If you’re a business owner, you understand how hard it can be to get your brand in front of potential new customers. For 82% of brands, customer acquisition remains one of the biggest challenges they face.
Fortunately, there is good news on the marketing front, making it relatively easy to engage new potential customers. It starts by using content to demonstrate your brand’s expertise and attract potential new buyers.
Most brands are familiar with the use of advertising to raise awareness about the products and services they offer. While consumers often embrace catchy slogans or colorful jingles, there is a drawback with this type of marketing. Businesses must constantly push their message out to an audience that may or may not want to hear it. The spray and pray method of marketing is not cost effective at all.
Content marketing, on the other hand, is an inbound model of spreading your message. That’s marketing speak for saying that interested buyers are drawn to your brand. In other words; Build it and they will come.
80% of consumers research online before making a purchase. As it turns out, businesses do the same, with 73% of B2B buyers researching a purchase before engaging with a salesperson.
Using content marketing, you can help potential buyers find the information they need as they make buying decisions. Best of all, you aren’t overtly selling your products. Instead, you are demonstrating your brand’s expertise and naturally developing a relationship with your audience.
The key is getting your content in front of the right person at the right time. With the right content, brands can bring willing buyers right to their doorstep. In fact, 62% of B2B buyers will make a purchase solely on the strength of the digital content they read. But how do you create this type of engaging content and how can you use it to your benefit?
Setting up a content marketing plan is fairly simple, but first, you’ll need to understand your audience and your goals. Do you want to reach a new niche segment of the market or are you hoping to expand your wallet share of existing customers? Are you targeting millennials or an older generation? What is the pain point they are experiencing that you can solve?
Content comes in many forms, including blog posts, videos, infographics, case studies and e-books. Likewise, there will be hundreds of topics you can cover related to your line of business. Understanding your audience and your goals will help you target your efforts and make your campaigns more successful.
Another thing to consider before creating content, is how you will reinforce your authority. It’s a good idea to identify someone within your company who is knowledgeable about the subject your content is addressing. Then, let them speak for your brand.
Whether they author a blog post, create a how-to video or provide the data to back up your efforts, an expert will carry a lot of weight with your audience and reinforce the message that your brand is experienced in your area of operation.
Another way to pique the interest of your audience is to cover trending topics. For consumer products, these are often seasonal, such as the best boots for wearing in the snow. B2B brands may find that emerging technology creates a firestorm of interest that they can easily tap into. Just be certain the topics you choose are relevant and timely for your audience.
If you’re worried that you don’t have the right in-house resources to create the content you need, why not work with an outside expert? A freelance writer, for instance, can help you develop a wealth of content, and working with a contractor is usually more affordable than hiring someone internally.
If you decide to write your own content, there are a number of online tools that can simplify the process as well. Grammarly, for example, can ensure that you’re minding your p’s and q’s when it comes to punctuation and grammar.
A recent survey revealed that 70% of companies are investing in content creation. With so much information out there, you’ll need to devise a strategy to get your content noticed.
The first step is to use search engine optimization, or SEO. SEO ensures that your content is picked up by search engines, such as Google or Bing, and is presented to potential buyers as they research topics related to your business.
SEO involves investigating the topics your buyers are researching and the search terms, or keywords, they are using to look up that information. Fortunately, there are comprehensive tools, such as Moz, to help you with your keyword research.
However, keywords alone won’t put you on the front page of web search rankings. Search engines have grown incredibly sophisticated and now seek to present the most authoritative content to any search query. Length of content, the frequency of your posts, the number of other sites that link to your content, as well as social media signals are all factors used by search engines to rank your content.
Given the competition for top web search listings, it’s a good idea to promote content through other channels as well. Consider sharing it with your email list or on social media. Again, online tools, such as Canva, make it quick and easy to create shareable assets that lead back to your content, all without hiring a graphic designer.
Lastly, you’ll need to track the metrics associated with your content initiatives. Doing so let’s you know how your content is performing so you can optimize and improve your content strategy. At a minimum, you’ll want to see how many people are viewing your content and where the traffic originates. These inputs will help you understand what your audience likes to see and where they are finding your content to inform your future efforts.
When all is said and done, content marketing can be a small effort offering big gains. 72% of marketers say content has increased the number of leads coming into their business, creating more sales that reinforce the bottom line.
Want to learn more about how you can market your business? Check out more marketing insight articles.
The articles in this blog are for informational purposes only and not intended to provide specific advice or recommendations. When making decisions about your financial situation, consult a financial professional for advice. Articles are not regularly updated, and information may become outdated.