Growing your business online holds a lot of pitfalls. The internet landscape is so wide and expansive that finding the best marketing methods for your business is a task within itself. Despite this fact, there is no need to allow anxiety to hinder your efforts. There’s enough stress in business-owners’ lives as is. There is a clear and structured way of building an online presence that can yield results that will follow your efforts right down to the bottom line.
Achieving online success for your business lies in the ability to apply the best strategies for approaching your target market. Whether you have a brick-and-mortar store or offer any type of product or service, educating and informing your desired audience is the key to success. Although advertising is the most immediate method of contacting prospective customers, a better way of gaining your target audience’s trust and patronage is to build a relationship with them.
What is Content Marketing?
Content marketing is a strategy whereby a business creates and distributes online content such as written articles, social media posts and videos for the purpose of targeting an audience. The content marketing approach is not salesy or promotional. Rather, it focuses on providing helpful information to a niche that is potentially interested in the products and services you offer.
The goal of content marketing is to position your business as an authority in your field. By offering solutions to your audience’s pain points, the people that come across your content will be more likely to trust you with their money in making a purchase from you.
The Benefits of Content Marketing
Content marketing has several benefits over advertising. These benefits center around your ability to create a stronger bond with an audience through disseminating content that is relevant to its needs and specifications.
Conversions Through Positioning
Think of how you respond to an ad as opposed to the trust you place in an entity you consider an authority. If there is someone in your community that you trust on a subject and they suggest a product that will solve a problem you have, you’re more likely to follow their advice. An ad, on the other hand, has to overcome a lot of skepticism on your part in order for you to part with your money.
A prime example of this is a trainer or coach. If you are working closely with a coach and they recommend a nutritional supplement or a piece of exercise equipment, you will be more likely to purchase it. You have confidence in that recommendation because your coach is positioned in your mind as an authority.
On the other hand, an ad you see on television or online will have to push many different buttons in your mind in order to lead to a purchase. You may have to see an ad multiple times coupled with testimonials and reviews and even then you may not be convinced.
A strong content marketing strategy places you at the forefront of your niche as an expert. By offering useful, actionable content, people will gravitate to you trust you.
Content marketing requires more time than other methods. With ads, for instance, you just need to create the ad and run it. Moments after pressing the button to start displaying your ads to the public, you will start having incoming clicks. When implementing a content marketing strategy, you need to regularly upload useful articles and videos and the incoming traffic may take weeks or even months to show up. This is time-intensive and is less formulaic than the ‘plug and play’ nature of running ads.
However, once your content is uploaded, it is there for the world to see. As long as you couple your content with effective search engine optimization, your material will be available for members of your niche to visit when they need answers to their questions. Other than the time required to create the content and the overhead costs of running a website or other online presence, there are no per exposure costs.
With online ads, you’re paying an amount every time a user clicks on your advertisement. If you don’t have a high rate of effectiveness, otherwise known as a conversion rate, the amount spent on ads can rack up a sizable bill. Content marketing is a more cost-effective method as it lends itself to building an audience where repeat patronage is more likely than with ad use alone.
With the various ad platforms available such as Google Ads and Facebook ads, among others, targeting a specific audience is very easy. Users are classified by these big online companies based on demographics and interests. But advertising platforms aren’t the only way to achieve a highly-targeted approach.
By creating content relevant to a specific niche, you will be attracting the interest of internet users with specific needs. For example, a blog focused on fitness for individuals over the age of 40 with a tutorial on how to build a home gym for this demographic will gather a specific audience. By virtue of focusing on a specific market segment, content marketing can target individuals that have needs that fit your business.
Content marketing also offers you the flexibility to target various sub-niches within your market. Since you will be creating content on a wide range of topics that concern people in your niche, you have the ability to market to several segments. If you have an HVAC business but also do plumbing or electrical work, it is well within your reach to target people that need these services while promoting your core HVAC services.
Search Engine Optimization and Content Marketing
Uploading a number of posts on your website is a good start but cannot guarantee an influx of customers on its own. Your content needs to be visible to your target audience. This is achieved by taking all the necessary actions to cause that content to rise to the top of search engines like Google and Bing. Most search engine users do not venture beyond the first page of results when looking for a solution to their problem. It is vital that you appear on the first page, and more specifically, in the top results for keywords relating to your niche.
A good search engine optimization (or SEO) strategy is one that gives the search engines all the right signals that your content is relevant to the audience for which it is intended. It used to be that you needed to have a whole bunch of technical aspects aligned for achieving a good ranking. While this still is the case, Google and other search engines place a high priority on original content that users will flock to in order to find answers to their questions.
Finding the Right Solutions for Your Business
Running a business is difficult enough without having to implement a host of strategies just to gain an online presence. Implementing an effective content marketing strategy doesn’t have to be a hassle. Finding the right specialist to help you implement the strategy that’s best for your business is the key to success.
If you have a small business and are looking to maximize the effectiveness of your marketing without breaking the bank, you need to find an experienced consultant that has achieved result-driven success. Contact us today to find out how you can grow your business and create a magnetic bond with your target audience.