05 Feb Content Marketing and how it helps your business
Content Marketing means creating and sharing valuable free content to attract and convert prospects into customers, and customers into repeat buyers. The type of content you share is closely related to what you sell; in other words, you’re educating people so that they know, like, and trust you enough to do business with you.
There are advantages of a good content strategy:
Regular, useful content that engages your targeted audience, this helps keep customers interested in you. Social signals from regular sharing and engagement. A great way to spread the word. Google loves new content. Keeping your website fresh are signs that your site is alive and organically growing. Your expertise and knowledge through your body of work can place you as the go to person in your industry. We all know Google loves content and we have all heard the saying content is king. In 2014 this will be amplified and having a content marketing strategy will be crucial for your Google ranking. Google will be looking at companies that have a robust content marketing strategy as a sign that they’re the kind of business Google wants to support. They’re starting to focus on the user experience.
Content marketing – everyone is doing it, and if they aren’t doing it, they are probably thinking about doing it.
In fact, 96 per cent of Australian B2B marketers are using content, according to a survey by the US-based Content Marketing Institute, Content Marketing in Australia 2013. The good news is, as a small business owner, you can still content market without a team of marketers. But let’s go through the basics first.
What is content marketing exactly?
In a nutshell, it’s the creation and sharing of useful content with the end goal of gaining customers or getting existing customers to take an action like make a purchase. Examples of content include newsletters, podcasts, how-to guides, instruction videos, top ten lists, briefings, infographics, reviews and so on. Whatever form it takes, content must be sent to customers or potential customers free of charge and without obligation, and it must contain some value for them. The confusing thing is that your content doesn’t have to be about your products and shouldn’t be a ‘sell, sell, sell’. Instead it can show your expertise in a particular area by giving useful tips and how to’s or be about the lifestyle aspects of what you sell. Red Bull’s extreme sports site is a great example of this. They rarely talk about their sports drink and instead focus on content. Remember though, however it’s done, content is a slow burn, not a quick sale. The goal is to build trust, loyalty and an ongoing relationship with customers.
Is content marketing new?
Content marketing has been around since US-tractor manufacturers John Deere launched a magazine for its customers called The Furrow in 1895. And we’ve all received content marketing material through the door. Foxtel, Qantas, Coles and Fitness First all run successful magazines that market their brands through content. The move to online business has opened up new tools which mean you can easily distribute and publish content without having to pay a third party – that is, a publisher – to do it for you. Being able to publish content has added benefits too. It can help drive search results because having content bumps your website further up in search engine results. And it can increase links back to your site and let Google – and therefore customers – find you more easily.