Content marketing is a vague concept in many ways. The most confusing aspect is how content marketing drives sales. It’s not a direct marketing technique like pay-per-click or Facebook advertising. It also takes time for the content to start driving traffic. So why bother? I’ll give you three reasons why you should be using content marketing to drive sales.
Even if you pay someone to write the content for you, posting it online and sharing it with your social media community costs relatively nothing. The concept behind content marketing is that you create valuable content for your audience. Your audience engages with it, and through that engagement, they engage with you. The total cost, mainly if you write it yourself, is zero.
Just about every business solves a problem for a customer. In many cases, a company can address multiple issues. For example, my company helps businesses with email marketing, website design, and social media marketing. My content marketing goals are to help the reader solve their problems on those topics. My blog, “Thoughts from the Green Chair,” is filled with those types of articles. However, you don’t want to write whatever comes to mind. There needs to be a concerted effort to research the right content to drive traffic and, eventually, sales.
I wrote an article a few weeks back on how I do SEO for my website. I outline in that article how I use a spreadsheet to organize my thoughts for article topics. I use Google search and start researching the services I provide and what problems need to be solved. The result has been a tremendous uptick in traffic to my site and better SEO results.
Recently I was turned on to a site called Answer the Public at https://answerthepublic.com/. You put in two or three words, and it gives you a list of questions that people are searching for on the internet. It’s a pretty cool website. Don’t mind the creepy looking guy staring at you. You’ll see what I mean when you go there.
There’s plenty of competition out there, and the signal to noise ratio is off the charts. I always tell my clients that if you and your competitors are saying the same thing, then it becomes a contest for who can shout the loudest. You don’t want to go down that road. A potential customer will choose whom they think will do the best job. They base a large percentage of that decision on whether or not they find you trustworthy. Having a catalog of well-written articles at their disposal can show them that you know what you are talking about and how you will approach their problem.
Content marketing is one of those buzzwords that marketing agencies like to throw around to drive traffic. In my opinion, you have to have the right type of business to take advantage of content marketing. For example, if your product or service takes a long time for the customer to decide, then content marketing is for you. High ticket items like consultancies and marketing services tend to have a large funnel. Having a cache of content to share through that decision funnel will put you at an advantage.
Businesses that are impulse buys or lower-priced services need to focus more on targeting the customer directly. Sure, there is always room for content pieces, but your business model is based more on volume. Content marketing is a slower process, and you may, in the end, find yourself getting frustrated with the slow results.
If you are considering starting content marketing to drive sales, the vital thing to keep in mind is to produce quality content. If you don’t find the subject matter interesting, no one else will. They will see it in your writing.
With that said, the benefit of content marketing is that your cost per lead and distribution is relatively zero. Google, Facebook, LinkedIn, and the like, will do all the work for you. You can build trust with your audience and target them directly. If your customer usually takes a long time to decide, I will encourage you to start thinking about starting a content marketing campaign.