Why are content marketing and blogging so important for small businesses?
Now that the internet has taken over the world, you’re ready to bite the bullet and figure out how you can grow your business online. And now you’re here. Congratulations! You’ve taken your first step into a larger world.
You’ve heard that web content is one of the keys to your success, and that’s no exaggeration. Your content is your ticket to running a successful business online. But how exactly do you use content as marketing? Why is it so important? How do you get started with it, and how do you do it effectively?
What Is Content Marketing and Why Is it Important?
Content marketing is simply the use of content to develop a long-term relationship with your customers, driving sales over time. The content here is primarily text-based, such as blog posts, ebooks and articles that you will publish on your website. But it should also include photos, infographics and videos as visual supplements to the written content.
The emphasis is less on pushing for a hard sell and more on educating your customers, promoting your brand and building connections with current and future customers. It is a long-term strategy, and when done properly it is an investment that pays for itself many times over.
The importance of marketing content for your business cannot be overstated. Look around any major city in the country, and you’ll see that the world of commerce is changing at a rapid pace.
Some of the biggest retailers in the world are going out of business because they failed to adapt to these changes. People are flocking to the internet to meet their need for products and services. If they aren’t finding you online, then that means they are finding your competitors instead.
This is where an effective digital marketing strategy can put you back on the map and bring more customers through your door, either physically or digitally.
The bottom line is that you need to invest heavily in building your business online in order to stay competitive. Internet marketing can be a complex subject, but the basics of content marketing can be summed up with these three tips. Here is where you start:
1. Only publish high-quality content
In the early days of the internet, you could throw just about any kind of content against the wall and expect it to stick.
Low-quality articles still pollute the web, but they rarely attract much traffic these days. You want to avoid wasting time and resources with content like this. Nobody cares anymore about rubbish blog posts that any amateur on the street could have written in ten minutes or less.
Instead, you want to make sure that your content provides real value to your readers.
Every blog post should be well-written, factual and relevant. Try to think like your readers. Why are they here on your blog? What problems are they dealing with, and what kind of solutions are they searching for online?
If you create amazing blog content that answers your readers’ questions and solves their problems, you’ll build trust with them. This is how you build relationships and turn visitors into long-term customers.
Obviously, many of your blog posts should highlight your own products and services by showing how they can help your customers. But your blog shouldn’t read like a product catalogue or a commercial.
Today’s customers don’t want pushy salespeople shoving products down their throats. Yes, some of your readers will be looking to make a purchase immediately, and some of your content should address people at that stage in the buyer’s journey.
But your blog should also have other types of content that are relevant to people who are not that far along yet. This variety is one of the keys to a successful content strategy.
2. Publish content often and follow a consistent schedule
For content marketing to be successful, it requires commitment. You can’t just put out a few blog posts per year and expect the traffic to come flooding into your website. Attracting readers and customers to your website requires a steady flow of fresh content.
Studies have shown that blogs that publish 16 or more posts per month get 300-400 percent more traffic than blogs that publish less frequently.
So you need to create really good content, and you need to publish it on a frequent and consistent basis in order to reap the rewards. But the results are worth the investment. When search engines like Google see your blog putting out valuable content on a steady basis, it will eventually reward you with better search rankings and higher traffic levels. Eventually, people who have never even heard of your company will be visiting your website in search of solutions to their pain points, and that’s where your content can convert visitors into customers and lifelong fans.
3. Publish guest posts on other blogs too
It might sound counterintuitive, but your content marketing and blogging strategy should also include putting high-quality content on other people’s blogs.
Your online marketing strategy needs to include the creation of good content, but that content also needs to be promoted on other websites in order to drive high levels of traffic to your blog. The best promotion tactic will involve landing guest posts on related industry blogs and media platforms in your niche.
Guest blogging allows you to grow your brand and expand your reach by tapping into other people’s audiences around the web. By sharing your expertise, you will be seen as an authority in your industry.
Your guest posts on other websites will improve brand recognition, and the links on those guest blogs will drive traffic back to your own website.
These backlinks can also improve your search engine optimization (SEO), which will help your own blog to rank higher in search rankings, attracting even more organic traffic to your blog over time. The result will be a snowball effect that brings more traffic, more visitors and more customers.
The key to effective outreach is to focus on connecting with influencers in your niche or in related niches. You can’t just blast low-quality guest blog posts out onto any website that will take them.
That tactic worked in the past, but today it can actually get you penalized by search engines.
You need to push out amazing content and build real relationships with related blogs and popular media sites.
Getting backlinks from authoritative websites can boost your rankings faster than just about any other strategy, but it’s not easy. You can’t just spam your way to success.
Make sincere efforts to connect with these other bloggers and to create real value for their audiences. They’ve spent years building trust with their readers and with search engines, and they won’t just let any random company sponsor overly-promotional content on their blog.
Create guest posts that those audiences want to read. Speak to their pain points and offer valuable content that promises results and over delivers. Wow them with your content, and they’ll want to connect with you over on your blog too.
Content marketing is an effective strategy for your small business
Using content marketing and blogging to promote your company online is the key to growing your business now and in the future, and original content is the foundation upon which you will grow your business online.
By creating high-quality content, publishing it on your blog frequently and by promoting your blog with guest posts on popular websites in your industry, you will establish your online presence and grow your traffic to ensure lasting success for your business.