What is content marketing and how will it help my business?

The benefits of content marketing for business

What is content marketing and how will it help my business?

Content marketing is the practice of providing relevant and useful content to your prospects and customers to satisfy their information needs.  It is a more genuine and respectful way of interacting with customers than traditional marketing and advertising.

The focus is not on directly promoting your product or service but on sharing information and ideas that benefit others. Overt sales pitches do not resonate with today’s consumer and content marketing offers an ideal, non-intrusive way to get your message across.

Content marketing can come in many different shapes and forms.

Long form content

Long-form content is typically 2,000 words in length and includes e-books, articles, white papers, blogs and video. Due to its longer word count, it is the perfect platform to demonstrate your expertise on a specific topic as it enables you to explain concepts in greater depth. High value content of this type is favoured by Google, shared more frequently than short form content and is great for SEO.

Short form content

Short form content is usually below 1000 words in length and can be read in as little as two minutes. Examples includes infographics, social media updates or listicles (a blog post or piece of writing that presents content wholly or partly in the form of a list).

Online users scan content rather than read word for word, so short form content allows you to convey a strong message quickly and effectively. Short form also contains fewer words than long-form content so is perfectly suited for mobile consumption.

Ideally marketers should look to produce a healthy mix of both long and short form content types.

What’s the difference between content marketing and inbound marketing?

People often ask if there is a difference between content marketing and another related methodology known as inbound marketing. The concepts are fundamentally linked: both require quality content, are non-intrusive and have a defined audience. The differences lie in their scope.

Content marketing revolves around the creation and distribution of content across multiple channels. Inbound marketing on the other hand goes beyond the principles of content marketing and focuses on the specific tools, technologies and processes required to drive actions that lead to sales. These include:

  • landing pages
  • contact capture forms
  • CRM integration
  • calls to action
  • email marketing integration
  • SEO optimisation
  • social publishing

Content marketing is a component of the bigger picture of inbound marketing. Both concepts must work hand in hand. You can’t generate leads and sales without great content but you also need the specific inbound mechanisms in place to enable those conversions.

What are the benefits of content marketing?

Generates brand loyalty

If you consistently provide useful content, users will consider you a reliable information source and keep coming back to your site for more great content. Those users will in turn become loyal fans and brand advocates.

Increases brand exposure

Good content marketing offers people something interesting to talk about. When users talk about your brand, your messages reach a wider audience and expose your company to a potentially larger pool of prospective customers.

Builds your social media following

If people find your content useful, they are more likely to share it on social media. Increased social shares are great for SEO and brand awareness and will drive more traffic to your site.

Adds authority and credibility

Quality content enables you to demonstrate your expertise, adds credibility to your brand and will establish you as an authority in your industry.

Generates web traffic

Good content attracts more social shares and drives traffic to your site. Once on your site, prospects will discover your products and services. You can then use inbound tools such as data capture forms and calls to action to generate leads and sales.

Opens communications channels

When people talk about your content on social media and blogs, it provides opportunities to engage with users, build relationships and showcase your brand personality through an ongoing dialogue with users.

Improves your SEO

Before Google delivers your site on a results page, it will determine how relevant your content is to that search query. To do this, advanced algorithms will accurately assess the quality of your content. Relevant, useful content will get you a more prominent position on the results page. It will also attract authority backlinks which Google favours.

In conclusion, content marketing is a highly effective, non-intrusive way to communicate with today’s busy consumer. It works in conjunction with the tools and methodologies of inbound marketing and offers many benefits to help grow your business.

Need help writing, designing or producing content? Struggling with your content marketing strategy? Web Foundry can help! We have many years of experience in helping start-ups and small businesses create lead-generating content. Contact us today for more information on how to build your business with great content. 

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Joan Lavery on Tuesday, 14 November 2017


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