If you are new to the phrase, then you are probably asking yourself “What is content marketing?”
Content marketing is the process of producing information using various forms of media (articles, blog posts, videos, audio recordings, infographics, etc.) for the purpose of generating publicity and interest in your products, your services, your business or your website. A lot of business owners are beginning to use content marketing because it generates new business at such a low cost.
How It Works
Content marketing works because people use the internet to seek information. They seek information about a lot of things. Sometimes people are seeking information about how to solve a problem. Other times, people are seeking information about a product or service so that they can make an educated purchasing decision.
Have you ever researched your possible options before making a major purchase decision? Of course you have.
Because consumers are seeking information, it creates an opportunity for you. You have an opportunity to create informative articles, blog posts, audio recordings, videos or other media that help to educate those people, help them make decisions and help them solve their problems. You put that content in places where it is going to be easy for those people to find it. When people find that content, they also find out about your business and your website.
When marketing with content like this, you can do it by either publishing content on your own website or by publishing it on other websites or both. There are advantages to each approach.
Content Marketing On Your Own Website
A perfect example of content marketing is this blog post that you are reading right now. Articles like this one are designed to help educate you about how you can start generating publicity and traffic for your website using various means. These articles get found in the search results on Google, Yahoo, Bing and other search engines where people are seeking information.
I intentionally write about topics like generating website traffic, search engine optimization and website promotion because they are topics that my target audience is interested in. I want to attract those people (my target audience) to my website. When they arrive at my site and read my informative article, I want them to notice that I provide services that can help them generate traffic for their website.
That is one way to use content to get more targeted traffic for your website. It is easy to do if you have a business blog on your website. You just have to choose topics that are going to attract the kinds of people who are most likely to buy what you are selling.
Do you understand how that works? Pause for a moment and think about it.
You will be attracting ideal prospects to your website. So, you are much more likely to win business from them than from some other typical website visitor.
Publishing Content on Other websites
- Content marketing also includes techniques where you publish content on other websites. Whenever possible, you want to make sure you include a link back to your website as you publish that content on another site. Each time you do that, it increases your search engine authority which helps every page on your website rank just a little bit higher. You already know that you need links pointing back to your website in order for it to rank higher. You can build some of these links manually by producing content that gets published on other websites like that.
- Another reason to publish your content on other websites is to reach prospects that might be regular visitors of those other websites. This is one of the primary reasons behind guest blogging on websites that are in the same industry that you are in. If your site and their site are in the same industry, then there is a good chance that some potential future customers are going to see your content on that other website.This can even happen when your website and the other website are not directly relevant. For instance, suppose you sell handbags for women. You could probably attract some interest in your handbags by guest blogging on a website that talks about anything that relates to women’s products. The blog would not have to be about women’s fashion. It really could be about anything where women are a major audience.
- There are more reasons for publishing content on other sites. It generates publicity for your brand, makes you appear more important in your industry, increases the chances that your prospects will see your name more than once, allows you to establish new contacts within your field and probably a bunch of other reasons I can’t think of at the moment.
Which Approach Is Better? Publishing On Your Own Site or Other Ones?
It really depends on your situation and a number of variables. For most business websites that sell products directly on the website, it is advisable to do both. You can add some informative articles to your website by adding a blog to your site. Start with that. Then you promote the heck out of those blog posts by publishing content on other sites and linking back to your own blog.
If you already have something informative on your website, then you can focus more on publishing to other places to generate publicity for your existing content.
If you don’t want to make any changes to your existing site and you don’t want to add a blog to the site, then you can just focus on distributing content to other websites.
There are a lot of good reasons to implement a content marketing campaign no matter which approach you take. Hopefully, those reasons are beginning to sink in. It is like casting wide net out over the market place to bring in more customers.
Main Reasons To Implement A Content Marketing Campaign
- It attracts the most ideal type of prospects who are much more likely to do business with you.
- It makes you look more authoritative in the eyes of your prospective customers.
- It builds trust in prospects if you give them completely honest and exceptionally helpful information.
- It creates likability because the more they learn from you the more they like you.
- It builds reciprocity because people genuinely appreciate it when you help educate them about the things that they really want to learn about.
- Authority, trust, likeability and reciprocity all make prospects much more likely to want to buy from you.
- Every single piece of new content you publish gives people in your target audience one more reason (or opportunity) to mention you or talk about you with each other.
- It is easy to get a positive return on investment using content marketing
- It pays recurring dividends because the work you do today will still be generating new business for you in one year, two years or even longer from now.
Use Content Marketing To Share Knowledge
Use content marketing to take advantage of your target audience’s thirst for knowledge by producing informative content that 1) quenches their thirst, 2) introduces them to your website and 3) positions your unique selling proposition in their minds.
Even though this might seem a bit confusing still, that confusion will fade very quickly as you start your very first content marketing campaign. Using content marketing also has another exceptionally beneficial side effect. It gets you thinking deeply about your customers, which quietly transforms you into a much more effective and much more intelligent marketer.
If you aren’t absolutely clear about how to begin implementing this tactic, then get some help. Remember, you don’t have to execute it perfectly from the start. Just get started and then improve your work over time.