So you’re in business and you want people to know about it. That way you can make money! But how best do you promote yourself and get the message across that people should buy YOUR goods or services, rather than those of a competitor?
There are, of course, many solutions, but what was once a traditional, reliable method – advertising in the media, on flyers, on a billboard etc – has been increasingly shunned by businesses.
People got sick and tired of the hard sell. Because we are surrounded by advertising wherever we go. And it can be exhausting for the brain.
Traditional advertising does still, of course, play a part in many companies’ promotion strategies, but increasingly, content marketing is being seen as the way to go, and is reaping rich rewards.
So what is content marketing?
In a nutshell, it’s communicating with your customers and potential customers by providing them with relevant and useful content to help them solve issues.
Instead of showing them an advert, which basically says “buy this”, you put your arm round them and say “here’s how we can help you.”
Such a relationship builds trust, which brings brand loyalty, which brings in the money.
‘Content’ can include such communications as a blog, an email newsletter, news on your website, social media exclusive, a video, live broadcast, a podcast… you get the idea.
It is no surprise that more than 90% of businesses now use some form of content marketing.
Throwing an advert out there might grab their attention briefly, maybe it will stick in people’s heads. Maybe not.
But if you contact your customers by email, through social media, your website, or via printed publications, and give them something truly useful, they could spend half an hour with that, before saving it and also sharing it with others.
Content marketing continues to be successful for the simple reason that people like it. And want it. Engaging, informative, entertaining content about things important to them is far preferable to constant, annoying intrusive ads, popups, banners or email spam.
And did you know, more than 11 million internet users in the UK and 615 million worldwide use an adblocker?! That’s a staggering amount of people confirming their dislike of in-your-face advertising.
If anyone tries to sell you a banner ad based on website visitor numbers, be sure to bear this in mind.
Of course, content is not an advert, which makes it the most effective method to promote your business without it being blocked from view.
It’s all about building relationships. You want someone to come to your website and instead of browsing around the goods and wandering off again, you want to give them something they’ll really find useful, so that they’ll come back again. And again. And again.
And then your potential customer feels a bond with the company, like you’re on the same wavelength. And that person becomes a real customer, spending real money.
A few more stats to leave you with, all the findings of recent, well-documented surveys. They get you thinking…
– Businesses using content marketing claim to have six times more success in converting a website visitor into a customer, than businesses which do not.
– 70% of people say they much prefer to learn about a service or product through reading about it, rather than from an advert.
– 55% of people online watch video every day. Customer testimonials, tutorials and demonstrations are the most effective types of videos.
– Quality matters more than ever with words – original, well-shared written content goes a long way to boosting your Google ranking these days. But quantity is increasing too, with people far more prepared to read blog posts and news stories which are over 1,000 words long. 2,000 even, as long as the material is useful, detailed, and relevant,
Content marketing. You know it makes sense.