In any given month, more than 1 billion users worldwide log on to Google to search for information. More than 1 billion users open their Gmail accounts, and more than 1 billion users are watching videos on YouTube. These users are rapidly consuming online content from small businesses and content producers around the world.
Think back to your favorite blog. Do you know—or does it matter—where the author resides? In most cases, no, it doesn’t. You might be drawn to the blog because of the subject matter, the writing style, the bonuses from the author, or the well-written, timely, and relevant pieces. Quality content attracts interested individuals and pulls them in, time after time. It allows CEOs and stay-at-home-moms, billion-dollar corporations and one-person non-profits to use their expertise and experience to position themselves as thought leaders in their individual areas.
Content marketing is a strategy that uses these unique pieces to expand business growth. By planning and publishing specific pieces of content that provide the readers or consumers of the content with practical or valuable information, a small business can harness the international reach of the Internet to see direct, measurable results from many of the actions already being conducted on a daily basis.
What are these actions?
- Social media posts
- Case studies, e-books, or white papers
- Press releases
- Videos or podcasts
- Emails and e-newsletters
Due to the success so many businesses have seen as a result of their content marketing, the specific niche has become one of the most rapidly growing avenues being pursued by marketing departments, with 77 percent of marketers planning to increase their content production.
Content Marketing: An Effective Growth Strategy
In a survey of marketers, 88 percent said they were using content marketing as a part of their overall marketing strategy, and tracking sales lead quality and quantity, actual sales, conversion rates, and traffic as some of the primary indicators of content marketing success.
Success in content marketing is highly individualized. Whether you want to see an increase in conversions, higher-quality leads, or more sales and revenue, you’ll be closer when you integrate three common content marketing components, all necessary for a piece that gets results and brings your small business a wide readership.
The large Internet user base means that for your small business to generate interest and reach your target audience, you need to stand out from your competitors. Producing cookie-cutter copy is damaging for two reasons.
- Your readers want to see something that they haven’t seen previously. Your thought leadership credibility is heightened when you are able to publish new, fresh content.
- Google penalizes plagiarism. The algorithms used by this popular search engine, as well as others, look for unique content when ranking search results, and to be seen, you want your content to be seen as early as possible in the search results.
However, the power and popularity of the Internet have also led to the generation of applications that can be used to improve your content. From seeking out timely content subjects on Feedly and ContentGems to creating infographics on Canva and editing on PaperRater and HemingwayApp, finding ways to publish unique, tailored content is easier than ever.
There’s a reason “out of sight, out of mind” is a popular idiom. To stay in front of your target audience, your prospective clients, and current customers, you need to publish content on a regular basis. This helps to combat the many distractions on the Internet that fight for the attention of your audience.
Ruby Receptionists understands that consistency is the key to legendary service. Doing what you say you will do, making reasonable commitments, and setting up systems that lead to success, all key points for their own exceptional service, are also true in content marketing.
If you commit to blogging weekly, make sure that at least once a week, you have a new blog posted. Among the many apps that help you create content are others that help to automate your marketing, ensuring that each step of your content marketing strategy gets done on time.
Call to Action
Content marketing is guiding your users and target audience toward a specific, measurable goal. Whether you want readers to download your latest electronic book or sign up or your e-mailed newsletter, your content should include direction and links that make it easy for readers to know what you want them to do, and how they should participate in the task. Updating your website to include custom landing pages, integrated buttons for social media or newsletter sign-ups, and embedding videos allow you to produce a clear call to action.
Getting started in content marketing doesn’t have to be hard. By thinking creatively about your unique niche, regularly and consistently publishing pieces, and clearly calling your readers to a specific action, you’ll see your content marketing game plan get off the ground and start to attract a wide readership. Add in some of the new apps, platforms, and networks and you’ve got a solid plan to create content that crosses borders and gets results.
Gabe Arnold is the founder of Copywriter Today where you can get unlimited fresh content for all your marketing needs. If you want 250 free headline ideas for your next marketing campaign, use their free tool here.