Content marketing is a buzzword right now – largely due to Google’s recent algorithmic updates. But if you’re concerned about having to learn another new skill to help get your business noticed online, don’t worry; content marketing is actually an old concept wrapped up in a new package.
Essentially, content marketing is providing useful information to current and potential customers. In days gone by when you needed information, you accessed advice from books, magazines or even from the mouth of a shopkeeper; but now, like everything else, that information needs to be found online. Providing great informational content for your customers is an extremely effective marketing tool for your business.
A successful content marketing strategy isn’t a quick and easy task, that’s for sure; what it does allow you to do is display your expertise for your clients and potential customers to see. There is no complicated coding to learn or reason to implement difficult SEO techniques. All you need to do is create something your customers want to read, then share it with them.
The benefits of content
Content marketing allows you to position yourself as an expert in your field, build your brand and engage customers and prospects. It’s ideal fodder for sharing over social media platforms and easily forms a focal point for your marketing communications. Plus, creating fantastic online content is considerably cheaper – and substantially less wasteful – than printed media, so you can stop cutting down trees to get your point across.
There are an array of challenges when it comes to content marketing, but it can also be great fun – allowing you to get creative, inspire customers and boost your brand and business in the process.
The best content is based on subjects your customers actually care about – that they’re actively searching for online. Your content might answer frequently asked questions pertinent to your business. For example, at Direct 365 we recognised many of our clients weren’t clear about the changes to landfill costs this year, so we created a blog post providing answers to our customers’ landfill questions. Detailed, targeted information like this allows you to spread your knowledge to old and new customers alike.
2. Attention-grabbing headlines
A good headline doesn’t have to be a tabloid-style “Freddie Starr Ate My Hamster” scenario. Unless you think it will appeal to your target market of course. There are many theories to writing great headlines but here are a couple of tips:
- Use numbers
- Persuade readers with who, what, why, how or when
- Use an interesting adjective
Take a title like “Reduce Your Business Waste”, and implement some of the above. You’ll transform your title into something resembling: “5 Fruitful Ways To Get Rid Of Office Rubbish.” A great headline is more than half the battle.
3. Create a content calendar
Provide the most useful content at times when it will be most well received and sought-after. For a toy shop, content tailored to Christmas is obvious – something along the lines of the ‘Top 5 Most Thrilling Winter Toys For Boys This Christmas’ would be relevant and interesting. Garden centres might focus their outdoor furniture and BBQ marketing efforts on the summer months. Common sense sells content.
4. Ask for help
If you’re struggling for ideas or worried your journalistic capabilities aren’t up to scratch you can always ask a professional to help compose your written content. DIY jobs are possible but not always the best executed plans.
Central to your strategy should be your plans to promote your content, usually using social media, bookmarking and email marketing. Don’t forget to share your work in relevant places to encourage readers, or they may never find it.
Content marketing isn’t just an option for big businesses, it’s extremely viable for SMEs too. Remember, you are the expert in your field and sharing your knowledge allows you to attract and retain customers, and build your brand too.
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