Inbound Essentials: Content Marketing!
Business owners should always consider a content marketing plan when adding an online marketing strategy to their traditional marketing efforts.
1) The products and services offered by businesses today usually require at least a little expertise and some explanation.
2) Consumers and homeowners almost always perform research online before making a purchase, which means those online searchers are asking questions about what they need.
3) Small-to-medium business owners can emphasize their authentic local ties to the community, which is helpful when it comes to being found in search.
It Begins With An Online Presence…
An online presence can include multiple formats. While a company website is seen more and more as the minimum presence a company should have online, social media marketing has sometimes become an even more dominant online presence for a business.
A company Facebook profile or Twitter account is free and it’s where huge numbers of potential customers spend time online. Surprisingly, though, almost half of small businesses don’t have a website. Some of those businesses choose to simply maintain a Facebook account instead of a real website. This strategy is a mistake because it limits your company’s reach and potential. Customers go online to find answers. Customers should be able to find both your website and your social media accounts and both should be used together.
Social media is just a small part of the equation. Social media should be used together and in connection with the content that you produce to further engage your audience.
Providing meaningful content online gives customers what they went online to find and it starts a conversation. Content, just like an ad with a phone number or a billboard, is another way business owners can reach customers.
Blogging To Spread Content:
With a company blog that offers expert advice specific to a company’s products and services, a provider is meeting customers at their time of need. Blog posts on a wide variety of topics will cast a wide net to those searching for online advice. Online readers have to feel as though they received some value from a blog post, so it’s important to provide blog content that has good information delivered in an engaging way.
SEO utilized throughout a blog post, but not in an aggressive way, will help the right kinds of online readers find blog posts related to their online search. With the right kind of online content, businesses can leverage their expertise into solid business leads.
Brainstorm and come up with some different ideas. Try writing some ‘How To’ articles in relation to a specific product or service that your business offers.
A blog post is its own unique writing style. Online readers have relatively short attention spans. They also want value from their time online. When creating content for your blog, make sure each post:
1) Offers at least one or two pieces of information that the reader didn’t know previously.
2) Gets right to the point.
3) Is relatively short and readable.
Let the reader know you have customers in mind.
A great ‘How To’ blog post will read like a transcript of a conversation with a customer in the customer’s home.
Creating engaging content for your customers isn’t giving away your company secrets. It’s letting the customer in on your point of view and expertise. It’s also helping customers better understand your business.
Keep It About Your Customers:
A blog allows a business owner to constantly update customers with fresh content that is seasonal, relevant and new. Search engines reward websites that are refreshed constantly with unique content. It is most important to recognize that the content you produce should be catered to your targeted audience since that is your entire reason for creating content in the first place right?
Readers can easily tell when an article online is a good, informative piece of information, so it’s critical to convey good advice to readers that doesn’t have a hard-sales focus.
The content offered online should go beyond just the words. Links to relevant information elsewhere online or on the company’s website adds value to the reader experience and gives readers an easy way to make contact with a company. Tailoring a blog post or piece of online content to a specific geographic region is crucial. Photos and videos are an especially important way to draw in readers. For example, YouTube provides a relatively easy format for sharing videos produced by a small business and blog posts can easily link to a YouTube video.
Engage & Create!
Content marketing is the darling of the marketing world at the moment because it has such power when it comes to engaging audiences while creating and converting leads that bring in recurring revenues.
Considered by many as the new advertising, content marketing has gone mainstream as marketers veer away from the traditional to take on the changing realities of engaging socially empowered and networked consumers.
Combined with an overall marketing plan that includes other traditional marketing efforts, content marketing has proven to be an effective tool.