What is content marketing?
Content marketing is the creation of content that attracts more traffic to your site, engages your customers and helps to promote your business. When done properly, it can be a highly effective way to increase sales and build your reputation online.
Content creation can be time consuming and many businesses outsource this task to a content marketing agency or a writing service, particularly small to medium sized business with limited in-house resources. The better the quality the more professional your business will look and the more likely you are to engage your target audience. Content is often written, but visual content such as video is becoming increasingly popular.
What type of content is best?
If you have a business blog or write any kind of online articles, you are already doing some content marketing, but there may be much more you could be doing. There is a variety of content which can be used effectively including:
- Blog posts
- Social media updates
- White papers
The right platforms for you will depend largely on your business and who your potential customers are, or more importantly, where they spend the most time online. To make the most out of your efforts you need to have a content marketing strategy in which you identify your target audience and the websites or social media platforms where they spend time.
What’s in it for your business?
If you have a well thought out strategy and spend some time on quality content creation it can benefit your business in a number of ways. These include:
- Promoting your business to a wider audience. Content marketing can be a low cost way to expose your business to readers who may turn into paying customers. Make sure you have social media sharing buttons added so that your readers can promote your content to their networks. This has the potential to expose your business to numerous new readers with no additional effort on your behalf – if your content is worth sharing.
- Establishing your reputation as an expert. Content marketing is not about pitching your wares. It’s about building trust with your audience and positioning yourself as a credible authority on your particular subject. In order to do this what you offer to your audience must be valuable to them and engage their interest. This can be done by helping them solve a particular problem, entertaining them or providing information which will assist them in some way. When thinking about what types of content to produce, consider the needs of your target audience and how you can best help them. If you’re outsourcing, provide some good guidelines for the article writers to work within – doing so will help ensure you get the type of content you have in mind.
- Improving your SEO. Regular, original and well written material is regarded positively by search engines. Including some keywords in your written content and image files, and ensuring you present items that are highly relevant to prospective clients, can help you draw more targeted traffic to your website. Your content can be used to build natural links and generally increase your standing online.
- Increasing your conversion rates. If you have a high “bounce rate” (the percentage of people who click off your site as soon as they arrive) it’s likely your site is not relevant to those visitors. When you improve the number of relevant visitors, your visit to enquiry/purchase rate is also likely to improve.
Content marketing may seem complex, but it can be reduced to a simple equation: combine a well thought out strategy with high quality, original content that your readers find valuable, and you could see significant benefits for your business.