Content Marketing is one of those buzz words we hear quite a lot. But what does it actually mean?
Well put simply, it is about creating informative, useful content that will drive people to your site. Content is a great way to attract and engage with your customers. What you say and how you say it gives your customers an impression and view of your brand. It helps your customers get to know your business more. People like to buy or work with people they feel they know and that they have an affinity with.
Great content instils confidence and shows customers that you understand them and that you can be trusted. So, whether you are a start-up or an established company, having an effective content marketing strategy is essential for your business.
You may think that writing content is easy and straightforward. Surely, it’s just a case of writing content and updating your website on a regular basis? Well, no not necessarily. That’s because what you write, how you write it, the keywords (which drive how Google search works) you use and how you structure your content are all vital factors to how successful your content will be.
Why do I need a content Marketing strategy?
Having an online presence has become more important over the years but if you don’t have a content strategy in place then it makes it a lot harder for your customers to find you.
Having a content marketing strategy can help to:
- Establish your brand identity with your customers, grow brand awareness and trust and engagement with your customers
- Generate more traffic to your website without spending large amounts on advertising
- Convert visitors into customers through having informative, useful and trustworthy content
- Show your business as the experts in your field
- Ensures that there is consistency in all your content
Updating your website with new content on a regular basis will help with your SEO (search engine optimisation). How your content is optimised will determine how well your content is picked up by search engines.
Work on a monthly or quarterly content marketing planner so you are clear on what you want to say and when and how you want to say it. E.g. it could be through a blog, a video, an infographic or a free downloadable guide.
Think of the way that you search for things. You may ask friends for recommendations or you may remember seeing TV advertising for a brand but the vast majority of people start their searches online. What articles and content catch your eye? How do other brands do things? Don’t be afraid to watch what your competitors are doing as that could also work for you.
Is PPC advertising better than Content Marketing?
According to new research from Salesforce and Publicis.Sapient, 87% of shoppers now begin product searches online. So being visible when people search is vital. But how do you get in front of people when they search?
There are two ways you can do this:
PPC (pay per click) activity
These are the ads that appear at the top and the bottom of the results page. You can use this form of online advertising to drive more immediate fast track results. These are the ads that you see on Google and other search engines when someone searches for a product or service. You pay for every click made on your advert whether that person goes on to buy or not. When done correctly, it gives you the opportunity to get your brand in front of your target audience at the exact time they are looking for your product. However, it comes at a cost, which can be considerable. PPC has become more expensive and competitive over the years so you need to have a good size budget and impactful campaigns to give your brand any visibility.
These are the unpaid results shown by search engines sandwiched between the PPC adverts. They are free links back to your website. When someone searches for a product or service, the search engines trawl the entire web to find the most relevant pages for that search. By having the right optimised content on your site, you stand a much better chance of your site being listed in the results.
What makes good content?
In our opinion, anything that:
- is informative & relevant
- is understandable
- creates engagement and a response
- answers a question or need
- is something people will want to share
You need to get into your customers’ heads and understand them. What would they want to read or see? What are their concerns or needs? How can you fill that gap? Are there frequently asked questions or queries that occur that you can provide answers to and create content on? What other things are they interested in?
You don’t just have to write about your product or service. It is great to also write about yourself or your team. How did the business start? Making things a little personal adds personality and a human voice to your brand.
Outsourcing your Content Marketing
Whilst PPC can deliver immediate results, your content marketing strategy is a longer term strategy that needs an ongoing focus. You may decide to write and post the content yourself or you may have someone in your team who is able to do this. However, if it doesn’t form part of someone’s objectives, it is very easy to slip down the ‘to do list’ and lose that focus.
A cost effective alternative is to outsource this activity to a content expert. This could be a marking agency or a freelance copywriter. By outsourcing your content strategy, you have someone who you can hold accountable. They will be totally dedicated to delivering consistent, approved and optimised content with a focus on results. Other benefits:
- You can focus on other business activities
- Content is published more frequently and is focused and optimised
- Budget is very flexible and cheaper than hiring a full time content writer
- Outsourced content writers can be very reactive and turn new content around quickly
- Fresh ideas can be brought to the table
- Experts understand what makes good shareable content
- Outsourcing means you get you where you want to be faster
Great content gives you something to share across your social media channels. It is reported that at the end of 2019 there were 44 million people in the UK with Facebook accounts, 24 million Instagram users, 20 million users of LinkedIn and 15.25 people on Twitter. And these numbers continue to grow.
By creating your social channels and sharing engaging content you will increase your chances of getting in front of your target audience and of your content being shared with their followers and friends.
And don’t forget to measure how effective your content is. Each of the social media platforms has an ‘analytics’ area where you can see how many people have engaged with or shared your content. You can also set up and use Google Analytics to see what impact that has had on visits to your website.
About ACES Marketing
We are a Surrey based Marketing Agency that work with companies throughout the UK on their content marketing strategies. We are completely results driven and work in a budget-friendly way that delivers a clear and measurable ROI.