November 2017

Why Content is King: Content Marketing for Smart Businesses

If you’ve run a business for more than 2 - 3 years, you’ll know that the realm of marketing has changed dramatically. Creating great products and services, listing those on your website, and simply watching the traffic roll in is no longer a reality. In today’s increasingly internet-driven business world, standing out against the white noise of countless competitors requires a well-developed marketing strategy; and any strategy in this day and age will rely heavily on content marketing.

Content marketing is the only marketing left – Seth Godin

The godfather of modern marketing, Seth Godin made this now famous statement back in 1999, and he could not have been more accurate. The shift we’ve seen in the marketing world over the last few years has been the most significant in living memory and in fact, since the invention of the printing press.

Gone are the days of SEO-tweaking

There was a time when businesses could employ the services of budget, offshore SEO firms to ‘tweak’ their website and ultimately drive traffic to it. Unfortunately, those days are long gone. No longer is Google looking for keyword-stuffed pages of inane and irrelevant content, in fact, the search giant now punishes businesses who employ these tactics. As Google’s algorithms continue to develop, they are increasingly favouring sites with quality, well-written, and relevant content. And lots of it. Outsourcing your SEO strategy to a firm who cannot produce quality content is no longer an option. Real, relatable, relevant content is what sets successful business apart from the rest.

Content marketing: Creating relationships

The traditional ‘interruption marketing’, as Godin explains it, involved pushing advertising content to the television sets, telephones and radios of consumers. Telemarketing, television and radio advertising played a key role in establishing many a successful business, and many firms till rely on this today. However, studies clearly point to a downturn in efficacy of these once staple marketing techniques. Truth be told, they just no longer work like they used to.
Nowadays, consumers have access to literally hundreds of thousands of resources at the touch of a button. The internet has made it easier than ever for your customers to find you, and yet, it’s also made it infinitely harder due to the sheer volume of businesses out there. That is, unless you’ve got a dedicated content marketing strategy.
The key to gaining the attention of your audience, and keeping it, is to create meaningful relationships. Social media, the blog-o-sphere and the internet as a whole have made it possible for you to interact directly with your customers online. By building a strong online presence, through your website and your social media channels, your customers come to know your brand and even begin to invest in a relationship with your business. In a crowd of thousands, you can stand out by becoming more personal with your customers.

Content marketing: Building trust

As we see more and more bricks-and-mortar businesses go under, the likes of eBay, Amazon and other internet giants seem to be taking over the world of commerce, or e-commerce, as it were. These formats have made it easier than ever to order the latest piece of technology, and have it delivered straight to your door; all for a bargain-basement price. Furthermore, access to product reviews and advice makes buyers savvier than they’ve ever been.
While this development may seem daunting for businesses who are trying to establish themselves, it has also given marketers a great opportunity to take a piece of the pie, by using online relationships with consumers to build trust.
Now, that old adage that ‘not everything that you read online is true’ is undoubtedly correct. However, as consumers drive in droves to the internet to read up on their considered purchase, they are looking for quality, relevant information to assist them with their buying decision. This is true for both retail consumers, and businesses alike. Too many buyers have been burned online with less-than-accurate product descriptions, or shonky back-end salesmen, and this has made buyers wary. Access to good content, developed specifically for your customer, helps to build their trust. Content marketing is how businesses achieve this, and convert traffic into sales. 

Content marketing: Becoming a thought leader

Clever businesses who dedicate time and resources to creating relationships and building trust with their customers can go one step beyond, by becoming thought leaders. A thought leader is a respected industry player, who provides meaningful content which is sought out by both consumers and other players in the industry. By creating a thorough content marketing strategy, which engages with its audience and produces relevant, quality content, your business can develop a reputation as a thought leader within the industry. Becoming a thought leader makes your brand more recognisable, and ultimately, more successful.

Content marketing: Keep it consistent

Studies show that the average buyer will interact with a business at least 7 times before making a purchase: Give them something to interact with.
There are a number of marketing channels that content marketers make use of to attract customers and convert them into sales. From mailing lists and newsletters, to social media interaction, and regular blog posts, a thorough content marketing strategy will keep you front-of-mind for your customers.
While purchasing products and services is quicker and easier than ever, consumers will still shop around for their ideal solution. Only once they feel comfortable with your brand, and your offering, will they take the leap. Having regularly-updated content marketing pieces will ensure that each time a consumer thinks of your product category, they’re thinking of you.  

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