For businesses, there are a lot of different ways to market your business. There are so many ways in fact, that it’s often hard to know which strategy you should follow. Would you be better off running a television ad, running an email marketing campaign, or focusing on small business SEO tactics? Each marketing method has its own pros and cons, and some would be better for your business compared to others.

That being said, there is one marketing strategy that is practically essential in 2018 – content marketing. In today’s digital world, content marketing has become one of the most effective marketing strategies, recommended by everyone from the biggest marketing managers down to smaller startup mentors. If you don’t have a content marketing strategy in place here, there are 4 reasons why you should look into it sooner rather than later.

What is Content Marketing?

Content Marketing

But first, what exactly is content marketing? Content Marketing is a marketing approach that focuses on providing valuable content to try to draw in customers. The Content Marketing Institute has a comprehensive definition you can find here if you’d like to see more.

Essentially, you are creating things like helpful blog posts, instructional videos, or how-to guides in order to provide value to potential customers. This value can then translate into more sales. Here’s how it helps:

Content Marketing Improves Your Business’s Authority

The first-way content marketing helps your business is by improving its authority. When a customer is considering where to buy a product, they want to go with a business that knows what it’s doing. They want to be able to trust that they business they are sending their money to is reputable and knowledgeable.

Content marketing helps you do this. Let’s say you’re a local cake decorating business. On your website, you have instructional videos showing how you make and decorate all of your cakes. Potential customers can easily see your process, along with the finished product. This gives them a sense of security since they can see for themselves that you know what you’re doing.

Or, let’s say you’re a cyber security company. Through your website’s blog, or one of the many free blogging platforms, you publish weekly articles about the latest news in cyber security, along with helpful information on how customers can protect themselves online. This shows that you’re up to date on the most current threats, and that you know how to handle them.

Provides Material for Your Social Media Activity

Another popular marketing strategy these days is social media marketing. Social media has become one of the most effective tools to reach new customers and connecting with your old ones. However, if you don’t provide something of value through your social media accounts, you likely won’t get many followers.

There are plenty of ways you can provide value through your social channels. You could post discounts exclusive to your followers, or answer customer questions about your product. But you can only do this so often – you can’t post a new deal every day. But by focusing on content marketing, you give your social channels something else to share.

Going off the example above, if you write weekly blog posts on cyber security, you could then share all of these on your social media accounts. This would attract people who are interested in cyber security, and who will start to follow your accounts. And while they may not be ready to make a purchase at the time, they will at least remain aware of you because of your social accounts, and may complete a purchase down the line.

Content marketing isn’t just about posting things on your own site though – you can also get published elsewhere. And, if you do, you can then share these articles as well on your social accounts. By producing a steady stream of content you’ll keep your social channels busy, and more attractive to people who are considering following you.

Reach New Audiences

Content marketing

Speaking of getting published on other sites to benefit your social media activity, this action has another benefit. When you get published on another website, you are tapping into their built-in audience.

Let’s go back to the cake decorating example. Image you write a blog post called “10 Ways to Make Your Next Birthday Cake More Exciting.” The article is so great, that another website decides to quote it and link to it. Now, anyone who typically visits that other site is introduced to your business.

Getting other websites to link to you can sometimes be difficult however. So another option you have is guest posting. This is where you write something for another website exclusively, and then link back to your own site. This has the same impact as getting another website to mention you, except you don’t get to host the content on your own website. Still, if it introduces you to an audience filled with your ideal customers, it’s likely worth it.

As a business, you want to reach as many people as possible within your target niche. Chances are there are already websites with a wide reach into this niche, and if you can introduce yourself to them, you’ll gain a lot of customers. Content marketing is the perfect way to do this.

Content Marketing Drives Sales

The final reason you’ll want to introduce content marketing into your business is because it drives sales. When you increase your reputation within your niche, become more active on social media, and introduce yourself to new audiences, you’re bound to bring in more visitors to your website. So, as long as your conversion rates remain roughly the same, you’ll drive in more sales.

However, if you do content marketing right, your conversion numbers might even go higher. This is because you’ll be specifically targeting people who have an interest in your product. With content marketing your spreading brand awareness to people within your niche – not just blasting a television commercial to anyone who happens to be flipping through the channels.

By getting more people to your website, and getting the right kind of people, you should see your sales numbers start to rise. And in the end, improving the way you sell online and driving more sales is what it’s all about.

Start Introducing Content Marketing Today

As you can see, content marketing is practically essential if you want to improve your business. And, luckily, it isn’t hard to get started. Something as simple as becoming more dedicated to blog writing can go a long way. Start small and build yourself up over time. You can also check out these content marketing examples for some ideas on how to get started. If you can do these small tasks, multiple areas of your business will improve, and you’ll be glad you added this essential marketing strategy to your business.

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Dave Schneider

Dave Schneider is the marketing manager at Albacross the free B2B lead generation platform. In 2012 he quit his job to travel the world, and has visited over 65 countries.

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