For some people, marketing has developed a bad name. We have grown used to and tired of many of the intrusive pop-ups and colourful banners flashing above the information we had actually searched for. In many cases, such marketing techniques barely get a second glance. We now live in a world where there are a hundred providers of the same product or service, and each is using marketing to tell you why they are the best or the cheapest. It’s no wonder there are now so many reviewers who’s mission it is to separate the good from the average by testing products themselves and giving the buyer an “objective” opinion.
Leaflets and flyers often find their way straight into the recycling bin, most marketing emails are ignored or deleted within seconds, adverts are seen at best as a series of sped up, silent, jumbled images.
Moving back to quality content
Instead of paying huge amounts for the ability to intrude upon a consumer’s desired information in the form of a small, irksome corner of the screen, be the site that’s providing the information consumers are seeking. Create content that will attract people who have interests in the areas your services are involved in. That way, potential customers will be actively choosing to visit your website and engage with your material, rather than having it forced upon them. Logically, this immediately creates a much more positive customer relationship. Often it’s a simple case of thinking “If I were that customer what kind of information would I find useful?”.
What is content marketing?
Content marketing is based upon creating and making available useful and relevant information that your customers could be interested in. The content should be beneficial and of a high quality, and should be provided consistently. In some cases, customers could grow to expect new content say, every week. Your business’s aim should be to have your audience looking forward to the next piece. The content you write should be accurate, containing information from reliable sources. This means doing your research before you start spreading your voice!
Content marketing is a large and definite step away from intrusive marketing techniques into a newer type of non-interruption marketing. Instead of blatantly advertising the products or services you offer, you give customers information that benefits them and will make them more knowledgeable, engaging with the theory that customers will reward consistent, valuable information with loyalty. But creating good quality content can also bring direct benefits from an SEO perspective – improving the position of your business in organic search engine results – and bring you more visitors to your website, each of which often has more value as a potential customer than someone who finds you through an ad campaign.
There are lots of existing examples of content marketing, with more and more businesses learning of its value every day. The way it works makes logical sense: a keen gymnast types a question into a search engine about how to practice a difficult move at home. One of the first pages that they find is a relevant article on your company’s training website that will help answer their question. They see that there are actually a lot of articles that interest them on this page. Next time they type a question into the search engine, there is your website again, with more relevant information. A relationship is built up, with the customer developing respect for and trust in your brand. Next time they are buying new gymnastics equipment, which website will they think of first? Yours.
Similarly, if your Twitter page consistently posts entertaining, relevant and informative things for your followers – be it make up application or golf course maintenance – you will gain a large following made up only of people who have taken an active interest in your business’s specific area. Already, you are reaching your target demographic.
Does content marketing really work?
The most important factor when making a new business decision is whether it will bring enough benefits to be worthwhile. In this case, the answer is almost definitely yes, it does work, provided your followers are interested in your content, and that your content is of a high quality. The information in your content needs to be insightful, highly accurate and useful to people in your industry or sector.
Research has shown that a massive 80% of business decision-makers would rather get information relating to a company from a series of articles than from an advert. 70% also say that content marketing forges a closer bond to the company in question, and 60% that the content provided often helps them make better decisions regarding products. Most businesses contain some very highly experienced staff, who’s ideas and input can really be useful to their audience. Ask yourself if there are people in your company who could be offering their expertise in the form of online articles, podcasts or via other content focused formats. It’s important to make use of the the knowledge and experience that your brand possesses to give customers the information that’s useful to them.
Content marketing will allow you to make a much bigger impact upon potential customers, and form a far better relationship with them. Gain their trust, respect and loyalty by providing them with high quality reading material, whilst improving the awareness of your brand at the same time. Start creating great content now if you’re not already doing so.