Content has dominated the marketing industry for several years, as brands strive to reach today’s customers where they spend the most time: online. Whether it’s regular blog posts on your own website, guest posts on high-profile online publications, or visuals you share on social media, content is still the best way to connect with your customers.
“Content is the backbone of any drive to interact with your readers or customers. It is the most important opportunity you have to impress the reader with your knowledge, expertise or ethos. The quicker publishers realize this, the quicker their websites take the place they expect in the industry of their choice,” says Shai Aharony, CEO of Reboot Online.
Once you have setup your blog or the website it is time to prepare your online marketing strategy for 2017, you should focus heavily on content. Here are seven great reasons content is king and will likely remain so for several years.
1. Content answers questions
Consumers often search for answers to questions they have. “How do you unclog a toilet?” for instance or, “Where can I find the best deal on a used car?” When your content answers those questions, you’ll likely find your site at the top of search results for the very customers you’re trying to reach. This will give you an option outside of simply ranking with basic information about your business and what you do.
2. Content establishes thought leadership
Those who are seen as thought leaders in their chosen field often have an easier time getting the word out about their brand. Content marketing is essential to establishing thought leadership, especially once your blog posts, videos, or other content begin to dominate search results. Over time, you may even find you’re being asked to speak at conferences and other networking events due to the subject matter expertise you’ve displayed online.
3. Content speaks directly to customers
When you create content your customers find useful, they feel as though they’re having a conversation with you. Blog posts or videos that directly answer customer questions about your area of expertise show customers that you care about them. If you own a flooring company and you dedicate a series of videos to demonstrating how to replace a hardwood floor, for instance, your customers will see your expertise and contact you to handle the job.
4. Content encourages loyalty
Content has the power to engage customers, instilling trust as they consider whether to buy from you. The customers who regularly read the content you create are more likely to feel a personal connection to your brand than those who merely see you as a business logo and website. Your blog gives you an opportunity to connect with your customers on issues like community involvement and social consciousness, as well.
5. Content opens a dialogue
When handled properly, your content gives you the opportunity to start a conversation with your customers. They may comment on your blog posts or share your social media posts. In addition to letting you answer customer complaints or questions, you can also gain valuable insights from these comments. When consumers begin to see that you take their feedback seriously, they’ll be more likely to continue to buy from you.
6. Content is accessible
Seventy-three percent of customers prefer to receive information from articles rather than ads. When you regularly update your blog and reach out for guest-blogging opportunities, you put content out there where customers can find it. Since they’re more likely to research online when they’re looking for a particular product or service, they’ll also be more likely to buy from you rather than one of your competitors if you have a sound content marketing strategy.
7. Content sells product
Perhaps most importantly, your content can serve as the most effective sales pitch you could have. This is especially true if you incorporate photos into your online posts. For product-related businesses, you can use your content marketing to demonstrate the many practical uses of it. If you specialize in services, you can feature photos of your workers in the field, working hard to help your customers. Either way, you’ll be able to paint a picture of your business that compels consumers to learn more about you.
Content will continue to be one of the most effective marketing tools in a business’s toolkit. It’s important to think through your strategy before starting a new campaign. This will allow you to communicate information that your ideal customers are interested in reading, leading to better results. If you measure your efforts, you’ll be able to constantly tweak your content strategy to lead to more sales.
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