In today’s world of marketing, you may have heard one word mentioned over and over again: content. Content marketing is the buzzword of recent years, and for good reason. With a good content marketing strategy, your business can generate more leads at a higher rate and massively boost sales.
If your business has yet to prioritise or develop its content marketing strategy, you are missing a trick and you will lose out to your competition. If you’re unsure why it’s so important to get onboard with content production, here are 3 good reasons you should heed today.
But first, what is content marketing?
Before we delve into why content marketing is so crucial in today’s digital marketing age, you should first know what exactly it is.
By definition, content marketing is the creation of engaging, interesting and valuable content that is distributed online in affiliation with the business’ products, services, industry or brand identity.
Content marketing comes in a range of formats, including news articles, blog posts, image, video, podcast, email newsletters, how-to guides, infographics, eBooks, white papers and more. The purpose is to attract a wider audience and generate more brand interest, and in order to be successful, the content must be shareable and “free” (part in exchange for the customer’s contact information for marketing purposes).
Essentially, the better the content your business is publishing, the more people will want to consume it. Thus the more online traffic your business will receive, and the more sales you will achieve.
3 reasons why content marketing should be at the top of your agenda
- Content marketing improves your SEO
One of the main reasons why you should develop your business’ content marketing strategy is because it is crucial for your SEO. This is important because without good SEO your business will not be visible or discoverable online, which will hinder the number of leads you generate and will mean attracting wider audiences will be near impossible.
Of course, your business’ website may already be SEO-optimised, having all of the right keywords in the metadata, page titles, URLs and ALT tags. However, this alone isn’t enough to rank highly in the SERPs (search engine results pages), especially when your competitors are moving full steam ahead with SEO-friendly content production.
What content allows you to do is advance your SEO. You are able to capture the latest trends, a wider range of keywords as well as backlinks which will signal to the search engines like Google that your website is increasing in authority, and therefore should be ranked higher on the SERPs.
Though content marketing – i.e. the process of creating content and sharing it for “free” online – is relatively revolutionary, the standards around it are climbing all the time. This is due to the ever-evolving algorithms and constantly shifting goal posts. For example, a few years ago, if your business wrote a 300-word blog post and shared it on your website and across social media, it would be deemed as high quality – so long as it was properly SEO-optimised. Now, however, a blog post of that length is considered “thin” and will not rank well on the SERPs.
Therefore, in order for a blog post to perform well and attract new users and generate new leads, it must be longer in length (2,000-3,000 is considered as being high quality), be well-researched, be informative, be unique and be engaging enough to keep the user on the page for a long time (so to keep the “bounce rate” low). It must also contain inbound and outbound links, and receive backlinks from other websites in return. With these ingredients, Google will recognise, and thus reward your content, and your business will be more visible.
- Content marketing can increase your reputation
Content marketing gives your business the opportunity to showcase its products and services, shine a spotlight on your brand identity and ethos, and celebrate your relationship with your customers.
The better content your business puts out there – be it in the form of blog posts, video, image, podcasts, etc. – the more interest you will garner, and the more respect you will get from audiences. Therefore, your reputation will increase.
The amazing thing about the internet is that whatever you publish has the ability to reach people all over the world. It can be shared, “liked” and commented on, which will mean more people will become familiar with your products and services, and this will translate into a surge of online traffic to your site.
- Content marketing provides value to your customers
Content marketing allows you to provide real value to customers, old and new. By offering “free” value (by “free” we mean in exchange for their contact information) to prospective leads, you are able to nurture them and guide them down your sales funnel until they convert.
Valuable content that informs customers about your products and services and showcases it in the best light will aid your marketing endeavours. For example, if your goal is to get people to hire a wedding reception solo vocalist, you may want to create content (written or audio/visual) where you show the band in action. This will not only be helpful for audiences, but it will gently persuade them to invest in your business.
Giving your customers valuable content is also a way of showing thanks for their support. Secure their contact information (i.e. their email address) in exchange for the promise of weekly, fortnightly or monthly content. This could be in an eBook format, a comprehensive and expert guidance on a subject matter that fits within your business’ industry niche, or it could be a picture gallery or short movie.
Whatever content works best for your business or industry niche, this tactic will mean you can connect better with your customers and will, in turn, ensure a higher customer retention rate.
The future of marketing is content. Content marketing has the power to massively increase the reputation and value of your business. If done well, you will reach heights you have never reached before, and will witness a surge in leads and sales.