When you use a website as a form of marketing, content is king. Content marketing is about creating information and a user experience that's engaging and produces positive results.
The right approach to creating the right content can enhance brand awareness, build word-of-mouth advertising and create a level of engagement that is greater than the use of traditional marketing methods.
1. Communicate Often and Be Interesting
There’s a big difference between information and interesting information. When you use content as a means to market a product, service or brand, it’s important to remember that consumers will only pay attention to information that is relevant, interesting and valuable. This means turning information into useful knowledge that makes the consumer want to learn more and take action.
However, it’s not enough to update the information about your brand, service or product when there's a change. To engage your clients' target customers, you have to keep them continuously in the loop so information about your company becomes desirable. One of the best ways to communicate often is with a blog and social networking accounts.
Ideally, your clients should create new blog post twice a week, if not daily. Offer opinions and views about happenings in the industry. Tell their readers about new products or services. Offer behind-the-scenes looks at their company. The point is to establish themselves as a trustworthy, go-to expert in their field.
2. Use More than One Type of Content Medium
If you stick to only writing blog posts, you are essentially fishing with only one lure. Lee Odden with the online marketing blog TopRank suggests you use a variety of content marketing strategies because using more types of lures will help you catch a variety of fish. Varying the types of content that you use will help attract a larger customer base. For example, some individuals prefer to watch videos than read text, while others enjoy reading infographics. Consequently, individuals gravitate toward and seek out content that match their consumption preferences.
In addition to offering content marketing in the form of blog posts, you can also include videos, newsletters, targeted emails, podcasts, webinars, ebooks and so on. One of the most backwards yet effective content marketing solutions is to not be afraid of mentioning the competition. This does not mean bashing the competition while glorifying your own company. Instead, mention and provide links to competitor sites. This “link love” will associate your company with other top companies and enhance your credibility.
Plus, when a prospective customer looks for information about a competitor online, there’s a good chance that your client's website will show up in the search results. This seemingly backwards strategy will produce traffic to their site when prospects look for information about the competition.
3. Make Content Simple to Find and Read
The Internet isn’t as intuitive as you may think. Your clients have to tell search engines what their Web pages are about so they can easily be found when an individual performs an online search. When you employ SEO techniques, use targeted keywords and make the content simple to search, your clients are more likely to rank higher on search engine results.
Making content simple to find does’t only involve ranking high on search engine results. Your client's site must also be simple to read and navigate. Consider the number of clicks a reader has to make before he reaches the information he wants. A user-friendly site, for example, makes the process of contacting the company simple. Bear in mind that it isn’t enough to reach a large number of people through content; you also have to entice them to learn more.
4. Engage the Consumer
Keeping the conversation going is an important content marketing strategy. Sarah Skerik with media website PR Newswire states that engaging the consumer encourages them to take an extra step after consuming information from a website, blog or social media account, and can help promote brand loyalty. Engaging the customer can range from responding to comments left on a blog to having a video play in the sidebar of the site, creating an online customer loyalty program or allowing visitors to signup for a free newsletter. Whenever they engage a customer, your clients add value to their companies.
Credibility, readership and trust take time to build through content marketing. Starting on the right foot and maintaining momentum will help you maximize results and show that your clients are credible, qualified and capable experts in their industries.