Content has always been important in digital marketing, but the landscape has certainly shifted over the years.
Once upon a time, content was all about stuffing as many keywords into a blog and hoping to rank well on search engines.
Today, it’s a lot more complex than that, but there are also far more opportunities to maximise great content.
Today’s version of content marketing is all about making a connection and delivering value to readers. It’s no longer a direct sales pitch, nor is it an article full of keywords that don’t fit the story.
In 2018, Teagan West wrote an article for Scrunch.com, explaining why content was king back then. Today, many of those principles still hold true, so let’s take a deeper look into the reasons why content is king in 2020, and how you can leverage your content marketing strategy.
What is content marketing?
Content marketing is a pretty broad term referring to the art of using online content to market your business. It’s always been that way, but the scope of content marketing has increased drastically.
Popular forms of content marketing are:
Social media posts
This list isn’t exhaustive, of course, but it shows how far content marketing has come from the days when it was all about blogging and social media.
To sum it up on one sentence, content marketing is using any form of content to reach and connect with potential customers.
If that sounds like a lot of work, then you’d be right. However, there are ways to be smart about your content marketing too.
For example, creating an informational video on a single topic, turning it into a blog post, emailing it to subscribers and sharing it on social media. That’s just an example of using one piece of engaging content across various marketing channels.
Building your website’s SEO
Content, particularly blogging on your website has always been about SEO. Pages with good search engine optimisation rank well on Google, therefore exposing more customers to your website.
However, in the past, you might be trying to just fill an article with keywords relating to your business, such as ‘Sydney plumbers’. The idea of course is to rank highly whenever someone searches for Sydney plumbers.
However, Google’s secretive SEO algorithms now make it much more difficult, but more beneficial for those who do it right. In fact, when done well, a single piece of content has the effect of boosting your entire website SEO, giving you the chance to appear on more searches.
Tips for great SEO
Remember that SEO doesn’t just mean using keywords you need to structure content content for how people consume content.
Some common, easy to follow tips for optimising content include:
Use keywords relevant to your service offerings
Ensure keywords are in your title and headings
Make the content relevant
Use images with alt tags including your keyword
Include links to other pages on your website
Make the content easy to understand
Use relevant meta descriptions
Keep URLs short and relevant
There’s so much more that goes into making content SEO friendly, but it’s important that you write for humans, not search engines.
Keep these tips in mind, but it’s more important that your content is useful, relevant, and makes sense to readers.
Increase organic website traffic
We’ve touched on building your website’s SEO, and now we get to the reason you want to do that.
Great content exists to draw potential customers to your website and get them engaged with your business. SEO is part of this because you can use content to generate organic traffic from website searches. For example, you’re a plumbing business and you’ve written a great blog about how to fix leaking taps. People searching for advice on fixing leaking taps will land on your blog.
Now, they may simply use the article to fix their taps. Or, they might decide to have and call you for assistance. It’s important to remember that content marketing isn’t about turning every single visitor into a sale. It’s about capturing the right kind of traffic that positions you well to increase sales.
Tips for maximising traffic
Ensure your website is full of useful content. If you can keep users on the site longer, you increase the chance of making a sale. Websites with very little content often experience high bounce rates (visitors leaving the site quickly).
Include contact forms or other one-click contact methods on each piece of content. An attractive call-to-action makes it easy for customers to get in touch with you.
Great content promotes engagement
Another goal of producing great content is to promote engagement with your followers or customers.
A great way to do this is by posting your content on social media. It might be a link to a blog, an infographic, a video, or an image advertising a sale you’re having.
If your content is engaging enough, people will take notice and interact with your post. This might be by making a comment, liking or even sharing your post.
Customers like to feel connected to a brand, which is why content is so important to keep people engaged. While not a traditional business example, think about social media influencers. Their posts are carefully curated to increase their audience to monetize it later.
So remember, not every post needs to result in a sale – if it helps to grow your audience, that’s also a good thing.
Tips for encouraging engagement
Reply to social media comments, and thank people for sharing
Keep your posts on-brand and relevant
Don’t flood your social media channels with sales pitches. Fun, useful content creates far more engagement
Think outside the box, using polls and quizzes to promote interaction
Become a trusted advisor
Naturally, one of your main goals in business is to generate leads and nurture more of those leads into sales. It’s easier said than done, but content plays a big part in this.
When you use great content, you establish your business as an authority in your market. You can do this by making your content useful, engaging and relevant to your services, without directly promoting your services.
If you bombard your audience with constant sales messages, not only do the messages start having less impact, but it can also turn people away for good.
What you’re trying to do with content is establish yourself as an authority or thought leader, so that when people need your services, you’ve already put yourself in a position as a trusted advisor. This helps to grow your audience, which in turn generates leads and makes the sales conversion process simpler.
Expert leads and sales tips
Use sales messages sparingly for more impact
Provide quality content that people can trust
If people interact with your content, make time to engage with them
Come from a place of offering assistance rather than products and services
Adding value to your products and services
Content can add great value to your existing products and services, but it’s important to keep your content relevant.
Types of content that add value are ‘How To’ articles, checklists, webinars, instructional videos and step-by-step guides. They’re purely informational, with no sales message attached, so they may not result in direct sales.
However, they do help to establish a connection between you and your potential customers and helps to build your brand. Essentially, this value-adding content aims to solve problems for people in their everyday lives.
It’s important to remember though, that your value-adding content should be relevant to your market.
Remember our Sydney plumbing company we mentioned before? Their content should be aimed at their target audience, such as DIY tips and instructional videos for basic plumbing issues. If they were to start writing blog posts on how to trim your pet’s nails just because it might be useful, it does nothing to enhance their brand.
Tips for adding value
Keep content relevant to your market
Use analytics to determine which content creates the most engagement
Ensure content is thorough and easy to follow, without being too long
Can anybody create great content?
In theory, sure, everybody has the ability to create great content.
In practice though, it takes a bit of marketing knowledge to make sure you’re getting it right.
Let’s say you create a super informative blog post that customers would love to read. If you don’t make it SEO friendly, it won’t rank well on search engines and therefore won’t be found. If you’re not good at sharing content on social media, you’re missing another audience.
Likewise, if your blog is great, but doesn’t link into any products and services you offer, then the traffic you attract to your website isn’t likely to result in sales.
As you can see, content marketing isn’t just about producing great content. It’s about using a solid content marketing strategy to drive traffic to your website, increase followers, and ultimately attract more leads you can convert to sales.
Like any marketing efforts, analytics and reporting are integral to the process. Whichever content strategies you use, make sure you’re assessing their performance regularly, because this helps you narrow down what your audience wants and what works well.
If you need help with creating killer content that converts, contact us now!
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