All brands have content. But not all brands are engaged in content marketing. But there is huge value in using content as a marketing strategy.
Your website must be a source of value for your customers in order to be found online and to drive visitor traffic to your site, and to have the opportunity to engage with those customers. And the best way to make that happen is with quality content.
When your content is planned, created, and distributed with the goal of increasing your search engine optimization and driving traffic to your site, that's called 'Content Marketing'.
Content marketing is the process of continuously creating and sharing content to increase awareness of your brand and message, and truly engage your website visitors. To be engaging, your content needs to be fresh, timely, relevant, interesting, and entertaining to your readers. It is content that your readers are searching for and want to share with their colleagues, friends and family.
Your content must not only be compelling, it must also be optimized to maximize its value, and therefore also needs to be:
- Search engine optimized
- Written for a specific keyword or keyword phrase
- Highly relevant and valuable to your audience
- Properly formatted
- Naturally linkable
Publishing content is also a major tactic of a well-planned inbound marketing strategy. In fact, quality content and consistently fresh content, is absolutely critical to making your strategy work.
However, when it comes to content marketing, it is not enough to simply publish content periodically or have an active business blog.
It is essential to know what you are hoping to achieve by using content in your marketing efforts.
Five Goals an Effective Content Marketing Strategy
There are many objectives one could have for a content marketing strategy, but ultimately they all involve providing great content for your prospects. The question then is what, exactly, do you expect to achieve with such a strategy?
Well, here are the top five objectives that every good content marketing plan should strive for, including yours!
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1. Search Engine Optimization (SEO)
It may seem obvious in this Internet age, but it is worth reminding ourselves that Google and other search engines love fresh content that is keyword relevant. Organic search is one of the main channels prospective customers use to find answers, services, and products they want.
According to Smart Insights, there are currently about 6,586,000,000 searches a day worldwide. Google hosts the vast majority of these searches at about 4,464,000,000 per day. The good news is that some of those four and half billion people are looking for a company just like yours!
2. Drive Traffic to Your Website
Because good content that successfully utilizes SEO makes it easier for people to find you, it helps drive web traffic to your site. In addition to search engines, pushing your content through other channels such as email, social media, and other websites can help bring visitors to your web site.
People go to the Internet to find answers to questions, solutions to problems, or information they want or need. When you content can provide the answers, solutions or information it is deemed valuable and relevant. And your content is always out there, long after you upload it, and can drive traffic for months and even years.
3. Generate Leads and Increase Conversions
You want people to come to your website. And a good content marketing strategy will make that happen. But what do you want them to do once they show up? At the very least, you probably want them to stay and read what you have to say, or learn what it is you do.
But more likely, you are looking to acquire these visitors as leads and bring them into your conversion process. Great content can make that happen, as well. Valuable resources and compelling calls-to-action (CTAs) can be used to sign up subscribers, generate sales leads, and even create customers.
4. Inform and Educate Your Audience
Effective content can inform and educate your audience before, during, and after the buying process. Providing them with quality, actionable content ensures that they have the best information at each stage of the buyer decision process.
It has been shown time and again that today's consumer is an information-driven buyer. The more and better information you provide through your content marketing, the more likely you will be to acquire and retain great customers.
5. Establish Thought Leadership
Every business claims to be the best. And every company wants to be seen as a leader in their industry. But real authority is earned; saying it's so doesn't make it so. One of the most valuable assets derived from an effective content marketing strategy is the building of authority in the minds of your audience.
How do you accomplish this? It happens through thought leadership communicated with your content. This does not happen with one blog post or a single great guidebook. It is the cumulative impact of insightful, valuable, and often contrarian thinking being published by your business.
It is the perception gained by your audience over time that places your company top-of-mind when they need your product or service.
Planning for Your Ongoing Content Marketing Strategy
Achieving these objectives with your content marketing strategy takes time. It won't happen with just a few blog posts, an occasional email campaign, or even a great ebook. Your audience needs to see and consume your content for a while before they contact you.
But without your content compelling them to contact you, your goals may never be met.
Content and inbound marketing work day in and day out. Once you post a blog article or upload a Slideshare piece, it is always there, working to educate and compel people to become leads. And when they do come to you, they are educated, informed, and much more likely to make the decision to buy.
Get your Free Complimentary Inbound Marketing Session to help you make an informed decision or call BroadVision Marketing at 707-799-1238. And take a moment to download this informative resource entitled "10 Powerful Inbound Marketing Charts" to support your own marketing efforts!