There’s a reason why the phrase ‘Content is King’ is so popular, as it has slowly but surely become a necessity for a great marketing strategy in recent times. In the digital age where consumers are bombarded with advertisements and content, many businesses are finding it difficult to create a stable presence online. It’s time we start examining what makes businesses thrive online and why content marketing is so important, as more and more companies try to make room for themselves on social media platforms and search engines.
What is content marketing?
Content marketing utilises searchable phrases, keywords, graphics and videos to create shareable pieces of digital content; this strategic approach aims to attract and retain a customer base. As opposed to the instantaneous nature of standard advertising, the aim of content marketing is to build a relationship with the consumer over time. This helps to increase brand awareness and establish them as an authority in their industry.
By building familiarity in the hyper-connected landscape of today, customers will keep returning to your services instead of trying new companies. This makes it easier for your business to sell to them, as the success rate of selling to an existing customer is 60-70% whereas selling to a new customer is only successful 5-20% of the time.
Creating content people want to read or watch is valuable to any business. If you’re publishing blog posts every week that have low relevance to topics consumers typically find engaging, then this can impact the amount of traffic to your website. As such, you’ll be more successful posting monthly blog posts that people will be interested in, even if it only loosely relates to your business’ services or is considered more ‘evergreen’ subject matter that will stay relevant all year round.
What types of content marketing are there?
Many marketing strategies are designed to create short-term results, but this won’t build long-term success and continuous profit. Content marketing can come in a variety of formats, all of which are great ways of boosting your online presence. This can include (but is not limited to):
- Original case studies and research – sharing previous work lets customers see what’s to be expected when they employ your services. Being at the forefront of your industry and contributing your own personal insights is invaluable, as you impart your knowledge and others can use your content as a source, which is also known as link building. Link building helps you increase links to your company on other relevant websites, therefore increasing traffic on your own website and positively impacting search engine rankings.
- Infographics – these are pictures accompanied by a small amount of copy explaining complex, industry-related information in an easily digestible way.
- Article or blog posts – by uploading articles regularly on your website, you’ll be improving SEO and encouraging traffic. Never underestimate the power of a good blog page!
- Video content – videos are shared online at a much higher rate than pictures and text, so creating informative videos is essential to a successful online marketing campaign. These can include how-to guides, meet the team profiles and case studies, to name just a few. Adding subtitles to your videos is also highly beneficial, as it will make them more accessible to those with hearing impairments or for people who will watch your video without sound whilst scrolling on their phones in public.
- Service pages – creating informative and comprehensive service pages for potential consumers to read for free will increase your chance of creating new leads. Creating content your customers will be interested in will have them returning to your website for long periods of time.
How to create effective content
Content marketing has to be created in a strategic way in order to drive traffic and increase engagement. Having a clear purpose is mandatory, as a confusing message about what your business is offering will leave potential customers lost, leading them to go elsewhere for business, information or advice. Here are a few guidelines on how to create effective content for your website:
- Understand your audience – it’s essential that before writing any content, you understand your target audience and the customers you already have.
- Promote content effectively – sharing your own content on social media platforms will spread awareness of your content, utilising a proactive approach rather than hoping customers will come across your blog posts by chance.
- Update old content – some content pieces only remain relevant for a brief amount of time before engagement naturally starts to wane, while others will remain relevant for many years to come. It’s important you keep old content updated as much as you can to maintain a trustworthy reputation whilst improving your search engine ranking.
Read more on how to create high-quality content here!
What content marketing can do for your business
Build a reputation and relationship with the consumer
It’s vital to build a trustworthy reputation in order to make connections with loyal customers who will use your services time and time again. Writing strong, informative content for your website will help establish a rapport with customers and build brand awareness. Posting content on a regular basis gives people a reason to visit your website frequently. Video content is also a great way to increase brand awareness, as consumers are able to see exactly what to expect from your company, products or services, so are more likely to use your business.
Showcase your expertise
Consumers are more informed now than they have been at any point in history, which is not surprising considering the amount of free information available on the internet. As such, by the time a customer reaches out to you, they will have probably read a fair bit of your website. By showcasing what you know about your industry along with your products and services, customers are more likely to trust you. By not providing any information, you’ll be losing customers as they are likely to look elsewhere. Look at your content as if you’re reading it for the first time and you’ll get an idea of where you can improve and what information is missing.
Optimise your content for search engines
Content plays a big part in building your business’ rankings on search engines. SEO helps with improving visibility online, so by integrating these two methods together, you’ll be able to enhance your online presence. Content creation is one of the most effective SEO techniques available. Although posting a lot of web pages won’t necessarily increase traffic to your website, they will give you more opportunity to use keywords, therefore helping to rank higher on search engines. Additionally, having a lot of content gives consumers reason to explore your website and when people spend more time on your content and website, this often correlates positively with search engine rankings.
Nurture and create new leads
At the end of the day, lead generation is the end goal for most businesses when promoting themselves online. Content marketing is one part of a good digital marketing strategy that can help towards creating more profit and revenue for your business when done properly. All digital marketing practices, from PPC ads to email marketing, can utilise content marketing to work effectively and nurture leads. Lead nurturing is the process of building a relationship with potential customers over time, in order to develop them into sales opportunities. For example, after reading one article or blog post, a customer – or lead – will be unlikely to use your services, but if you produce a catalogue of engaging content for them to read, the chances of a sale increase. When producing such content, it’s important to remember: research what your customers want to read instead of what you want to write.
Content marketing takes time to work – on average you’ll begin to see results in 6 to 9 months time, so you should start creating content as soon as possible. If you’re confident content marketing is worth the long-term investment, we’d certainly recommend it as part of a fully integrated marketing strategy!