Today, there are thousands of different marketing strategies, both online and offline. Whether you work for the sales or marketing departments of a company, own a small, medium or large company or thinking about starting a company, it can be very challenging to find the right marketing strategies for you. There are no books or courses on which strategies to use and when, there is good reason for this. Every one and every company is different, they have different target audience, different customers, different needs and different budgets which makes it even harder for you to find the right marketing strategy for you.
When you start planning to market your company, you have to choose between advertising offline at various places and events, advertising online on different websites and social media, trying to create word of mouth marketing, social media marketing, affiliate marketing, influencer marketing and many, many more different strategies.
Most of the marketing strategies mentioned above can become very expensive for you and your company with no guarantee at all that any of it will work at all.
In my past experience in marketing, most marketers or companies always think about the short term successes when it comes to marketing. This could be for several reasons, this could be due to the need of cash flow in the short run or simply wanting to do less and gain more. Especially for small businesses starting out, there is a general notion that using paid advertisements will put their company in front of all the right people and get them all the online sales they need. This notion isn't completely wrong, if you spend enough money, your advertisements will reach enough people to make enough sales. But this can be an extremely expensive strategy as on average over 90% of your target audience you're paying to put your ads in front of won’t buy your services.
One of the oldest but yet not outdated notions in marketing is the rule of 7. This rule is explained in full here. The basis of this notion is that your brand and marketing message needs to be exposed to a potential customer 7 times before they decide to buy in to your brand.
So after reading about the rule of 7, if we use this notion with paid advertising, you will have to pay enough money for your advertisements to be shown in front of the same person 7 times, in front of all the other advertisements out there, before you make one sale. To make enough sales to reach your target, your advertising budget can easily get out of control!
Now I have been saying a lot of bad things about paid advertising, don’t get me wrong, I’m not saying don’t use paid advertising as there are plenty of advantages of this strategy! It is in my opinion the best short term marketing strategy and we at We Creatify do use paid advertisements as part of our marketing efforts.
Analysts predict that there will be a 26.3% global increase in ad spending on social media alone in 2017. And there is very good reason for this. The biggest mistake some people make is that they use paid advertisement as there main or only marketing strategy and heavily rely on that for new sales.
We believe that paid advertisement strategies are most effective when used alongside long term marketing strategies. One of the most effective long term strategies that are suitable for almost every company in every industry is content marketing.
Most companies overlook this strategy because, as I mentioned, it only works as a long term strategy and marketers and business owners are not patient enough or willing to put in enough hard work and dedication to make this strategy work. In reality, anyone can make this strategy work for them as long as they can be patient and create compelling content.
What is content marketing?
For some of you who do not know what content marketing entails, to put it in the most simplest of terms, content marketing is a marketing strategy revolves around the creation, publication, and distribution of content to a target audience in order to bring new traffic (and therefore new customers) to your business. If you want a deeper meaning of content marketing, content marketing institute defines it perfectly.
Why would they care about your content? Because your adding value for them, maybe the want to find out how to do something or want to know more about a product. Then they will visit your pieces of content to find the value they are looking for.
Remember about the notion we mentioned about the rule of 7? Unlike paid advertising, this is a free way to expose your brand to your target audience 7 times before they buy!
Content marketing can be an extremely powerful strategy if you are patient and dedicated to creating compelling content. It your patient enough, there will be plenty of rewards for you and your brand.
An example of content marketing
Say you’re a golf instructor and your business is slowly growing over the last few years. But you are still looking to grow your client base. You decide to give content marketing a go and you start a blog on your website. You then plan to write 1or 2 keyword optimized blog posts each week that explain how to improve the golf swing and improve your overall golf game for beginners and more profession golf players. These posts start to rank in search engines online and when more and more people get inspired to play more golf after watching the major tournaments on television, people start to search online about ways to improve their golf game. They come across your blog read your expert posts, and keep coming back to learn more from you week after week. While some of these people think this help is enough for them, the more serious golf players wanting to get to the next level trust your expert knowledge and decide to call you for a free consultation, eventually signing up to your golf classes.
Content marketing like the example outlined above is one of the most effective ways to drive inbound leads to virtually any business.
Still need convincing?
Here are 10 ways why your company can benefit from content marketing
1. Build Trust with Your Visitors
As illustrated above, the golf trainer used his expertise to gain the trust of his online readers. The more content you create and share with your target audience, the clearer it becomes that you are an authority in your field.People trust experts and hire them to help solve problems.
