How Content Marketing Can Save Your Company
Some people underestimate the power of content marketing because they don't know how it works. From an outside perspective, hours spent planning, creating, editing, formatting and finally publishing can seem a waste of time, with no impact on the company's ROI, but nothing could be further from the truth.
The company that blogging saved
This is just one of many famous case studies, that prove that written content has earned its place in the marketing world. River Pools was heavily affected by the recession in 2008. The owner, Marcus Sheridan was seriously concerned about keeping his head above water.
He decided to write articles based on customers' questions. He spent several nights blogging, writing in-depth articles about the A-Z of inground pools. The language of the blog is casual and easily understandable. You would never expect to read an interesting blog about fiber glasses. Especially me as a woman.
And you know what? All that invested time ultimately paid off - content creation saved River Pools and the company is flourishing. Marcus’ knowledgeable articles helped people find his website by simply searching for answers to their questions. By now the website has become the Wikipedia of inground swimming pools.
Marcus wasn't a writer or a content marketer. Yet his instinct led him in the right direction. His story is proof that blogging can boost, and even save your business.
Today, he is a big advocate of inbound marketing and gives talks on how content marketing can help you and your business. His favorite piece of advice: listen to your audience. He has experienced that successful companies embrace honesty and transparency, and believes it is the new way forward for communication.
What can content marketing do for you?
Blogging drives traffic to your website
According to Catalyst Digital, 71% of searches occur via search engines.
When we search for answers we automatically turn to search engines - on our desktops, phones, Alexas and Siris. If you provide the best answers to frequently asked questions in your blog posts, sooner or later your audience will find you. All you need to do is provide relevant content that answers questions and is valuable enough for other sites to link to.
Writing articles is the best way to increase traffic to your website. The relevance of your website will trigger a higher CTR, which indicates to Google that your content is worthwhile, and over time will land you a spot on the first page of Google’s search results.
Content creation is cost-efficient in the long-term
Small companies often have to work with small budgets. It's difficult to get out there when you have limited resources and money to advertise - but it's not impossible!
Content marketing is an effective part of inbound marketing but it's a long play strategy. It takes time for search engines to recognize your great content and place them on the first page of SERPs. But if you consistently publish great articles and build precious backlinks, Google will know it.
Your website will receive more and more impressions and clicks. Dedicate a couple of days to writing a long-form piece of content tailored to your audience, and once the piece is crawled you’ll be enjoying the benefits for free.
Generally speaking, the results of your efforts will show after 6 months. So be patient. What you can do to speed up the process is to fetch your article as Google, by using the Search Console. By doing so, you ask Google directly to index your page, instead of Google stumbling upon your content “accidentally“.
Keep in mind, that you need to write better content than your competitors to catch up and beat them!
Not surprisingly, the content marketing investment has kept increasing over the past three years, becoming a priority in the total marketing budget. Check out more data about content marketing to build your strategy.
Why is inbound marketing successful?
People have become resistant to ads. We don't like to be sold to, so we use ad blockers, and have even developed so-called banner-blindness. Moral of the story? We just don't notice ads very often. This may account for why Google's SERP layer went native.
Unlike pesky, obtrusive ad space, inbound marketing is based on communication with consumers. Instead of interrupting, it focuses on meeting (instead of making) the customers' needs.
Digital marketing allows marketers to create customer-focused campaigns which are based on data, making targeting more precise than ever. What's even better is that you can analyze the with advanced analytics you can analyze the outcomes and optimize your campaigns.
Blogging to build expertise
I can't emphasize enough the importance of building trust. Showing your knowledge and interest in solving your audience's problem builds a positive image. The idea is to attract your customers with your content and show them you have advanced knowledge in your field.
Your articles educate your readers without expecting anything in return. That's the exact opposite of pushy direct marketing.
Going viral is not something you can force, really. Ultimately, your audience will be the ones to decide what goes viral.
Their inspirational speeches help the audience solve their problem and overcome overthinking. They emphasize the importance of family, mental health, even facing death. This personal approach makes them credible in our eyes. We see that behind them there is a human being with the same problems and insecurities as us.
You don’t necessarily have to speak about life’s heavy topics to achieve virality. You may opt to shock your audience into engagement, like LG did with this ad, or make them laugh, a la comedy masters Poo-Pourri and JP Sears. Whatever direction you choose, remember that behind every successful campaign is a direct emotional engagement with the viewers and readers who will ultimately become your customers
Small companies and start-ups often struggle to reach their audiences with limited budgets. Advertising may be not an option because it's expensive and they can't compete with the other big fishes in the same pond.
Writing articles to attract visitors to your website is a great way to generate leads. Content creation requires time but it can have a huge effect on your business. It may even save it.