April 16th, 2015

Understanding Inbound Marketing

Content marketing has many great benefits. While the cost of creating this content is relatively low, the results that you'll get can be astounding. If you want to succeed with content marketing, you must understand where the value lies in this strategy. First, consider the benefits of content marketing.

  • Increased traffic to your page
  • Better page rank as a result of organic links to your content
  • The potential to go viral with valuable pieces
  • An easy way to establish your authority in an area
  • The potential to spark conversation or debates about relevant topics in your industry

When you put great content out there, you're going to get great results. However, it's crucial that your content offer something worthwhile to the reader. Bland content that's about as exciting as a bowl of oatmeal isn't going to get you anywhere. In the past, SEO providers would put as many pieces of content on the internet as possible with the intention of creating backlinks with each one. In this strategy, volume was more important than quality, so dozens of poorly spun articles made their way into article databases, many of which offered little if any value to the reader.

Internet consumers are becoming more discerning every day. They're able to spot poor content within a matter of seconds. Providing low quality pieces has many negative effects.

  • Customers will click away from your page on their initial visit
  • When they see your URL in future search results, they'll opt for a different page instead
  • Your credibility as a knowledgeable resource in your industry will take a hit.

If you're not prepared to offer quality content, you're better off with no content at all. However, there are lots of great resources available to help you put your best foot forward in the world of content marketing. As long as you give this segment of your marketing efforts the time and attention that it needs, you can reap the benefits of powerful, valuable, and useful content.

So you've decided to start using content marketing. There are several things that you need to consider. First and foremost is the type of content that you'll provide. Remember that it must offer value to the reader. You should give them information or entertainment that they can't find elsewhere. If you Google a topic and get lots of results with the exact same slant that you were going to use, it's time to do a little more brainstorming. Get back to the white board and start thinking of new and interesting ways to approach the topic.

Get into the head of your ideal customer and try to think of what he or she is looking for. If you sell lawn mowers, your customers may be looking for advice on lawn care, landscaping, and lawnmower maintenance. Make sure you have troubleshooting advice online for every brand that you carry. This will show your customers that you care about making sure they get the most out of their investment. If you sell housecleaning services, share a few tricks of the trade. Your customers will appreciate the professional help and recognize you as a leader in the industry. When they need professional assistance, they'll remember that you knew how to help with that tricky stain when no one else did.

Once you've got some ideas for your content, it's time to put the pieces together. If you have strong, experienced writers in house, then by all means put them on the project. If you don't have a good writer on hand, it's time to outsource this particular part of the project. There are plenty of freelance writers available who specialize in content marketing. It's important to work with a professional because grammatical and spelling errors will send your readers running, even if the ideas behind the content were good. You want to put forth an educated and authoritative image.

Content marketing is one of the best ways to reach out to your audience. Once you've put your pieces together, you can share them on a blog, through your social media pages, or in your newsletter. If you have an in-depth topic to address, consider putting together an e-book. If you prefer to speak rather than write, create an engaging YouTube video. Videos can be just as compelling as articles as long as you take the time to produce them well. Use interesting images and graphics and offer live demonstrations. No matter what medium you choose, content marketing can be a valuable asset for your company.