Six top content marketing tips
You might be surprised to learn that the phrase ‘Content is King’ first appeared in 1996, as the title of an essay by Microsoft Co-Founder, Bill Gates who wrote: “Content is where I expect much of the real money to be made on the Internet, just as it was in broadcasting.”
Back then you might have questioned Gates’ prediction; but it would appear that he was a genius in more ways than one. ‘Content is King’ has become the mantra of many digital marketers – and rightly so. Content is what drives the Internet as we know it today.
According to Ofcom, the average adult internet user claims to spend over 20 hours online per week – twice as much time as they did 10 years ago.
Where once potential customers might have seen your advert in a magazine or directory and given you a call to enquire about your services, today customers’ first port of call is undoubtedly the Internet. Search engines like Google have transformed buyer behaviour, allowing customers to find accurate information at the click of a button.
What many businesses don’t appreciate however is that being found on Google alone isn’t enough. When customers reach your website, they expect to find relevant, valuable content to instil trust that you’re able to help them. Fail to engage them and they’ll quickly leave your site and search elsewhere.
Effective digital marketing today is about creating high quality, relevant content that is easy to share – so you’re not just relying on potential customers finding you, you’re actively pursuing them.
Here are six top tips to help you on your way to turning prospects into regular customers.
- Craft your content – If you landed on your website for the first time and started reading, would you be engaged and drawn in? Or would you be left dazed and confused? All content you put on your website should be crafted with your customers in mind. Copy should be not just well-written but easy to read – a good way to help content flow is to use short, concise sentences and paragraphs, rather than large chunks of text. Headings, bullet points and bold font are all good methods to ensure your customers don’t lose interest and click away.
- Know your customers – Is your content relevant to your customers? Every piece of content you post on your website should be written to offer real value to your customer base. To do this it’s essential to build a deep understanding of your target customers. This can take a lot of time and skill, which is why many businesses choose to invest in a digital marketing agency to help them research and deliver consistently relevant content.
- Provide the answers – Does your content demonstrate your knowledge and expertise? The Latin aphorism scientia potenia est meaning ‘knowledge is power’ couldn’t be more true when it comes to content. If your content successfully demonstrates your knowledge and expertise to potential customers you will quickly gain their trust. Use case studies to explain how you have helped customers and answered their problems; use blogs to offer guidance and advice.
- Preach less, educate more – Is your content sales-lead or educational? Although it can be tempting to go for the hard sell when writing content for your website, this will rarely deliver the results. Customers don’t want to be preached to about how great you are, they want to be educated and informed. Educate your customers by demonstrating best practice and offering valuable tips on how to achieve success. Use your content to show you’re indispensable to your customers.
- Create findable content – How easily can your customers find you? I’m sure you’ve heard of the term search engine optimisation (SEO) used in the context of content i.e. writing using keywords and phrases your customers are likely to use to find your business. Today content written with the search engines in mind is just a small part of SEO – there are many other factors that determine where your content ranks in the search engines. Writing findable content is not easy and neither is it an exact science. Using a digital marketing agency with SEO expertise will ensure your content achieves the best possible search positions.
- Share, share and share again – Have you joined the social revolution? If you’re not already using social media to share your content, then now is the time to start. For B2B businesses, LinkedIn, Twitter and YouTube are likely to be the most fruitful channels for you. For B2C businesses, there are a whole plethora of different social platforms for sharing content, some of the more common ones being Facebook, Instagram and Pinterest. Seek advice from a digital marketing agency if you’re not sure which platforms are best for you, they’ll not only offer you advice, but you might be surprised how cost-effective it is for them to manage your digital marketing budget.