What is content?
Many of my clients come to me in a state of confusion about content and blogging how to use it to market their business. They’ve heard about ‘content marketing’ and have been told numerous times about the importance of blogging but feel daunted and frankly overwhelmed until, eventually, they end up doing nothing. Sound familiar?
I thought I would use this blog to help ease a few of you into beginning, or continuing, an exploration of the important role quality content plays in helping your business stand out.
‘Content’ is a broad term, and even in the context of content marketing covers anything from video and podcasts to images and infographics. Here though, I’m going to focus on what many of us will be more familiar with: good old-fashioned words.
If you think about your website’s pages and your blog, if you have one, they are predominately made up of words. Your site’s pages will feature information about you, your business and its products and services. The intention with blog writing, however, is not to explicitly promote a business or brand but to stimulate interest in its products or services. You will often have links from your blog to your website to encourage people to view what you offer once the reader’s appetite has been whetted.
Why is content important?
Content that is consistent and in line with your company’s image and ideas is essential for building brand awareness and recognition. It creates loyalty and trust, with both your current and prospective customers.
It also offers the opportunity to develop lasting relationships with your audience… these relationships can start months or even years before someone buys from you. By the time they do, trust has already been built up and you are seen as an expert in your field.
Your content is also key to your search engine optimisation as search engines reward businesses that publish quality, consistent content and increasingly penalise those websites which feature poorly written and repetitive content. For those looking at paid search, you still need great content behind it for it to be effective.
Content is key to driving inbound traffic and leads and is great for your social media marketing as you share your blogs and links to your web content. Content is great for SEO as it generates natural inbound links to your site and adds to the content on your website, meaning you’re more likely to be found by Google.
Perhaps the best thing is… it’s free!
How do I write an effective blog?
Particularly with blog writing, be sure to address issues readers care about, not your business.
Take time to research. What questions does your potential audience have and what’s their preferred medium? Ask your consumers what they’d like to know. How can you be helpful?
Try to tailor your website content and blogs to their interests, desires and needs. It should be relevant and valuable… rather than a hard sell.
As busy as we all are, it helps to build content creation into your business practice… start small, I had to stare at the orchid on my desk for a good five minutes before I wrote this blog.
Through blogging you can raise awareness of solutions to problems and educate potential clients/customers about products and services which solve those problems; a great marketing tool.
Want to know more?
There’s so much out there about content marketing and blogging that it’s easy to get swamped and want to run away and hide. I can’t profess to having read this myself but a good friend of mine, who just happens to be a marketing guru, recommends ‘They ask, you answer’ by Marcus Sheridan.
Blogging is one of the most effective forms of content. If you’d like to know more about blogging, sign up for my 5 part video tutorial now which covers everything you need to know to get started!