Sure, you have probably heard of content marketing. But at a first glance, it can be difficult to determine what content marketing is or what its benefits are.
Content marketing’s purpose is to attract and retain customers by consistently creating and curating relevant and valuable content with the intention of changing or enhancing consumer behavior. And while that may not seem very different from normal advertising, the key point is that content marketing is not about selling your product, but about providing information to your consumers.
What is the point in providing information and nothing else? There are major benefits which your business can accrue from providing valuable information, and what goes around comes around. Here are five valuable benefits which any business can get from a strong content marketing approach.
It Enhances Your Reputation
The digital age has made your business’s reputation more important than ever before. A customer’s complaint can now reverberate throughout the Internet, causing other customers to not use your business.
But by adding content which shows how your business works, you can gain the trust of your consumers. Take McDonald’s “Our Food. Your Questions”. McDonald’s set up a website which let anyone ask questions, even more ridiculous ones like “Are your fries made out of plastic?”
By being honest and forthright in these questions and by publicizing this campaign, McDonald’s is working to regain its reputation as a hamburger chain which serves good food. And that provided information will encourage customers to stop by there again.
It Keeps You Relevant in Consumer’s Minds
Any online business needs clicks. In order to get clicks, they need to keep customers interested in their business. And the best way to keep customers interested is to provide continual, interesting content.
Doing that over a long time span can be challenging, but there are plenty of ways to do so. Setting up a company blog is one of the most common and easiest means of content marketing, but there are also online magazines and podcasts. For example, General Electric publishes a magazine on aviation, which publishes articles on future technologies and impressive feats by men and women flying with GE technology.
Every company has a niche. Talk about that niche, and your business can stay relevant and be interesting.
Anyone Can Do It
Content marketing is not just something which cool tech industries can pull off. McDonald’s, a company which possesses a poor reputation on the Internet, pulled off a successful content marketing campaign as noted above. Tractor manufacturer John Deere has been using content marketing for over 100 years with their informative magazine The Furrow.
And while John Deere has to spend some money running that magazine, content marketing is also extraordinarily cheap. Any business which can run a social media account or blog can use content marketing to publish valuable content. It should be noted that it does require plenty of time, especially because a solid content marketing strategy should require publishing new information often and on a regular basis.
It Encourages Good Social Media Habits
While content marketing has existed for a long time, its current state means that it is heavily tied into social media marketing. An online company can write a blog detailing interesting facts and then synchronize it to its Twitter or Facebook account, ensuring that it is spread to a wider audience.
But one of the big challenges with running a social media campaign is that it is time-consuming. Given the responsibilities which online business faces, it can be tempting to put off social media work for a day to handle other important affairs. Then it is put off for another day, and another until the campaign is in shambles.
Starting a content marketing campaign will help your social media campaign since you can just link created content to your company’s social media account, and encourages you to keep both of them up.
It Links to SEO
When social media and content marketing are combined, it creates social buzz. And when social buzz is created, you can improve your website’s search popularity.
Remember that Google generally sorts its webpages by the number of links which they receive from other pages. If you have plenty of content, then other websites will want to link to your webpage to show that content. This means greater traffic, which can lead to more people linking to your websites, which results in a positive feedback loop where people will remain interested in your business as long as you put up interesting content.
There is no denying that content marketing can be challenging, as you may struggle to think about what interesting content you can post. But as long as you exhibit some originality, then it is possible to use a safe, cheap, and inexpensive approach to boost your company’s reputation and sales.
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