What is Content Marketing?
Content marketing is one of the most effective and efficient ways to get your company’s brand out there. This type of marketing is used to attract the attention of your audience by sharing online material through social media, websites, blog posts, etc. And to put it simply, content marketing is the act of creating and publishing content that captures the interest of your target audience.
Why Should You Do Content Marketing?
One of the greatest benefits to content marketing is that it allows you to build your reputation through the content you publish. And as a result, this increases your perceived credibility, trustworthiness and ultimately your profitability.
Attracting New Customers
Through content marketing, you show your audience you value building a connection with them. Based on statistics, 78% of consumers prefer knowing about a company brand through articles rather than advertisements. This is because articles are engaging in a way advertisements aren’t.
When you have great content, it gives your audience a sense of what your brand is and who you are. This is especially useful if you want to target those that haven’t heard about your brand. Content marketing is the perfect way to make an impactful first impression.
Retaining Existing Customers
According to studies, 61% of small businesses claim that half their revenue comes from repeat customers. This just goes to prove that your relationship with customers is vital to your success. It can make or break the entire reputation and revenue of your company. And along those lines, content marketing is a great way to reinforce your relationship with existing customers.
Increasing Traffic From Google [And other search engines]
Content marketing is also proven to be one of the two most effective SEO tactics. It helps build your brand by improving online visibility through search engine results. For example, when prospective customers do a Google search that pertains to your business, the goal is to have your content show up at the top of the first page of Google.
The more pages and blog posts you have, the more likely it is your website will end up ranking at the top of search results. Not only do you want a lot of pages and posts, but the length should be appropriately long. When talking about blog posts, we often surprise people when we say they should shoot for around 1,000-2,000 words in length. There is a common assumption that short blog posts are better than long. But, that’s definitely not always the case. For example, if we limited this blog post to 438 words, you would be finished reading right now. In that case, you wouldn’t be able to read the second half of this blog post, which is about how to do content marketing. You benefit more from having the longer post, if this is a topic you’re interested in. And it won’t bother you to have more information on one blog post.
An argument could be made that we can split this blog post into two. While that’s true, there’s one other benefit about having a longer post. That is, Google likes it. Google can see this blog post is far more informative at 1,403 words, than than it would be if it were only 438 words. As a result, this blog post has more perceived value to search engines like Google. So, use lengthy and informative content to increase your rankings on Google.
Expressing Your Differential Advantage
Content marketing also makes your brand distinct from your competitors. This type of marketing gives you a way to showcase what makes you different to prospective customers. Why should someone purchase a product or service from you, rather than from your competition? The content on your website should be written in a way to clearly demonstrate the unique value you bring.
How Can You Do Content Marketing?
When planning a content marketing campaign, you should first decide on the best approach to use. Below are some key points to consider.
Set Your Goals
To get the most out of your content marketing, it’s a very good idea to create all content in a way that supports your goals. We often see business owners make a mistake with this particular step.
For example, if you have the goal of establishing yourself as an industry thought leader, then publish the same type of content that other leaders in the industry are sharing. If you’re trying to promote a specific product or service, then create content geared toward showcasing the value of what you have to offer. Make sure everything you create ties into your goals, unless there is a very good reason to make an exception to this rule.
To learn about the difference between goals, strategies and tactics, click here.
As an example of what not to do, avoid writing content about local events, unless the events are directly relevant to your business. We know of one company that would write about local festivals, and events of that nature. However, the services they provide had nothing to do with festivals. The time and energy put into creating those blog posts would have been much more effective if it had instead been put into local updates pertaining to their specific industry.
Know Your Audience
The better you know your target audience, the great the chance of success. Here are some examples of how this would work:
- If you’re trying to reach teachers with your content, they will be more likely to engage with you in mid afternoon. Schedule your content marketing accordingly.
- If you have a service that costs $2,500 per month ($30,000 per year), make sure you target prospective clients who have a high enough income to support that type of expense.
- Be sure to have an ADA compliant website if many of the people you wish to reach are unable to read the content on your site. To clarify, the coding on your website needs to be properly formatted if it’s going to be accurately read to someone who is blind.
- What questions are you most likely to be asked by your target market? Know these questions and create content on these topics in advance. For example, when a prospective client sends us an email and asks us to explain what backlinks are and how to get them, we will send them to this content: Everything You Should Know About Backlinks.
The bottom line is, get to know your target audience. Then, publish great content in a way that will get their attention and provide value to them.
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Implement Your Plans
Ready to start content marketing for your business? If so, that’s great! You’ll want to make sure to hire someone who can handle your content according to best practices. There is really a lot of strategy that goes into content marketing. And, there are other factors to consider as well. Examples include writing the content in a way that’ll get Google’s attention, legally using images so you don’t don’t break copyright laws, and properly formatting the content according to best practices.
Of course, you can research and practice your own content marketing, if you have the time. Alternatively, you can hire a freelancer, agency or create your own in-house marketing person or team. Just be sure that whoever does your content marketing is qualified and experienced. Making the wrong hire could limit your success, or in the worst case, cause you significant legal issues.
In the end, content marketing has always been an effective strategy when it comes to business exposure – especially now that we live in a fast-paced world where so many people are constantly online.
This is one of the reasons content marketing is a tactic that seems to work well for many different companies. It also promotes effective communication and reliability between the company and the consumers. Customers or clients never want to feel like they’re just someone you get revenue from. They want to feel needed and valued by your company. For that reason, content marketing can be very powerful. If done correctly, it can help you build a valued and engaging relationship with them. And as a result, this can help your company grow in many ways.
As the founder of Joshua Lyons Marketing, Josh Lyons primarily focuses on business development. He has studied and practiced marketing since 2008 and launched his first company (a marketing agency in Pensacola, Florida) in 2015. When he's not writing blog posts, recording podcasts or consulting, he enjoys spending time with family and friends. He loves listening to audiobooks and checking out different coffee shops. He also enjoys fire juggling, amigurumi, travel and swing dancing; which is how he met his wife.