Here’s the new reality: online users are not that interested in being advertised to. In fact, research shows that as few as 10% of people put any real trust in advertisements, favoring instead recommendations from friends and trusted sources. So how are you supposed to engage in an effective marketing campaign in a sea of people who are by and large put off by advertising? The answer lies in talking to them, rather than selling to them.
The best thing a brand can do to drive traffic – and sales – is to establish themselves as a trusted, dynamic thought leader in their industry. More than any other way, this is accomplished through a booming content marketing strategy. Why exactly is this such an important thing for your small business to consider? Here’s a rundown of the key reasons:
- People demand more information
Food for thought: Increasingly, smartphone users (so, everyone) are checking up on a greater number of sources before using a service or buying a product. Consumers and clients no longer wonder if more information about a company or product is available, they expect it to be. And since you know they’re going to be looking anyway, it’s a smart move to get ahead of the game and make sure the content they find is the content you want them reading.
- Longer shelf-life than campaign marketing
If you really put the time and energy into building content of true substance, chances are, it will last you a good, long time. By comparison, advertising or specific marketing campaigns might only be relevant for very short periods of time, and they tend to cost more than content development. We’re not saying to ditch other marketing campaigns entirely, but a solid, invested content strategy will give you more solid ROI over a longer period of time for less money.
- It makes your brand become human
Content marketing is the thing that allows your company’s brand to jump off the page and become a dynamic, multi-dimensional entity that does more than provide goods or services to customers. Through your content, you have the ability to provide information, entertainment. In essence, your content marketing is as much as extension of your customer service as it is a branch of your marketing strategy. The words you say and how you say them means everything for your image.
- It’s not advertising…but it kind of is.
So what do you do in a world where people online are exposed to more advertising content than ever, but are more annoyed and less easily advertised to? You write amazing content and stop “selling” for a while. Being a thought leader in your industry is the single greatest way to make customers come to you. Produce content they actually want to read – things that are relevant to their lives and interests – and trust us, they will seek you out. What you should have waiting for them is a brilliantly designed website with copy that holds to the high standards that your outward content established. Give your audience something great to find, and let your content marketing lead them there. Your visitors don’t feel advertised to, and you don’t have to spend money on traditional ad campaigns.