If you’re looking for content marketing services, you need a company that not only takes the time to understand your brand vision, but knows how to properly tie the content marketing efforts with other channels such as social media and search engine optimization.
What is Content Marketing?
Traditional forms of marketing can be thought of as billboards, flyers, radio and television commercials, and magazine and newspaper ad space. As more and more consumers make the transition to an internet-driven sales funnel, these forms of marketing have become increasingly less relevant.
The initial forms of online marketing looked a lot like their physical, real-world counterparts such as ads found in print and magazines. Businesses would pay for large banners, buttons, and advertising images to be displayed on related, relevant websites. These methods are also becoming ineffective, however. By now, most users have years of experience using the internet and have trained themselves to overlook these types of advertisements. Software plugins and extensions even exist to automatically detect and block out this type of ad, so that the user never encounters it in the first place. This is similar to the recent popularity of DVRs, which allow viewers to bypass TV commercials entirely.
With our experience in the marketing world, we’ve seen a shift in a shift in the philosophy of effective marketing that goes deeper than a direct physical-to-online transition. Consumers are now the experts, and giving them the tools and information to make an expert buying decision has become much more effective than a traditional advertisement or sales pitch.
In a nutshell, content marketing is the idea that rather than barraging the consumer with meaningless commercials and ads, you are providing valuable information to them. You are providing them with meaningful content. You are educating them, you are informing them, and you are engaging with them. Ultimately, you are delivering something that the consumer wants, rather than something that they want to avoid. Content marketing works, and that’s exactly the type of experience that we’re here to help you provide.
Types of Content Marketing
The type of content you want to deliver may depend on your industry or business specifically. In most cases, however, it’s best to create content for your audience in varying forms or media. Below are some of the most popular and effective types of content that we produce, and where we’ve encountered the greatest results.
Having a blog on your company’s website is a great way to release content to your audience on a regular, scheduled basis. Blog posts have the benefit of great versatility, allowing you to cross-promote other pieces of content while providing anything from company news and updates to informative industry articles. Blogs are one of the most powerful tools that a company has on the internet, and leveraging it to deliver valuable, engaging content is a must.
Good blog strategy and search engine optimization are tightly interconnected. Each one helps the other. When you have the right SEO company at the helm of your blog, the sky is the limit.
An infographic is a visualization of any information or set of data, most commonly statistical. These are great because they allow you to take something that may initially be dry and uninteresting to a general audience and transform it into something that is engaging and artistic. A good infographic will have an aspect of graphical design that appeals to viewers while simultaneously educating them about the topic of your choosing.
Besides only being appropriate for your company’s website or newsletter, there are many websites and online circles devoted entirely to sharing and appreciating infographics. Distributing your own branded infographics to these groups is a great way of getting new people to discover your company and a tactic that we’ve found great success with for our clients.
A short, well-made video advertisement or commercial introducing viewers to your business can be a very valuable asset. There is no reason to stop there, however. The best-performing and most popular video content among viewers is content that is either comedic, or that provides some sort of education or instruction in itself.
If you run a hardware store, consider a series of videos instructing people on, and demonstrating, how to perform various carpentry, masonry, or home improvement tasks. If you own a restaurant, consider videos which demonstrate how to prepare various delicious home-cooked dishes. Don’t be tempted to view this as discouraging people from coming to your restaurant -- in effect, it is just the opposite! This is the essence of content marketing. By viewing your video, someone has discovered that your restaurant exists, they have gained something of value from your business, they are likely to share your video with others and create further awareness, and now consider your restaurant to be an authority and an ally when it comes to great food. So where do you think they will stop for lunch next time they are in town?
At SEO Hermit we realize what a powerful tool this medium can be for any business. Besides simply publishing videos to your company’s website, we will optimize and market your content for video networking sites such as YouTube, specifically, which exponentially increases your potential audience along with inbound traffic and lead generation.
Case studies can be a great way to demonstrate the results, and so the value, of using your product or service. It’s important to keep the focus of a case study on these results, rather than your brand itself. When you have one or more case studies available to visitors, it can be great content to reference or cross-promote in other types of content, such as blog posts and videos. See our SEO case studies as an example of effective case study content.
An e-book can be one of the ultimate methods of establishing yourself as an authority on a given subject. The goal of any e-book should be to educate your readers, not to entertain or sell to them. However, it remains important for an e-book to have good design, a narrative structure, and an informal, easy-to-read voice as long as it remains appropriate to the subject of the book.
Whitepapers & Reports
For certain industries, publishing whitepapers and reports can be a great way of providing information and establishing yourself or your business as an authority. These may be similar to an e-book, but will generally contain less content and present data in a stricter, more professional manner.
Why Do You Need Content Marketing?
To put it simply, content marketing is the most effective type of marketing that there is today, and moving into the future the trend of consumers responding to content of value is only bound to increase.
Content marketing also ties in to nearly all other forms of marketing. No matter what approach you take to marketing your business, it is important to have quality content behind it. This content should be integrated into your existing marketing strategy, not regarded as something separate or stand-alone.
- Search Engine Optimization: When your business consistently publishes new, quality content, search engines recognize this. This goes hand-in-hand with training the search engines to see your website as an authority in your industry.
- Social Media Marketing: Your content strategy should come before your social media strategy. In this way, the two are closely interconnected and should be used to bolster one another.
- PPC Marketing: You might be paying for thousands of clicks leading to your website, but to make those clicks truly pay off, you need great content waiting for your visitors.
- Public Relations: The best PR strategies have to do with issues that matter to your audience rather than focusing on the business itself.
- Inbound Marketing: There is no better way of garnering inbound traffic and leads than by quality content that people not only consume, but actively seek out.
Traditionally, many businesses have approached marketing with the goal of trying to convince an audience of the value or their product or service. But what if, rather than fighting for your audience’s attention, they were the ones actively seeking your marketing out? What if it was valuable enough to them that they wanted more of it and shared each piece with their friends and colleagues? This is exactly the opportunity that content marketing provides.
If you’re interested in learning more, or have any questions, the next step is simple. Call our office at (888) 803-0843 or fill out our online form for a free content marketing consultation. We’d be happy to speak with you, without obligation, and to go over some of the ways that we can utilize content marketing to help your business succeed.