If you’re not a marketer by trade, content marketing can be one of those terms that has you scratching your head, but it really is one of the best things you can do for your business.
So what is it?
Content marketing is simply a strategy where you create high quality and very valuable free content that your target market will appreciate, and share it on your website and social media, and anywhere else that you’ll find your ideal client.
The idea is that instead of throwing flashing banner ads at your potential customers or constantly pitching to them, you consistently write brilliant content that they really enjoy and learn from, which gets past their natural resistance to being sold to and builds up a high level of trust, making them likely to buy over time instead.
It’s not a quick fix strategy. It’s not what you do if you need sales yesterday to cover the office rent, but over the long term, it can make a significant impact on your business.
How can it really impact your bottom line?
1. It can build your brand and establish you as an expert in your field
If you consistently publish amazing content and share it across your social media, people will start to associate you and your brand with expert knowledge that actually helps them. They’ll think of you as a trusted resource, not as someone who is always pushing the latest product or service, and that builds trust really quickly.
It works in the way that people like to be sold to – by making them feel like they aren’t being sold to at all. Instead of being the one who sends those spammy looking ‘buy my stuff’ emails every day, you’re now the one they look forward to in their inbox, because they know they’ll enjoy what you’ve got to say, and they’ll learn something.
Videos and infographics are a particularly good form of content marketing, because they are primarily informative in viewers’ minds, and highly visual/graphic-orientated content works excellently in keeping potential customers’ attention. Not only that, but the consistent release of new and helpful content keeps your brand memorable in a highly positive way.
2. You can actually sell with content marketing
You just have to do it subtly, by talking about the advantages of your product or service in a non-sales-like way, while also giving genuinely helpful information.
For example, instead of writing ‘here are our latest plumbing services’, try blogging about ‘what to look for when you’re hiring a plumber’. That’s a great way to make the point that you are that ideal plumber, while actually helping your customers out and preventing them from making a mistake and hiring the wrong person.
3. Great content gets shared and drives traffic
The search engines love new, targeted content, and if you give it to them, you will naturally rise in the search engine results, and you’ll get more traffic from being on the first page of Google than you will from being on the tenth.
Social media can bring a far wider reach for your business than you could ever manage on your own, and people do share and comment on content that they find useful, which brings you to new audiences and pulls traffic back to your website.
Content marketing is only a part of the whole digital marketing mix, but it’s definitely worth paying attention to for any business. Play the long game with great content and you will see results with increased traffic, better SEO and those all-important new sales.