Many people believe content marketing is just another sales pitch, but that’s a huge misconception. A promotional blog post and a few Facebook statuses are not going to skyrocket sales, but a consistent content marketing campaign will pay off in the long run if given enough time and dedicated content development. That’s why over 55 percent of all organizations have two or more people as designated content marketers—it’s a powerful marketing tool but it takes time and dedicated effort. So why does content marketing work? We’re glad you asked.
1) Building Your Reputation in Your Industry
When people use search engines online, they’re not looking for sales-pitches—they’re looking for information. Growing as an authoritative and trustworthy source of knowledge in your industry will build your reputation and increase brand awareness. Posting informational blogs with “How-To’s” and “Quick Tips” will draw a larger audience, and while this group won’t necessarily buy your product or services right away, they’ll walk away from your blog with a (hopefully) positive first impression. If your content left a mark, as it should, your audience will start associating you automatically with your industry. This reputation as a trustworthy source for quality information will hopefully translate over and build your reputation as a product or service provider.
2) Creating a Mutually Beneficial Relationship
By providing valuable information on industry topics, you are acting as a free source of knowledge for consumers and other industry professionals. Because you are giving them something for free (information), you are receiving their attention and positive word-of-mouth. Consumers can then share information they’ve found useful, interesting, or funny, thereby informing others of your business and brand. While this may not lead to sales just yet, this is beneficial because your company’s brand awareness can quickly spread through the positive impressions you make.
This mutually beneficial relationship (your information for their interest) only works if the content you create is valuable and worth-reading. Say you run a company that sells stand-up paddle boards, you’re not going to write multiple blog posts on how your company is the best and why. Give people something they’d be interested in! See these as example blog topics:
- How-To Stand-Up Paddleboard: The Basics
- The Best SUP Boards for You and Your Four-Legged Friend
- 5 Great Yoga Exercises To Do On Your SUP Board
See how these topics stay interesting and informative without sounding promotional? That’s the goal.
This may seem to counter the earlier point: Yes, you want to inform, but you don’t want to tell-all. If you run a restaurant and post all of your recipes on your website, why will people come in to eat your food when they can now make it in the comfort of their own kitchen? Sharing a few industry secrets can be beneficial, but you must keep some of your cards close to your chest. Your audience should feel informed, but they should still need you when the time comes.
4) Easy Sharing through Social Media, Forums, and More
One of the main reasons why content marketing works so well is because all of your blog posts, statuses, and new information is easy to share. In this digital age, we are constantly surrounded by new content and have the answers to all sorts of questions at our fingertips. The best way to use content marketing is to share and link throughout all of your business’s channels. Use social media to share recent blog posts and little fun facts about your industry. Always link in your blog posts to relevant products or services on your website and include social media share buttons with each post.
When it comes to social media, don’t overload it with promotional slogans and “SALE” signs. A good rule of thumb is to have one in every seven social media posts be promotional, while the other six offer valuable content, but this all depends on how frequently you post on each platform.
5) Nudging for Conversions
The call to action will work… eventually. Just don’t expect people to encounter your content for the first time, see your call to action, and immediately contact you for products or services. They need to trust you first and respect you as an authority in your industry. By including a quick call to action and contact information at the end of every blog post and in weekly social media posts, you can nudge your audience without coming off as overly promotional. Eventually your audience will need or want a product or service you offer, and because you’ve maintained a positive and valuable relationship with consumers in your industry, your business will be on the forefront of their minds.
Keyword Performance specializes in content marketing and content development for SEO. For more information, call us today at 203-284-1929.