What is content marketing?
Content marketing is the creation and distribution of creative, relevant content designed to attract your target audience. It involves creating and running an ongoing blog for the purpose of engaging with people and promoting your business’s goods and services. You can use this medium to speak to potential customers, address their needs, and show them how your product can be the solution to their problems.
Many businesses, especially smaller ones, are hesitant to try it out. They may believe that the heyday of blogging is long past, or that other forms of marketing are more likely to produce results. However, content marketing can be a great way to draw attention (and customers) to your online store. You just need to know how to do it right, and we can help with our own piece of content. Here is some information on the benefits of and best practices for content marketing.
Reasons to Use Content Marketing
No matter what type of business you own, content can play a pivotal role in your Internet marketing strategy. Providing relevant and valuable contents is nonnegotiable for any niche market. You could be a steel manufacturer, a veterinarian, a health supplement supplier, or something else entirely. Regardless, your customers want valuable content — and you should give it to them. Here are some reasons why.
Get Yourself Noticed
Consistently publishing fresh blog content will get you noticed in the eyes of Google to improve your search engine rankings. If you regularly publish blog posts that are search engine optimized, it will make it easier for your blog and website to rank naturally for those keywords. For more information, Brafton provides an excellent, annually-updated series of infographics that illustrate the connection and prove it with statistics.
Make Yourself Newsworthy
Your new blog posts are likely to shoot to the top of the search engine rankings because Google’s algorithm views blogs as hot, newsworthy content. This surge in rankings is only temporary, but if you publish blogs regularly, the odds are that you will be much more visible to customers searching for keywords related to your brand.
Offer Value to Your Customers (It’s Free)
Content is a great way to offer customers something of value, totally free of charge. Nowadays, there are hardly any e-commerce markets that are completely unsaturated. Go the extra mile to give your customers something of value in the form of blog posts, articles, tutorials, and even free downloadable reports.
Establish Yourself as a Social Leader
Once you have the content, maximize your exposure by posting links on you social media profiles and adding your posts to social bookmarking sites. Content creators share social conversations. Sharing quality content on Twitter and Facebook establishes you as an industry leader and promotes peer-to-peer sharing. With some skill and luck, your website could go viral.
Build Trust with Your Customers
Users visiting your website with specific purchase intent are likely to leave right away if they don’t find what they are specifically looking for. On the other hand, users interested in perusing your quality content likely will stay and read through your pages. This allows the readers to establish familiarity and trust with your brand. Coupled with quality products, that trust can turn your interested readers into engaged and loyal customers.
Tips for Content Marketing
Now that you know the many benefits that content marketing has to offer, you may be interested in trying it yourself. However, it is not as simple as typing a few paragraphs, hitting the publish button, and waiting for customers to roll in. Like any marketing campaign, this type requires a great deal of thought and preparation. Here are some tips for improving your content marketing strategy.
Set Your Goal
What is it that you hope to achieve? Would you like to increase sales or brand awareness? Would you like to convert more visitors into buyers? Knowing what you hope to achieve will drive the creation of your content. A goal gives you a measure of success once you have something published.
Speak to Your Audience
When you create an online store, you typically pick your target demographics at the beginning. You should know (or find out) what they are looking for — a tip that applies to any kind of marketing. Generally, marketing strategies warn against assuming that all your customers think alike. In content marketing, however, you cannot write different versions of the same blog post for different groups. You will have to speak with all of them at once. You can speak broadly, or you can target your largest or most important audiences.
Always Include a Call to Action
Don’t think of your content as an advertisement. Instead, give your customers something to do within your content. A call-to-action is a command that people can follow, such as “Sign up for our latest newsletters here” or “Check out our new products first here.” These directives can help drive your goal and boost conversions.
Be Consistent and Integrate
Don’t feel the need to create different content for different platforms. In addition to wasting a considerable amount of time, you dilute your message in the process. The goal is to create high quality content that all of your customers need to read. So no matter how they access your content, they receive a clear message and their call to action.
Share Your Content on Your Social Media
People may not always be interested in sharing product pages or advertisements. However, they will share a blog post if it speaks to them. Encourage this by sharing the blog posts yourself on your business’s social media pages, including Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Google +, and other platforms. Creating strong content is critical to increasing your chances of spreading throughout these channels, as customers are driven to share your message.
Find a Partner (Or More!)
A major benefit of content marketing is that everyone with a blog is looking for people to share it — and they may be willing to make trades. If you share an article from another company in your industry, they may return the favor and share something from you.
Working with online partners plays a key role in optimizing your content. Partners share your content and help broaden your audience. Also, partners help generate backlinks to your site, which boosts your SEO. So find a relevant online partner and start sharing.
“Content is king” is not simply a catchphrase invented by blog writers to justify their existence. Content marketing can do so much good for your store and its brand. The blog can help you create lasting relationships within your industry. It can increase the SEO value and domain authority of the website. It can help you reach your customers in ways that are much more difficult, if not impossible, with other forms of marketing.
Of course, if you want to drive interest and persuade potential customers with your blog, you need to give it the time and attention and care that it deserves. Take your time in targeting, creating, and properly distributing your work. Make sure that you have capable and knowledgeable minds behind the wheel. Most of all, understand that half-formed blog posts can do something, but well-written and thoughtful content can make your site an indispensable resource. Hopefully, our advice will help you in firing up that blog module and starting your campaign.