Content marketing is absolutely essential for any business in the current markets as it is one of the most effective ways to expand a customer base, build brand image and reputation and in turn to help the company grow. Although many companies want to take advantage of the Internet era, very few have succeeded in doing so as most companies have very skewed ideas about what content marketing is. Content marketing is part of the overall inbound marketing strategy of a company. Inbound marketing has a natural network effect that allows the company to lower its cost of customer acquisition.
Instead of paying to get customers, good inbound marketing strategies will attract a steady stream of customers to the company. SEO is a great inbound marketing strategy as the effect of ranking higher in search engine results will naturally divert traffic to a company’s website. More people will read the content, share the content and this in turn drives up the ranking even further.
The ultimate goal of any inbound marketing strategy is to reduce the cost of customer acquisition by creating a scalable, repeatable and networked process – but how does a company do that? Watch Rand Fishkin – SEO expert and CEO of SEOmoz - in this video, as he enthusiastically explains how content marketing is the cornerstone to any good inbound marketing strategy. According to Rand – SEO, social media marketing, inbound marketing, etc. cannot exist without content.
As Rand succinctly summarizes – without content there is no SEO, social media marketing, community or customer funnel. However, most content marketers and content writers think that the primary purpose of content marketing is to drive conversions. Content writers figure out the keyword that they want the website to rank for and create content around it and think that this will immediately convert visitors. This is absolutely false – this never happens! No one buys anything on the Internet from the first link they see on the search results page.
Content marketers and companies must remember that customers are never converted directly, leads are not acquired directly and sales are not made directly. As Rand points out - the actual purpose of content marketing is to build familiarity, likeability and trust.
According to Rand - to create content that serves its actual purpose, the content must be exceptional, inspirational, unique, credible, fun and, most importantly beneficial to share. People viewing the content must think that sharing it will be beneficial to them. The content should be able to get them more likes, retweets, shares, etc. on various social networking platforms. People should believe that sharing that piece of content will make them look good to others.
Surprisingly, Rand claims that content creators should forget about relevancy. Content does not have to be absolutely relevant to current customers. Content that is created without this constraint of relevancy is more original, unique and share-worthy.
So what is the best way to create good content? Rand answers – just create it, fail and learn from your mistakes. The only way to create great content is to do it over and over again. So watch this video and take the pledge with Rand Fishkin to create excellent content.
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