I know, I know, if somebody writes one more thing about content you’re going to lose it, but hear me out, I actually think I can make you change your mind about content.
Inbound marketing is a powerful approach that businesses need to be using today, and if you aren’t implementing the tactics and strategies involved, you’ll find yourself at a serious disadvantage.
Inbound marketing attracts, educates, and converts new customers using various online touchpoints that are part of a brand’s total online presence. Inbound marketing helps you publish the right content, at the right time, in the right place, and for the right people. By aligning the content you publish with your customer’s interest, you can attract the right people who are most likely to buy from your company. The keyword I’d like to point out here is content.
Content marketing is still the future
Within the inbound marketing world, content marketing has replaced antiquated forms of link building as it relates to SEO. As opposed to previous, spammy ways of link building, a well-executed content marketing strategy will naturally attract the best quality of backlinks, and ones that Google won’t frown upon.
Content marketing can be defined as “a strategic marketing approach that focuses on creating and distributing valuable, relevant, and consistent content to attract and retain a clearly defined audience who, in turn, will drive profitable customer action.”
Content marketing is a marathon, not a sprint. It can influence customer behavior over time as you effectively communicate with your audience. This will not only help you sell products, it will help you better forecast the growth of your business.
Note, however, while it helps you sell your products and services, it does not do so directly. Instead, you market through entertainment, education, and information surrounding your business. You become a teacher and believe me, it’s effective.
If you blend your brand’s content with your brand’s story and create an emotional connection with your audience by being transparent with what you believe in, and why, they will likely choose you over your competition. The more people establish an emotional connection, the more likely they’ll be to trust you, and in turn, buy from you.
A strong piece of content has the ability to make someone stop, review, think, and take your business’ desired action.
Content marketing aligns well with Google’s algorithm because of the value it provides. The two work hand-in-hand to provides the best possible experience for your customers.
Becoming an authority within your field
Content marketing is now the best way to gain authority within your field. With SEO in mind, a strong strategy, and the ability to frequently and consistently create high-quality content, you can indirectly sell effectively to your targeted audience. If you can establish yourself as a recognized thought leader in your industry, people will be more likely to trust your brand and become customers.
The importance of content distribution channels
A content distribution channel is a platform your brand uses to consistently publish content online. Your various channels should all work together to drive people to your website. While social platforms are great for promoting content, I highly recommend that you host the content on your website, where you know you can control it. Plus, it’s much better from an SEO standpoint to have the content on your own platform.
You need to select content distribution channels based on where your customers are. For example, of you’re an interior designer, it may make sense for you to have a presence on the visual platforms such as Facebook, Instagram, and Pinterest. Consider using a niche site, such as Houzz in this case, to distribute content as well, because that is where customers will be looking for services like yours. You don’t need to be on every social channel “just because.” Should your platforms based on your overall strategy and bandwidth. Select what works for you, and do it well.
Why blogging is a must
When it comes to SEO, blogging is a must! I can’t stress this enough. Google likes when your website becomes a publishing platform, and I say, if it makes Google happy, do it. Not only does it help with search, blogging establishes you as a subject matter expert. People like to choose companies that clearly know what they’re talking about, so show them that you’re the expert in your niche.
Types of content
Any form of content can be a part of your content marketing campaign. New mediums continue to be developed, but a few types to consider include:
- Blog posts
- Case studies
- White papers
- Web pages
- Books (both print and digital)
- Social media posts
- Guides and user manuals
- Speaking engagements
The list goes on. You don’t need to use all forms of content. Test a few and see what works best with your audience. It’s better to create a small amount of content but make it really good, as opposed to a bunch of content at lower quality.
Content marketing is here to stay and it’s never too late to get started. If you haven’t started your content marketing efforts yet, what is holding you back? If you are implementing content marketing in your business, what tips do you have for people getting started?
If you liked this post, check out our Guide to Content Marketing for Small Business.