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Content marketing - the under utilized, cost effective marketing solution for small businesses.
You’ve probably heard about the majority of traditional marketing techniques. Paid ads, radio ads, social media marketing. You get the picture. An often underutilized form of cost effective marketing is Content marketing.
What is content marketing? To put it simply, content marketing is the process of producing original content about a particular field or interest to generate traffic and interest and making sales based off the generated interest.
Recent reports suggest 90% of professional Digital marketers utilize content marketing to make their first impression with their target audience, with 72% stating they saw immediate results. If it's good enough for the pros, it's good enough for you!
It's not like this marketing technique is a new solution. For years people have been accumulating audiences and then monetizing them. Youtube being a prime example. A content creator will create original content about a particular field or interest, generate an audience and then sell ads, products or services to them.
Sounds simple right? And it gets better. Content marketing is essentially free, providing you have someone in house to generate the content and do the target market research. Google’s search engine algorithm absolutely loves original content and ranks websites higher which produce it.
Not only that, users are more likely to make a purchase or sign up for a service after they have consumed free content first. Why do you think free trials are so effective?
But what do I produce content about?
Depends on your target audience and business niche. You have to establish who you are marketing to first and foremost. And then figuring out what content they want to see. A good starting point is establishing what their problems are and then writing content aimed at providing solutions to those problems.
Let's take a hypothetical. There's a small coffee shop, they have a small marketing budget and 75% of their customers are university students between the ages of 18-25. They start writing a blog empathizing with University students and topics that particular audience would be interested in.
Doesn’t have to be anything crazy, articles about the benefits of studying in a coffee shop. Or how caffeine helps young people retain more exam revision. Or how their new employee is a university student and they love working for the cafe. You get the picture.
If your audience feels like you care about them, they will be more likely to generate business for you. Especially if the content they consume saves them money or provides a free benefit.
We’re literally practicing what we preach right now! You are currently reading our content marketing literature. This is a blog post aimed at providing a free benefit to our target audience (by the way that's you!).
How much time do I put into this content marketing?
Whatever time you can spare. An article usually takes us an hour or so to think of a topic and conduct some supporting research and then maybe 2-3 hours to write and upload to our site.
Don’t let it affect your profit margins, there are obviously diminishing returns. A good rule of thumb is an article per week or every two weeks.
If I start creating content, how do I know its working?
Well, if your purpose of the content is to drive traffic to your website to make a purchase, hopefully you have Google analytics installed to be able to track user behaviour. If you don't have it installed, you could definitely use our help.
Simply release a blog post on your site, make a new post on your social media accounts linking to the blog post and leave it for a few days. Come back and go to your analytics dashboard and check if you have any bump in traffic numbers originating from the blog post.
No additional traffic? No worries! It didn't cost you anything! Maybe try a different topic and go again.
I already market my products/services on social media, Google PPC campaigns & email marketing lists. Do I really need content marketing as well?
Short answer, yes. Long answer, yeeeeeeeees. It's not time consuming, its free or extremely cheap (far cheaper than paid advertisements), ranks your site higher in Google and provides a tangible benefit for your audience.
Content marketing also compliments your other forms of marketing. You could set up your funnel so your audience lands on your content, goes to social media and follows your account to find out when the next post goes live. Now you have more followers on social media!
Sounds too good to be true, what are the downsides?
Time. Content marketing is an organic form of generating traffic. Google can take up to 3 months to index your new blog posts to generate traffic from search engines or social media. Content marketing is not able to replace other forms of marketing, it provides a long term, steady form of generating traffic and interest whilst your other forms of more aggressive marketing sort you out in the short term.
So we’ve established content marketing is cheap, effective and easy to do. It also allows you to present your brand online in more detail. People can see how you think and speak about a topic or industry. And guess what, people like purchasing services from experts. If you can write articles or produce videos to show off your credentials your audience will love you even more.
To find out more information on how to effectively use content marketing in your marketing funnel, or to find out more information on getting a sexy new website to drive traffic to with all your new knowledge, call us, email us or hell even send us a carrier pigeon.
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