[As some of you know, we like to promote good ideas for other bloggers out there that are in the Agile space. We haven't heard from Ed Hill, our resident SEO expert in a while. Good to see some stuff that is useful for Agile Bloggers!]
Content marketing is the development and distribution of relevant and valuable content to attract, acquire and engage consumers.
If you’re marketing your small to medium business, you’ve seen the frenzy over content marketing. Why is content marketing getting so much attention? Why is content so effective at building traffic and sales leads?
We’re going to quickly cover:
- What content marketing can do for your business
- Why it works to attract customers to your online business
- What to write about
- How to get started
Just in the last week I’ve seen several articles on major media sites like Search Engine World, Forbes and the Huffington Post. You can skip the Huffington opinion piece, which claims, “There is no formula”, while checking out Drew Hendricks coverage of useful content building tools in Tips For Building A Strong Content Marketing Plan For 2014 . While there is no formula for quality content marketing, there is a process that you can use for your content marketing.
Because you’re focused on marketing a small or medium business, you may not have a large enough team or the time for the formal content strategy process. But you don’t want to start without planning. You can’t build traffic by randomly posting social media snippets and blog articles on topics that don’t matter to your customers. There is a happy balance between the two extremes. We’re going to walk through a quick and effective process that mixes some practices from content strategy and methods from search engine optimization. The goal here is to quickly deliver content that matters to your customer and helps fulfill your goals as a business.
Content creation is a powerful and effective marketing strategy to build web traffic and sales leads, but it’s also expensive in terms of time and effort.
What Content Marketing Delivers for Your Business
- Relevant content is ideal for building customer rapport and trust
- Consistent content creation helps to form a relationship where customers learn how to solve their problems and come to rely on your business for trustworthy information
- Reassuring content such as testimonials and reviews helps customers lose their fear of loss, which is a natural part of the buying cycle
- Because content marketing seeks to answer customer questions and doubts it’s appropriate at almost every stage of the buying cycle
- Content marketing is also a rich source of relevant content that search engines will favor with higher search engine visibility and increased natural search traffic
- Building carefully crafted headlines for your content will also deliver social media content that is easy for readers to share
How Much Content Should We Build to See Improvement in Web Traffic and Sales
- My experience with content building shows that 100 to 300 pages of new blog or website content is needed to see a substantial increase in web traffic and sales leads
- Building 51 to 100 pages of content can generate 48% more traffic than web sites with less than 50 pages, according to the Hubspot Marketing Benchmarks from 7000 Businesses
When practiced consistently, I’ve seen content marketing deliver substantial increase in web traffic and sales. With an efficient team posting content on a daily basis and building and responding to your community of customers through social media, you could see traffic almost double as I did with my work for ApartmentGuide.com.
Why Does Content Marketing Work so Well?
When customers are seeking a solution to a problem or a product to fulfill a need they will typically gather information before buying anything that costs more than $100. The customer wants to strike a balance between the need to solve their problem and the fear of loss. The fear of loss occurs because the customer often does not know enough about what type of products can solve their problem or even how to find the best product to solve their problem. Especially when buying something they’ve never purchased before or when spending a large amount of money, the customer begins to fear that they will buy the wrong product, pay too much for the product or even buy a product that fails to solve their problem.
Content marketing eliminates the customers fear of loss by giving them enough information to understand:
- what types of products are available to solve their problem
- how to judge if a product is suitable for what they need
- how to compare competing products
- how to judge if the price is fair for the value offered
- how to use the product to solve their problem
- social proof content like reviews or testimonials can be especially reassuring to customers
In part 2 we’ll talk about how to research the types of content that matter to your customers and then how to start the content marketing process.