If you’re trying to increase your brand awareness, chances are you’ve heard the term “content marketing,” and probably You have been told that it’s a very good way to attract new customers and build your business’s profile and increase your profits at the same time.
But what is that thing we call “content marketing”?
In this article, we’ll start by explaining the definition of content marketing, and then we’ll talk about how it can help your business.
1. What Is Content Marketing?
The idea is that by providing free information that’s useful, enlightening, and hey, maybe even fun, you convert them from guests into followers. If they like your material, they may share it with their followers & friends, giving you even broader reach, and they’ll be to convert into a paying customer.
Content Marketing VS Traditional Marketing
In the traditional marketing method, you’d create an ad and pay to place it in front of potential customers.
It’s very direct, and it can lead to immediate sales, but if you don’t grab people’s attention, they’ll just tune you out.
The content marketing strategy is very different. It’s more about the long-term game. In this case, you start writing articles on the blog of your website, giving to your potential client useful information related to your products and services and the use of them or general information in your niche, and more. Then you push those articles to attract readers to your website, and at the epilogue of each article, you try to tempt them to stay in contact by offering more great information or an ebook in exchange for their phone number or email address.
Once they’ve signed up, you can follow up with a series of emails providing extra useful information while also trying to lure them into signing up as a paying customer. The ratio should be something like 80% or 90% free, useful information and 10% or 20% self-promotion.
This is just an example. There are lots of different content marketing strategies out there. Rather than asking strangers to cash out immediately, you’re trying to build trust first. It takes longer to convert from the first contact to paying customer, but if you do it well, it can be very effective.
2. Why Use Content Marketing?
As mentioned before, content marketing is an indirect approach. So why take the time and effort to do it? What can it do for your business? In this section, we will answer those questions by explaining some of the benefits of content marketing.
People Hate Ads
More and more people are using ad-blocking software.
Your Followers Turn To Advertisers
If you write stuff that connects with your readers or viewers, they’ll share it with their close circle, giving you a much broader reach for free. In rare cases, an article or video may “go viral”, reaching huge numbers of people that would cost a fortune to reach via Paid or Traditional advertising.
But even if only a few followers share your posts, it’s still a remarkably powerful way to reach new customers. Why? Because when your content reaches new readers, they’re seeing that it’s been suggested by someone they know and usually trust or respect, and that gives you a powerful head-start.
People Love Free Stuff
Who doesn’t like a freebie?
That’s particularly true on the internet. In the early days of the web, everything was free. Today, people have got used to paying for products, services, or information, but there’s still a lingering expectation that at least the basics should be free.
It Doesn’t Cost You Much.
You can choose to hire SystemFreaks to build a content marketing strategy for your business or can get started with content marketing for little or even zero up-front investment. An attractive website certainly helps, but people will still share and value a post written on a free blog or social media platform.
It’s About How People Make Buying Decisions These Days
People don’t tend to make quick buying decisions online. They prefer to use online reviews and testimonials to help them compare products and do research.
So expecting guests to buy right away is unrealistic, mainly if your Brand is not well-known. It’s more effective to interact with them first, give them information that helps them with their research, and build trust so that they buy from you when they do buy.
You Build Your Business Profile
Many of the people who read your articles or watch your videos will never buy anything from your business. But all that effort wasn’t wasted. You’ve built brand awareness and improved your Brand’s credibility. Plus, if the content is hosted on your website, you’ve improved your rank in search engines too.
When you pay for online ads(PPC), you get a flood of targeted visitors and possibly customers. But then, when the Ads campaign is over, people no longer see that ad, and the guest flow stops. You’re back to square one—unless you pay again… and again.
A popular video or article, on the other side, can keep providing to your website organic traffic for years to come as long as people can still find the article in search engines.
The higher the quality of content you create, the more popular you become, the more your organic(free) traffic increases over time, both for new articles and old ones. It’s a snowballing effect, unlike paying for leads, which is a one-time deal.
3. Challenges to Overcome
Although content marketing has lots of benefits, it’s not a “silver bullet”. There are significant downsides.
Everyone Else Is Doing It
According to the reports, 86% of online businesses are using content marketing strategies. While the popularity of content marketing is an argument in favor of using it, that popularity also indicates that it’s a very competitive field.
Whatever niche you’re in, there are probably already hundreds of blogs, podcasts, and YouTube channels covering your topic, and this is why your content must be unique to stand out.
It Takes Time and Effort
We mentioned low to no cost as one of the advantages of content marketing, but don’t be deceived. Although there’s little cash investment required to start, you will need to put a lot of hours and a lot of effort into doing it.
Whether you’re composing blog articles, recording podcasts, creating YouTube videos, or indulging in the distraction by hundreds of cuts that are involved in maintaining an active social media presence, content marketing requires a lot of time and energy that you’d otherwise be devoting to other parts of your business, and this is where Systemfreaks saves the day by taking the load off your shoulders.
4.Content Marketing Strategies
So now you know what content marketing is, and we’ve looked at its main pros and cons.
So, what strategies can you adapt to create a successful content marketing campaign?
Pick Your Channels
As we mentioned earlier, there are many different ways to do content marketing. Here’s a short, non-exhaustive list of options:
- Start a blog.
- Create an audio podcast.
- Produce videos and publish them on YouTube or elsewhere.
- Build a following on social media and for your blog.
- Create some fun, informative, shareable infographics.
- Write guest posts or articles for popular publications.
- Write eBooks or white papers and distribute them on your website and elsewhere.
- Run a free webinar.
A good content marketing strategy will probably use several of those channels, but it’s important not to spread yourself too thin. It’s better to pick just a few channels and show up regularly than to have a half-hearted “presence” everywhere.
So make an honest evaluation of your skills and decide which of those channels are the best fit for you.
When you’re choosing channels to use for content marketing, also consider what you’re trying to achieve, what your target audience is looking for, and how you can produce better content than the competition.
Don’t Be Boring
If you want your content to be popular, you don’t have to “dumb it down” completely and post only cute animal videos. But you do have to make it personal, informative, engaging, and easy to read or watch. Don’t think about it as “producing content,” but as selling stories, and it will be more interesting both for you and your audience.
Don’t Be “Cheap.”
Another mistake companies make is to share a high amount of substandard content in a desperate attempt to rank higher up on search engines for particular keywords. They don’t want to invest the time and effort in producing useful content, so they hire the cheapest possible freelancers to produce something quickly, without conducting proper audience and niche research.
That misses the point of content marketing.
Don’t forget that content marketing it’s about building trust and bonding with your clients. What use is a high search engine ranking if the content people see when they read your articles or watch your videos does not inspire confidence?
Your content is your Brand’s reputation. So be ready to make a significant investment either of time or money in doing it right.
Make a Conversion Plan
It’s easy to get distracted by the challenge of producing high-quality content and to forget the purpose of this marketing strategy. At some point, you will have to turn all those visitors into customers.
If you’re posting your content on social media(like Facebook or Instagram), you’ll need to link back to your webpage, providing enticing reasons for visitors to click on. And your site or landing page needs to be set up to receive visitors and encourage them to sign up or purchase your products.
We hope this tutorial has given you a clear idea of what content marketing is and how it can help your business to grow. We’ve also looked at the pros and cons of content marketing and some strategies for doing it successfully.
It’s a big topic, so we’ve got more articles planned in the next few weeks. So Stay tuned for those—or sign up for our newsletter.