Content marketing has become in recent years one of the most effective, if not the most effective, forms of digital marketing. It’s great for lead generation and lead nurturing, for driving more traffic to your website, for getting more engagement and for increasing customer loyalty. Few, if any, other digital marketing strategies have as many benefits as content marketing. So, in this blog post, I’m going to show you how you can use content marketing to grow your business.
How to use content marketing to grow your #business by @LilachBullock
Why content marketing?
As mentioned in the introduction, content marketing is one of the most effective forms of digital marketing and it offers a plethora of benefits – here are some of the main ones:
- It improves brand awareness and increases your visibility: while ads are increasingly ineffective (for example, 200 million people use adblockers while online), content offers a new way of reaching a broader audience. By getting your content shared on social media and blogging communities and improving your search engine ranking, you are massively increasing your visibility and improving your brand awareness in a positive way.
- Create and improve customer loyalty: when you’re creating content that provides value to your audiences and customers, you are giving them more reasons to trust and respect you and your business, and, consequently, you are also improving their loyalty
- Increase your authority in your niche/industry: great content also helps to increase your authority in your niche or industry. By showcasing your skills and knowledge, you are showing that you truly know your stuff – and therefore, that people should trust you and buy from you.
- Generate more leads: content marketing is also a great lead generation tool. By creating awesome content (guides, how-to’s, extensive lists, infographics, presentations, webinars, etc.) you give people a reason to give you their emails and subscribe to your list or newsletter.
- Lead nurturing: as you generate more leads, you can then also use your content to grow your audience’s interest in your business and give them reasons to buy from you.
- Increase your domain authority: as you create more good content, this will also lead to more inbound links and, along with your increased search engine ranking, it will help improve your website’s overall domain authority.
- Generate more engagement: great content offers your audience a good reason to engage with you. That’s not just on your blog or website, but also on social media, where it will help you get more shares, likes and comments.
- Get more traffic: another huge benefit of content marketing is that it helps attract more traffic to your website and blog. As you promote it on social media and other platforms and you grow your search engine ranking, you will not only get more traffic, but even more importantly, it will help improve the amount of targeted traffic you receive.
Getting started with content marketing
Now that we’ve gone through some of the main benefits of using content marketing as part of your digital marketing strategy, it’s time to look into how to get started.
Ideally, you should start by creating a content marketing strategy. This is something that is often overlooked by marketers and businesses, but it’s a very important aspect of a successful campaign, as it allows you to organize and plan every step of the way ahead of time, in order to maximise your results.
First things first, identify your target audience and their interests and needs: what types of content do they like best? What do they want to read about? What are some of the problems that they need to solve? The more you know about your audience, the better you will be able to create content that is truly relevant to them.
Next, start planning the platforms where you will be publishing that content (social media, your blog, etc.), how often you will publish and what content you will create.
Try to diversify your content offering with different types:
- Written blog posts
- Extensive guides and how-to’s
- Visual content: images and videos
- Interactive content
How to use content marketing to grow your #business...diversify your offerings. Via @LilachBullock
Another important step is to determine and plan the content amplification process. This involves planning the exact steps you need to take every time you publish a new piece of content:
- Promoting on social media
- Promoting in blogging tribes and communities
- Using social influencers to help promote your best content, etc.
By doing this, you will be simplifying the whole process and it will help you ensure that you’re making the most out of each piece of content you publish.
Last, but definitely not least, you need to establish how you will be measuring the results of your content marketing campaigns. There are several ways that you can do this:
- Website analytics: check how your traffic is evolving as you publish more content
- URL analytics: check how many clicks your shortened URLs are getting
- Social media success: how has your social media following and engagement grown as you promote your content via social networks?
- Engagement: are you getting more comments, likes and shares?
- Subscribers: are you getting more subscribers with the help of your content?
Top principles of content marketing
One of the most important aspects of a successful content marketing strategy is that you need to provide real value to your audiences. You can do this by first, studying your target audience and their interests and needs, as discussed earlier, and by looking at what types of content are most successful in your niche: which subjects get the most shares and likes?
I mentioned earlier how it’s important to diversify your content regularly to keep your audience interested and engaged. But, another, probably even more important, aspect is that you need to be consistent.
This means not only being consistent in publishing new content on a regular basis, but also being consistent with the quality of the content you provide. Don’t publish something just for the sake of it – this could damage your reputation and affect the loyalty of your readership. Focus instead on only providing content that has real value to your audience, because this is what brings in results and the benefits that were discussed earlier.
Another aspect that requires your attention is the readability of your content. First, there’s the headline you use. This needs to be clear, concise, clickable and clearly explain what the content is about.
Next, comes the design of your content, particularly if it is an article or guide. Here, you need to make sure that it is easy to read, by including sub-headlines where necessary and adding imagery at regular intervals throughout the post. These things make your posts easier to read, plus they allow your readers to go directly to the points they’re most interested in reading about.
How to use content marketing to grow your #business via @LilachBullock
When used right, content marketing can be one of the strongest tools in your digital marketing arsenal. It offers a great way to generate more leads and nurture them into becoming customers, to build your brand awareness and visibility and to increase your engagement and traffic.
Are you using content marketing to promote your business online? If so, how has it affected your success?