Traditional business advertising has always aimed to catch customer attention and make them feel drawn to purchase specific products and services. However, today’s consumers are looking for more than flashy print ads, full-page magazine spreads or website sidebar banners. Tech-savvy businesses are devoting more time and money to content marketing, and with good reason. Content marketing is growing and has already begun to change the face of advertising across the Internet.
All advertising aims to generate leads that translate into sales. Growing any business means growing the customer base, and content marketing achieves this goal through tactics that engage rather than selling outright. Useful or entertaining information makes customers more willing to interact with businesses.
Improved search rankings through the use of keywords in content can generate leads as well. Regularly incorporating keywords into blog posts, social media updates and other content causes search engine robots to crawl a site more often, indexing new content and influencing where site pages appear in search results.
Common advertising methods often require a significant up-front investment from a business. Monthly ad fees for newspapers and magazines add up quickly. PPC and banner advertising can cost even more. In today’s uncertain economy, the last thing that any business needs is an accumulation of unnecessary expenses.
Content marketing is a much cheaper choice for attracting customers. Establishing blogs and social media profiles requires little or no monetary investment. Putting together a team to create, post, distribute and manage content requires more time than money, and the benefits far outweigh the overall costs.
Good quality content improves SEO and increases brand awareness, allowing businesses to enjoy higher visibility. Content that consumers see as particularly interesting has the potential to spread across the Internet via social sharing, giving it a much broader reach than traditional ads. The more people that see a piece of content, the higher the number of potential customers you can capture.
Connect With Your Audience
Knowing what kind of content will catch and keep the attention of a target demographic is important for any business wishing to migrate away from traditional advertising. Creating content is only part of the equation; consumers have to read it and stay with it long enough to act on it in a meaningful way. For that to happen, they need to feel a connection with the company.
Client stories and testimonials are excellent ways to connect with an audience. People like reading about success stories, and a good story may prompt them to share their own experiences with a product or brand. This creates a sense of community and builds rapport between businesses and customers. Once customers feel that connection, they’re more likely to interact. Prominently placing contact information and social media profile links on pages and posts offers more opportunities for communication and shows consumers that businesses are willing to establish ongoing relationships.
Content marketing works to establish businesses as authorities in a particular niche. When producing content, a business should aim to meet the needs of its target audience. People want to know how a product or service can help them. Before making any kind of purchase decision, consumers often search for information via the Internet.
Consistency is key. Posting high quality content on a regular basis keeps a company and its brand visible in search results and across social media networks. Over time, customers will come to recognize the businesses with the highest quality content as go-to authorities for helpful information. When a company offers content that its target customer base wants, those customers are more likely to return to the company and make purchases in the future.
When done right, content marketing can produce more leads and generate a higher volume of sales than traditional advertising. Consumers prefer informative content that helps them make smart purchase decisions over straight ad copy. Businesses that take the time to establish themselves as consistent sources of high quality content will benefit most from this growing form of marketing.
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