What is the role of content marketing in business?

The content marketing strategy is used to engage, attract and retain audiences by sharing relevant articles, videos, and podcasts. This strategy establishes expertise and promotes brand awareness. It also keeps your business in mind when it comes time to purchase what you have.

What is content marketing?

Content marketing refers to the creation and distribution of valuable, relevant content, such as blogs, newsletters and whitepapers, social media posts, and emails. This content is distributed to current and potential customers. This content communicates expertise and shows that the company values its customers.

Your consistent content marketing builds and maintains relationships with potential and current customers. According to the customer review statistics, about 97% of consumers search for local businesses online. Your audience will be more inclined to consider your company as a partner in their success, and a source of valuable advice and guidance when the time comes to buy.

Why it is important

It’s a tried-and-true strategy that works. It gives you a competitive edge. Let’s take a look at the data on content marketing.

  • Blogs get 67% higher leads than other businesses.
  • 47 percent of buyers read 3 to 5 pieces before engaging with a sales representative.
  • Content marketing companies see 30% more growth than those who don’t use it.
  • Seventy-two percent of marketers claim that content marketing improves engagement and increases the number of leads generated.

How content marketing works

Content marketing can help your business attract leads and close sales.

It is essential to provide the right content for each stage of your sales cycle, from awareness to consideration to purchase. This may sound complicated but it is actually very simple.

This is how content marketing works in every stage of the sales process to help companies engage and sell.

Awareness stage

Your content should be focused on your target audience at the beginning of the sales process. You have the best chance to engage with your audience by writing about their problems, challenges, and questions. The awareness stage content should include how-to and educational advice. Your selling should be saved for the consideration or closing stages.

The best content for this stage: articles, blog posts, ebooks, videos, and newsletters

Examples:

  • A restaurant writes a blog on how to plan a menu at a graduation party.
  • A short video is created by a bike tour company on the topic of “3 Ways to Select the Right Bike Trip.”
  • A company that specializes in architecture creates an electronic book called “Questions to ask before hiring an architect.”

Stage of consideration

Content should be a mix of marketing and useful information during the consideration stage. It should inform the reader about which features and functions they should be looking for, as well as how different features can address their specific needs. Your content should be tailored to the offerings of your business.

The best content for this stage: case studies, how-to articles, how-to videos, checklists/worksheets

Examples:

  • A cloud-based phone company has created a checklist called “8 Ways To Improve Your Phone Customer Services” which details the features and functions that make excellent customer service possible.
  • A landscaping company presents case studies on “The Biggest Mistakes People Make When Hiring a Landscaper.”
  • Case studies of successful events by catering companies are highlighted with a focus on the benefits they provide. This includes “How to accommodate food allergies at your next event” or “How do you ensure that your caterer uses sustainable practices.”

Closing stage

When a prospect is ready to buy, content marketing is crucial. You can concentrate on sales at this stage, provided you keep highlighting why you are the best choice, not just how great your products or services are.

The central message should be your knowledge and expertise as well as the unique benefits you offer.

The best content for this stage: case stories, user-generated material, buyer’s guides, product videos, a research report

Examples:

  • A research report created by a consulting firm shows that businesses who engage in strategic planning, outside assessments, and other services–shaped according to what they offer–experience greater growth.
  • A design agency makes short videos that showcase its expertise in different industries.
  • Patients are encouraged to write testimonials about their orthodontist practices’ state-of-the-art equipment, top-notch service, and other details.

How to start content marketing

It can be overwhelming to market content, but it doesn’t have to. A content marketing campaign that is successful should be easy to manage and sustain. These steps will help you get started.

  • Identify your audience. You need to know the priorities, challenges, and preferences of each reader before you can create content. You can choose one or two segments to write for if you have detailed descriptions. If not, create profiles of your prospects and audience members before you start.
  • Choose the right formats. This corresponds to the stage of your sales cycle for which you are creating content. It is important to consider what format will be most effective in showcasing your value. This may be a video for some or a checklist for others.
  • Choose who will edit, proofread, and write your copy. Your content will be judged by its quality. Find the right resource to do this work, whether it is internal or external. No matter who created it, hire a professional editor to proofread it before it is published.
  • Decide how will be distributed. You can post content to your website, email it to others, or print it out for an event. You can start with “where” to determine who your audience is likely. Then, choose the format that makes sense. An example of this is an article that can be sent via email. A checklist or worksheet can also be posted on social media. A buyer’s guide, however, is a great follow-up to a pitch.
  • Make a plan that is sustainable. Don’t be too ambitious with your content marketing plan. After you have identified the audience and the content formats, you can make a short-term plan (3-6 months) to create the number of content elements that you are able to create, depending on your resources and budget. You can track how long it takes to create each piece and incorporate that time into your schedule.
  • Use best practices. Clear and concise content that you and your peers can understand. You should include how-to information. It is best to keep it short and actionable.

Read: Ken Watterworth explains 10 steps to start a new business

SEO and Social Media

SEO

Good prospects will find your business easily through content marketing. Search engine optimization (SEO) is one way to make this happen.

There is a lot of information available on SEO. However, it is important to start with a few best practices we got from the Philadelphia SEO company.

Identify keywords

Your SEO efforts will be built on keywords. These keywords and phrases are what prospects type into search engines when they’re searching for a company, product or service.

You’ll get more traffic if you use the right keywords in your content. These are the best keywords:

  • Plain-language Language your audience uses for describing their pain points or needs
  • Relevant keywords: keywords that correspond to the expertise, products, and services you offer
  • Specific: is a combination of your focus, industry knowledge, prospect pain points, and other relevant details

Deliver on your promise

SEO is evolving so that search success relies partly on the quality of your content. Search engines analyze content copy and assess its relevancy to determine if it lives up to the headline.

Keywords are important because search engines value copy. It is essential to use keywords in your content. These guidelines will help you follow:

  • Use 1 to 2 keywords. Write about the most important things to your prospects by focusing on a handful of keyword phrases.
  • Use keywords for the title. Make the purpose of the article clear and specific.
  • Include keywords throughout your content. Discover a way to incorporate your keywords in your content naturally.
  • Keep it on the topic. High-quality content with advice that is related to a headline is best.

Read: William Vermillion explains project management from start to finish

Social Media

Once you have the content, it is time to spread the word about it. It’s easy to promote your content using social media such as Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, Medium, and Instagram. Simply write a post, link to your content, and voila! Engaged people are the best.

This can be done in 3 steps

  1. Concentrate on high-potential social media channels. Your audience is the best source of information. You should consider both the popular, well-known channels as well as the smaller, more industry-focused channels that can connect you with great prospects. Ask your audience which channels they prefer and create a list based on these preferences.
  2. Create your copy to suit the channel. Every social media channel requires a certain level of professionalism, a voice that is accepted, and many other details. Spend some time reading through posts before you start writing. Next, add some company spirit to your posts.
  3. You can modify and test your approach. It takes trial and error to make a successful social media promotion. You can track the quality and quantity of responses to various channels. A channel that has fewer high-potential interactions may be a better fit than one with a lot of clicks but no audience.

Use content to build your business

Your unique value can shine through in content that attracts, engages, and sells. You can reach the right people with some planning and consistent content marketing to inspire loyalty to your brand.

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