Guest post by Caeden M MacGregor from Prestige Marketing.
I am often asked what it is that I do a lot when I say that I am a content marketer—by family, friends, and by clients. The short answer to that question is this: content marketing gives businesses a way to communicate with potential clients and existing customers without giving them a sales pitch. So with content marketing the goal is to write an informative article that benefits your potential customers—for example, answers questions from a professional viewpoint or guides them through a complicated process. The article is not a sales pitch, nor is it filled with marketing speak. Instead, it engages your readers because it’s relevant and valuable to your target audience.
Now the content in content marketing isn’t limited to words. No, it can be multimedia—such as videos, podcasts, or slide shares, but it can also be in the form of articles or blog posts. The goal here is to help your target customer base solve a problem, and you know that as a business owner you have some expert knowledge that you could share.
So now that you know what content marketing is, you might be asking yourself, “Why would I volunteer expert knowledge to an online audience who I don’t even know are going to buy from me?” Let me tell you why…
1. Increase web traffic
The idea is by offering up a solution to a common problem (i.e., say you are a business accountant who can help guide folks through filing their taxes) you will increase traffic back to your site. The goal is to offer useful, relevant information in an honest manner. You’re not using a selling pitch in your efforts. The payback is that your readership will first; trust you, then, reward you, if they do seek out services in the future. Plus, content has a few other hidden benefits; such as the inclusion of rich keywords will ensure that a relevant readership finds you in a basic internet search.
2. Create a sales generation list
You can also use content marketing to grow a valuable list of potential customers (i.e., for a newsletter or direct mail campaign). The idea is that you build a list that allows you to communicate with your target audience directly—an audience that you wouldn’t otherwise have access to. Let’s face it; you know that pressuring your audience with sales messages just doesn’t work anymore. So it makes sense that if you offered up useful information to help solve a common problem (i.e., in the form of a white papers, informational video, e-books, or research from another expert source) that they would then be willing to buy from you, and even download and share your materials with other people they know.
3. Reduces the sales cycle
If you’re offering your relevant, valuable content to subscribers (i.e., through an e-newsletter) you are also earning something else very valuable—their trust. The more relevant advice and content you provide; the less hesitant they will be to work with you or buy from you.
4. Establishes an expert presence
The great thing about offering up information that others find useful is that it doesn’t take long to be the go to person—or the expert. Providing your target audience with helpful advice or tips for problem solving common problems (don’t give away everything now) will establish you and your business as a helpful resource, and over time, your business will be considered to have all the answers to their problems.
Guestpost by Caeden M MacGregor, staff writer for Prestige Marketing, a Vancouver SEO company specializing in organic and paid search marketing. Caeden has written for numerous blogs on a variety of topics ranging from guest blogging to landing page optimization.
Photo credit: Valerie Everett