What is Content Marketing?

Content marketing refers to the creation or curation of useful content that is relevant to your target audience, and is used 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 your audience deems valuable.

For many businesses, content marketing consists of sharing information relevant to their industry that will be useful or interesting for customers. For example, a business selling 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 my business?

Good content marketing can benefit more than search engine optimization, and can have a positive snowball effect if done properly. For example, compelling content marketing on social media increases links to the site, which increases search rankings, which in turn drives traffic to your website, ultimately providing more information about your target customers via Google Analytics, and facilitating more effective content marketing. Below are some of the most significant benefits you can gain from content marketing.

Learn from your customers

When content marketing is done well, it is a highly social activity. Customers and prospects can 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. With this information in hand, you can craft more powerful marketing campaigns, and gear the information towards what your audience finds most appealing.

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 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 will include a relatively high concentration of both short-tail and long-tail keywords. Done well, this can ensure that your website will rank highly in searches that are relevant to your business. In order to make your content marketing as effective as possible, come up with a prioritized list of keywords that people use to search for businesses like yours to guide your content marketing. For instance, if you’re selling football jerseys, what would people type into the search bar to find what they’re looking for? Best football jerseys near me, custom football jerseys, football jerseys for women, etc.

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 conversion rate 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 rankings, it’s clear that social media interaction does improve search rankings, even if only a bit.

Moreover, efficient content marketing incentivizes other websites to link to yours, which are called backlinks. These increase your authority with search engines, and have the added benefit of improving search rankings.

Build your brand

Content marketing helps you build your brand and create a voice for your business. Essentially, it is a free form of advertising since it’s an opportunity to communicate with your target audience. The more your potential and current customers are familiar with your brand, the more likely they are to interact with your company, purchase from you, and make repeated visits. Good content marketing allows you to leverage your brand as an expert in the field, and can be incredibly useful in terms of generating trust with potential customers. Ultimately, this trust can increase sales.

Content marketing is useful to your business in terms of search engine optimization and beyond. Its benefits reinforce one another, so it can be a powerful flywheel to drive the growth of your business in a positive direction if done correctly. If you’re thinking about content marketing as a strategy to help your business, consider Simply Design!