The answer to the question “what is content marketing?” is really very simple. Content marketing is advertising without advertising.
When you create great content marketing solutions, your goal is still to get the message across that your product or services are worth spending money on. But rather than forcefully pushing those traditional messages of customer discounts, stocktake sales and rewards programs, you’re creating content in the form of blogs, videos or even picture galleries which inspire and educate your target audience with an engaging experience that they are excited to share.
The message you are selling is that your company or brand is approachable and interested in creating experiences and engaging with their customers beyond a single sales transaction. Content marketing is an age old practice that dates back to before the inception of the internet, but modern technology has fast-tracked the whole world’s ability to share and consume content, meaning content marketing is currently one of the most powerful tools for brand promotions.
A way to engage with your customers beyond pushing your sales message
The content you create doesn’t have to directly be about what you sell – for example a bicycle store could publish an educational article on the best tactics for winning a road race. The store’s customers and social media followers will appreciate the advice from experts who know almost everything about their field and it keeps the brand at the front of their mind the next time they are looking to upgrade their bicycle or visit someone for a repair job. Quality content breeds a feeling of trust and an emotional connection that traditional advertising can’t buy.
A proven strategy to improve your SEO referrals and web traffic
Google is a complex beast which is ever changing, with spiders crawling your website for keywords relevant to web searches. Without going into huge amounts of detail, the Google spiders thrive on new content and will give preference to the websites which are regularly updated and are getting the most hits.
Driving traffic to your website through engaging email newsletters and social media posts means you are boosting your credibility to Google and improving your chances of being seen. If you have a well executed content marketing strategy and your competitor doesn’t, you are the one who is more likely to be favoured by those little spiders and have the edge when it comes to search referral traffic.
An effective tool for raising brand awareness
When you publish engaging content marketing, it can be picked up and shared all over the web.
This helps you reach beyond your current consumer base and get your brand message to people who might not even have heard about what you do. They might not necessarily be in the cusp of buying something themselves, but your content is making them aware of what you do so that they can recommend you to friends or come to you at some stage down the track.
A fantastic opportunity to be creative
Writing uninspiring or in-your-face sales copy is as boring as reading it. Think about what excites you about your industry and have a play around with ways to share it in order to attract customers. It could be a blog which gives a behind-the-scenes look into the most interesting elements of your work or an amazing video which demonstrates what your product is capable of in a lateral way.
What is content marketing? This blog!
What you’re reading now is a simple example of content marketing. By sharing the information I’m passionate about with you, I’m hoping to give you some insight into the field I live and breathe. My goal with this blog is to help you understand the value of a professionally executed content marketing campaign and learn what it can do to boost customer interest and sales for your business.
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Many companies side-step content marketing as it can be time consuming and feel overwhelming. Engaging a professional to help build a content marketing strategy and create content for you can be the perfect solution for growing your customer base without having to hire permanent staff.