Developing a winning digital marketing strategy is so difficult because there is a lot of conflicting information out there about what works. Some people say that SEO is the most important thing to consider while others swear that it’s all about social media. Others suggest that digital marketing is overrated in some industries and you’ll still do better with more traditional offline marketing strategies.
Trying to make sense of all of that conflicting information is tough and it often leads to disjointed marketing campaigns. Businesses end up spreading themselves too thin across lots of different strategies without a cohesive plan, and that’s never effective. However, if you’re looking for a digital marketing strategy that brings multiple benefits to the business and is cost effective, content marketing is the way to go. It still needs to be part of a wider digital marketing plan but if you can deliver regular, good quality content to your customers, you will see improvements across the board.
Most people automatically think of blogs when they think of content marketing but that’s only one small part of it. Content marketing refers to any valuable content that you deliver to your customers free of charge. That could also include ebooks, online tools, infographics and much more. Offering this kind of content can benefit your business and improve your marketing performance in so many different ways. If you haven’t put much thought into your content marketing strategy so far, it’s worth considering these benefits that it brings to your business.
Promoting Without Selling Yourself
Let’s face it, nobody really likes adverts. You’re not likely to pay much attention to the social media page or website of a business if you’re constantly bombarded with adverts for their products and nothing else. If you consider the social media pages of most successful businesses, only a small percentage of their output is direct marketing like that because that’s not what customers want to see. If that’s all you offer, people will unfollow you and they probably won’t visit your site again. That’s why content marketing is so good because you’re offering your customers something without the expectation of payment.
It’s important that you build a relationship with a customer before they are willing to spend their money and you’re not going to be able to do that simply by filling their inbox with marketing emails. If anything, that will just put them off ever wanting to deal with you in future. However, if they’re regularly visiting your website to make use of the quality content that you post on there, you start to build that relationship. If they are in need of products similar to yours, it’s likely that they will think of you first.
Whether you agree that SEO should be at the center of your digital marketing campaign or not, you can’t deny that it is very important. SEO is a tricky thing to get right and so many businesses struggle with it because a lot of them don’t realize how important content marketing is. In fact, content marketing and SEO are intrinsically linked and you can’t really be successful at one without being successful at the other. Good SEO requires keywords, articles, and links, all of which can be found in your content. You can think of content marketing as the practical application of SEO in a lot of ways. Site mapping is another central feature of SEO and a good content marketing strategy always encourages that as well. Constant updating and output is important in SEO too because a site that hasn’t changed at all in the last year is not likely to appear very high in the search rankings because the algorithms will consider it outdated and irrelevant. As expected, constant output is a central feature of content marketing as well.
However, it’s important to understand that content marketing doesn’t automatically equal good SEO and vice versa. The two are very closely linked and when combined properly, they are very effective, but a lot of businesses make the mistake of thinking that they don’t need to bother with SEO because they are good with content marketing but that isn’t true. Content marketing is important but ideally, you need a good SEO company that will help you to build that content marketing into a wider SEO strategy. A lot of businesses fail at both because they’re only doing one or the other.
Reaching A Wider Audience
Increasing the scope of your marketing is important if you’re going to see continued growth. There are a lot of different ways that you can do this, social media marketing or referral programs, for example. But one of the best things that you can do is up your content marketing game. When people find something that they like online, they share it with their followers on social media. That means if you’re putting out great content all of the time and your site is being shared often, you’ll be exposed to a lot of new customers. Your investment is relatively small but the return that you will see on quality content is very big in comparison. This is a far more effective way of expanding your reach than something like marketing emails, for example. Once the articles are live on the website, they will continue to draw more traffic to your site at no extra cost. When you compare this to something like pay per click advertising where you’ll be paying a fee for each new visitor to the site, it’s clear that content marketing is one of the most cost effective ways to expose your business to new customers.
Shortening The Sales Cycle
Getting customers through the sales cycle and closing a sale as quickly as possible is important. Often, access to information holds up the process because customers have a lot of questions about the features of a product or the materials that the product is made from etc. If your sales and customer service team are constantly on the phone or emailing responses to these basic questions, that’s not a very good use of their time. But if you use content marketing effectively, you can often shorten the sales cycle. If you’re posting quality content about the products and going into more detail about the features, those questions are answered. You can also write about the manufacturing processes that you use and any changes that you’re making to reduce your impact on the environment. Those sorts of things improve your public image and also give customers the information that they need to make informed purchasing decisions.
Another benefit of using content marketing is that you can give people a sense of your company culture. Your attitudes toward the environment are a part of that but people may also be interested in the way that you handle employees and what your eventual business goals are. People are increasingly interested in what kind of business they’re dealing with, rather than just the product itself, and you can use content marketing to show your customers who you are.
Solidify Your Brand
You should already know that your brand is a very important part of your marketing strategy. It’s always the companies that can build the strongest and most recognizable brand that have the most success. There are lots of different ways to increase brand awareness from good social media to more traditional techniques like branded merchandise. But you should never underestimate the power of content marketing when building a good brand.
The brands that people connect with the most are the ones that they consider to be leading authorities in their industry. Amazon, for example, has the strongest brand in the online retail world because people know that they can get you almost any product and deliver it to you the following day. In short, they know everything there is to know about online retail and they’re pushing the boundaries of what is possible in terms of delivery times and choice of product. If you want to be successful, you need to be the Amazon of your industry and content marketing is one of the best ways to do that.
If you’re posting regular, good quality content that gives people a lot of useful information that relates to your products, you show them that you are an expert in that area and you are a trusted source of information.
Trust between you and your customers is important for a number of reasons. As we’ve already seen, content marketing can help you to position yourself as an authority in your industry which is important because it means that customers will trust in the quality of your product. However, it’s also important that your customers trust you as a business, especially if you’re selling products online because there is always a danger of scams. If a company is consistently releasing quality content on their website, customers know that they are a legitimate business.
Content marketing is a hot topic at the moment for a reason, because it’s so effective and benefits your business in so many ways. If you aren’t using it already, you really need to invest in it.