines, resulting in higher SERPS and increased profitability.
If done correctly, content marketing can greatly increase your web presence and credibility, which will greatly benefit your business both now and in the years to come. Click here to find out how our web marketing firm can assist you with a powerful content marketing strategy to obtain the results that you seek. Our SEO experts can offer solutions to help you optimize your content and get noticed by your target audience.