Content marketing is a vital component of your business’ overall digital marketing strategy. You may have heard the term “Content is King” over that past few years but what power does this “King” actually have when it comes to driving traffic, leads and sales?
At the core of your marketing should be useful information. It should attract, convert and eventually close sales. Content marketing then is your business’ ability to be the most helpful and effective teacher in the world at what you do.
The old ways of delivering content to customers was to simply create an ad and broadcast it to the masses. Today, instead of broadcasting a one way message that no one trusts anymore, content marketing pulls people towards your company. Customers consume the information you provide and naturally come to trust your business.
Successful content marketing aligns what you publish with your customers’ information needs. In fact, content must serve two purposes: it has to appeal to the prospective customer (more so now than ever) and it has to appeal to search engines.
You might now be saying, “Ugh, another thing I have to do that takes me away from my business. I’ll wait until the trend fizzles.” Content marketing is more than a trend. It’s likely to be central to any business growth strategy, at least for the foreseeable future. Great content turns visitors into customers, even evangelists. If you don’t take time for content marketing there could be a chance very soon that you won’t have a business to be taken away from!
Content marketing may be something you’ve heard about but perhaps you’re not fully convinced of its value and that’s got you stuck. You’re not alone. I meet dealers and other business owners often who have apprehensions. Here’s how content marketing works:
Attract Customers with Content.
- Blog posts supply the information your customers need.
- Keywords and phrases optimize your post for better search visibility.
- Social media syndicates your content and boosts your search visibility and online influence.
Confused on what to write about? You already have a wealth of ideas inhouse. Employees are on the front lines with your customers and they know what questions customers are asking. The goal is to be helpful. You don’t need to appear intelligent. Marcus Sheridan @thesaleslion recommends these “Big Five” topics for best results:
- Cost/Price questions
- Problems/issues/concerns questions
- Vs/comparison questions
- “Best” questions
- Review/opinion-based questions
Convert Visitors to Your Site or Your Social Media.
- Create a compelling reason for them to take action
- Use sign-up forms to collect contact info
- Use landing pages to drive visitors further down the sales funnel
Close Sales with Superior Internal Workflows.
- Learn to recognize leads immediately
- Nurture leads intelligently
Why do I need Content Marketing?
Content marketing is the best way to turn strangers into customers. When you answer your prospects questions, they remember who answered them and come back when it’s time to buy. You need content marketing because it moves the needle:
- Your business gets found in search.
- Your business is seen as a “likable expert”, you become known as a thought leader.
- People stay on your site longer when they have quality information to absorb and enjoy.
- You build trust.
- People who regularly consume your content are much more likely to buy.
Listen. Communicate. Teach.
Content marketing has been around for ages (ancient texts have given mankind useful information since time began). Today, technology has greased the wheels of information. Every consumer has questions. When a prospect or customer asks your company a question, you need to have solid tactics in place to answer it.
Creating content is time consuming and expensive. Distributing it is tricky. Unless you’ve already established your business as a trusted authoritative source, you may have trouble overcoming the clutter and noise of the internet and social networks. Working with a creative marketing partner or coach can help overcome some of these challenges.
Some have come to believe that sales is a numbers game. In some respects, that’s still true. But we also have ways to develop relationships with customers during all stages of the buying cycle. Content marketing attracts and nurtures those sales relationships, digitally. Trees that are slow to grow, bear the best fruit.
Sales close faster and easier when the trust is evident. If you haven’t yet integrated content marketing into your business’ overall strategy, what are you waiting for?