If you’ve spent any time researching how to best market your business, you’ve likely come across the term content marketing.
In a nutshell, content marketing is the creation of high-quality content with a marketing agenda, focusing on the customer vs. the brand. Blogs are a core part of content marketing. Great blog content just doesn’t magically happen—it’s carefully planned and can work as a stepping stone to turn readers into leads. Good content, content that educates, informs, empowers, inspires or entertains, can help create lasting relationships with customers, feeding the growth and longevity of your business.
Here are six ways you can help your business with content marketing:
1. It’s not in-your-face advertising
We’re bombarded with advertising every day, from TV commercials to magazine ads to billboards to every little ad that pops up on our cell phones. With content marketing, you aren’t directly selling anything. What you’re doing is introducing a new audience to your brand through subjects that provide value.
When you’re able to create some type of emotional connection, that’s marketing gold. By the time money is exchanged for your products or services, customers often don’t feel “sold to” in a hard sell kind of way. Often, they feel like they’ve discovered and chosen your brand organically based on an informed value judgment. (Don’t worry, your secret is safe with us.)
2. We buy what we know... and trust
The most important function of content marketing is to establish your brand’s personality and voice. You can do this through storytelling, which, when you think of it, is what marketing is all about. Tell stories with heart and tell stories with purpose, and do it in a way that’s authentic.
When you sell stories this way—and not just products and solutions—you have the ability to connect with consumers on a deeper level. Consistently posting quality content provides repeated opportunities for potential customers to interact with and get to know your brand. The more they enjoy those interactions, the more they’ll trust your brand. The more they trust your brand, the more they’ll buy from you.
3. Establishes credibility
There are far too many brands making outrageous claims these days, creating cynical audiences. Content marketing cuts through that cynicism by establishing credibility.
Posting regularly also gives you a unique opportunity to preemptively address resistance or objections before they arise.
4. Supports traditional marketing
Providing reliable content teaches your audience to look to you as a trusted expert. When you reach out with more traditional sales or advertising initiatives, they’ll be more receptive because they have learned to expect value from your brand.
Think of it this way: You’re much more likely to take to heart a product recommendation from someone whose taste you already respect than someone making a sales pitch.
5. It’s an SEO goldmine
Content marketing is a valuable SEO opportunity, but only if SEO is not your first goal. If your content is crammed so full of keywords that it verges on gibberish, you’re not providing any value to your audience and you’re not going to fool the search engines, either. Read all about the keyword research tools in Google Trends here.
6. Builds its own momentum (no extra dollars required)
Money spent on pay-per-click, or traditional advertising is a finite investment. Once you exhaust your budget, or run out of brochures, the content is gone and traffic will drop off.
With content marketing, the investment is exponential. A blog post exists on your site forever, and with the help of SEO and social media, it can generate traffic indefinitely—often snowballing as more and more people find and share your content.
Download this free Ebook to make sure your website is acting as a revenue driver.
Editors Note: This blog was originally published September of 2015 and has been updated with fresh content.