Content marketing is a key component of any digital marketing strategy. Done right, it’s an effective way to build brand awareness, establish credibility, engage potential customers and increase sales.
Although content marketing isn’t a new concept, it still proves to be one of the most widely used approaches to growing a business. In fact, according to data from Hubspot, 66% of marketers expect to increase their content marketing budget this year.
But what exactly is content marketing, and why do you need it for your business? Let’s take a closer look.
What is content marketing?
Content marketing involves creating, publishing and distributing a variety of content that is tailored to your target audience. Rather than trying to sell directly to potential customers, content marketing is about answering their questions, solving problems and providing meaningful value. This helps establish awareness, trust and credibility, which can ultimately lead to customers making a purchase.
Content can come in many forms, including:
- Blogs and articles
- Videos and gifs
- eBooks and whitepapers
- Landing pages
- Case studies
- Images and image galleries
- FAQ pages
- Social media posts
Typically, content is created for and posted on your website, but it can also be distributed via email newsletters, social media and third-party websites or other platforms.
Why do you need content marketing for your business?
The benefits of content marketing are immense and far-reaching. The following are just some of the ways in which content marketing can help grow your business:
The marketing sales funnel begins with brand awareness and lead generation, and content is vital at this stage of the customer journey. At this point, the customer is looking for information that is relevant to your business, which offers an opportunity to introduce your brand.
Here, content can be used to solve a problem or answer a potential customer’s questions. For example, let’s say you’re a Sydney-based florist and post a guide to Sydney flower seasons on your website. This content is useful for directing potential customers to your site when they search for related queries on Google, such as ‘What flowers are in season in Sydney?’.
Stat: 83% of content marketers at top-performing brands successfully used content marketing to nurture leads, according to a study on B2B marketing.
For a customer to make a purchase, there must first be trust – trust that your products or services are worth investing in and trust that you will manage any issues if they arise.
According to Trusted Brands Australia, “[Trust] is that intangible quality that signals reliability and integrity. Whether it is a product or service, trust is what reassures us that we are making the right choice.”
When you create valuable content that solves a problem or addresses a need, your business becomes a trusted authority in your field. In turn, potential customers are more likely to seek your advice and recommendations in future, and consider your business first whenever they require your products or services.
Additionally, Google favours businesses that appear credible and trustworthy. If your business publishes content makes you appear like that the visitors to your website value, this can greatly improve your website’s position in Google’s search results.
Improved organic search results.
The more high-quality, relevant content you produce, the greater your chances of appearing high up in search results any time a potential customers searches for something related to your business. This is incredibly important, because 75% of people never scroll past the first page of search results – so boosting your ranking is critical to driving traffic to your site.
Google also rewards fresh content, so making content marketing an ongoing priority is essential to getting noticed online.
To give you an example of what this might look like, an accountant could create content on what to do at tax time, including how to file your taxes, tax FAQs and what you can claim. This kind of content not only provides value, but also naturally includes keywords and phrases that their potential clients will be searching for.
Getting started with content marketing.
Building a content marketing strategy starts with defining your audience and goals and putting together a plan of attack. Consider the following questions:
- Who do you want to read your content? Tip: Consider your typical customer.
- What topics, questions and resources might your readers be searching for online?
- What content formats will you focus on? Tip: Stick to a few types for the first few months until you can gauge what works and what doesn’t.
- How many hours per week or days per month will you dedicate to creating content?
- Will you need external help with creating content or boosting your search engine rankings?
- How will you measure success? Tip: Consider traffic to your website, customer enquiries/leads and sales.
As a small business owner, you probably don’t have a lot of spare time for content creation. The good news is you can start small – maybe a blog every couple of weeks, a video each month and a social post every few days – to find out what resonates with your audience, then focus on the content types and channels that have the biggest impact for your business.
Download our free content marketing strategy template to get started, and if you need assistance anywhere along the way, Yellow Pages’ team of experts can help you get the most out of your digital marketing efforts.