It raises your brand’s profile, advertises your expertise, and even improves your SEO! But what exactly is it?
While ‘Content Marketing’ might be the current term du jour, it’s really an umbrella phrase for these forms of marketing:
- Industry news & trade marketing
- User-generated content
- Social video & viral content
- White papers & eBooks
You’ll recognise a lot of these! It’s not all new. but the thing that makes them different in this day and age is, of course, the internet.
The internet means the power to get this content out there is in your hands! If you can make it, you can market it. So every business, from the SME to the PLC, can have a go at Content Marketing.
Why do it?
Dan Antonelli at www.entrepreneur.com recently highlighted just 5 of the many reasons why even the smallest business should get involved:
1. Boosts brand awareness.
Publish fresh content at a regular frequency, and you’ll create many opportunities for a target market to see the company’s name. Your brand becomes familiar to them, and you’ll be top-of-mind the next time they need your services.
2. Builds an identity as a trusted expert.
If you are one of 10 plumbers in a town but the only one provides helpful information that educates the community about plumbing maintenance, problems, options and innovations, you will stand out as the expert and earn a reputation of being trustworthy.
3. Encourages your customer to take action.
When consumers need to spend money or make time for a service, it’s natural to procrastinate. However, once a consumer gets clear answers to his or her questions, or hears a story that he or she can relate to, that person could finally be motivated to make a purchase or schedule an appointment. Producing content that guides a consumer through the buyer’s journey (awareness, evaluation and purchase) results in more sales.
Creating a steady stream of fresh information on a variety of topics opens several avenues to drive traffic to your business both online and in person.
Covering unique, timely and seasonal topics will interest a broader audience and encourage repeat visitors. It also boosts ranking in search results, making it more likely that potential customers will find your small business before one of your competitors.
5. Keeps your website fresh.
Most consumers today rely on the web to find information they need to make decisions. So, a website often will be a consumer’s first impression of that business. A stagnant, stale website is less interesting and less professional than one with updated content that changes regularly. Undecided consumers who are researching their options might check out a website and social media presence more than once. When they come back, seeing something new and relevant makes their visit a better experience — and shows that the brand is a professional organization.