Even if you may not realize it, many of us are absorbing some form of content marketing on a day to day basis. Whether you’re reading a blog post from your favorite website or watching a video on a product you’re considering purchasing, content marketing plays a huge role in how you receive those messages.
The Content Marketing Institute describes content marketing 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.” After reading this definition you may be thinking to yourself, “how is this different from regular advertising?” The difference lies in the words valuable, relevant and consistent. The goal of content marketing is to provide relevant and useful content to customers that help them solve issues or answer questions without blatantly pitching your products or services. By giving them solutions to their problems, you’re able to lead them to your products and services without being too pushy or overbearing.
Why is Producing Good Content Important?
Anyone can write or produce content, but it doesn’t necessarily mean that it will be good, or most importantly, effective. It’s important to create content that your target audience will be interested in. When you keep your customer base in mind, you’ll be able to write content that they will want to stop, read and look at instead of passing it up.
Good content needs to be engaging and needs to keep the reader’s attention. Many content marketers will end a blog post with a call to action that can lead customers to their next step. If the content doesn’t hold their interest throughout the entire post, you may lose a possible conversion or sale. Good content is also important because content plays a huge role in almost every other online marketing strategy.
Content helps to optimize your website for SEO (search engine optimization), it helps to produce premium sources for social media campaigns, encourages email blast sign-ups, improves the effectiveness of landing pages and can help improve your relationships with other businesses and brands. When the content you produce is consistent, engaging and evergreen, it will always be relevant and will never lose its value.
Why is Content Marketing Good for my Business?
If you’re interested in starting to market your content, it’s important to know how it can have a huge impact on your business. There is a simple reason why content marketing is used by many huge organizations and companies around the world, because it works. Content marketing is about getting the right information, to the right people, at the right time. When these three factors fall into place, your job as a salesperson becomes easy. The Content Marketing Institute says that when enterprises utilize a content marketing strategy they can expect to increase sales, save costs and a have better, more loyal customer base. Aside from those three reasons, content marketing can increase traffic to your website, build up your reputation, create trust, influence conversions and much more.
4 Examples of Content Marketing
Different kinds of content marketing can yield your company different results. Depending on what type of content you choose, you can connect with current and potential clients in a number of ways. Since there are many kinds of content your company can utilize or create, we picked a few of the most popular to show how you can use them to your benefit.
For many companies, blogging takes up a significant chunk of their content marketing strategy. Blogs are perfect for companies looking to expand their marketing efforts because they are generally quick to write, are easily found by Google and can bring a voice to your business. If a reader enjoys your blog post, they can easily share it on social media and other platforms. They also help build relationships with your readers which can then lead to many more conversions and sales.
An infographic is a visual representation of information and data. They are typically long, vertical graphics that include charts, graphs, and statistics. Infographics are especially useful if you have complex issues that you want customers to easily understand. Since infographics are rich in data, customers can receive better insight into the topics you wish to shed light on. Once they are created, they can be easily shared and used as a tool to educate, inform and build brand awareness.
If you want to establish yourself as an industry expert in your field, white papers are perfect for you. White papers are information-dense content that can offer solutions and data on a particular subject. Since this type of content is more focused on details, it’s important to know that they will typically take longer to write. Though they may be more tedious, they can yield great leads and results.
Case studies are a great way to utilize content marketing because you can prove your business’s worth. Case studies involve using your real life clients and situations and proving how your services have helped them achieve x,y, and z. This means that the content is more focused on your company’s value opposed to your brand. It’s an organized way to portray hard-hitting evidence that your services work. Case studies are completely unique to your own company yet also extremely shareable and well perceived.
Though content marketing may seem overwhelming, it’s easy for any business of any size to execute. The benefits that content marketing can provide your company can help take your leads and sales to the next level. A content marketing strategy will help your business get found online, can prove you as a subject matter expert in your field, and can lead more customers to your doorstep. In this day and age, content marketing is essential for any business and can easily become the core of your marketing strategy.
Erin Masterson is a content marketing strategist at Fortune Web Marketing.