If you haven’t made content marketing a priority for your business, you are missing out on the power to attract and retain customers, as well as losing ground to the competition. Sure, content marketing is an investment in time, resources, money paid to staff, and a commitment to long-term strategy; but it’s one that is well worth it in the long run.
What is Content Marketing?
When you create blogs, articles, videos, photos, infographics, and social media posts that are not sales ads but instead focus on delivering real informational value to your target audience, that’s content. When you perform market research to determine target audience segments, expose your content in places where your prospects spend time online, and focus on search terms and hashtags to help them find the content you create, that’s content marketing! Content marketing exists for the purpose of engaging your target audience earlier in the “buy cycle” in ways that are far more disarming and helpful than conventional advertising. It’s not a hard-sell approach. Content marketing is about establishing a relationship with your customers and prospects over time so that they trust you enough to feel most comfortable to purchase from you when they are ready.
Why Content Marketing Is Important
Today’s consumers live in a society where there is a wealth of information at every turn. So it’s becoming part of the social norm to read up on a product, check out reviews and research the brand vision before making a purchase. Content marketing feeds that need for information, as well as engages an audience that may be searching for services and products like yours.
Here are some clear reasons why you should invest in content marketing:
1. You need a stronger web presence – Are your competitors running you over on the web with killer websites, dynamic blogs, thousands of followers on social media and online sales? In today’s marketing, you need to rise above the pack to show why you are the best in your industry. That requires stepping up and creating consistent, quality content across all channels– website, blog, social, email, and video. So pump up your team and get to work!
2. You need online traffic and better SEO – Digital content marketing and search engine optimization strategies work together to get you ranking higher in Google search listings by increasing your relevancy on topics you claim to be expert in. Increasing your relevancy and authority in your line of business encourages your audience to come to your site, see what’s there more often, and ultimately make a purchase. Think about creating high-quality content on “evergreen” topics (those that aren’t timely, tied to news, a holiday, or specific campaign) to get the most from your production efforts. According to the experts at Search Engine Watch, “Creating evergreen content is a great strategy for improving search rankings, as well as making your site a more useful one.” You should consider at least some form of evergreen content for each of your identified keyword phrases you recognize as being most important for customer searches.
3. You need sales leads – If you’ve ever been stumped on how to bring in more customers, turn to content marketing. By offering a nugget of high-quality content that helps a customer solve a problem or showcases your expertise, customers will feel more at ease to share their contact information so that you can add them to your mailing list, reach out with a call, and get them in the door of your store or website. According to the Content Marketing Institute, content that is valuable and useful to people includes e-books, white papers, guides, event invites, and case studies. We find great success in creating useful DIYs, how-to’s, recipes, and life hack style content in all forms as an additional way to provide value to customers who are not immediately planning to buy something just yet. This tactic gives you a new way to provide useful information to your customers year round.
4. You need to reach your target audience – If you’ve done your marketing research, you should already know a little something about your target audience segments – what they need, what problems you can solve for them, how they like to get their information. By doing this homework upfront, you can create content that is in the right place at the right time saying the right things to get them to come over and convert to a purchasing behavior when the time is right. Just posting general content that might appeal to all audiences isn’t going to be convincing enough. You have to really target your audiences with voice, topic, and placement matches. Think of it this way: would you talk to your mom and your hip group of friends in the same way? Then don’t develop marketing content without careful adjustments in topic, tone, style, and delivery methods.
5. You need to build trust – When you think about any important relationship in your life, you know that trust is a key factor. With content marketing, you are building a relationship with your customers. You are letting them get to know you in order to trust you enough to hand over money in exchange for a product or service. It’s important for you to know your audience too, and understand what they need to know about your brand/product/service to establish that trust. Just like with any relationship, you don’t want to push too hard, come off salesy, smarmy, or desperate. Just be yourself, let your brand personality and knowledge shine in your content, let them see how fabulous you are, and you won’t have to push. They will come to you.
If you don’t have the resources to create effective, high-quality content marketing yourself, hire a content marketing agency like Releventure. We have wonderfully creative strategists, sound target audience researchers, SEO and copywriting experts, and a small army of diverse creative producers to get you the results you want – affordably and at scale!