What is Content Marketing? How can it be Related to Your Online Business?

Date Published: 7-Jun-2012 | By: Kerry K Robinson

Many businesses today have started relying on content marketing to attract and engage their target audience. According to the Slide Share and Column Five media reports, businesses are spending a quarter of their budgets on content marketing. And this is because of the kind of value that content marketing adds to your business. For the obvious fact that many people rely on Internet to get information, businesses can benefit from content marketing by providing information related to their specific business.

Most used content tools: Content marketing offers you many tools, which help you market your business online. Some of the common ones are blogs, articles, press releases and white papers. You can choose the right kind of tool as per your purpose of marketing to build brand awareness or to generate traffic or leads or to drive sales. You can even use a mix of these formats, depending on how each format is able to meet your goal.

Content compliments your business: what is content marketingThe main idea behind content marketing is to share knowledge particular to your business to help purchase decision-making. It also includes sharing expert ideas, opinions and information related to your business and industry.

You can create two types of content for your business – content for website and landing pages (direct promotion), and informational content (indirect promotion).

  • Developing content for your website and landing pages: Creating content for your website is a kind of direct promotion, as your web pages need content that exclusively describes your organization, operations, products and services. The content for website includes business description, product/service description, meta tag descriptions, titles, snippets, etc. This will help your website create positive impression as well as to engage and persuade potential customers.

It also involves creating content for landing pages and ads (banner, pop-ups, text ads), with the business/industry specific keywords. Good content with adequate keywords is an essential aspect of website development and helps you maximize your visibility in search engines.

  • Developing content for creating awareness: By creating content on a range of topics related to your business, you are indirectly creating and spreading awareness on your products/services. This informational content for your business is generally used for your website’s blog and resource center.

For instance, if your business deals with selling of a specific software and your content marketing strategy involves creating articles related to features of the software, check list for buying the software you provide, benefits of purchasing the software, statistics on the usefulness and purchase of your software, white papers on your software industry, etc. Any potential customer is attracted and impressed by the information given by you, will be definitely interested in doing business with you.

Blogs, articles, press releases, white papers related to your business have more credibility: The USP of content marketing is that it builds credibility of your business by gaining trust of your target audiences. This is because people rely mostly on industry experts’ opinions, tips and suggestions for their information needs. According to Custom Content Council, 90% of the customers agree that custom content is useful and 73% of the people prefer collection of articles to know about the organization, rather than traditional advertisements.

Having said that, let us see how content tools help your business to build credibility.

  • Blogs and articles: Blogs and articles have content that gives all the functional and useful information about your products/services to your customer. You can even share your business experience in the form of opinions, ideas and suggestions through blogs and articles. If any of your targeted audience is in dilemma about the products/services you offer, blogs and articles will help him clear his doubts and understand your business well.
  • Press releases: Press releases contain promotional content about your business. You can share developments, achievements or any other news related to your business through press releases. Press releases make your customer know all the latest updates about your business and also build trust for your business.
  • White papers: White papers, the research reports based on thorough analysis made by business experts, have great value. Generally, customers rely on this kind of content to make crucial decisions regarding making purchases or adopting strategies.

Hence, creating content specific to your business and then marketing it will yield reliable and long-term customers.

List your content at right places: Having a right content plan is as important as having content. Unless you know where to display your content, you cannot achieve the purpose of your business – building awareness, customer acquisition, increasing ROI, etc.

You can market your content online using many marketing strategies like displaying your content in article directories, industry specific forums or Q&A sites, in your websites, etc. These are the places, which have high potential of getting the initial customer attention when your content is posted.

But before you finalize on where to market your content, here are few important things which you need to consider.

  • What are the sites that your target audiences visit frequently to find the content?
  • What are the sites which help in fast spreading and promoting of your content?

The more credible and popular sites you consider to promote your content, the more is the traffic and credibility you gain for your website.

Cost-effective: Of the all Internet marketing strategies, content marketing is a cost-effective one, which generates good value for your budget spent.

Content marketing is one of the neglected ways to promote businesses, though it is an effective way to spread awareness and drive sales.

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