Content marketing has been used by businesses for over a century, but it’s only begun to truly gain ground as an online marketing technique.
Customers love sites with customized content. It makes them feel like they’re shopping with a friend. Think of it as a marketing option that’s actually useful to customers.
The technique can be time consuming, but it’s more effective and can cost less than other forms of online marketing. If you’re not already trying it, now is the time.
What Is Content Marketing?
A common misconception is content marketing is just a business writing a blog post once a week. Obviously, that is part of it, but it doesn’t have to stop there. Any time you are creating useful content for your visitors or customers, that’s content marketing. It can include items and techniques such as:
- Q&A sessions
As you can see, you have numerous options available. Using at least several different forms gives you a more varied marketing approach to reach a wider audience. After all, every visitor may not like the same type of content.
Is It Effective?
The simple answer is yes. In fact, according to Marketing Tech Blog, 70% of customers prefer learning about a new company via articles instead of ads. Ads are intrusive and annoying. Articles are informative and helpful. Plus, how many ads do you see being shared on social media? Articles are shared all the time.
As long as you’re creating content worth reading, listening to or viewing, the majority of consumers will interact with it. 68% of customers enjoy staying up to date with their favorite brand or business via content marketing. 78% of consumers see useful, custom content as a sign a business wants to build lasting relationships with them.
The statistics show consumers love content marketing. The better and more targeted the content, the more effective it is.
How To Get Started?
You can’t just post an article now and again and hope it’s enough. It takes several steps to get starting with this technique. The four most important steps include:
- Deciding what types of content marketing you want to use
- Creating a schedule
- Choosing when and how to share content
- Crafting the actual content
Many businesses start with a blog and custom email newsletter. These are simple, yet two of the more effective techniques. Plus, they’re easy to keep up with, especially if you’re just getting started. In the beginning, just choose two or three methods to see how they work with your business.
The next step is to create a set schedule. Content marketing works best if consumers know when to expect new content. Search engines also like it when you update the content on your site on a regular basis. Most businesses try to post some form of content to their site or blog at least once per week. Two to three times a week is even better as long as you’re still posting high quality, useful content. Basically, make a schedule and stick to it.
Part of this marketing technique involves sharing the content. If you’ve been having a hard time trying to figure out what to post on social media, content is your answer. Give your followers something to talk about by sharing your latest blog post, infographic, video or whatever else you’ve posted. Before you start sharing, determine which social network you’ll use, what time of day is best for each, how you’ll respond to comments and how frequently you’ll share.
Finally, you need to create the actual content. This is usually the hardest part. It involves not just creating the content, but finding new ideas. Small businesses often get ideas from their customers’ questions, concerns and comments. Others write about industry topics. As long as it’s relevant, interesting and useful, it’s probably a good topic. You can either create content yourself or hire someone else to do it for you. It’s important to keep a consistent feel and tone throughout all your content.
Content marketing is here to stay. It’s a very personal marketing style that shows your customers who you really are. Avoid promotion as much as possible and just provide valuable content to your visitors and customers. They’ll enjoy what you create, share it with friends and family and help market your site for you.
The first step for effective content marketing is having a professional website. Contact us today for a site as amazing as your content.