I can admit that we sometimes use terms and phrases on our blog that you may not totally get. Guilty! For that reason, I want to be sure that you are super clear on what Content Marketing really is. Defined by the Content Marketing Institute:
"Content marketing is a marketing technique of creating and distributing valuable, relevant and consistent content to attract and acquire a clearly defined audience – with the objective of driving profitable customer action."
Let's break that definition down a bit so we have a better understanding...
Creating and Distributing Valuable, Relevant and Consistent Content
So, what does this mean? Simply put, as a business, you must be creating (writing, designing, videoing, etc...) content that your ideal buyers would find valuable (valuable and relevant). This content needs distributed on your website and in as many other channels (Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIN, Google+, Instagram, SlideShare, email lists, etc...) as possible.
This needs to be done CONSISTENTLY. Not every 3 years when you think it's time to do a web design refresh. Not once a year when your boss asks you about your website. Monthly = meh, Weekly = OK, Daily = perfect! Consistently creating content gives the search engines more "candy" to relate to/rank your website, gives you more content to share in social media, email, etc... and gives your prospects a reason to visit your site more often.
I'm not so naive that I don't understand that daily content creation is a real challenge for small businesses. I get that. We are a small business. I'm totally on the same page with you. In fact, I'd be willing to bet we have fewer people at our company than you. Somehow though, we manage to write on our blog and stay somewhat active in social media at least 3 days a week. You can too with some actual commitment.
Why? To Attract And Acquire A Clearly Defined Audience!
How do you find solutions to your problems online? Let's say you are in the market for a new grill and want to research online which grill would be best. If you are like 98% of people, you go to Google and enter search terms for grills. You may search for something like:
- Best charcoal grill 2014
- Best value gas grill
- Weber grill reviews
- Easy to clean grills
- New gas grills for 2014
The results that are returned for your search got there primarily because of their content. Not because they are Home Depot, or Weber Grill company. Nope, because they consistently produce relevant content around the keywords and phrases used. If we look at the search engine results for "best charcoal grill 2014", here're the actual results:
Briefly visit the first 3 NON-Advertisement links in the list:
You'll see the content promised in their search result in Google, but you'll also see links to a ton of other related content like the following:
All of this extra content does 2 really important things. 1 - It increases your chances of ranking highly in search engines for your desired keywords and phrases. That means you are front and center when a prospect is searching for the solution your company offers. 2 - It makes your clients' lives easier. They will value you more than your competition and see that you understand their challenges.
Some great examples of content marketing:
Objective of Driving Profitable Customer Action
Clearly, an investment in the time and effort necessary to produce valuable content has to have a clear connection to generating revenues and profits. There's no sense in doing it if it isn't going to add to the bottom line. Again, creation of all of this relevant, highly targeted content is going to help you rank much higher in search engines, meaning your prospects will see you front and center when they are looking for your type of product or service. That will obviously result in more potential business.
By having an array of great content that speaks to the challenges your ideal buyer has, you will break down the barriers that a typical sales environment has. It will leave these prospects more open for being sold to because you are already adding value for them. That will lead to more business.