What is content marketing
In order to understand content marketing from a business perspective, you have to understand that every potential user entering your website is a potential lead or customer. Once you understand this simple fact, you can understand why content marketing is a hugely valuable & often free method of reaching customers and converting them on your website with effective sales funnels.
So what is Content Marketing?
Content marketing is a strategic marketing approach focused on creating and distributing valuable, relevant, and consistent content to attract and retain a clearly defined audience — and, ultimately, to drive profitable customer action.
Almost every service or product available in the world is there to solve a problem. As such in 2018 and for the last 20 or so years, with the introduction of the global brain hive that is the internet, people have been able to search for solutions for their problems online. Chances are you have found this article through a search engine because you were looking to explore new methods and channels for gaining customers.
Effective content marketing works because you are providing valuable content that either
A) People are searching for - this will increase your organic traffic
B) People will share - thus increasing your referral & social traffic.
Both are fantastic for brand awareness & helps you to avoid paying for your traffic.
Another great benefit of content marketing is that it's a prime example of white hat SEO. Which Google actively encourages so it's a great way of growing your search engine ranking.
Why should I invest my time & money in Content Marketing?
Build it & they will come isn't enough and hasn't been for a long time, particularly in saturated markets & industries. On the internet, you're not just competing with your direct competitor's marketing strategies. Almost every single website on the internet is competing for your users time. Providing valuable free content is just one method of making sure your user engages more & spends their time with your brand more than others. The modern day consumer is sick of adverts. So how do you get them to your wonderful new website when companies like Facebook shutting down other past & proven marketing strategies? Content marketing of course.
You probably understand the importance of being featured in publications such as newspapers or magazines, well imagine being able to reach all of those. Great content marketing goes 'viral' which means basically ALL of the publications, websites etc in your niche will cover it, for free!
By using content marketing effectively and providing your consumers with valuable advice - you're not only building your web traffic, awareness & potential sales from users on your website. You're building up a brand loyalty with a consumer who will come to trust your product/service/word before your competitors. A trusting relationship with your customer is worth more than any quick sale from a paid advert.
How should I use a content marketing strategy?
Build a consistent content marketing strategy that is based on your brand identity. Pick around 4-5 related topics to your business/industry and cover these consistently - mixing between the topics for each release to avoid the content theme becoming stale. Pick the content marketing channels that suit your business the best and that you can actually commit to the easiest. Great content gets shares, consistent content is more vital for growth.
If you don't create & stick to your themes and avoid being consistent - it will lead to mixed signals with your audience who will leave for greener pastures. Remember, for the most part, we're creatures of habit. So once we've decided upon something we like and know how often it releases, we'll keep tuning in.
What not to do
Copy information from anywhere. Good & great content is unique - google won't rank your website well if you're using anything more than quoted snippets from other websites. Copying information includes your own website, don't copy information repeatedly from other sections or pages of your website and remember if you take content to repurpose it without the original owners consent you'll risk getting sued - this doesn't happen often however but just don't do it, it's in bad taste & you will likely have a bad fallback from social channels.