5 Benefits of Content Marketing
Whether your business sells products, services, or both, you need a clean, easy-to-read website that communicates your brand. Once you’ve invested the time and budget to get your site functioning well and looking the way you want, you may think you’re off the hook. Not just yet! You still need to attract users to your site and give them a reason to stay there. That’s where content marketing comes in.
Let’s face it, customers aren’t likely to find your website by accident. You need to drive them there through advertising or Search Engine Optimization (SEO). Once they find your site, you need to offer them a reason to stay—perhaps your products will speak for themselves, but chances are, you’ll need to offer your users content in exchange for their attention.
When you use content marketing within your site, an element of SEO, you help users to find your business. While it takes time and money to create quality content, the long-term payoff might be just the lift your website needs. Here are 5 benefits of content marketing:
1) Better Search Results
When you optimize your website for specific keywords, you help search engines figure out that your website is relevant for a given search. When you understand the value of keywords and keyword phrases, you can use them strategically. Remember, not all keywords are equally valuable in your SEO efforts—some are more competitive than others, while some are too specific to help generate meaningful website traffic.
Once you have your keywords figured out, content marketing can help you use them strategically. Say, for example, you have a business that sells costumes for pets. The keyword phrase, “pet costumes” may be too vague, or too competitive, to be useful. Instead, you may want to focus on something more specific. Perhaps you discover that the phrase, “witch costume for cats” not only describes something you sell but also offers an opportunity to be competitive.
In this way, content marketing achieves its first goal: improving your search engine results. In this example, your pet costume store would boost its SEO ranking by focusing on one specific product. Once you get a potential customer in the door, you want to hang on to them. Enter the next benefit of content marketing — keeping users on your site.
2) Hold Your Audience
Of course, the next step, once you’ve attracted potential customers to your site, is to give them a reason to stay. You want users to connect quickly with your site, then look around, explore your products and services, and ultimately commit to an action, whether that is buying a product or connecting for more information.
Using best practices in site structure and content marketing can help you encourage users to stick around. In the pet costume example, you might first draw users interested in “witch costumes for cats” but they might also be interested in other cat costumes, or even matching human and cat costumes.
By creating blog content around these peripheral subjects, you’ll be able to offer relevant content within a blog. In other words, your article might say something like, “See our other cat costumes, including cat clown costumes, cat wizard costumes, and costumes for cats and humans.”
Each of these subject areas might interest your audience even further and encourage them to stay on your site. With interconnected blogs and subject areas, content marketing gives visitors a reason to explore.
3) Offer Value
In a world where internet users have become accustomed to free content, it’s important to offer value where you can. Sometimes, offering your expertise for free can be worth even more to clients or potential customers than a sale on your products or services.
This is where content marketing shines. When you write articles and create videos and/or podcasts, you create an opportunity for your site visitor to connect to your company. Use your platform to showcase your expertise and offer value. No matter what your industry, you have something you can offer potential clients that will be of value to them.
Let’s look at some examples. What if you run a bakery? You could offer a series of blogs and/or videos on the most common mistakes made when people are baking at home. What if you sell video editing services? You could provide ongoing tips for filming videos outside. Going back to our pet costume example, you could offer free content on how to get the best photos of your pets in costumes.
When you’re aiming to offer value to your site visitors, content marketing allows you room for flexibility and expansion. If one subject area starts to take off in interest, you can tailor future content accordingly.
4) Target Content for Leads
Another benefit of content marketing is the freedom it gives you to target your audience. If you are running an ad campaign, for example, you can create content that supports specific keywords you’d like to use.
Say you have a bike shop in Detroit, and you notice that keywords around racing bike seats are popular. You might want to create content that will use the phrases, “racing bike seat” and “Detroit”, as well as complimentary, peripheral content for phrases such as, “bike races Michigan” or “best seat for bike racing”.
With a depth of content that is connected, even in a broad sense, your site will appear to search engines as a reliable source of knowledge in specific areas. With this depth goal in mind, you can more easily create peripheral content that won’t seem out of context. This, in turn, will allow you to use specific keywords for targeting your leads.
5) Build Your Brand
Another important way that content marketing benefits your website is the equity it builds in your brand. The more relevant, professional, and useful content you provide, your site will appear more trustworthy.
As you build out content on your site, remember it’s not just what you say that matters — it’s how you say it, too. Whether you choose a tone that is professional and distinguished or friendly and clear, make sure it is used consistently.
Try to keep a similar length for each of your articles and have a consistent way that you use images. While these details may sound tedious or unimportant, they help site visitors to feel a sense of familiarity within your pages. In other words, brand matters and using strategic content marketing to build out your site is a worthwhile effort.
An Easy Step Forward
While you might feel overwhelmed by the details and nuances of promoting your business, content marketing doesn’t need to be complicated. It can be as simple as introducing a blog to your website. If you’re feeling inspired, you may also want to create content through videos or podcasts. Content marketing is an excellent way to draw users to your site, engage them with valuable content and ultimately help them learn to trust your brand.
Keep in mind that all content marketing efforts — blogs, videos or podcasts — need to be updated regularly for search engines and users to see the content as relevant. Rather than jump in the deep end, start with a plan that allows you the time and budget you need to create content well.