In the modern marketing era, it has become impossible to escape the call of content marketing. Content is everywhere in the digital space, and marketing strategists have known this for a long time, and have taken advantage of it to drive huge amounts of organic traffic. If you, as a business, want to grow your reach and build a relationship with your audience that will lead to increased sales and brand awareness, you need to know how content marketing works. This blog will explore how content marketing can help your business grow, and how media placements play a role in success.
What is content marketing?
Maybe you’ve heard it before, maybe you haven’t. Either way let’s quickly review what content marketing means today. Put simply, content marketing is a marketing strategy that focuses on consistently creating and sharing content which is genuinely helpful and relevant in the pursuit of attracting and keeping a particular audience. Content marketing’s ultimate goal is to entice customers to spend their money on your products and services, after they’ve been convinced of your value through the material you have shared. The hardest part of content marketing is the content itself. It must be both valuable and relevant to your target audience. People will see through blatant self-promotion and come to have a negative perception of your brand if your content isn’t up to scratch.
Now that we know what content marketing is let's look at how it can help your business.
How content marketing boosts sales
In the end, content marketing is a tool to help you sell more. The way it does this is by cultivating increased trust and credibility between you and your customer base through the dissemination of high-quality, helpful content which positions your business as a thought leader within your industry.
If we break it down, you’re attempting to “stick” in the mind of your customer base by sharing content that will influence their purchase decisions. Building trust can lead to more sales, for example, at Clever Samurai, we have worked extensively with a client in the refrigerated self-contained merchandisers category to create helpful content that educates businesses within the retail sector who require refrigeration for their food and beverage products. Someone could read a piece of content that discusses which type of refrigerator is best for specific retail locations, and then choose to buy from the brand that provided that information.
How content marketing earns media placements
The content that you make for your content marketing strategy doesn’t need to be limited to your own site and social media channels, it can also earn placements in journals, magazines, and other blogs who see the value in your expertise and work and wish to share it. This is always better than paid promotion, as earned media’s benefits are twofold: first, it is free exposure and coverage, and second, it builds up your business’ reputation as a thought leader. As an example, you may create and publish a report on the state of the lead generation industry, like 360 Leads did with The Black Report. This type of material could be shared and cited hundreds of times, earning you increased exposure and brand awareness.
Earned media placements are never guaranteed, and only the most valuable content will be voluntarily shared by other outlets and blogs. Consider investing a portion of your content marketing campaign into outreach, just to ensure that your content is seen by the right people.
Increasing brand awareness through content marketing
One of the most important things to work towards with a content marketing strategy is boosting brand awareness and positioning your business as a thought leader. If you are consistently creating and sharing high-quality blog posts, videos, and social media content, you will attract a loyal following and potentially convert content consumers into customers as they become increasingly aware and trusting of your brand.
Take care to ensure your content is optimized for search engines, so that you can increase the amount of organic traffic to your website and further boost brand awareness.
How to craft a content marketing strategy
1. Know your audience
Figure out who you want to target and use this to inform your content creation process and create material that will speak to the frustrations and interests of a particular demographic.
2. Be consistent
Content must be outputted on a regular basis. There is so much noise in the modern digital space, and if you miss out on a short period of time, people will start looking elsewhere for content. This isn’t to say that you should have a new blog for each hour of the day, but stick to a schedule that readers can come to trust.
3. Use multiple channels
It can’t be just a blog, or just a newsletter. You should be taking advantage of as many relevant channels as possible to reach your audience no matter where they are.
4. Measure results
Don’t just craft and share content and keep your fingers crossed. Analytics are essential for understanding how far your efforts are taking you and determining if you’re on the right track with your content marketing strategy.
5. Optimize for search engines
SEO is the name of the game, and if you don’t play it your content will lose out on organic traffic. Ensure that you understand the process of SEO, and don’t hesitate to reach out to a professional marketing agency to handle this work and make sure your content is seen by your ideal target audiences.
6. Provide value
At the end of the day, if you push content that isn’t actually that useful, it may be read, but it won’t do anything to boost your brand’s reputation or help build trust between your company and your consumer base. The content you make should be genuinely helpful and help customers solve problems.
Content marketing is an essential part of any modern day marketing strategy, and something which can help your business increase sales, earn media placements, and boost brand awareness. To get the most out of content marketing, businesses should keep their audience in mind, be consistent, use multiple channels, measure results, optimize for search engines, and always aim to provide value. If executing a content marketing strategy is beyond the scope of your internal team, reach out to Clever Samurai for a best-in-class experience and a group of experts ready to take your content marketing and PR to the next level.