Content marketing refers to the process of writing content related to your company or organization, pushing it out to your blog on a regular basis, programming an SEO plugin to help various search engines index that information, and then cross promoting it with your social media pages.

For small business, this process can create more traffic and better traffic to your website than nearly another advertising method.  It is a great way to build brand awareness, but better than that, it is a great way to prove that you’re an authoritative source for information connected to your product or service.

Admittedly, creating content is difficult and can be time consuming.  Content marketing produces long-term traffic rather than immediate traffic.  It is always best if the business owner or the leading expert inside the company is the one who develops content.  Realistically, the leading expert in your organization is often remarkably busy.  Here are a few ideas for developing content from other sources:

  • Many small businesses hire an admin to write for them between greeting customers and answering phone calls.
  • Other small businesses hire an outside copywriter.
  • I know of an engineering firm that hired a college professor to develop content for them.

Developing content isn’t impossible, but the organizational leader needs to understand why it is important to accomplish.

Content marketing isn’t the engine that drives your marketing.  It is more of the coal car.  Before you start writing content, you need a well-designed website, a strategy for email marketing, and a regular print advertisement.  Content marketing is not a replacement for those marketing assets but it is the fuel that keeps the engine burning.  In this article, I hope to help you understand the place and the importance of content marketing.

Pay per click is good, organic search is much, much better

When you use a search engine, often the first few results are designated as “ads.” Those are paid advertisements.  Below those paid advertisements are results that the search engine found based on the quality of the content on the pages.  Those results are called “organic results.”

According to a study in Search Engine Journal, roughly 51 percent of all web traffic comes from organic search. Only 10 percent comes from paid search. If you want you site to be listed in the 51%, then content marketing is the key!

Creating valuable, high-quality content on your blog, applying SEO tactics, and then cross promoting those posts on a social media work together to help your content to get found and, as a result, your website comes up more frequently in search results.

Here’s the bottom line: when you pay to have quality content developed for your site, the content continues to draw in customers for a long time.  If you pay for direct advertising, you will only draw customers to your site as long as you continue to pay.

It’s all part of a process called holistic SEO.  Here is an article where you can learn more.

Ad blockers are growing in popularity.

People are annoyed by ads, but they are searching for good content.  People are increasingly installing software to block paid advertisements, while at the some time, they are searching for good content more than ever before.

So, do your want your company operating in the realm of annoying ads or in the realm of excellent content?

In addition to blogs and social media, podcasts and video are becoming increasingly popular mediums.  Podcasts and videos allow you to use excellent content to tell stories and entertain your audience.

If I have the choice of emotions to foster in my audience, I would prefer moving away from annoying them with ads.  I would rather move toward informing them with blogs or entertaining them with podcasts or videos.

Content marketing helps you build trust

One of the main purposes of your website should be to establish yourself as a trustworthy expert.  Most people will test you out before they buy to see if you really know what you’re talking about.

  • Free expert advice is excellent sales.
  • Offer free advice frequently.
  • Publish free advice often.
  • Produce podcasts or videos with expert advice and offer those at no charge.

When people understand that you are knowledgeable, approachable, and trustworthy, they will gladly paid for your more premium services when the time is right.

Content marketing produces the much-desired “word of mouth” publicity

When you write an article for your industry that is really helpful or insightful, it tends to get “liked” on social media and shared across the internet.  A blog post that attracts a few dozen readers could easily turn into a few sales.  A blog post that goes viral across the internet could result in hundreds or thousands of additional sales.

Ads are good, content marketing is simply better

Pay per click ads will drive a little traffic to your website and some business find them helpful.  However, good content entertains and educates your audience so they know about your brand at a level that is more that logo-deep.  It helps your clients to know that you understand their pain points.  Content marketing helps to establish you as the authoritative source for your industry.

Want some tip about how to write blog posts?  Check out this article on blog writing.