Using Content Marketing to Win Friends and Influence People
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According to the Content Marketing Institute,
“Content marketing is 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.”
This type of marketing includes blogs, podcasts, social media and other ways of creating and sharing content, and over the next few weeks we’re going to be exploring several of these. Andrew Lisa kicks off this series with an introduction to content marketing.
Not only can a great content marketing strategy position you as an industry authority, draw likely buyers to your website and improve your search rankings, but it can help you make sales without actually selling. Here is why a good content marketing strategy is priceless.
Content Marketing: Make Them Come to You
Even the best sales strategy requires you to track down leads, turn them into prospects and continue selling until they become customers. But content marketing catches potential customers at a crucial point in the funnel – when they’re researching to buy. As discussed in the article “How to Generate More Leads than Ever in 2015 with Content Marketing” (no longer online), content marketing is the act of continuously and consistently creating and distributing information – such as articles, info graphics and videos – that is relevant to your industry niche.
If you are a professional organizer, your website may showcase dozens of articles about the different kinds of organizing products, different organizing techniques and the best ways to find a good organizer. People who need their house organized, but don’t know anything about the process, should start by researching. If you’ve built a large stable of credible, authoritative articles on the subject, they may just land on your website where, conveniently, you also offer your services.
Google Likes Content Marketing
When you’re constantly updating your site with high-quality content that Google’s algorithms recognize as credible and authoritative (i.e.: content that is not artificially stuffed with keywords or just a re-written version of something that has already appeared somewhere else), they reward you with better rankings in their search results. Google wants to give the person conducting the search the results that will be most helpful and the most relevant. Since most people click the first few links, that’s the sweet spot that Google stingily hands out. Great content marketing can put you at the top.
A Selling Point for Those Who Don’t Like Selling
Some of the best businesspeople and entrepreneurs in the world simply don’t like selling, don’t like cold calling, don’t like convincing people, even if they believe in their product or service. Content marketing makes the business of selling a lot more palatable. The people who land on your content don’t need to be convinced that they need their house painted. They already know that, that’s why they’re researching. They just need clear, accurate, credible information. When you provide that information, you position yourself as an authority – and who wouldn’t want to hire an authority?
Content marketing looks good to Google as well as to potential customers. It lets you start in the middle of the funnel and it takes the sales out of selling. A great content marketing strategy takes a lot of work and consistency, but it’s good for your site, good for your reputation and good for business.