An attractive web design might get visitors to your site, but intriguing, fresh content keeps them there. The right content speaks volumes for your brand, business or product in a way that is pertinent, entertaining and free of the "sell factor." In fact, a quality content marketing strategy can significantly increase your SEO
efforts and even generate leads you may otherwise not have had access to.What is Content Marketing?
Content marketing is the art of communicating advantageous content in a continuous manner aimed to engage and retain a particular market, with the end hope, it will drive profitable customer action. That being said, the goal of content marketing is to deliver useful information that makes your buyer more aware, with the sole notion that as a business, consistently delivering continuous valuable information, as opposed to advertising, to consumers will eventually convert them into loyal customers.
Content marketing has been proven effective and is currently in use by some of the largest entities in the world including Microsoft, so there's no reason for small businesses to miss out on this opportunity.Content Marketing vs. Other Forms of Marketing
Traditional forms of marketing, such as advertising, is based on making claims such as "we are great" when in reality, the statement may be questionable. Content marketing, on the other hand, is all about showing and proving. For example, successful organizations such as Subway, back up their claim or "tagline" with content that supports their brand's robust image, by providing relevant, useful content that shows their expertise. In other words, content marketing differs from other forms of marketing in that its aim is to provide factual information that is more about helping and not selling.
Why Content Marketing is Valuable to Your Business
Content marketing is quickly becoming the "must have" marketing tool of the future. With more and more customers growing restless of being aggressively spammed, content marketing provides potential clients valuable information. It makes readers pause, read and appreciate what you've taken the time to do for them because it contains information they can use. Properly done, it's a warm fuzzy for your brand, which always has a potential of generating business.
Furthermore, advertisements can be costly. With content, you can develop various segments to reach the needs of different portions of your audience. The decreased cost of content as compared to traditional forms of marketing also allows you to create worthwhile content in various forms including videos, press releases, infographics and more. Likewise, by distributing this content to social sites, it allows users to access information how and where they want for greater appreciation.
Another benefit of content marketing is that when you create useful content, it is more likely to be shared by bloggers
and social media
, who are opposed to advertorial content. Very few people rush to share ads with others.
In the end, it is also important to understand the buyer's process to gain a better idea of just how effective content marketing can be for your business. The four steps of the buyer's process include:
- The buyer's process begins with a need, but they may not know how to solve the problem.
- Once the customer is alerted to a solution, they will usually begin research to gain more answers and determine which solution is best for them.
- Once the customer has performed adequate research, they will usually begin comparing different products from various vendors to arrive at a reasonable price.
- Purchase - Lastly, the customer, will make a decision to continue with the transaction, or not.
Content marketing assists the buyer's process by educating customers and raising awareness of solutions that they may not have known before.
No matter what marketing strategies you use, content marketing should be an integral part of your campaign. Good content is beneficial to all forms of marketing including social media marketing, inbound marketing, search engine optimization marketing, PR strategy and more. Some examples of how we incorporate content marketing into your web development include: