Good content marketing is selling in disguise. It shares information about a product or service in a way that doesn’t feel like a sales pitch. It is seen as a helpful resource that educates a potential customer and places you in a position of authority. It builds trust in your brand and gives your would-be customer the assurance they need to do business with you. You could say that content marketing sells your good name as much as your product or service.
Content marketing comes in many forms, including:
- Videos, including YouTube advertising
- Blog posts
- Case studies
- White papers
- Testimonials and reviews
- How-to Guides
The one thing that needs to be consistent across all forms of content marketing is quality. The better you do it, the better the results. Quality content will do two main things; it will give the searcher what they’re looking for when they use Google (and other search engines). And, for you as a business, it will drive traffic and increase conversions.
It’s all about getting the balance right as you try to reach your objectives. For example, entertaining content is seen as more of a long-term sales approach. It keeps your brand in the public eye and maintains engagement with your audience. On the other hand, educational content is perceived as more of an immediate sales play as it is focused on addressing any questions, thoughts, and objections that spring up when someone makes a purchasing decision.
So, for short term success, your educational content should answer the questions that people might have about what you do, or what you sell. It’s worth it; it’s been suggested that people are 130% more likely to buy from a company immediately after consuming early-stage, educational content!
Your content needs to have some depth to it. Flippant and cryptic material doesn’t cut it. It comes across as too clever, and that is not the reputation you want to build. There’s nothing wrong with being creative with your approach but it needs to address all of the big questions someone may have. You don’t have to share every last detail of a topic, but you must offer a good degree of insight that reasserts your authority in the field in which you specialise.
Quality content will give your target market something to do as soon as they have finished reading or watching. While you don’t have to tell someone everything about you in one post, you should encourage them to find out more. It could be as simple as providing a link to a further resource on your website, or inviting them to download a free guide; every further action they take will bring them closer to sealing the deal.
By sharing valuable advice and your knowledge, you build trust with your potential customer. They will see the value you provide even before they do business with you. For this reason alone, you should take a new look at your content and see it through your customer’s eyes: it needs to be more about them and less about you. It needs to address their concerns and answer their questions. It needs to show that you are the solution to their problems. It needs to be clear and concise and customer-centric. Is your current content like that? If not, it’s time to make a change.