What is content marketing?
Content marketing refers to the creation or curation of useful content that is relevant to your target audience in order to acquire and retain customers. Content marketing can take place in a wide range of media, including blogs, eBooks, videos, podcasts, and images. The key point about content marketing is that it has to provide something that your audience deems valuable.
For many businesses, content marketing consists of sharing information relevant to their industry that will be useful or interesting for their customers. For example, a business selling trolling motors might create blog posts comparing the pros and cons of different engine manufacturers.
However, successful content marketing need not necessarily be about the business itself. Provided that it does not run counter to your brand, good content marketing on almost any subject may drive sales or leads for your business. For example, George Takei’s popular Facebook page drives sales of his books on Amazon by using unrelated memes, jokes, and links to external news websites.
How can content marketing help your business?
Good content marketing has benefits in terms of search engine optimization and beyond. These have a snowball effect of reinforcing one another. For example, effective content marketing on social media can drive traffic to your website, which in turn can increase search rankings, and all this can provide more information about your target customers via Google Analytics, which facilitates more effective content marketing, and so on.
Learn from your customers
When content marketing is done well, it is a highly social activity. Customers and prospects will like, favorite, retweet, and comment on things that are interesting or important to them. For savvy businesses, this represents an opportunity to learn more about their customers’ personality profiles, needs, and preferences.
Many companies and brands have very limited mechanisms to receive customer feedback. It is incredibly common for companies to assume that they know what their customers want, choosing not to invest time to find out what customers actually think.
Content marketing offers an avenue to obtain unfiltered, direct information from your target customers free of charge. This can be incredibly helpful to fine-tune your branding and your products. For example, if you are a clothing company considering a new clothing line, you can get feedback on different designs before you invest in expensive inventory.
Widen your sales funnel
If content marketing is done strategically, it includes a relatively high concentration of both short-tail and long-tail keywords. Done well, this can help your website will rank better in searches that are relevant to your business. In order to make your content marketing as effective as possible, try coming up with a prioritized list of keywords that people use to search for businesses like yours to guide your content marketing.
You can use free SEO tools such as Google Analytics and Google Keyword Planner to help you create your list. Google Keyword Planner can give you a sense of average search volume for different queries. If you have Google Analytics on your website and have received sufficient visits, Google Analytics can rank keywords according to the average spend of visitors coming to the website as a result of each keyword. This can be very useful for keyword prioritization, since some keywords generate much more revenue than others. For example, visitors searching for ‘buy trolling motors’ will spend much more on average than visitors searching for ‘what are trolling motors’.
The more visitors you have to your website, the more your sales will increase and the greater your ability will be to increase sales through optimization.
Content marketing can also widen your sales funnel through online social engagement. Although search engines have been cagey about discussing the degree of impact social media engagement has on their rankings, it is clear that social media engagement doesn’t hurt.
Moreover, good content marketing incentivizes other websites to link to yours (which are called backlinks). This increases your ‘authority’ with search engines, which also has the effect of improving search rankings.
Build your brand
Content marketing helps you build your brand and create a voice for your business. It is an opportunity to communicate with your target audience while simultaneously improving your business strategy. The more your customers and potential customers are familiar with your brand, the more likely they are to order from you, and to order again in future.
Good content marketing allows you to position your brand as an expert in its field, which can be incredibly useful in terms of generating trust on the part of potential customers and increasing sales.
Content marketing can be a powerful flywheel to drive your growth, so why wouldn’t you utilize it for your business? If you’re ready to talk content marketing and creation, SEO, or other forms of online advertising, give us a call today!