If you’re involved in modern marketing, then you’ve probably stumbled upon the phrase, “content is king.” Whether or not you subscribe to this mantra, it’s clear that content has become a strong focus in many marketing strategies.
An effective content strategy encompasses many types of content beyond that found on your webpage; you can’t forget your social media followers and newsletter subscribers. It’s easy to become overwhelmed by the amount of media that you must produce in order for your strategy to see results.
Don’t revolt just yet. Content is king for a reason. It’s not just about optimizing your website for search engines. An effective content strategy earns a loyal audience, builds your brand as the go-to resource for information, and cultivates connections that can elevate your business to a level that you never imagined.
If you’re just starting to come around to the idea of building your content strategy for your business, you might still be wondering whether it’s the path for you. Here are some reasons why you need to build your content strategy now.
1. Your web content establishes your business as an authority
The term “authority” tends to be thrown around within the content marketing world without much clarification about what it means.
Simply, authority is the trust that you earn from your audience. Through this trust, you become the company that your audience seeks out for information as well as a quality product or service.
Today’s consumers are informed. Thanks to a magical rectangle that fits in their pockets, most customers have many of their purchasing decisions made before they even enter a store (or online marketplace). If you’re not one of the ones supplying their information, then you’ll quickly fall behind your competitors who are.
In order to establish authority, you need to answer the questions that your target audience is asking; don’t just provide the information that you think is important. You could be providing useful, factual information, but if it’s not something that draws your audience, then you’re still failing to establish authority.
Let’s say that you’re a car salesman. While you might be interested in the more technical sides of the vehicle, a large portion of your audience might care more about safety features and cupholders. If you only focus your sales points around the fuel intake system and transmission, you could be alienating a large portion of your audience.
Use your content to establish yourself as an authority by answering the questions that your audience is already asking and proving to your potential customers that you understand their needs.
2. It allows you to connect with your audience
People like to know who they’re buying their products and services from. Building a relationship with your customers allows them to feel as though they are supporting a real human rather than an abstract entity. This will encourage customers to return to you again and again.
When you create your content, it gives you an opportunity to speak directly to your audience. Via social media, you can even engage with your audience through comments and shares. This connection offers the invaluable opportunity to get to understand your potential customers as individuals so that you can best address their needs, and your audience will feel heard.
Beyond connecting and engaging with your audience, you’ll develop a deep understanding of your target audience and their pain points. This allows you to help solve their problems and corner areas of the market that your competitors might not address.
3. You cultivate an audience that consists of more than just customers
While the ultimate goal of content marketing is to transition your readers and followers into customers, building an audience goes far beyond that.
Your audience might not always include people who will ever become customers. And that’s more than okay.
Scenario one: A reader comes to your site to satiate a curiosity, and you’ve produced a blog that answers their question. They’ll likely never use your product or services simply because they aren’t your target market, but they’re still on your site. You answer their question, and they leave your site happy.
Flash forward two months. The reader is talking to a friend who happens to be looking for the exact product that you sell. Your reader remembers your company and how impressed they were with your blog, and they recommend your product to their friend. You’ve just landed a brand new customer.
Scenario two: Someone is mindlessly browsing social media, as we all do, and they come across an enticing headline leading them to your blog. They find the information interesting enough that they decide to share it to their web page. From this additional source of traffic, you gain a handful of new customers.
Even months after your content is published, you can gain customers indirectly. As long as you cultivate meaningful content that grabs and holds an audience, your content will continue to work for you even years after it’s been posted.
Content marketing isn’t just a way to approach marketing in the digital era. It’s an important tool that, when used correctly, can cultivate a following of devoted customers who seek out your company for guidance. If you’re looking for a way to build an audience like never before, you must start focusing on your content strategy today.
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