You have started getting serious about marketing your business and do not know where to start? Content marketing is a great way to attract prospects to your website if your content marketing strategy is done effectively.
What is Content Marketing?
Content marketing is defined by The Content Marketing Institue as: “A strategic marketing approach focused on creating and distributing valuable, relevant, and consistent content to attract and retain a clearly defined audience — and, ultimately, to drive profitable customer action.”
The difference between content marketing and other forms of advertisement is that content marketing provides value to your customers. Of course, you want to provide as much value as you can from your content marketing to as much of your target audience.
What Media Forms Counts as Content?
A lot of what you already assume qualifies as content. You see content marketing everywhere such as:
Blog: “A blog (shortening of “weblog”) is an online journal or informational website displaying information in the reverse chronological order, with latest posts appearing first. It is a platform where a writer or even a group of writers share their views on an individual subject.” What is a Blog? – Explanation of Terms Blog, Blogging First Site Guide
Podcast: “Simply put, a podcast is talk radio, but on-demand. It’s a series of spoken, audio episodes, often focused on a particular topic or theme, like cycling or startups. You can subscribe to the show with an app on your phone and listen to episodes whenever you like on your headphones, in the car or through speakers.” What is a Podcast? Learn about podcasting and how to listen. The Podcast Host
Video: Video is one of the most powerful means of distributing your message. YouTube is an excellent platform for spreading your videos as well as native video on Instagram or Facebook Live.
Why Content Marketing?
What is more critical than understanding what content marketing is? Understanding why content marketing is essential to your business.
Content marketing the most important part of your inbound marketing campaign. Great content will not only attract new prospects to your site but help educate them and position yourself as an expert in your field.
Before you can start your inbound content marketing campaign we need to understand the four steps of the customer buying cycle:
Awareness: When a customer first becomes aware of your product. Alternatively, could also refer to the point where a customer first becomes aware of a need that they want to fulfill.
Research: Once a customer is aware there is a solution, they will perform analysis to educate themselves. For example, a car buyer will try to find out what different types of cars exist, and which one will fit their needs.
Consideration: Customer evaluation of how your offering meets this need. Including the review of offerings from other companies.
Buy: Finally, the customer makes their decision and moves forward with the transaction.
Traditional advertising and marketing are excellent when it comes to the last two steps. Content marketing uses the first two steps of the buying process by raising awareness of solutions and educating prospects about a product they may have never considered before.
Potential clients find your content and see value in it. When they contact you, they have already self-qualified themselves and look at your company as an expert. You will not have to engage in any high-pressure sales tactics as you do when you are knocking on doors looking for clients. They came looking for you. All that will be left will be to work out the specifics and sign an agreement.
With content marketing, the process of building trust with your prospects is already made before they first reach out to you.
Content marketing will also support your other digital marketing channels. You will have content for social media, and it will enhance your SEO efforts. In fact, for the majority of companies, the bulk of their SEO efforts should be focused on content marketing.
How Do You Get Started?
Many digital marketing agencies will offer content marketing services. If you do not have the time to do it yourself or are unable to manage it in-house, then hiring an agency may be your best option. However, if you want to do your content marketing the best way is to start blogging. Starting a blog will be hard at first, but the more you do it, the easier it gets. You can also launch a Youtube channel for your company. Content created for one medium can be remade for another.
How To Use Content Marketing
Posting your content on your company blog is a significant first step. As long as you have optimized your post for SEO, it will start to show in search rankings.
Your work is not done there; you now need to set up a posting schedule on your social media channels to let your followers know about your post. Posting your link will work well on Facebook and Twitter as long as you use relevant hashtags.
You do not just have to post on your blog. Sites such as Linkedin will show your content more favorably when you post natively on their website.
You can use other blogging sites such as Medium to get your content in front of more people. At the end of your post make sure you have a Call To Action to start driving traffic to your site.
How To Measure Your ROI
Content marketing is not something that you will see results with overnight. It can take 6 to 12 months before you start to see some results. The problem most people run into is that they either are not consistent or they quit after a few weeks.
How you measure your return on investment will vary depending on what you are hoping to accomplish. Many people start a blog on their site to increase organic traffic.
Google will rank your site higher if you have high-quality content. Google judges if your site has high-quality content by how much organic traffic you get.
Organic traffic is an excellent measure of ROI, but that only tell part of your story. If you are creating high-quality content and share it on social media, you will see an increase in engagement. Having a high engagement on social media helps with your awareness which as you remember is the first step in the buyer’s process.
Content marketing, if executed expertly can be an excellent marketing strategy for your business. It doesn’t take to much effort once you have your content marketing strategy up and running.