This is an extremely valid question. Why it matters to your business that you are able to implement a well-crafted content marketing strategy in order to compete in the contemporary world?
As I have explained on my website as well as on my blog, the Internet is made up of content – at least the visual Internet that people like you and me come across everyday. You are continuously reading stuff, watching videos, looking at photographs and images and going through slides, on various websites and blogs. Even search engines are continuously crawling, indexing and ranking webpages containing content. So basically everything on the Internet is about content.
Whether you are spending your precious time on social media and social networking websites or scouring the web, or sending and receiving e-mails, continuously you are consuming content generated by people as well as machines. Blogging and social networking has enabled even non-technical people to generate massive amounts of content.
All sorts of conversations happen via content and we’re living in a conversation age. The old model of advertising and marketing in which people are interrupted while watching TV shows or even reading news and articles on the web is in a state of decadence. Nobody wants to be interrupted. People want to talk to you at their own convenience. Even you wouldn’t like it if someone or something barges in while you are doing one of your favorite activities.
Advertisers are worrying about “Zero TV” homes where people have either sold their TVs or stopped their cable subscriptions. People on the Internet are constantly devising ways to block pop-ups, banners and advertising links. They just want to access the main content, and this is where you need to be.
In the coming decades three things are going to be very crucial for your business:
- Your visibility on social media and social networking websites
- The difficulty or ease with which people can find your content
- The conversations about your business that people have with each other
Branding and reputation is going to take place of advertising and marketing. People are already making buying decisions from personal references and this phenomena is going to increase exponentially.
You need to engage people. You need to establish yourself as an authority and as an expert. You need to keep your target customers and clients educated and informed so that by the time they decide to do business with you they are already familiar with you, your products and services and your overall business philosophy.
Where does content marketing fit in?
It is through relentless (but well-defined) content marketing that you increase your visibility without intruding upon people’s personal spaces. It is your content marketing strategy that places your content at strategic places so that people can access it when they actually need to access it.
With limited budgets and resources it’s the smaller businesses who can benefit the most with content marketing, although it’s the bigger businesses who are investing more in it. Companies like Coca-Cola, IBM and SAS (just to name a few) have complete divisions taking care of their content marketing strategies. Millions of dollars are being invested in generating and broadcasting content that encourages active as well as passive engagement.
Since more and more business is being generated by inbound marketing it is your content marketing effort that brings people – your target customers and clients – to your website voluntarily. You provide them content that leads them to your website without misleading them. When they come to your website they have a clear idea of what they’re looking for and what you are offering.
Even if they come to your website without having sufficient information about you and your business, the nature of their searching and subsequently, the content that they come across on your website, significantly ends up improving your conversion rate.
The unbreakable relationship between content marketing and SEO
After Penguin and Panda updates the world of SEO has started revolving around content marketing. Google now ranks you for the value your content provides and the quality of recommendations and back links that value encourages. It’s no longer about tweaks and tricks. Publish high-value content and make it available as easily as possible via various channels. Encourage people to link to your individual URLs for the true value they provide rather than for the purpose of advertising. Increase your involvement on social media and social networking websites so that your personal branding can be related to the content you associate with. Your entire search engine optimization process has now become a subset of your overall content marketing strategy.
Content marketing enables you to create macro and micro platforms using your own website and blog as well as other broadcasting channels so that it becomes easier for people to not only just find you, but also come across you in a relevant manner.