Updated on April 12, 2019
It should come as no surprise at this point to learn that digital marketing is an integral piece of the business strategy puzzle.
Audiences from all backgrounds embrace online interactions on a daily basis. This provides a fantastic platform for businesses like yours to shine.
Many business owners are told that they should produce blogs on a regular basis, this is true but it is one part of an effective content marketing strategy.
Your potential customers are on a journey as they begin researching on the internet. By positioning your brand as the one that is there at every point along the way, you are at an advantage as you create an ongoing dialogue and relationship with them.
Offering the right content shows that you understand your customer and can address their challenges, needs, and concerns.
Stepping into the world of content marketing can seem a daunting prospect for businesses with no experience with this. With the help of this guide, you’ll soon appreciate the strategy involved and be ready to take it on by yourself or work with a business partner who can help you develop your voice.
What Is Content Marketing?
One of the hardest things for someone new to digital marketing to master is the difference between content marketing and direct promotion. Ultimately, it all comes down to the tone.
Unlike press releases and sales tools, content marketing should stimulate enthusiasm in a soft way. Instead of promoting a product, the online content builds interest towards the brand without seeking sales. It is a far less aggressive approach.
Content will most commonly be presented in the form of a blog, video, social media updates, and infographics. Content marketing has the ability to be integrated into your overall digital marketing strategy and help increase traffic to your website, interest in your brand, and most of all land more customers.
There are certain things you should consider when approaching a content marketing strategy. Simply creating content with no intent won’t help you utilize the potential of this tool. When deciding what content to create, these are some general things to give thought to:
- Who is your target audience?
- Are there organic opportunities that you can target with new content.
- Create quality content rather than focussing on quantity.
- Be original. Try to use others’ ideas as a starting point and expand on that in new ways.
- Think about SEO factors.
- Don’t be afraid to create some long form content.
- Reuse, repurpose, and optimize old content.
What Are The Benefits?
As with anything in business, efforts are only worth making if they will actively boost the hopes of success. Online, that is whatever macro or micro conversion is relevant to your overall business goals. The rewards gained from a strong content marketing strategy can be considerable.
Overall, the content goals you should be focused on are customer-centric. Creating content for your users so you are there to answer their questions, solve their problems, and create meaningful relationships with them. These five beneficial outcomes of content marketing will help you reach that goal:
#1. Increased Search Engine Presence
A strong Google ranking will put any modern business into an advantageous position in their market. Not only will it increase traffic from audiences actively looking for products and services like yours, but it also aids brand recognition and reputation.
SEO strategy has changed drastically over the past few years as Google, through frequent broad and small algorithm updates, strives to create a better experience for their users by delivering them quality websites that meet their search intent.
Through these changes, Google’s suggestion (after a technically sound website) is to create quality content. Multiple algorithm updates, such as Panda, Hummingbird, and Rank Brain, have targeted websites with thin, duplicate, and spammy content and worked towards understanding the search intent and providing webpages that offer quality contextual answers to the query.
SEO is truly content focused now.
#2. Show Personality
It’s one thing for potential customers to become aware of the business, but securing their interest is a more rewarding outcome. Since content marketing is less promotional than other advertising, it offers a fantastic chance to provide insight into the people, products and services behind the brand.
Great content will encourage interaction to further enhance that participation. When clients can relate and find true value in your content, they’ll be far more likely to convert.
#3. Encourage More Regular Visits
Familiarity is a key ingredient if you are going to turn interest into sales.
A regular stream of content via a blog or vlog channel will keep clients coming back for more. Especially if you are answering all of their questions at every point in their research. Being the company that they are familiar with throughout their journey will increase the likelihood of a conversion.
On top of this, regular updates can enhance your search ranking. As noted previously, Google focuses on quality content as a major ranking factor and by regularly posting new content you not only become familiar with your potential customers but all of this compounds ranking factors that should show you favourable ranking results across many organic search queries.
#4. Builds Credibility
Before committing to any purchase, a consumer wants to be reassured that your business has the authority to satisfy their needs.
An informative blog that offers continued insight into your field of interests shows passion and commitment. On a side note, you can use those educational pieces to softly push those clients towards the desired outcome, whether that is buying a product or requesting a consultation for your service.
Some customers will search for answers to their questions rather than a direct product. Improving your ranking in search engines like Google in this manner will have a positive impact.
#5. Rewards Customers
All customers seek value for money, and there’s no better value than getting something for free. A blog provides this as it is essentially like providing them an online magazine free of charge. In addition to the positive vibes, it keeps the company fresh in their minds.
What (And How Often) Should I Post?
The answer to that question is different for every industry. As long as the content educates and entertains your target market while strengthening that bond, you’ll be on your way to a successful content marketing strategy. Consider including video, audio, along with text based content.
If you can entertain while educating your results will be far more positive.
For some businesses, you may want to update your content marketing streams at least two to three times per week. Though, sometimes one blog post a month is fine.
The important notion to keep in mind is creating quality content over quantity.
Many content marketing strategies divide their content into different purposes and structure their plan for the month or quarter accordingly, for example:
- 50% of your content will drive traffic to your service or product pages;
- 25% of your content may be curated from other sources;
- 20% will more directly support sales;
- 5% is focussed on your company culture.
Finally, before adding new posts and crafting your content strategy, you should learn about keyword research and the myriad of available tools used by content marketing professionals. Winning keywords that actually convert is the key to bringing the best results from search engine traffic.
What Else Should I Know?
Content marketing is a critical aspect of any company’s online strategy. Primarily because its influence can be felt in so many different areas as you work to stay one step ahead of the crowd.
Posting on external platforms can be equally beneficial for your web presence as internal posts. For starters, having solid backlinks to your website, generated through link building, has always been a major search engine ranking factor. Meanwhile, the content can also directly recruit new visitors from the audience of the destination website. Conversely, accepting guest posts on your blog or vlog can be a great way to increase the flow of content while adding increased personality.
The exact details of content types and tone may vary from business to business, but those core principles remain. Master this field, and your entire marketing strategy will look stronger than ever.