In the world of online marketing, content marketing is the process of using articles, images, video and other types of content to attract ideal prospects for a business. It is a key element, and in the opinion of many marketers synonymous with, the term inbound marketing. The overall goal of content/inbound marketing is to create and publish an ever increasing and evolving set of content that answers the questions that your prospects are asking.
The basic tools or methods of content marketing include:
- Guest blog posts
- Social Media
- Press Releases
- Slideshare presentations
- Email Newsletters
- Directories and review sites
Getting Started with Content Marketing
For most businesses, the foundation of your content marketing efforts will be your website. Starting with the basics about your business, adding on details about products and services, providing case studies and testimonials, and directing people to your places of business are all core functions of your website that depend on the presentation of informative content. Websites should be built with one or more areas (such as blogs, event calendars, sub-pages with service offerings or case studies) that can grow over time.
From there, the content on websites needs to be shared in the places your audience is likely to be looking, or simple hanging out. Optimizing for search engines is one big piece of this puzzle, along with promoting on the appropriate social media, building relationships with relevant traditional media outlets, and interacting with your prospects anyplace that they might spend time – in both the digital and real worlds.
Why is Content King?
Back to the 90’s, the term “Content is King” first became popular in the world of online marketing. While great content has always been critical, it seems like the term has had a resurgence in the past few years. To conclude this blog post, I’ll list a few key reasons why content, and the marketing that goes with it, is so valuable when growing a business:
- Fresh, engaging content will help your search engine rank – basically, Google loves sites that have pages that regularly change, and/or that add new pages. The more that people who click from Google to your site stick around, the more likely your rank will improve on the next search someone does.
- Engaging, relevant content will help people learn who you are and what you do, increasing the chance that website visitors or social media followers will become customers.
- Writing about your business, and even collaborating with employees and/or a hired writer to create content, will help you and your team improve communication when interacting with customers and prospects.