Is your business growing online through the use of content? If it’s not, content marketing is a perfect next step to add to your digital marketing strategy, and you don’t have to go to a content marketing institute to do so.
Many business owners question the importance of a content marketing strategy for small business and if this strategy can really help in increasing sales, or if it’s just a waste of their time and digital marketing dollars.
Larger businesses generally seek to hire a marketing agency to handle their content marketing. Our goal with this article is to explain our agency content strategy and help you understand if the agency you’re checking out really knows their stuff.
Content marketing can help you rehab financial woes from marketing mistakes of the past. Maybe you decided to take a traditional marketing approach by going all in with paid advertising, and got no return on your investment. Content marketing can help you gain those loses in a predictable, sustainable way.
The difference between content marketing and traditional marketing is that content marketing is the discipline of creating online media that doesn’t specifically promote a brand, but are intended to provide value and generate interest in products and services.To be clear, this form of content marketing does not specifically promote a brand. Even though it may seem counter intuitive, this is one of the non negotiables if you want your content marketing efforts to work.
All great content marketing plans have three common characteristics.
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If you stop and think about it people actually work to avoid outdated marketing tactics.
We mute the commercials on the television or fast forward through them to get back to our show.
We thumb past the ads in magazines to get back to the article that we want to read. We scroll quickly past paid advertising on social media.
We set up advertising and junk mail filters in our email inboxes to keep marketing automation emails to a minimum.
When most people think of business marketing they think of billboards, business cards, and brochures, but in reality it’s so much more.
There are so many marketing methods from content to mobile marketing and more that allows you to leverage emerging technology to grow your business.
Here is a genuine distinctive quality about content marketing.
This marketing idea is centered around really great content that has people wanting to consume it.
If you’re doing your business’s content marketing the right way, everything you post on your content platform will act as lead magnets.
Writing a helpful resource for your industry will likely attract your perfect buyer persona. Once you have captivated your reader’s attention, you can convert these clicks into customers by incentivizing them to offer up their contact information so you can follow up.
Potential customers will subscribe to your blog’s posts and actually ask for you to send your content their way. This is a defining characteristic of great content marketing.
However, before starting any content marketing endeavor, it is absolutely essential that a seo audit is your first step. Without it, your content marketing efforts may not be effective if you’re under a google penalty or if your website design is not up to par.
Most people don’t know that their website design is critical to their Google ranking strategy. Your web design determines loading speed, user experience, as well as the ability to be seen on mobile and tablet devices.
There is a lot that goes into making great pieces of content. However, if your readers aren’t able to find it, then you wasted your time creating it.
The benefit of content marketing is that as you post insightful resources you are building trust with your audience.
You can then increase website traffic through your readers recommending your resource to others.
The old marketing tactic of posting written content for the sake of content creation is rarely achieves positive search results.
There are blogs all across the internet full of boring articles and white papers about topics that people just don’t want to read. This is not the type of content marketing plan that we endorse or encourage.
Great quality content marketing strategies will pay attention to the questions, comments, and situations that resonate with your current and future customers and creates relevant content based on those topics.
To achieve your content marketing goals, you should be producing your content to attract your target audience, but also keeps your existing customer base engaged.
Your content marketing ideas should be on topics that address popular questions your customers have.
You should tailor your content marketing ideas to attract your targeted audience and keep your existing customer base engaged.
To achieve your content marketing goals you should produce content that is a resource. This resource should answer a question that a group of potential customers may have.
The difficulty is that the topic needs to be so interesting that readers return each week looking for your next post.
For example, if you are a chef and your customers are constantly asking you how you cut so fast with a chef’s knife, you should produce content about this topic that most of your customers would want to watch in a video.
If you have a business flipping houses and your clients are constantly asking you about your wood restoration techniques, you have identified a topic where you can skillfully use content for customer success.
These are examples of valuable content that are truly relevant to your audience and will have them clamoring for more.
Providing relevant content at the right time is the basis for successful lead nurturing. A lead nurturing strategy is a powerful tool that helps to increase the effectiveness of marketing campaigns by leading the target audience by the buying stage.
A guest post is another great way to share your content to attract a new audience. A guest post is most easily described as an article you write for someone else’s website that can introduce you or your site to new audiences.
Once you attract your visitors with your insightful resource, gated content is a great second step of an effective content strategy. While gated content rarely ranks in seo, it incentives the readers to identify themselves by teasing them with content that they will want to read in exchange for their contact information.
Marketing guides are an excellent form of gated content that give the user really helpful information in exchange for their email.
If you believe in the importance of content marketing, you'll be best served to adopt this marketing tool for the long haul.
Google searches through all of the content on the web every few days to see if there is new content.
It is very difficult to build any kind of an audience if you start off publishing three articles per week then wait four months before writing another.
The format of content publishing you decide to use is largely determined by your audience. Wherever your audience is, is where your content should be published.
It is important to remember that search engine optimization does not only happen at the national level. Local seo is utilized to rank a business at the hyper local level.
There are tons of seo gurus like Brian Dean and Neil Patel. The challenge is when the experts disagree, what do you do? You can’t always combine seo strategies to end up with a plan that will grow your business online.
Techniques like posting on a regular basis used to be a marketing tool for getting the search engines to boost your ranking in an organic search. Though it might not be the most effective strategy for optimization, it has always been a way to allow users to stay engaged. Hopefully, your readers will be excited enough to have shared your content.
Leveraging social media platforms like Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and more can allow you to grow through personal interaction. Content Marketing will ensure that you will have meaningful posts.
The format of content publishing you decide to use is largely determined by your audience. You should think about where your target audience goes to consume the majority of their content and publish there.
For example, blog post might be more effective for adults than it would be for a young teenager. Your format will be dependent on where they are.
A content calendar is one of many great content marketing tools for small business. A lot of content writers use a content calendar to keep consistency in their marketing efforts.
A content calendar helps you plan ahead on topics you want to cover on your blogs posts, set deadlines, stay up to date on social media marketing, and manage posting on a variety of formats. The audience of your growing businesses will thank you.
Question #1: Do your customers ask questions that you feel you can answer with authority?
Question #2: Would you like to build an audience of current and new customers online that are eager to hear from in expert in your field?
Questions #3: Could you dedicate 1-2 hours per week to write, record, or video tape content that your customers and new cliental would want to read, listen to, or watch?
It's hard to deny the importance of content marketing, and you can take part in the content revolution for your organization.
David works every day to help businesses turn clicks into customers. He's the CEO of Fusion Creative - a digital marketing agency located in Indianapolis, IN.