By now, we have no doubt that you are familiar with the phrase: “content is king.” It gets thrown around all the time in the world of digital marketing, but not everyone fully understands the principle.
Sure, writing content is simple, but composing quality content that is informative and has intrinsic value that web visitors (aka prospective clients) are searching for, requires strategy, planning and thought to be effective.
Check out our Guide To Creating Better Web Content here.
Why is Content Marketing So Important?
In our modern, digital world, consumers are being bombarded with information. Having instant access to answers for any conceivable question has given today’s consumers more power. When they initiate a search for something online, they want to be presented with the exact information they are seeking. They want credible, immediate and specific information that addresses their questions.
This is where marketing high-quality content plays a part.
Marcus Sheridan, who spoke at the last SLC|SEM conference mentioned that nearly every business is seen, in essence, similarly to a used-car dealership. Car salesmen are not typically held in high esteem by many people. They are often viewed as unethical or “shady” and only seem focused on making their commission instead of looking after the needs of their customers.
It is common for potential customers to hold similar views of other products or companies. Though their response may not be as overtly apprehensive as it could be when they are interacting with car salesmen, the abundance of information infused with sales propaganda online is often sufficient to generate distrust from potential customers.
What is the solution?
In example we used above, Sheridan explained how CarMax was able to evaluate this common perception of automobile dealers and take action to correct this bias.
To earn the respect and trust of potential customers, your website must resonate with authority. You can earn this authority through composing spectacular content.
How Content and SEO Work Together
In order for your business to grow and expand, you need to attract substantial traffic to your website. This can be accomplished through a variety of search engine optimization (SEO) methods.
Generating high-quality content is one established SEO tactic.
Google and the other search engines endeavor to provide their users with the best search experience possible. In order to achieve that, they are regularly changing their algorithms so they can ensure the most relevant content reaches the top of rankings where it will appear for the appropriate search query.
Today’s search engines know that web users clamor for immediate answers to their questions. They have neither the time nor the inclination to drudge through multiple sites looking for the answer they need.
So, it should be said again; “content is king” when it comes to a search engine’s ranking factors.
That means that your content should be able to provide answers for some very targeted questions in a very brief timeframe.
Companies that are the most successful at this are the ones who conduct research on their existing customers, and ideal/prospective ones before deciding what content to feature on their blogs and website(s).
When the content you provide is valuable and useful to your website’s visitors, your company’s site will appear to be an authority on your industry, and visitors will begin to build trust with your brand when are able to find information the need on a particular topic.
As the content on your website works to gain the traffic and trust of your site’s visitors, you will see a positive impact on your rankings. The more visitors that engage with, share or like your content, the better the rankings and page authority a search engine will give your website. This results in an even larger increase in traffic to your website.
According to Sheridan, platforms (I.E. content marketing, social media channels, and SEO) are always in flux. They come and go like waves in the ocean. Fundamental principles, however, like providing valuable content for your followers and superior customer service are timeless and will never go away.
Customers will continue to demand superb customer service and relevant, valuable content, regardless of what the next hot social media platform is.
Why Content Works
Good content is not sales propaganda, though it does play an instrumental role in the sales process. Potential customers do not want to be sold on a product. They want to be sold on a brand. While some of your content should discuss your company’s product(s), most of your content should be relegated to addressing the needs, wants, and concerns of your potential clients, and encouraging them to interact with your business.
With easy access to so much information today, your prospective clients know they are in charge and they insist on a lot more from a brand.
Publishing quality content enables business to create and nurture valuable dialogues, relationships, and interactions with current and potential customers.
How it Relates to the Buying Funnel
Content can certainly influence sales. Honest, transparent and valuable content will prevent any negativity your digital customers might experience on their journey through the buying funnel.
As in the example of used-car salesmen, companies are often portrayed negatively because they attempt to shove customers through their sales funnel as hard as they can. Instead of providing honest information and answers, and meeting customer needs these types of companies only focus on selling as much product as possible, as fast as possible, with no concern for the customer’s needs and wants.
The goal of your website’s content is to be transparent, honest, and informative, address concerns and questions of your customers, and engage them.
Sheridan made a list of six things to consider in regard to the modern day digital shopper and how they interact with your company or brand:
1. Understand the difference between “principles” and “platforms.”
As we discussed earlier, a generalized plan for content marketing is usually only trying to take advantage of a particular platform, which will evolve (or devolve) with time. Publishing a continuous stream of useful (the principle behind the activity), high-quality, relevant content,on the other hand, will give your website more authority and attract even more potential customers.
2. 70% of a decision is made before the first contact.
Existing and potential customers are looking for clear, authoritative, relevant answers to their inquiries. Typically, they will conduct research on your company before they engage with it or begin the buyer’s journey with your company’s services or products. Providing outstanding content will make your business more attractive. And since you are the one supplying answers to their questions, hopefully, they will provide you a little more revenue.
3. Management and employees need to buy in.
Having your management team and staff alike participate in and contribute to the content marketing efforts collectively, will only amplify your efforts, resulting in increased authority and trust in your brand. Content that has been composed by someone within your firm who has extensive knowledge on the topic will be more successful at capturing the attention or potential customers, and at building trust with them.
4. Don’t treat digital marketing like a beta test.
Developing and executing a successful marketing strategy with quality content is an all or nothing enterprise. Lackluster attempts to create content merely for the sake of having content and keywords will not impress, nor generate the results you want. Modern consumers easily spot and ignore such apathetic efforts.
5. Understand we’re all media companies, whether we like it or not.
Everything in the digital world is invariably changing. We need to be flexible and utilize current trending platforms and be ready to tailor our content to accommodate whatever hot new thing is coming next. You do not need to change the message of your content, but you may need to modify the formatting of your content to make it translate effectively across the array of platforms.
6. Understand this is a “sales” and not a marketing conversation.
While attracting the attention of potential customers is important, so is the ability of your content to grab the attention of your sales team. Fantastic content that is sold to and digested by your sales team will not only educate them about services and products they are selling, but also heighten their enthusiasm and passion for the products or services that they are selling to your customers.
Having content geared towards yours salespeople will better equip them to address any questions or concerns your customers may have about services or products, and which will boost customer loyalty and trust.
In our modern digital world, the customer is always at the helm. They insist upon easy to locate, easy to understand, authoritative content. For your company to build the respect, trust and ideally the business of your web visitors, you need more than a generic strategy for marketing your content. You need a specific, well-thought out, tactical content marketing strategy that includes high-quality content that answers consumers’ questions and provides them with usable, valuable information.
Strategic content marketing attracts the qualified potential clients to your website and can convert them into potential clients. Whether your company needs a website and content to accompany it or you’d like to add additional content to your site, we’re here to help. Our content marketing department provides spectacular evergreen pages, blog content, and digital marketing collateral such as ebooks and email newsletters.
To learn more about our content creation services or how we can improve your law firm’s marketing, contact us.