Chances are, if you are like most people, you skip the ads on YouTube as soon as you are able to. They may not be relevant to you and are certainly not something you searched for – additionally; you do not want them to take your attention away from what you were watching.
This is an example of why traditional marketing is no longer the “be all and end all” when it comes to advertising in the modern world. What, then, can you do if traditional marketing simply isn’t enough anymore? Enter content marketing.
As compared to traditional marketing, content marketing seeks to reach out to your target audience in an indirect way. Traditional marketing directly promotes a good or service and can be perceived as “hard selling” by certain customers with the effect of pushing them away.
Furthermore, we are all so sensitized to ads by now that we often don’t give them a second glance. However, content marketing can be both educational and entertaining and is exactly what your target audience is looking for. There are very simple reasons why this is so.
With content marketing, you are engaging with your audience by addressing a certain issue or concern they have in the broad field of your product or service.
This personally connects customers to your brand, increasing brand awareness, and placing your business in the role of “market expert”. When potential customers trust your brand, they are more likely to convert. With this in mind, let’s look at some of the ways you can grow your business with content marketing.
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Get on Social Media
Whether you love or loathe social media, let’s face it: if your business isn’t on Facebook or Instagram, you are missing out on a huge pool of potential customers. Creating a Facebook page or Instagram account and updating it regularly with pictures of your product or service, sharing what your business has been up to, offering discount codes, and more is a great way of engaging your audience.
In addition, customers can interact directly with your brand by leaving comments and reviews.
Positive comments can draw in potential customers who will spend some time engaging with your page, and if they like what they see, they may even convert. What’s more, it’s incredibly easy to share a page on social media or circulate a link to friends and family, further widening your base of potential customers.
Start and Update A Blog
Starting a blog is one of the most popular ways of growing a business through content marketing. In all likelihood, once your web design is completed and your website is up and running, you aren’t going to be making huge changes regularly. Hence, in order to facilitate a fresh stream of content, starting a blog is the best solution.
If you have no idea what to start writing about, take a look at your FAQ section. What are some concerns your customers have? What are common misconceptions about your product or service? You can easily turn any of these questions into a blog post by expanding on them," said Andrew Erickson, Partner at Alaniz Marketing, a San Francisco based digital marketing agency.
If you already have a blog, consider revising some of your old content. Maybe some new information came up between the time you wrote an old post and now, or your business is bringing in a new line of products or offering a new service.
When done right, content marketing with videos can be extremely effective. This is especially true if you are in an industry where certain concepts are better demonstrated than explained.
For instance, if you sell cosmetics, potential customers may want to know how a certain product will look like on skin before purchasing. In fact, more than half of marketing professionals commented in a survey that video offers the highest ROI as compared to other means of content marketing!
Below are the four main categories of content marketing videos fall under:
- Explanatory: Explaining a concept or what a product or service does.
- Product demonstrations: This is pretty self-explanatory and can be something as simple as an eyeshadow look or how to pitch a tent.
- “How to” guides: Although some product demonstrations can be “how-to” videos as well, “how-to” guides are more general and do not target a specific product. Some examples include “how to tell when is the right time to invest” and “how to pick the right eyeshadow for your skin tone”.
- Testimonials: This can range from case studies to expert opinions.
Make Use of Infographics
If you want to produce something more explanatory and engaging than a blog post but aren’t up to making a video, why not consider infographics? As a midway option between blog posts and videos, infographics incorporate illustrations, graphs, charts, and many more visual elements in explaining a concept.
This is particularly effective if the information you are presenting cannot be easily conveyed through text, such as how to fold an origami crane.
Write Regular Newsletters or An E-Book
While some people may think that email advertising is outdated, why not incorporate content marketing into your email strategy by sending out regular newsletters or an e-book? Newsletters do not have to be often as monthly – a quarterly newsletter can go a long way in keeping customers afresh on the latest updates in your business.
In this newsletter, you can include the newest additions to your product or service offering, special discounts for the season as well as share news about your business. You can even center a newsletter around a seasonal event such as Halloween, making use of the opportunity to promote the new line of gummy insects that just came in.
If you feel that a newsletter will not suit the needs of your business, how about an ebook? This is particularly useful if you are in a field that’s littered with jargon. For instance, if you run an investment app, you can send out a free e-book explaining the many different terms beginners need to know when they sign up for email updates.
In light of the coronavirus pandemic, webinars have become the newest trend in online marketing. Instead of a video that has been pre-filmed and which a customer can only watch passively when you host a webinar, you are giving customers a chance to ask questions and interact directly with you.
This shows them that you are willing to take time out to engage them, increasing your credibility in their eyes. Furthermore, when you are attentive to their needs and concerns, customers will feel a connection with your brand, making them more likely to convert.
If your marketing strategy leans more strongly towards traditional marketing than content marketing, it’s time to take a fresh look at things and try some of the suggestions above. You may be stuck for ideas, but the likelihood is that there are existing content ideas you can work with already on your website.
For a start, look through your FAQs or call to mind what questions customers tend to reach out to you with. Then, write a blog post or shoot a video addressing this issue!
While it may take some trial and error to come up with the perfect strategy, take heart in the fact that no one knows your business better than you do. You know what your customers want and what their concerns are; all you need to do now is transform that into informative and engaging content.