In an increasingly competitive online world, the businesses who are really winning big are the ones investing time and effort into an activity we call 'content marketing'.
Content marketing is the process of creating interesting non-promotional content – i.e. content that doesn’t directly sell your products/services – and circulating that content online. Here are a couple of examples of this activity:
- A web development company who run a vibrant weekly blog covering all the latest developments in the field of web design and development
- A sports equipment company who add to their website a series of in-depth beginner guides to various sports
Despite not directly promoting your products or services, content marketing efforts like these can be very effective for driving leads and sales for your business in an indirect manner. Here are five powerful reasons you should consider investing in content marketing for your business:
Reason 1 – It can boost your Google rankings
Google ranks websites accordingly to their relevance, popularity and authority, and to determine these things, they look at a wide range of ‘signals’ relating to each site.
These signals include the size of the site, how often it’s updated, how long visitors spend on the site, how often the site content is liked and shared on social media, and more. Most importantly, Google looks at the number of inbound links to your site from other websites, and the quality of those linking sites.
Content marketing helps boost all these signals, and in turn will boost your Google rankings over time. If you’re trying to attract links from other sites, just think how many more people are likely to link to a really entertaining article about a topic they’re interested in, versus how many would voluntarily want to link to your commercial sales page…
And of course every new page you put up on the site is another chance to show up in Google for new ‘long tail’ search terms, meaning even more free traffic!
Reason 2 – Potential referral traffic from other sites
Of course, Google isn’t the only one who sees those links to your website… real people will see and click on those links too – meaning more referral traffic to your site.
If those links come from sites that are related in topic or industry to yours, then they could well be the right kind of visitor to potentially become a lead.
Reason 3 – Content sharing: social media likes, follows
Great content gets shared on social media, especially if you kickstart that sharing process with your own social accounts. When someone clicks through to your site to read it, you then have a chance to sign them up to your mailing list, or even convert them into a customer. And with a really great piece of content, a viral effect can happen on social media, with people on-sharing your content with others, who then spread it even further.
As well as getting more visitors to your site, all that social media activity can generate more social media like and followers – which helps with future content promotion and builds the ‘social proof’ (perceived trustworthiness and popularity) associated with your brand.
Reason 4 – Increase brand awareness, trust & credibility
Even when people don’t actually click through to read your content, by seeing your business mentioned and linked to on other websites and social media, you’re still generating brand awareness.
And for those who do click through, repeated exposure to high quality content – particularly content that is genuinely informative or helpful – will build credibility and trust in your brand. If you take the time to build a proper online community around your content – allowing people to comment and participate and feel part of it, you’ll even start to see brand advocates popping up – people who like your content so much that they’ll evangelise for you.
Reason 5 – Research your market
A community of people built around your content also presents great opportunities for two-way conversations with your customers. This can help you discover what they really want, uncover issues with your product or service you weren’t aware of, and even gain insights into the best way to market to those customers.
Of course, putting out any old content isn’t enough. And you can’t just hope to “build it and they will come” either. To gain all the benefits of content marketing above, you‘ll need to:
- Develop the right kind of content
- Kickstart the promotion of that content via the right channels
- Ensure you have subtle but effective ‘calls to action’ around the content to capture email signups, leads and sales
- Have a proper strategy in place to ensure it gets done
If you’d like to find out more about content marketing and how it could help your business, or you need help with any other aspect of your online marketing, please feel free to get in touch – we’d love to help!