Content marketing is the lead generating machine you haven’t turned on yet. If you’re curious about how to leverage your “free” industry expertise for increased sales, this article is for you.
The truth is, the days of in-your-face sales strategies are dead, friends. In order to get those leads and make those sales, you need to give your customer a whole lot more than a sales pitch. You need to give them interesting, helpful, and above all relevant content.
Read on to find out why content marketing is the best way to bring in a steady new stream of leads and give your business a bump up the Google rankings.
Effective Content Marketing Will Generate A Steady Stream Of New Leads For Your Business
Content marketing remains one of the most effective ways to attract people to your website – period. Having an amazing online presence is about more than looks. Generating new leads in today’s world means giving potential customers more! This is where content marketing comes in.
Not only does content marketing give you the chance to make Google happy with lots of indexed pages and keywords to grab onto, it gives you the chance to make your website visitors happy by giving them something to sink their teeth into. Content marketing is the best way to establish yourself as an expert in your industry while fostering trust and confidence with potential customers before even broaching the subject of sales.
If a marketing strategy that puts relationship building and the wants and needs of your clients first sounds right up your alley, you’ll definitely want to keep reading.
So, What Is Content Marketing?
Content Marketing is the art of creating and distributing relevant and valuable content to attract and engage a target audience with the goal of driving profitable customer action. – Content Marketing Institute
Posting on social media channels, blogging, and creating online videos are all examples of content marketing but there ‘s a bit more to it than that.
Content marketing requires you to create top notch content that gives your target audience what they are looking for. Usually, this is the answer to a question or the solution to a problem directly related to your industry. When content marketing is well done, the services or products needed to implement the solution will lead them right back to your business!
Content Marketing Makes People Happy.
How about an example?
Let’s say you run a business that specializes in outfitting people for back country camping. Instead of writing, Tweeting, and vlogging about how amazing your business is (annoying) or what great sales you have going on (boring) you should put some time into actually helping them prepare for their adventure! That is what a content marketing campaign would involve. Maybe your customers are always asking you about camping in different seasons or about how to cook over a campfire. These would be amazing topics for blog posts or videos.
70 percent of internet users want to learn about products through content versus traditional advertisements. – MDG Advertising
If your content is good, people will read it and come back to your website again and again to find answers to their questions. When they are ready to buy some new camping gear, they will have confidence that you know what you’re talking about. Even better, they will feel excited about buying from your business! They will know they’re getting the product they need from a company that sees them as more than dollar signs and is run by people who are passionate about camping.
At its core, content marketing is all about helping people out. Instead of wasting your time jumping up and down shouting “Pick me! Pick me!” you are going to build a relationship with your audience and show them that not only do you have the answers to the questions but that your services or products are part of the solution!
Content Marketing Makes Google Happy.
Writing all of that kick ass content isn’t only going to make your target audience happy, it is going to make Google happy. When Google is happy your content (and your website or social media channels) will get bumped up higher and higher in the search rankings! The higher your content ranks in a Google search, the more traffic your website will get. Trust us when we say that it is anything but lonely at the top!
FACT: The post, video, or website in the #1 spot in a Google search can get as much as double the number of visitors as the #2 spot and as many as six times the number of visitors as the site in the #5 spot! Want to know more about grabbing that top Google spot? Check this out!
So, What Makes Google Happy?
The short answer to this very important question is simple. Google loves relevant and searchable content.
Google is a search engine. The purpose of a search engine is to help the person asking the question get the best selection of relevant answers possible. There are millions of websites out there so Google (like other search engines) has been programmed to sort through them using a long and specific list of ranking factors. Three of the most important factors on that list are keywords, connection (think links), and consistency.
77% of Internet Users read blogs and small businesses with blogs get 126% more lead growth than businesses without (source: IMPACT). – Gabriel Nwatarali
In a nutshell, Google rewards the website that has the most relevant answers to the question being asked. Google sources these answers, in part, based on effective use of keywords, how often the content or web site is being updated, and how well connected the content is to other reliable sources.
The More You Give, The More You Get.
In the face of consumers pelted with ads day in and day out, content marketing swoops in like a breath of fresh air. It provides value for their lives, isn’t intrusive, and aims to be helpful above promotional (*insert praise-hands emoji here*). – Julia McCoy
We have seen how content marketing can make Google happy which gives your site higher rankings in the search results. We have seen how content marketing makes your potential customers happy by giving them relevant, engaging, and helpful answers to their top questions. Let’s talk about how content marketing is going to benefit your business and your brand and help you turn all those new leads into new sales!
