Why Is Content Marketing Important For My Business ?
In 1996 Bill Gates famously said that ‘content is king’. Decades later the renowned marketer, Seth Godin quipped that ‘content marketing is the only marketing left.’. Over the years, the importance of great content for businesses has grown and grown, while traditional advertising continues to decline in effectiveness.
When was the last time you paid attention to a pop-up banner, clicked a sponsored post on Facebook or chose to go for the paid ad when searching Google? Maybe you don’t even see these ads because you use software to block them, either way it’s likely that some of your customers are. Businesses need to adapt. And creating high quality and engaging content is one of the best ways to do it.
From your website and blog, to your social media presence and newsletter – you need to offer both high quality and engaging content to standout and grow your business in today’s climate. So, assuming your content is quality, what’s the benefit in providing it?
Your customers will come to you.
Once upon a time, search engine optimisation was all about keywords. Keywords are still important, but quality content is even more so. Google’s current algorithm, Hummingbird, is based on semantic search and is much more complex than previous SEO algorithms. Google wants people to find relevant, credible and current information.
Regularly posting high quality content with links to other credible sources will give you a higher chance of a first page Google ranking. If all you have is a static website that hasn’t been updated since 2012, it’s unlikely that anyone is going to find you organically. By creating content that people want to share, you can massively increase the reach of your business.
Aside from the obvious benefits that come from having your site and content shared with individual’s networks, your search rankings will also improve. Google now takes into account the number of shares a website has on social media, ranking sites with a greater number of shares higher in results.
Your brand will have personality.
By using great content throughout your site and communications channels, not only will you improve your SEO – you’ll have a great opportunity to communicate and strengthen your brand identity.
Vinomofo, an Australian startup that curates and sells wine, is a fantastic example of a business that has developed a strong personality and tone for their brand and let that influence the content throughout their site and communications.
Their About Us page does a brilliant job at explaining who they are, what they do and why they do it. Most importantly though, it’s highly engaging thanks to the humorous, relatable and casual way in which it’s written. By having this unique voice that suits their audience and reinforces their brand personality, they make themselves memorable to customers and really stand out from their competitors.
You’ll build real relationships and start conversations with your customers.
More and more, marketing becomes less about selling and more about building relationships with customers. There’s less telling and more talking. People want to feel important to a brand, and they want to feel like they know you.
Sharing high quality, specially-created content gives you an opportunity to let people know who you are, and what your business is all about. Marketing guru Seth Godin also said that: ‘People do not buy goods and services. They buy relations, stories and magic.’ Building a relationship and having conversations with your customers is an effective way to gain their trust, and therefore their business.
You’ll keep people engaged with your brand.
A constant stream of sales pitches on social media is not going to keep anyone interested. You’ll have people exiting the room before they’ve even sat down. Keep potential customers engaged and interested with content they’ll find not only interesting and relevant but also useful.
If you want to win the legitimate trust and respect of your customers, they have to believe that your motivations aren’t solely based on selling them more stuff. By offering them well produced, engaging content that’s relevant to them and their interests (even if it doesn’t directly relate to your brand) you’ll get their attention and the rest will come naturally.
You’ll get people talking.
High quality content that is useful and relevant, or even humorous or emotional, is more likely to resonate than uninteresting and irrelevant content or sales-focused articles. The more an article is shared, the more people have seen your message and become aware of your brand.
It’s not just the articles you produce or share that can get people talking though. The way you interact with your customers and your awareness and response to the conversations happening around your brand can also be a great opportunity to make a connection with your customers.
Take this recent interaction between Groupon and their customers about a bike chain cleaner on Facebook; they could have ignored the comments, most businesses might have done, but their well thought out responses and dry sense of humour really shone and resulted in a viral campaign (with massive media coverage) that even they couldn’t have predicted.
You’ll be seen as an expert in your field.
Content marketing also gives you the opportunity to prove yourself as an authority in your industry. Consistently providing useful, informative and authoritative content tells potential customers that you know what you’re doing.
This will make you a company people will trust, and therefore they’ll be more likely to buy products and services from you.
You’ll stay relevant.
Let people know that you are ahead of the game, or are at least on top of it. Keep your site content fresh and post regularly to show readers that you are keeping up-to-date and staying relevant. Anything dated several months old will be stamped as irrelevant, both by search engines and by readers.
Using creative content brings people in and if it is done well, keeps them with you, so it’s worth investing in. But it’s daunting to get started. Applying these strategies and building out great content for your business takes time and some creativity – it doesn’t have to be hard though. Having a professional take up the slack can be of huge benefit.
They know how to craft words, how to get key messages across and how to engage with the reader, your customer.