Do you watch TV commercials? You know, those short, minute or so ads that pop up every now and then and interrupt you in watching your movie, TV show or NBA game? And it’s not like you’re interested in buying Michelin winter tyres right now. You don’t even own a car after all. Yes, those TV commercials. They represent the dying breed of marketing as this research from eMarketer clearly shows. Companies can no longer simply shout as loud as they can in the hopes that someone will hear them. This type of marketing is quickly getting swept aside by a new form, where companies come to customers to provide value and trust. This is content marketing.
What is Content Marketing?
Content marketing was best defined by the Content Marketing Institute (CMI), which says:
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.
Let’s try and dissect this definition a little.
- Valuable, relevant and consistent content
What can you do with content that is not relevant to you, your life and your problems? You don’t need this type of content. To you, such content has no value. Also, content is not something you do once or twice and then forget about it. It is a consistent effort, a marathon instead of a short-track race. It’s not the fastest that wins, but the one with the most endurance.
- Attract and define a clearly defined audience
Content marketing only works if you have a clearly defined audience or the target market. But the problem is reaching it and then retaining it. How can you reconcile these two? Not by lying your audience, that’s for sure. If you want to keep your customers, you need to be honest with them through your content.
- Drive profitable customer action
The ultimate goal of content marketing is, in the end, customer action. This can be purchasing your product, subscribing to your course, hiring your services or something else. Everything is leading up to this point in content marketing.
What Benefits of Content Marketing Await You?
Okay, by now I already talked your ear off explaining what content marketing is, but let’s talk about something that likely interests you a lot more.
How can it benefit your business?
- Increased brand awareness.
Picture two friends talking and your name pops up. Pretty cool, right? The beauty of good content is that it gives your audience something to talk about and it points their eyes in your direction. The awareness you can get from others talking about your business and recommending it to their friends is priceless.
Content isn’t just you talking about your products and services. There’s much more to it than that. In fact, it’s about getting others to talk about your business. And there’s no better way to do this than through evergreen content.
- More traffic to your website
There are more than 1 billion websites on the Internet right now. In fact, we passed the 1B threshold all the way back in 2014. All of them are vying for your attention. Guess which ones will win? That’s right, the ones with the best content.
Of course, this doesn’t include click-bait or catchy headlines, but actually valuable content. Only through such content can you earn trust, keep your audience on your website and attract more people who want to learn about your products, services or brand to it.
- Boosts respect from your audience
Gaining the respect and trust of your audience is not easy and it takes time. This is the lesson many would-be content marketers skip in their attempt to get customers. But once you show your knowledge through quality content, your name will pop up more and more in the heads of potential consumers looking for a solution to their problems.
Earning trust and establishing authority doesn’t come with confusing your audience, but with taking their hand and leading them across the street (while carrying their groceries).
- More SEO
How does Google search work? We all know this by know. You type something in your search box and results appear. Only why does this website appear before that one and how did both of them get on the first page of SERPs? That’s because Googlebot crawled both of their contents and through its algorithm, determined which one is more relevant to the user.
There was a time when SEO could be cheated. That was when all you needed was to stuff keywords in your content and it would rank high. Those days are long gone (thankfully) and today you need to pay attention to being actually helpful to your audience. In other words, good content makes Google happy, bad content makes it sad. So be sure your content writer can deliver.
- Better customer conversion
Let’s go back to TV commercials for a moment. Imagine watching a movie and seeing a commercial. Let’s say you are, by some miracle, even interested in what the commercial has to say and the product it is advertising. What do you do? Do you stop watching your movie and immediately go to buy this product or learn more about the company? Of course, not, you go back to watching your movie and in a few minutes completely forget about the commercial. You haven’t converted.
On the other hand, if a visitor comes to your site, sees a good product description and believes that it is the solution to an underlying problem he has, the chance of him converting and becoming your customer is much higher.
Do you agree with me? Is content marketing really the best way to reach and retain your customers? Let me know your thoughts about this in the comments below and don’t forget to share this post with others.