Content Marketing for Beginners:
Why On Earth Does Your Business Need Content?
Even if you have been living under a rock over the past 5-6 years, there is still zero chance you haven’t heard about content marketing. Content is king, as they say everywhere. From blog posts, videos, free reports and more, there is always new information being published about every topic imaginable.
If you have started your business only recently, words like “content strategy” and “publishing schedule” can seem overwhelming, and the return may not seem tangible in regard to the investment required. Or is it?
Illustration by videostoks via Bigstock
Clients Don’t Want Aggressive Ads
Ads that directly sell your product or service rarely pay off. While this approach might work for a drop shipping business, if you sell for businesses then it’s a different story. Ads are becoming increasingly invasive and frowned upon, and so business owners use them less to push sales and more to raise awareness and build trust.
This is where content comes into play. Ads and content can work together to reach marketing goals. A Facebook Ad can take a person to a landing page where she downloads a free report, which is a piece of content. Now that person has moved further down the buyer’s journey.
Why Content Is Important For Clients
Audiences are interested in content that:
- Helps solve a problem
- Provides with timely, interesting information
When they see that you are starting a conversation rather that speaks to their needs, they will stop and listen.
Imagine a person who wants to remodel her bathroom. She turns to Google to look for tips about bathroom remodeling. A couple of blog posts appear in the search results, and she clicks on one of them. After reading through a list of useful tips, she picks up the phone and calls the author of the blog post –a contractor– for a quote.
That is the power of content.
Your clients don’t know about your business and are certainly not searching for it. Instead, they are searching for useful information that will solve their problems and make their lives easier. When you manage to provide that information, you have won their attention, and that puts you miles ahead of the competition.
But Isn’t There Too Much Content on the Internet Already?
This is a valid concern. The online world seems to agree that content is a must-have. But because of that, all businesses from every industry are competing to capture attention, each with their own consistent stream of content. According to WordPress, in 2018 its users produce about 87.2 million new posts each month.
The content rush gave rise to the issue of content shock, the point where there is too much content and people simply cannot consume it all.
But should you let that discourage you from creating content? Absolutely not!
First of all, you don’t need to worry about content that is not relevant to your particular market. This means 99% of the web is not an obstacle between you and your audience. If you run a law firm, the best content provider for Shopify stores might as well not exist. And the more specific your customer base within your market, the less competition you face in terms of content.
Moreover, a large part of online content is generic, redundant or obsolete. If a blog article offering tips for SEO was published back in 2007, it has lost its value because the SEO landscape has changed a lot since then.
So when you create relevant content and use the right channel to publish it, you bypass the majority of online content. This is doubly true if your content incorporates a unique brand voice. And if you become the go-to source for reliable information, your audience will be thankful for it and stick with you, because they won’t have to waste time searching through countless websites to find what you already provide. This brings us to the next point…
Content Builds Trust
You can guess what trust translates into. Yes, sales.
By consuming your content, clients realize that you’re not here to force a quick deal down their throats. Rather, you’re making an effort to help them improve their lives.
In many industries, the customer needs to make an informed decision and will not buy anything after seeing one or two ads. This is especially true when the prices are expensive and the stakes are high, like buying business intelligence software. Content provides the required information and reassures the customer about her choice.
Content Creates Lasting Relationships
Content is useful not only for attracting clients but also for retaining them. It helps you go beyond the fleeting transactional exchange and keep your clients engaged for the long term.
For instance, by sending regular, content-rich emails to your clients, you stay on their radar long after their initial purchase. Eventually, they might buy again from you and even recommend your products and services to other potential clients.
And this is why your business needs content.
Even for small businesses with no big budget, content creation is still an important investment that brings great returns in the long run. The truth of the matter is that in 2018 and beyond, a business with no plan for content creation is missing huge opportunities.
Starting your own content and bringing your business website into the 21st century might seem like daunting tasks, if you don’t know where t look first. This new content series from Iris Content will try to help you get the basics right If you need an expert hand and a quick execution of your marketing plans, however, our team of seasoned writers is here to help you make content a success.
Chief Content Officer
Annie has over 20 years of experience as an editor and content creator and manager. With work in television and written media, she has dedicated her past 10 years to learning the ropes of online content creation, from writing to editing, from SEO to content management.
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