2. Establish a strong brand identity.
Effective branding is extremely important. With most markets now over saturated with so many businesses and options, you need to differentiate yourself to stand out from the crowd. Content marketing is a great way not only to build trust, but to establish a strong brand identity whilst giving your brand a voice and maybe a sense of humour. Neil Patel, in our opinion, one of the best content marketers out there wrote an article for entrepreneur outline more about how content marketing can establish a strong brand identity for your business.
3. Great for SEO (Search Engine Optimization)
SEO is a marketing strategy that revolves around ranking your website number 1 in search engines to receive more website traffic. One tactic to SEO is optimizing keywords. One tactic of content marketing is blogging. If you start using content marketing by blogging with optimized keywords, this can improve the SEO of your website organically and raise it higher and higher in search engines.
4. Gain more website traffic
As we have previously mentioned, content marketing can increase your web traffic over time. In my previous experience in content marketing, I helped increase the traffic of a website from virtually zero to several hundred thousand unique website visitors each month in just under 18 months. As we said before, it is a long term strategy.
5. Building Backlinks
We previously mentioned how content marketing is great for SEO as this helps optimize keywords. It is also great for SEO as it helps build backlinks. Backlinks are links on external websites that link back to your website. This build authority which helps rank your website in search engines.
I know what you may be thinking now ….
Wait! If I blog and link other websites, surely I'm building backlinks for other websites! That is somewhat true but you can use your proven expertise in your blog to pitch guest blogging opportunities to larger websites which then gives you the opportunity to create backlinks to your website and drive the other websites larger audience to your blog. Nat Eliason from Sumo Me explains more about how to use your blog to guest post in his article, how to grow blog traffic from 0 to 10k.
6. Gives People a reason to come back to your website
Uhuru make the benefits of content marketing extremely simple by stating it simply gives people a reason to come back to your website. When you provide valuable content to potential customers, you start to build a relationship and they know if they want to know more about a specific topic, they can come back to your blog to find out.
For example, Moz have a weekly online segment “Whiteboard Friday” where they deliver valuable and engaging content to their audience and keeps there audience coming back every Friday for more and more valuable and engaging content which builds a loyal community.
7. Grows your social media channels
If your creating content on your website that is successfully attracting more website traffic, a simple trick you can do to help this traffic grow your social profiles is to add share and follow buttons around your content so people as easily share your content to their friends. Then your content will be found on news feeds of social medias where others can view your content and view your social profiles, if they like your content, they may also press that little magical like button.
8. Grows your email list
How important is your email list? Some people think an email list isn't very important, where others think growing your email list should be number one priority! An email list is a list of your most loyal customers who you can rely on to buy into your product or service.
So how can content marketing grow your email list? Simple! All you need to do is provide a content upgrade to your original content. A content upgrade is usually an additional piece of content that adds to the original content in some way. It may be an ebook, video, infographic or pretty much anything else! But for readers to access this content upgrade, you simply ask for their email address in return! This can be a very effective strategy to growing your email list.
9. Create new leads
Who doesn't want more leads? When website visitors read more and more content about your brand, that website visitor starts as a stranger but will then begin to understand more about your brand, if they like your content, they will want more! They then turn from a stranger into a lead. If you nurture your leads then there you can convert your leads into loyal customers.
10. Can be cheap
If you do some research, you may here that a lot of people will say content marketing costs a lot of money and this can be scary for a small business. In fact $44 Billion have been spent on content marketing. But this does not mean you need to spend money to do it! The larger companies splash their cash to make their content marketing yield results faster but this does not mean if you start content marketing on a shoestring budget that you would not be successful! It just means that it may take a little longer, but if you do it right, you will get results and the previous 9 points will all happen for you! Kissmetrics wrote a great blog post about how to do content marketing on a shoestring budget to help you.
Content marketing has plenty of benefits and can become your most effective marketing strategy. It can help you drive traffic to your website, build your email list, build trust for your brand and bring you loyal customers. At We Creatify we believe that content marketing can make and build small businesses.
We Creatify are experts in content marketing and inbound marketing and currently offering free consultation to help you reach your business goals. All you have to do is fill in a few details to get started.
We hope this blog posts helps you understand more about content marketing and help you implement it within your marketing strategy to help grow your brand.
Please comment below and share your views of content marketing and if you wish to implement it within your marketing strategies!