Content Marketing, as the name suggests, is a marketing approach that relies on the creation of content to promote your brand and services to a wide online audience.
Many people are still unsure about how to use content effectively and why it matters so much.
How can a blog promote your brand? Will social media widen your reach? And can SEO really improve lead generation?
Why does Content Marketing matter?
The rules of online marketing might seem complicated, but really they boil down to one key ingredient: personalisation.
These days, consumers don’t want to be ‘sold to’ in a traditional sense. They’re disinterested in your company and why you think you’re great. Instead, they want to know how your products and services will help them. They expect you to understand their needs and respond to them in a relevant and timely manner. They also want you to show that you care about them as people, not sales targets.
All this might sound impossible if you’re used to employing a sales approach of cold calling, direct mail and display advertising. But, when implemented correctly, Content Marketing can help you connect with prospective customers in a personal and timely way, without your even needing to contact them...
So, how does Content Marketing work?
Let’s look at the blog post you’re currently reading as an example of Content Marketing in action…
- We’ve chosen to write a blog about ‘Content Marketing’ because it is one of the digital marketing services we offer to clients here at Signify Digital.
- Now, we could have sent you an email (if we had your email address), or cold called you, to tell you that we provide Content Marketing services. But you would have told us you weren’t interested, the time wasn’t right or you were too busy to talk. This blog allows you to find us when suits you, and not the other way around.
- You’ve found this blog because you’re a small business owner, a marketing Manager or any other professional person who needs information about Content Marketing in a business capacity. So, you’re our target audience and you’re seeking insight or advice about this topic.
- By using the keywords, ‘Content Marketing’, this blog will help with our SEO because it will be returned in Google’s search results against the search term. So people who might not stumble across Signify Digital ordinarily, will now see us appearing in their search results; widening our reach.
- Rather than telling you about why Signify Digital is so great (and we are!) we’ve opted to give you useful information that will hopefully prove valuable and memorable to you in your day job.
If you decide to outsource your Content Marketing strategy, you’ll remember this article and maybe even get in touch to ask about our services. You might mention us to a colleague, use snippets of the blog (and provide us as a source) or even link to this blog from your own Marketing activity.
So, Content Marketing becomes a cycle of connection between us (the seller) and you (the audience) because we have provided information, best practice or advice that is genuinely useful to you.
The content is personalised to you and you receive it in a timely manner because you’re the one who searched for it.
What channels do I need to consider for my Content Marketing strategy?
First and foremost, you’ll need a blog. And your blog should be powered by an open source content management system like WordPress so it includes SEO fields. Whenever you create a blog, post you’ll need to choose a keyword and optimise the blog to ensure it benefits your search rankings against your chosen topic.
Social Media is also a key component of your Content Marketing strategy. We wouldn’t suggest having a blog without a social media presence, and vice versa. The two will work together beautifully to strengthen your Content Marketing plan.
You’ll also need to make sure your website is in good shape. It should be responsive across all devices (Google will reward you for this!) and it should include regularly updated content, adhering to a minimum word count to make sure it helps with your SEO.
Email marketing is another channel that is linked to Content Marketing. Again, the strength of your eCRM strategy relies on an integrated marketing plan that uses all of these channels holistically, rather than a couple in isolation.
Why do companies outsource their Content Marketing? Can’t I do it myself?
Of course you can! But, Content Marketing is only worthwhile if it’s implemented properly, with measures in place to report on how it’s performing for you.
In our experience, a successful Content Marketing strategy relies on two things: Time and Expertise.
Anyone can write a blog. But the success of a Content Marketing strategy depends upon well chosen topics, carefully crafted copy, SEO expertise, regular posting and genuinely useful content that is interesting to read. This takes time and relies on experience to produce. So, many companies choose to work with an experienced digital marketing partner whom they can rely on to generate real results from their Content Marketing.
An outsourced Content Marketing partner will give you clear visibility on how your marketing is performing and the results it is delivering, so you can calculate your ROI. They’ll also tailor your plan to your specific needs as a business, taking into account your industry, client base, current reach and objectives for success.