Who would you listen to when deciding what to buy? A sales person who only pushes the benefits of their own product or service? A trusted expert who gives you valuable advice?
Content marketing is about creating and sharing free content that builds a relationship with customers. Although the content can and should be related to what you sell, it is not a form of advertising. The most important thing is to be informative, helpful and – if it’s not too much of a stretch – entertaining.
Viral is healthy
With online content marketing, businesses create content that speaks directly to their target audience and promote it using their websites and social media.
Thanks to the power of sites like Facebook, Twitter and Youtube, businesses have lots of opportunities to share their quality content for free. Content that catches on and shared by a lot of people is said to have gone viral.
Practically useful content or posts that arouse emotion in people are always more likely to be shared. You should also try to make it visually interesting – a good picture, infographic or video often gets shared.
In 2011 search giant Google changed their algorithm to prioritise fresh and original content. This was seen by many as the nail in the coffin of traditional SEO, where web companies could use tricks to appear higher in search ranking. Due to this change online content marketing is now at the core of search engine optimization. This is because websites with relevant, good quality and frequently updated content such as blogs will rank higher than those with flat, unchanging content. Traditional SEO tactics such as link building and keywords content should also be built into your content to maximise reach and effectiveness.
Web traffic drives sales
Content is the best way to get people to like and trust your brand. This is what conventional ad campaigns used to do but can’t seem to do as well online. This criticism does not apply to Google Adwords or Pay Per Click campaigns.
Online content marketing such as blogging and social media can drive traffic to your site that you can focus on converting into leads or sales. See your businesses as fulfilling a need or desire and let your content reflect that. The more informative and/or entertaining the online content, the better chance you have of converting visitors to customers.
Online content marketing is not a quick fix but could transform your business over time. It
takes planning, hard work and dedication to identify your target market and craft quality content. It is easy to dismiss something that may not immediately generate revenue, but effective online content marketing will ultimately pay off.