During the past couple of weeks, I’ve talked a lot about content marketing. And, for good reason.
I firmly believe that 2013 is the year of content marketing. Although the concept of content marketing has been around for a long time, we’re finally reaching a place where it’s becoming mainstream in the digital space.
Blogging and digital content is no longer a “nice to have” option. It’s a must for businesses that want to succeed in the digital age.
Content marketing — also called inbound marketing — focuses on attracting prospects to you like a magnet instead of pushing out a message and hoping it sticks.
In other words, effective content helps people find you when they’re looking for information or to solve a problem. Being able to provide that information when someone is ready to make a buying decision — especially for B2B and service-based businesses — is incredibly useful.
This is something that social media alone cannot do. That’s why you must have original content to share first.
Here’s why content marketing is so powerful:
- It helps you get found. It’s no secret that Google likes fresh, relevant content. And, the more content you produce with strategic, targeted keywords, the more likely you are to get found when people search for a given topic. A static website will have a tough time competing for top search engine spots compared to sites that produce regular content.
- It helps people get to know you. If you’ve heard me say it once, I’ve said it a thousand times – we do business with those we know, like and trust. Content marketing helps showcase the people behind the business and presents the opportunity for visitors to build relationships with them through comments and social sharing. After all, we do business with PEOPLE, not company logos.
- It builds trust. When you focus on creating content that solves problems (with no strings attached), you become a trustworthy source of information. And, when the person is ready to buy, they will be more likely to buy from you.
- It positions you as an expert. Sure, your website touts the work you do and the awards you’ve won. Although that’s all fine and good, additional web content — whether it is blog posts, white papers or webinars – helps you demonstrate even deeper knowledge on a subject. This shows to prospects that you know what you’re talking about and it demonstrates what it would be like to work with you. Not to mention, this kind of content can lead to you being a resource for journalists and other bloggers looking for information.
- It improves the sales process. Content marketing can help generate qualified leads, decrease the length of the sales cycle and decrease the cost per lead of other marketing initiatives. All is this is possible because content marketing attracts people who are looking for a solution, so you’re providing information at the right time. That’s why this can be far more effective than the spray and pray approach of advertising.
Now that you understand why content marketing is so valuable, I want to dive in a bit deeper and talk about the different kinds of content and how it can work to drive sales for your business.
That’s why I’m creating a week-long series about how to create compelling content.
In addition to talking about the different kinds of content (blogging, videos, ebooks, etc.) we’ll also offer up a variety of examples to help you see how different businesses used content marketing to achieve their business goals.
I’m really excited about this series and I hope that it will help you see the value in content marketing and discover new ideas for implementing this into your overall marketing efforts.
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Image credit: Explain that Stuff