Content is King When it Comes to Online
When most businesses make a marketing plan these days, it includes the basics: social media, advertising, website. As with
most things around us, our online marketing needs must evolve and change with our customers. So as a business owner, you
have to ask yourself, “Is what I’m doing REALLY helping me bring in business and brand my company effectively?”
And the answer may very well be Yes, but if you could help your consumer become more intelligent, knowledgeable and loyal
to you, would you do it? That answer should be Yes as well.
Content marketing is emerging as one of the most effective ways to make this happen, and it doesn’t require a large advertising
budget (you may be able to get rid of that altogether) or spending hours a day looking for Facebook and Twitter followers.
So what is content marketing? According to Content Marketing Institute (CMI) it is “an ongoing process that is best integrated
into your overall marketing strategy, and it focuses on owning media, not renting it. Content marketing’s purpose is to attract
and retain customers by consistently creating and curating relevant and valuable content with the intention of changing or
enhancing consumer behavior.”
In layman’s terms, it is being able to communicate with customers and prospects without pitching or selling. Delivering
information about your business, what you do, and how it relates to your consumer directly, creates a relationship whereby
they look to you for information, and this information is based around what THEY need, not what you have.
For example, many companies use blogs on their own website and various blogging sites around the web to talk about what
they do, utilizing keywords in the blogs that help them appear in search results, and drive readers to their website in the hopes
that they will acquire new sales leads and customers. It works wonders historically, but your efforts will immediately fall flat if
WHAT you are putting out there isn’t about the reader.
The content you create and share is a catalyst to your online marketing efforts. You want consumers to feel as though they
aren’t being given a sales pitch, but that they are receiving genuinely interesting information that makes them more intelligent,
and therefore alters their behavior. You want the readers to share what they learned via social media, word of mouth, and keep
looking to you for more to share. If you have blogs and just write about the services you offer in a dry and plain way, why would
anyone want to spread the information around? But if you educate them, by writing content that delivers information in a
creative and consumer-centered way, you will find much more engagement
Let’s say you own a flower shop. You could write endless articles and social media posts about what you have on sale that
week, what your company offers, and your hours of operation. Snoozefest.
Instead, think about who your consumer is and how you can help them. Write a blog about the proper way to prune a
rosebush; which plants are annuals or perennials; tips for keeping your plants healthy during frost season; how to teach your
kids about planting flowers. Sure, you aren’t asking them to just come in and buy YOUR flowers, but when the time comes that
people need bouquets made, or have to plan a wedding, don’t you think they will remember you?
In addition, when you have expert information that they are interested in and think their friends or family will be as well, your
blog post gets shared on Facebook by the readers. Then their friends share it with THEIR friends. And so on it rolls….
You are educating consumers about things you know they are interested in, and can help them trust your knowledge,
experience, and thereby come to you when it’s time to open their wallets. The goal is not to get people to immediately pick up
the phone and call you, it’s about establishing loyalty, cultivating relationships, and strengthening your brand’s visibility.
As for content’s ability to help your search results and SEO, search engines are leaning heavily on content quality and the
behaviors of people who come across that content when marking a certain website as relevant in search results. They know
when someone shares your blog post on social media sites, and when they decide to go click around your website to see what
you’re all about. Your search results will improve drastically, and all you are doing is helping to educate your consumers. And it
doesn’t have to cost a dime.
So when you are making or revising your current marketing plan, make sure you know what the force is behind any online
marketing strategy – content. Producing, managing and sharing quality content should be a key factor in your marketing efforts.
Jim Yu of Search Engine Land said it best: “Content is the catalyst that drives search and social media activity.”