What is content marketing?
Content marketing is educational marketing used to engage and entice your prospects and customers to purchase your products. You are providing free education and entertainment in return for their business and loyalty.
Why should I bother with content marketing?
There are many benefits of content marketing. The biggest benefit to content marketing is increased sales. How and why you gain sales can vary by strategy, but the overall objective should always be to grow your revenue.
There are many great ways to use content marketing to grow your business. The strategy is largely determined by the product and marketplace.
Writing, video, audio, cartoons, infographics, and photography are all good forms of content marketing. It is important to consider the medium your customers prefer, but maintaining variety will increase engagement.
7 Ways content marketing can grow your sales
1) Higher “Organic search” traffic – The drip, drip, drip of new content to your website increases your page rankings on major search engines. Using different media formats will increase this benefit. While I don’t want your business to be dependent on your ranking for keywords, there is no denying that high rankings on search engines will increase your traffic.
2) Links – People share what they like. If you have informative and free content, people will share it. You can gain traffic from other sites, blogs, and social networks. Not only will you gain traffic from these platforms, but the incoming links will also improve your search engine rankings, which, as I mentioned, is important.
3) Engagement – The longer a prospect spends on your site, reading your brochure (yes, offline content is important), or commenting to your Facebook page, the better. You do not need a huge budget to position your company or brand. A 30 second television commercial is expensive to create and distribute. More importantly, most prospects hate their programming being interrupted. A three minute web video, however, is inexpensive to create and prospects CHOOSE to watch it. Instead of pushing your brand and product, you are creating an environment where the customer wants to spend time with your company.
4) Conversion – Your sales pipeline loses potential customers in each step. One of the best ways to limit how many prospects walk away before buying is to keep them educated, engaged, and comfortable in your expertise. Broadcast marketing is used to increase the size of the top of the sales funnel. Content marketing is used to increase the bottom of the funnel. If 100 people consider your product this week and 60 of them buy from you, that is pretty good. What about those other 40 though? How could you have convinced them? How can you retain their interest for a while longer, until they are convinced?
5) Recurrence – It has always been easier to sell more to current and former customers than to sell to new prospects. You already sold Mr. Smith on your residential leaf clean-up service. How, though, can you keep him engaged until spring planting season? Sure, you could send Mr. Smith a postcard in April to remind him of your great service, but wouldn’t it be better to keep Mr. Smith engaged and reminded of your company during the winter months?
6) Referrals – Content marketing is a good branding strategy for small businesses. Your current customers not only become more consistent, but they can be gently nudged to remember your business when talking with friends, family, and coworkers. If a customer is happy with your service, they might share that great article or tip in your e-newsletter with a few folks in their email address book.
7) Message clarity – The process of developing your content will force you to narrow your market and improve the focus of your message. Each of your employees will better understand who you want as customers and how you want those customers to view your business when compared to the competition. Creating ongoing content marketing will keep you and your team focused on your marketing strategy. You will be more focused and more effective.
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