Have you spent thousands on traditional marketing or PPC advertising with little to no results?
This article will teach you how to grow your business organically through content marketing. It will discuss some of the benefits of creating and publishing content. You will also learn how to build a successful content marketing strategy.
The Content Marketing Institute, an online resource for everything related to content advertising, defines content marketing as:
“A strategic marketing approach focused on creating and distributing valuable, relevant, and consistent content to attract and retain a clearly-defined audience — and, ultimately, to drive profitable customer action.”
Traditional marketing is becoming more and more outdated due to technological developments, the rise of online advertising, and shifting customer expectations towards building relationships with companies instead of just buying products. A forward-thinking marketer will surely appreciate the potential that content marketing has in this new world.
The Main Benefits of Content Marketing
Once you understand what content marketing is and how it works, you’ll start to see all of the opportunities to use it effectively. To put it simply, content marketing allows you to give your customers a glimpse into your skills, knowledge, and expertise. You offer them insight into how your product or service can help them. In turn, this creates trust between you and your clients. Below, you will find a more detailed analysis of the main advantages of adopting a content marketing strategy.
1. Increased Volume of Organic Searches
Nowadays, 93% of buying cycles start from a search engine. Basically, people need to find you in order to buy from you. According to Kuno Creative, an advertising agency specializing in content marketing, 51% of content consumption comes from organic searches. A great way to build organic awareness is through content marketing. If you publish valuable content, it will eventually be shared on social media or rank higher on search engines. This leads to increased brand awareness and online traffic.
2. Cost-Effective Advertising
Traditional advertising can often be expensive and ineffective. Alternatively, click-farming often affects PPC (pay-per-click) advertising. Many of those interacting with the ads are not interested in your content. Instead, they are low-paid workers who click on paid ads or like social media posts. In time, click-farming diminishes the ability of online advertising to reach the right audience. You pay for all the traffic, but only a fraction of it actually ends up being relevant.
However, while PPC advertising is “pushing” your product towards customers, content marketing pulls your customers in with value. When you publish content, you are helping your customers and attracting new ones. As a result, you are more likely to build a devoted customer base. If your content makes it to the top of search engines, you will even build brand awareness at low costs. Thus, content marketing is a much cheaper and effective way to advertise your business compared to traditional or online advertising.
3. Build a Loyal and Diverse Customer Base
By posting content that people find helpful, they will eventually appreciate you. Big brands and online influencers are good examples. They build a loyal customer base by often engaging with their audience and delivering what they want.
By advertising on different social media platforms, you also create a more diverse customer base than if you advertised locally. Find out where your audience is in the digital world and try to reach them there.
4. Grow Your Sales
Clients are more likely to buy your product if they experience some of what you have to offer. Many companies offer a free trial or allow you to upgrade to Premium membership for more benefits. By posting content online, you give your potential clients some insight into your product or service and how it can help them.
For instance, if your business helps students to prepare for their exams, having some useful materials on your website will build trust with your customers. A client will always choose the website that offers insight into what working with them is like. Thus, content advertising will increase your sales by building trust with potential customers.
How to Create Your Content Marketing Strategy
Now that you are aware that content marketing can be the growth engine of your business, it is time to create a successful content marketing strategy. All you have to do is follow these 5 simple, but not easy, steps:
Step no. 1: Who are your customers?
You need to start by asking yourself who the ideal customer for your product or service is. Think of the demographics (age, sex, location, education, income) and the psychographics (what they read, what influences them, how they think) of your potential clients.
You also have to analyze all available data. Conduct customer interviews, join groups and forums where your customers hang around, or look at reviews (especially the 3-star ones [assuming the rating is out of 5], as those people spend the most time thinking about the product and trying to be analytical instead of biased, either loving or hating it).
This is the most important step because it allows you to better understand your customer base. You should now have a better idea of where your strategy is going.
Step no. 2: What do they want or need?
With content marketing, the most essential aspect is to be USEFUL. Find something that is in demand. Figure out what people need or what frustrates them. Try to benefit others with your skills or expertise.
For example, if you are knowledgeable about a topic, create content that will help people better understand that subject. Start a podcast, a Youtube channel, or a blog and use your knowledge to help others.
Step no. 3: Where to find them?
It is crucial to observe the differences in behaviors between demographics. For instance, educated people are more likely to listen to audiobooks and podcasts. Younger people tend to spend more time on platforms such as Tik Tok, Youtube, and Snapchat. Think about who your customers are and how to appeal to them on the internet.
You also want to decide where the relevant audience actually is. Going back to the tutoring example, you would want to attract the parents since they are the decision-makers who will actually pay to have their kids tutored. While students spend more time online, they do not have money, and the final call belongs to parents. So you have to carefully choose the platforms most relevant to reach your audience due to your limited resources. So ask yourself where you can get the biggest return on the time you spend, and start there first.
Step no. 4: Which format?
There are 4 main types of content format: audio, images, video, and writing.
The most important thing is to publish the content that is easiest for you to create. If you’re a good writer, you can easily start a blog.
But if you want to post Youtube videos, this will require more resources. Firstly, if you want to get noticed, you will have to buy the right equipment. Then, you’ll need a lot of time and the necessary skills to edit the videos. Otherwise, you will have to hire someone.
Thus, not all content is created equally. You’ll need to prioritize based on the resources that you have. Take into account all the available content marketing options and choose the format that works best for you.
A huge factor here is your personality and things that you’re natively good at. For example, if you can create video content and it comes naturally to you, that is often best because it can be easily transformed into audio and written content by a team that you hire.
This means that the second important factor here is that whatever content type you choose to start with, ideally, you need to make sure you can distribute it in multiple formats.
For example, let’s say you have a podcast or a Youtube channel. Transcribe your content into writing (blog posts, articles) or images (social media posts). If you publish a book, also issue it in ebook or audiobook formats.
Step no. 5: Expand Your Sphere of Influence.
Always look for new ways to improve your content advertising. An excellent place to start is to take into account your customer’s feedback. For example, if you run a podcast, your listeners may ask you to publish it on other platforms. So make sure to have it available everywhere (Apple, Amazon, Google, Youtube, etc.).
Another tip is to advertise your content in other formats. Eventually, this will allow you to reach an even wider audience. For instance, if you have a blog, invest your resources into starting a podcast or a Youtube channel. Of course, you could also publish an ebook or online course with all the available content.
– Any experienced marketer knows that content advertising is one of the best ways to grow your business organically.
– Through effective content marketing, you will build brand awareness and a loyal customer base while saving costs and increasing sales. It helps you avoid the pitfalls of PPC advertising such as click farming, though, on the downside, it will be slower.
– The best way to advertise through content is to be helpful to others. Share your knowledge, skills, or expertise and be useful to people.
– Use the 5-step plan to create a successful content marketing strategy.
1. Understand your customers.
2. Solve their problems.
3. Figure out where to find them.
4. Choose a suitable format for you.
5. Analyze, improve and expand your influence.