Content marketing is not about selling to people, people don’t like to feel that they are being sold to, do they? It is a way of acquiring new customers or getting exisiting customers to buy more though.
So what is content Marketing?
It’s basically about educating your target audience, creating ebooks, webinars, videos, case studies, blog posts, infographics, etc. this kind of marketing strategy does not have a call to action at the end, it is not created to directly push your target audience into buying something. It is obviously done with the aim of benefiting the business involved in some way. Research carried out by the Content Marketing Institute, says that over 90% of B2B and 86% of B2C companies utilise content marketing in some way.
How can you use content marketing?
If you have a website you’re probably already using some form of content marketing, blogging on your own site or someone elses is obviously one increasingly popular and effective form of content marketing. Producing quality content that people want to share is a very effective means to build incoming links for your website, these incoming links will (if they are placed on authoritive and relevant sites) increase your websites rankings in the search engines. If your site is properly optimised for conversions and your content targets the correct keywords these improved rankings should increase your sales.
Creating and writing on your businesses own blog is a very good idea and can help you build a following/audience, it can help you pick up search traffic for long-tail keywords but unless your business website already gets traffic and has search engine rankings already you would probably be better off writing for other peoples blogs. This is known as guest blogging, publishing your content on the sites of other businesses similar to yours can benefit you in numerous ways:
Benefits of guest blogging
Increase search engine rankings, SEO as you probably know is the process of optimising your website so that search engines send you relevant free traffic via they’re organic search results. It used to be quite easy to manipulate the organic results, in the really early days of the internet you could just stuff a page with keywords, this lead to a lot of abuse. Then Google developed a strategy for finding quality websites for their users.
Google looked at the amount of incoming links a site had pointed at it, they’re algorithm counted these links as votes, the more votes a site had the higher they ranked it. A better system but still open to abuse, I have written posts before about the Panda and Penguin updates, look over this site or see this post about link building strategies.
You can gain readers by guest blogging, blogs produce rss feeds (here is the panda seo rss feed) that are updated everytime a new post is added to the site, readers interested in learning more about a topic can subscribe to these feeds. If you write a guest post for a relevant site that has already built an audience, that audience will most probably be interested in what you do. They have already subscribed to the blog your post is published on because they want to learn more about the topic. If you write an informative post in an authoritive manner many will probably subscribe to your blog too.
Once this traffic and potential customers come to your site you can utilize other content marketing strategies such as video interviews, or infographics your visitors can then be encouraged to share this content via social media, if they are interested in what you offer the chances are that they’re friends and followers will be too (people usually associate with people similar to themselves and they have similar interests). Driving yet more traffic and potential customers to your site so that you can educate them and hopefully turn some into real customers.