Content marketing – what is it?
You’ve probably heard the phrase “content sells” many times. More than 20 years ago, Bill Gates himself wrote an article titled “content is king”. But where did the marketing power of the magazine come from? What is content marketing and how can it increase profits in your company? You can read about it in the text below!
Content marketing what is it?
So far, many definitions of content marketing have been created, but the Internet quickly outdates too precise terms. So we have to explain very generally that:
Content marketing is a type of marketing strategy that aims to attract customers through valuable content.
Thus, these are all activities that are aimed at increasing business results with the help of writing. The tools that content marketing uses include:
- blog articles
- Website content
- Product descriptions
- Advertising texts
- Expert articles
All the content that is created and presented by the company has been implemented as part of content marketing.
Content marketing what it means for the company – benefits
Texts, i.e. carriers of information, have found a place in business from their very beginning. However, the current development of the Internet has dramatically increased the possibilities of reaching recipients. Along with this, the image and the appropriate presentation of the offer play an increasingly important role – and content marketing works perfectly well in this.
The basic benefits that result from professional content are positioning, expert image and increased sales.
Google’s job is to display useful information to users. So if your company publishes relevant content, it can get free search traffic. This, in turn, will increase the pool of potential customers who will find their way to your website and get acquainted with the offer.
It is worth noting that users acquired in this way have a greater business potential, because they entered the website on their own initiative (this is the so-called inbound marketing). Traditional ads (displayed involuntarily) are still losing their effectiveness, while search engine traffic has become the focus of efforts for most companies, constantly gaining in value.
The content that is created to maximize visibility in the search engine is called SEO texts.
Today, every entrepreneur is aware that the price is not the only determinant of the purchasing decision. An important role is also played by the appropriate presentation, which will convince customers of the quality of the offer and build trust among them.
Specialized articles, which are the basic tool in the content marketer’s workshop, perfectly fulfill this task. Substantive offer subpages and the blog present the company’s competences, providing useful information and displaying in the search engine.
So you can see that the effects of content marketing support each other, and the whole thing is completed by the last element – finalizing the transaction.
Recipients have become immune to unfounded, empty advertising slogans in places where specifics should be found. In most industries, you need arguments as to why your offer stands out from the competition.
For this reason, professional content that uses the language of benefits increases conversion and makes better use of website traffic for marketing purposes. Surely you are aware that a well-presented offer increases the number of inquiries, and now you know that content marketing is responsible for this.
How to measure the effects of content marketing?
In this aspect, we need to relate the tracking of results to the benefits mentioned above. However, in order not to present trivial advice such as “monitor revenue”, we will focus on less obvious content marketing effectiveness indicators.
Time spent on the site
As a general rule, the longer a user’s session is, the more interest they have in your content. This is a clear indication for Google that the page is interesting and valuable, which has a positive effect on positioning.
Tip: to extend the time spent on the website, take care of interesting information, a clear text structure for SEO and internal linking. This will encourage the user to explore the portal further and make it easier to navigate the portal.
Number of unique visits
UV (unique visits) is another indicator that will provide you with information on the popularity of published articles. Unique visits are counted based on individual IPs, so you know how many people you really reached with your content.
Tip: keep track of the results! You can use the potential of frequently visited texts by optimizing them for your offer. For example, if the content is about an expert description of one of your services, don’t be afraid to add a note at the end that interested people can contact you and ask for a quote. Such a fragment, although it requires virtually no work, can have a significant business impact.
This indicator (called bounce rate) determines how many % of people leave the page without taking any action. It may indicate that the content is not interesting, but it may also result from other website factors (long loading time, opaque structure, pop-up ads). There is no defined good bounce rate as it depends on the type of content, key phrase and industry. Nevertheless, the universal rule is clear: the lower the %, the better.
Tip: If you notice that an article has a disproportionately high bounce rate, it’s a good idea to find out why and determine what the introduction looks like, whether there are catchy headlines, whether there are any obvious factual errors, etc.
Content Marketing or Google Ads?
There is no right answer to the question which solution is more effective. Both marketing activities have specific benefits and disadvantages, so a good choice depends on the stage of development of the company, strategy, and the activities of competitors.
Advantages and disadvantages of content marketing
Professional texts bring many stable, complementary results.
But it takes a lot of time and effort to get them. Creating substantive texts is demanding, and the results will not appear in Google right away. This makes focusing solely on content marketing not an ideal solution for start-ups, as the prospect of profits is long-term.
The matter is exacerbated by competition, which also tries to occupy prominent places in the search engine. The most visible places are ten (this is the so-called TOP10. The rest of the results go to further Google pages). Therefore, if there are many companies in your industry, you naturally have a difficult task to appear in the search engine.
Advantages of content marketing:
- synergistic benefits;
- relatively permanent results (of course, if you care about the constant development of the site);
- no necessary expenses.
Disadvantages of content marketing:
- the positioning process is time-consuming;
- creating content requires a lot of work;
- competition can reduce the effects.
Advantages and disadvantages of Google Ads
Paid ads allow you to display the page almost immediately. The only condition, as the name suggests, is money that needs to be invested in the campaign. Therefore, if in content marketing we talked about the need to create specialized content, here the effects will appear without such difficulty. This is an extremely important feature for start-up companies, but in the long run there is a problem – the increase in customers depends only on the budget, and the cessation of payments is associated with the loss of website visibility.
