Content marketing is an online marketing strategy where you create, publish and distribute relevant content to your target audience in order to attract them to your business and eventually convert them to your customers.
Over the years, online marketers have established that content marketing is one of the most effective marketing strategies.
Let’s say you are in the fitness industry. You start a blog where you post useful information about healthy eating, exercising and weight loss. The website attracts fitness enthusiasts who are looking for similar information.
If you consistently post relevant content, your readers will keep coming back and eventually they will consider your blog reliable a source of information. Some of the readers may make consultation calls and could become customers who sign up for your training program.
Your website is your online shop, and you want as many potential customers walking in as possible. Research shows that most internet users spend their time on search engines looking for information about a problem they are facing, subjects that interest them.
With every search query, Google crawls through various websites that have published relevant content and lists them in search results. When a reader opens that page, they get access to your website and your business. Consequently, the increased traffic increases your brand awareness.
When you consistently post content that the audience finds relevant and useful, they will begin to consider you an expert or authority in the subject matter. This trust will gradually extend to your services or products.
Content marketing is 62% cheaper than traditional marketing yet it generates 3 times more leads. Over 200 million people have installed ad blockers on their browsers inhibiting the effectiveness of online advertising.
The unique thing about content marketing is that it uses a “pull” approach whereby the quality content you offer draws readers to your website. For the reader to open your post, they are most likely interested in the subject matter. Therefore, there is a high likelihood that they will be interested in your product or service.
We can safely say that content marketing works well because in its nature, it filters and qualifies leads – which explains the higher conversion rates.
As they say, content is the king- and this cannot be truer than in the case of content marketing. Study your target audience, understand their demographic profile, interests, needs, and challenges; and create content that addresses those needs and interests. Aim to publish at least 1-3 articles per week. If you can afford to, you could post daily.
The reality is, most internet users are not patient enough to stick through a whole article. Within 8 seconds of opening your post, they will have decided whether or not they want to go on reading it. Well organized articles are more attractive to the eye and they are easy to read, and understand.
Organise your content in short paragraphs such that each paragraph carries a single idea. Use active voice for informal content – it makes it easy for your audience to relate to your content. Use headings and subheadings to breakdown the content. Observe grammatical rules and ensure your content flows seamlessly. Use images to capture the essence of your post. Besides, content with quality and relevant images is shared more times that one without.
Search Engine Optimization has to do with using keywords to increase your content’s visibility on search engine. Ideally, identify the commonly searched keywords and their derivatives for the topic you are writing about. Find ways of naturally integrating those words in your post’s URL, headings, subheading and within the article body. That way, when a potential reader queries information related to the keyword, your post is most likely to come up in the search results.
Doing content marketing for a few weeks or months won’t cut it. Content marketing thrives on consistency over a period of time. You will need to come up with a long-term strategy. While short-term content marketing campaigns can be instrumental in speeding up results, on their own, they will not produce long-term results.
Consider that the customer’s journey of awareness, consideration and decision making is not a one-time decision. While some customers will visit your website and within a few days make a purchase, in most, customers take their time going through the buying cycle. Providing regular content helps them to build trust, dissipate any doubts they may have about your business, and speeds up the buying process. A short-term strategy may cause customers to fall through the cracks before they are converted.
Install an analytics tool in your website that you will use to track the number of website visits, how long a visitor spends on your website, where the traffic is coming from, and what they do while on your website. Use this information to optimize your strategy so as to leap the maximum results from your efforts.
Email marketing is a vital and effective tool for nurturing new leads and converting them. Therefore, it should be integrated in to every content marketing strategy. A good way to get your website visitor’s contact information is by giving them a free give away in exchange for their contact information. The giveaway can be an e-book, a fact sheet, a checklist, a coupon, a discount, or a sample product.
Many small business owners want to DIY every aspect of their business so that they can save on costs. However, this can come with long working hours and lack of effectiveness due to lack of expertise in the given area.
Hiring an expert content marketing strategist and a content developer will allow you to focus on the areas of the business you are strong at while getting excellent results in your content marketing effort. In the long term, the cost of hiring an expert will be worthwhile as your reach and profits increase.
Whether you are a small business that is just starting out, or an established 500 Fortune company, you cannot afford to ignore content marketing in your online marketing efforts. Though it is a time-intensive approach, it has proven to be cost-effective and to give great results.
Contact me to learn more about how I can help with your content marketing.