1. Content Marketing Builds Brand Awareness.
When the content you create and put out there is “on brand” it will grab the attention of the right people; namely your ideal customers. Content marketing gives you the opportunity to give people a feel for your business’ personality. What you write about, the voice you use to communicate your message, and the look of your posts are the way your readers (aka. potential customers) get to know your business.
Brand awareness isn’t just whether your audience knows the name of your brand, but it’s how well they understand the qualities that make your brand unique. – WebFX
Content marketing gives your brand a voice and that isn’t something you want to miss out on. When readers see your content, you want them to know who you are and what you’re all about right away. When your readers feel connected to your brand, when they love what you are putting out there and what your business stands for, they will spread the word through shares, social media posts and word-of-mouth and that is priceless.
2. Establish Yourself As An Expert By Publishing Content That Shows Off Your Smarts and Your Passion.
Putting the time in to create an amazing collection of blog posts, downloadable resources, or videos will establish you as an expert in your industry. Making sure that content is the perfect balance of personal and professional means people will know you care.
You know the saying “Sharing is caring”, right? It couldn’t be more true.
Using your blog to consistently put out engaging and helpful posts that touch on your ideal clients’ interests and problems alongside exciting news or events relating to your industry is a great way to stay relevant to your target audience. If you are putting out quality information regularly your audience will grow and will look forward to checking in with you to see what’s new.
When you have a diverse pool of content for your visitors to search through, you can leverage that into being their “go to” source of information. That means they will be more likely to come back to your site to search through your posts. Even better, when the time comes to make a purchase they are more likely to check out your products and services before looking elsewhere.
3. Build Trust Between Your Customers And Your Brand With Quality Content.
How people feel about your business and your brand matters more than you might think. Even the most rational consumer is influenced by their emotions when making a purchase. People want to give their business to a company that they feel good about! Content marketing is one way to build that relationship with your potential customers.
When you think about it, building a trusting relationship with anyone (including a business or a brand) comes down to feeling that you can rely on them, that they are being open and honest, and that they care about you. Content marketing checks all the boxes!
84 percent of people expect brands to provide content that entertains, tells stories, provides solutions, and creates experiences and events. — Meaningful Brands as quoted in Cision’s The Ultimate List of Content Marketing Statistics 2018
With a blog, for example, you can consistently put out fresh content that speaks to the interests and problems shared by your target audience. By creating customer focused content you are nurturing the relationship between your business and your potential customers. When you make sure your content is engaging and credible, you are demonstrating your trustworthiness as a brand.
By telling your brand’s story, you are essentially having a conversation with your audience and that is something that they will remember and feel good about which will translate into new leads and new customers.
4. Effective Content Marketing Will Boost Your Google Ranking And Contrary To Popular Belief, It Is Definitely Not Lonely At The Top.
As we have seen, when it comes to ranking well in a Google search, it is all about creating content that is relevant and searchable. Google is an information hungry beast and to get on it’s good side, you have to feed it with consistently published and high quality content.
Creating an amazing blog where you can connect with your target audience, establish yourself as an expert in your industry, and build trust with your potential customers, when done effectively, has the added bonus of pushing your site up, up, up those Google rankings. It is a win, win, win situation.
In a way, you can think of content marketing as the trail of breadcrumbs that will lead your ideal customer to you! As we have seen, this works in two ways. Creating engaging, on brand, and well optimized content makes Google happy which means higher search rankings. It also makes your readers happy which means increased brand awareness, more time spent on your website and a steady stream of new leads for you to build relationships with.
Rolling out an effective content marketing campaign takes planning, research, and some creativity. Some of the most important questions to ask yourself when you start mapping out your content marketing campaign include:
Invest In Content Marketing Now, Reap The Rewards Forever
- How well do I know my target audience? If the answer isn’t “I know them inside and out” then you need to invest some time getting a clear picture about your target demographic.
- What is the story I want my brand to tell? Having a clear brand story in mind to guide the content you are going to roll out is essential. Without a big picture in mind, your content won’t be cohesive.
- Do I have the ability and time to consistently create relevant, engaging, and on brand content? If you aren’t sure that you have the time or skill set to consistently create your own content, you may want to look into hiring a copywriter to help you. The most effective content marketing campaigns are rolled out with a consistent schedule so that your readers are getting new information regularly.
- Do I have the technical skills to optimize by content and make Google happy? SEO (Search Engine Optimization) is a skill that takes time to learn as well as to implement. When it is done right, your posts are sure to be picked up by Google and seen by your target audience. Is this something you are confident in your ability to do yourself or should you consider hiring someone who specializes in web design to take it on?
Planning, creating and publishing an amazing content marketing campaign is no small job but will be worth every minute and dollar you put into it. Well crafted content pays off by creating a steady stream of new leads for your business organically (without people finding you by clicking on paid ads) and indefinitely!