A lot has been said about Content Marketing and how it helps in SEO. So what’s it really about and why do businesses need it?
People have been watching traditional advertisements over the years, and really lost trust in all those self-aggrandising slogans and punch lines.
The world is now changing, and customers are getting more interactive. They want to know everything about their product, how it looks from different angles. They want to interact with the manufacturer to know more about it, read the customer reviews, and buy them only when all their doubts are satisfied.
All this is possible thanks to digital and social media. Traditional media obviously couldn’t get you all this extra interactivity and information. Speaking of social media, this is used to create an awareness of our product. However, everything cannot be crammed onto social media. One obviously cannot write blogs on one’s social media timeline. What can be done, is, links with pictures can be posted, so that the interested ones can click on the link, visit your website and read through your content, whatever it is about. In fact Google is giving preference to content than other SEO technicalities.
What is Content Marketing?
As the word suggests, content is written by businesses to market their products or services. The primary aim of content marketing is to supply valuable and FREE content to attract an audience and build a following. The type of content you create must impart valuable information and may be indirectly related to your product or field. Thus, people will interact with you, trust you and listen to your take on the subject at hand. Last but not the least, chances are, that they will also be curious about your products and services. And want to know more about it.
Your content can then be used to gradually educate the audience about your product so that they can trust what you are offering. Thus, the FREE and valuable content can convert prospects into clients, and clients into repeat buyers.
How is it different from Social Media Marketing?
When you are marketing via Social media, you tend to post various text, images, and videos on Facebook. This means that the source of content is within Facebook itself and being used to achieve your ends.
However, when it comes to a content marketing strategy, your website’s blog is the place where all the action happens. The content will be posted on your blog page. Then, you leverage the power of social media by posting a link to the blog article, infographic, video on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Google PLUS and other Social Media.
Now that we know what Content marketing is about, why should we go about it, or what are its advantages? So here we go:
- It builds trust: People do not perceive traditional advertising as seen on TV and newspapers, as trustworthy content. Gone are the days, when the ‘loudest shouter’ on traditional media won more customers! This is where Content Marketing comes into play. In this case, the users themselves share likeable content with their friends. The message is spread by the most trusted media i.e., via ‘word-of-mouth’.
- Gets you conversions: Content marketing can also help in the generation of quality leads. The more you satisfy a need, more the engagement you will generate. You can write exceptional content. Now there is again two types of content and that is:
- Un-Gated content: This content is readily available as part of your About and Blog pages. This contains all the information the audience wants to know about your company and your product. This information is FREE and readily available on the website.
- Gated content: This can be more specific information related to the subject, written as downloadable PDF. This can be accessed by registering your name and email ID. Depending on the perceived value of the information, you may ask users to give additional details like telephone number, address, occupation among other things. These registered users are your leads. These leads can be converted into customers at the appropriate time.
- It builds solid relationships: This is a type of marketing which gives more to the customers instead of asking them to buy products. Customers get a lot in terms of free information and knowledge. The video blogs also provide entertainment as well as the latest trends in the given field. Customers can, in turn, comment on the blog and share with friends if it is interesting. Thus, solid relationships are built with fans, who themselves become your brand ambassadors and propagate your product to friends via social media.
- It can be measured for effectiveness: While is it very difficult to measure the effect of traditional advertising, one can definitely see the results in content marketing. The likes, shares and level of engagement of a given blog posting can easily be ascertained. Steps can be taken to mould future content based this particular response.
- It does multiple tasks: Unlike traditional media, Content marketing can actually serve as a one-man army i.e., it can handle multiple tasks, generate awareness of the product and spread the word to prospective audiences. Once published, it can also initiate dialogue and thus facilitate interactivity.
- Influence people even before they think of buying it: A content marketing strategy begins after a ‘buyer persona identification’, or identification of the target market. In a target market, you may have different personality traits and obviously unique personalities. Once we identify who our market is, we need to find out what they are lacking, and how we can genuinely help them with our product or services. With the help of our content, we can convey this message to the concerned audience and thus develop a rapport, even before they think of buying our product.
- Content is well perceived if it comes with a social message: It will establish you not just as a business, but also someone who stands for human values and does their bit for the society and country as a whole. People would love your human values
Thus, we can see how content marketing can be influential, and powerful medium. One can use a solid strategy, convey our message to the intended audience in a subtle and respectful way.