Content marketing is an extremely effective tool that allows you to expand your business by building relationships and credibility with potential customers. It is a growing trend where businesses provide value to consumers through articles, videos, white papers, or other media in order to build and engage an audience before they become customers.
While it can sound like a daunting task for businesses that are overwhelmed doing the work that actually makes them money, the reality is business owners and staff are already engaging in content marketing and may not even realize it.Â Every business has a core expertise that provides value that distinguishes it from its competitors. Using that expertise as a distributed resource to build relationships is the essence of content marketing.
This happens everyday in the offline world when businesses interact directly with consumers, but it is critically important to migrate this into the digital realm. By providing expert information through articles, how-to-videos or other media, people are more likely to encounter you in their search to solve problems that you may be able to help them with and ultimately convert them into a customer.
For example, if you are the owner and operator of a plumbing company and you want to grow your business what is your go to marketing move? Â Advertising. But that advertising is expensive and relies on making an exact connection with someone Â who needs a plumber and that same person seeing your ad. But what if potential customers arenâ€™t ready to hire a plumber but are instead looking for an answer to a question about a common plumbing problem? They do a Google search and find an article about it on your plumbing website. They like what they read and find that there is a wealth of other information on your site. All of the sudden you have credibility with them as a provider of quality information on plumbing issues. So when they decide they actually do need a plumber who will they call? You of course.
Despite the proven effectiveness of this marketing approach there are many business owners who may not be completely comfortable writing articles for their website. However, nine times out of ten those same people will be more than happy to talk at length to everyone about the intricacies of the products and services they sell. Converting this natural approach used with offline discussions to the online approach is a key element that will make content marketing effective for small to medium sizedÂ businesses. It needs to be conversational.
If you are planning to start content marketing, imagine you are standing in front of someone and answering a question they have posed. Write Â a paragraph that lays out theÂ problemÂ andÂ the solution, then weave in common follow up questions. Limit yourself to whatever makes sense with a very narrow subject and be succinct. Finally, encourage comments and be prepared to respond to them.
Itâ€™s important to note that in order forÂ content marketing to beÂ effective, your business needs to have a professional website that will allow you to easily post articles and manage online discussions. There are blog hosting sites out there like Tumblr and Blogspot which provide a way to start content marketing without a robust business website, but much of the value of your work will be lost using workarounds like these.
So if you are ready to start your journey with content marketing, Â just start writing. Itâ€™s like a muscle, the more you use it the stronger it grows and the easier it is to do the heavy lifting.
However if content marketing sounds like a good fit for your business but you know you will need help, contact us to discuss your options. We can provide support forÂ contentÂ marketingÂ starting with a new or redesigned Â website for your businessÂ and then work with you to develop a content marketing strategy. Our talented staff can then produce blog posts, videos, or other media to market your business with this effective approach.