Content marketing is how you successfully get search engines to notice you and bring curious consumers to your website. If you're not creating fresh cycles of content that help educate online audiences about your products and services — and relevant information surrounding your products and services — then search engines won't be able to match your website to search queries. Your online audiences will have less exposure to your brand. They also won't build a relationship with your brand that comes from consuming content and trusting what you say.
Ultimately, content marketing materials bring more online searchers to your website, which helps you nurture prospects into leads (and leads into customers), making your website rank higher and higher. Here we’ll discuss what content marketing is and why it should be your priority.
What Is Content Marketing?
Content marketing strategies involve the creation and publication of materials that educate and interest readers. This can include multiple formats of online materials — such as video, infographics, articles, and emails — and different focus areas — such as how-tos, listicles, opinion pieces, and more.
Content Marketing: Its Benefits Are Too Good to Ignore
During content marketing campaigns, you or your team create original materials that explore subjects tangential to your products and services. These assets are permanently yours, and once they're published, they can generate more and more traffic over time. This is different from paid ad campaigns, in which the leads stop coming to your site as soon as the campaign is over.
If you can consistently create high-quality content, you can bring more and more audiences to your platforms, increasing your ability to attract attention and be seen as a reputable source of information and services.
Some of the unique benefits of content marketing include:
- Inbound marketing practices: Instead of relying on disruptive ads and outreach to cold leads, content marketing presents information to online audiences actively looking for the information. This results in warmer leads, more positive reception, and less time wasted with cold leads.
- Good brand reputation: When you develop content that informs, entertains, or educates, your audiences create a positive association between your brand and feeling entertained or educated. You gain the trust of your audiences as you continue to provide accurate, practical, and relevant content. Over time, audiences will seek out your brand specifically for answers.
- Building authority: Because you've created a large back-catalog of resources over time, your brand becomes more authoritative. You're seen as a source of information, both with your audience and within your industry. As that perception of expertise grows, audiences are much more likely to trust your products.
- More leads: Content will create an audience. Even if your conversion rates stay static, a larger pool of visitors naturally means more leads. Good content marketing ramps up your conversion over time because you attract warmer leads at different sales cycle stages and control more stops along the buyer's journey.
Ultimately, companies with blogs produce 67% more leads each month than companies without a blog.
Get Set Up for Success: How to Begin Content Marketing
Content marketing is a significant endeavor, especially if you're just starting a business blog or organizing a content marketing campaign for the first time. Instead of jumping into writing blog posts and creating videos, we recommend developing SMART goals to guide the project.
Some of the high-level focus areas for these goals could be:
- Bringing more traffic to your website
- Increasing customer engagement
- Increasing your conversion rate
- Growing brand awareness
- Increasing sales
- Growing your subscriber or follower numbers
As you develop your SMART goals, also think about what platforms you want to use for your content. Videos could be published on YouTube, your website, and social media platforms. Articles can be published on your blog or guest sites, with snippets or teasers posted on social media.
Remember: SMART goals are designed to be actionable and specific. So you might develop a plan of increasing website traffic by 20% within a month by posting articles twice per week on your blog. By establishing those specific points, it's easier to take particular actions, measure your results, and stay focused on growing your sales by the metrics that make the most sense for your unique business.
Create a Winning Content Marketing Campaign by Collaborating With a Media Partner
SMART goals might not be enough if the idea of starting content marketing seems overwhelming, partner with a media agency that can help you determine the most effective way to create content marketing online. A media partner can help you assess your current online presence, start generating content, and see the effects on your traffic, conversion rate, and sales over the long term.