It is worth noting that the results obtained are also largely dependent on the activities of the competition, but in this case the negative consequence is higher expenses. The Google Ads platform is based on an auction system, so competition between companies is reflected in the cost-per-click (PPC).
Advantages of Google Ads:
- quick results;
- no required content work.
Disadvantages of Google Ads:
- results are strictly budget-dependent;
- visibility disappears as the campaign slows down;
- competition can reduce the effects.
There is no perfect solution. The above strategies are like opposite poles, so it is worth using both, adapting the solution to the goals and capabilities of the company.
Content marketing – strategy
We discussed what content marketing is and what benefits it brings, it’s time to take a closer look at the strategies it uses.
There is no single method that would guarantee success regardless of the situation. This is related not only to the uniqueness of the company, but also to the unpredictability and dynamics of the market. However, in recent years, proven ways to combine marketing with content have been developed.
Familiarize yourself with them and then consider whether you can implement them in your business.
You don’t have to use all strategies right away, but potentially each method can increase your business results.
User Generated Content
This is content created by users visiting the site. The premise of User Generated Content is to create a space for interaction with customers, and there are many ways to do this – comments, hashtags or photos. The end result may be increased positioning and activity in social media channels, as well as building an authentic image of the company.
This strategy was created in response to Google’s algorithms, which take into account not only content, but also its creators. You need to know that the search engine evaluates whether there is similar content on the page or, in other words, whether the company really knows what it’s doing.
If many related issues have been developed, and thus a thematic authority has been built, there is a better chance of gaining visibility on Google. For this reason, do not describe too diverse topics, but choose a narrow field, closely related to your offer. Set cornerstone content, i.e. issues around which the content on the page will “revolve”.
Content is characterized by a certain vitality in the search engine, which in practice means that outdated information is no longer displayed. This is a natural move on Google’s part to maintain the high quality of displayed results, but you can also remedy this.
Pay attention to create mostly evergreen content, i.e. “evergreen” texts, resistant to the passage of time (the name of the strategy refers to plants that do not shed their leaves in winter), for example guides or product reviews. From the very beginning of content creation, keep in mind which articles will require regular refreshing of information. In this way, you will prevent the traffic decay phenomenon, i.e. the gradual disappearance of visibility, and you will significantly stabilize the effects of content marketing.
As we mentioned, not every strategy will be applicable. For example, in the case of the tourism industry, it is difficult to use evergreen content, while the effects of User Generated Content will depend on how “relevant” the product is. You should always adjust content activities to the possibilities and needs of your company.
It’s much easier to find commonalities in what not to do. Harmful methods include:
- thin content, i.e. low-quality content, copied or created automatically;
- an attempt to manipulate the ranking by excessively adding key phrases in headlines and text;
- using overly complicated language instead of a form understandable to the recipient;
- blandness and artificially increasing the volume of the text (remember that sometimes “less is more”);
How to use content marketing?
There are no contraindications to the use of content marketing – every company can use it.
On the contrary, this form of promotional activities is still gaining marketing potential. However, it is important to measure the strength of intentions and select content adequate to the company’s capabilities.
Define your business goals
Professional content brings many benefits, but you can’t have everything at once – think about whether your priority is visibility in Google, using website traffic or building an expert image.
In the first case, focus on SEO texts, in the second on a well-described offer, and in the third on substantive blog articles and guest posts.
Set a budget
As with any other investment, expenses will largely affect your results, because the volume and quality of the ordered text will depend on them.
An experienced content marketing agency usually charges $200 – $300 for a single text for a blog or subpage. On the other hand, self-writing can take several hours of work. Therefore, consider what actions are best to take within your budget.
Research the competition
If other companies in your industry have not undertaken content activities, your task is easier – the website will not require much work to be ranked high in Google and attract customers.
Similarly, when competitors invest in professional content, you need to put in more effort to achieve the intended results. Sometimes, especially in the case of oligopolies and large e-commerce platforms, the fight can be particularly difficult, so it is worth focusing on long keywords to display the page for less frequent (but less competitive) queries.
Take into account the above factors to choose precise content marketing work. Remember that no obstacle (in the form of competition or low budget) does not rule out the chances of success, but only forces you to modify your activities. This means that any company can benefit from content marketing, as long as they approach it wisely. An experienced copywriter or agency will certainly advise you on what solution will be the most optimal in your case.
- Content marketing is a set of promotional activities whose main tool is writing. These include, among others, creating blog articles, offer subpages or product descriptions.
- The benefits of professional content include increasing positioning and conversion, as well as building the company’s image.
- You can track the effects of content marketing indirectly; indicators such as the number of unique visits (UV), time spent on the website and the bounce rate are used for this purpose.
- Content marketing is significantly different from Google Ads, because the results require time and work, but the subsequent effects are stable and do not require financial outlays. In practice, both solutions complement each other perfectly.
- The content creation strategy is largely unique, but common features include building thematic authority, keeping information up-to-date, and engaging users in discussions.
- Every company can benefit from content marketing, but only if it chooses activities adequate to its capabilities. To do this, you need to define the budget, analyze the competition and set realistic business goals.
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