As if you don’t have enough to do with running a business, apparently you need to do content marketing too? I know right…
What do you even write about? How do you start? Should you write it like a professional white paper, or would it be better in a jovial fun style? Will anyone even read my blog?
So. Many. Questions.
With all of these issues you might be tempted to just screw up your digital ball of paper and chuck it in the digital waste bin. After all, content marketing doesn’t really matter. Does it?
How do your customers find you?
You don’t need me to tell you that starting a business is tricky. Well, starting a local marketing agency and getting customers and clients is a never ending process and, come to think of it, how do you get customers online?
The answer is usually, ‘showing up in search results’ or ‘having a good social profile’.
So how do you get those two end results?
You guessed it.
If you think about when you buy anything, what do you do?
You search online for the product or service and probably spend some time comparing different offerings.
Increasingly, people also search for guides and reviews or additional information before they commit to a purchase.
In fact, in the UK at least, 76% of online shoppers do research before committing to a purchase. This includes for bricks and mortar stores too.
That data is from 2018, so chances are that post-pandemic the figures are even higher.
In short, if you’re not providing information for your potential clients, you’re missing out.
Content marketing means that you’ve identified what your customers are thinking, and you’re giving them the answers, or at least the information to find their answers.
So I just need to write some blogs, right?
If content marketing just means whacking up a few blog posts, then no problem. Just churn out a few guides and some posts with your big keywords in it and sit back as a flood of potential customers flow into your website.
Ah, if only it was that simple.
Like most things in life, there is more to the world of content marketing – and crucially, effective content marketing – than you might think.
What does content marketing actually include?
- Research into your industry, keywords and customer base
- An understanding of the search behaviour of your target demographic
- Looking at the content that’s already out there to work out how you can offer a better or different version
- Creating content regularly and as part of a bigger strategy
- Identifying content that will generate a buzz, or more earned backlinks
- Taking care of multiple factors within your content to make it stand out to search engines (on-page SEO)
- Building a strategy to get external sources to point back to your content, from social media, industry publications and other blogs (off-page SEO)
- Regularly updating the content that already exists
Oh, and the actual art of writing the damn thing in the first place.
And after all that, why does it even matter? What’s the end result?
How good content marketing can deliver
When you put all of these things into place, and you’re following your content strategy, you should start to notice a few things.
Firstly, your organic traffic from search engines should improve.
For most businesses, content marketing matters because it gives your client base something that they can refer to and build their trust in you. It might be how to guides, unique research, or even just a nice social media feed full of beautiful images or nice products.
The point is that the strategy follows a consistent path designed to achieve an end result.
Secondly, you should benefit from improved brand exposure, if you’re doing it right. This might be getting mentioned in high profile or industry websites, increasing your social media following or even seeing more footfall in the real world.
Good content often gets shared and followed. And that is why content marketing matters to any business, large or small.
One thing to bear in mind is that content marketing is not a one-and-done kind of affair.
Yes, you can write a few blogs and see what happens in a few months.
Spoiler alert: probably not much.
If you’re going to create a content marketing strategy, the best thing to do is sit down with some analytical software and get researching. Read your competitors’ content, look at how businesses in other industries have done effective marketing, keep an eye out for trending subjects in your field and always be looking for your next content piece…
You get the idea.
The easier way to content marketing
Doing content writing and the whole marketing strategy thannng is a multi-faceted job that big companies get done by experts. After all, why would you waste hours doing the job badly when you can just get someone who knows how to do it?
Content marketing does matter. It’s how Google finds you, it’s how your potential customers realise that you’re the guys who know what they’re talking about.
And see your competitors? Yeah, they’re probably using an expert content writer to do their whole strategy – that’s why their organic rankings and socials are so good.
In short, it’s more important to business success than ever before.
The easiest way to content marketing success is to bring in a professional content marketer. You can even ask me for a TOTALLY FREE content audit – with no obligation to sign on the line.
Yup – I’ll have a chat with you, look a your business and get you heading in the correct direction with your content strategy.
Drop me an email to oli @ olilynch.com and make sure you get your content done properly!
Read more about my Devon SEO services here.