Digital Marketing today is about content. In general, 60% of marketers publish a piece of content daily. In 2015, content marketing had its sixth consecutive year of double-digit growth in spending. In short, content is the currency of the online marketing realm.
What exactly is content marketing? “Content marketing means consistently creating and sharing valuable free content to attract and convert an audience into customers, and turn customers into repeat customers.” Your content must offer something of value to your target audience before they will read it, respond to it, share it, and more importantly, return for more.
People also spend around six hours a day consuming content online. So, the demand for content marketing is there. Everything you post on the web is marketing collateral, waiting to be found by your ideal customers via search engines and social media. So how do you engage prospects online and get them to the end of the buyer’s journey?
Produce High-Quality, Original Content
Both the quality and quantity of original content is a competitive differentiator for content marketing. Apple set aside $1 billion for original programming in 2018 to drive subscribers to its platform. “All senior marketing executives are curious about the creation and flow of content, especially since nearly every company is creating more content this year than last.” If big business knows the value of great content, you should emulate their focus in your small business.
You may not have the deep pockets for producing content like Apple or other major corporations, but you can adopt their perspective and focus on producing your own original content of high quality that is relevant to your target audience. Do some research into what your target audience is searching for on Google and create some helpful content that scratches where they have an obvious itch.
Your content should have your own special flair and voice in order to stand apart from the crowd and get noticed. Don’t just repeat what other industry voices are already saying, just using different wording. Offer a fresh approach. Highlight your unique value proposition and how it can provide a better solution. Write in real human language, not like a machine. Get personal but remain readable and articulate.
Include Video Content
An average of 45% of people spend more than an hour a week watching videos just on Facebook and YouTube. People collectively watch over 10 million videos on Snapchat in a single day. Those stats indicate that huge audiences are hungry for video content. Your business stands a much better chance of attracting and engaging prospects with a steady stream of must-watch videos.
Among small business owners, live video is huge. Most small businesses don’t have the time or budget to produce slick professional videos. But practically everyone has access to smartphones and tripods. Viewers feel more engaged with live videos than canned, scripted video-mercials. In fact, viewers are willing to spend eight times longer watching live video compared to pre-recorded content.
This means that even as a small business, you can host Q&As, live news updates, demonstrations, or other types of content and attract captive audiences. Promote and produce a weekly live broadcast where you showcase some aspect of your business, including products, services, personnel, locations, special events, sales, and philanthropic endeavors.
Here, as with any content you produce, it must be of high quality and relevant to your target audience. Although your video is live, you must have something to say and say it well. Provide a few nuggets of value and offer a chance for audience interaction or response. Be ready to show your human side while providing viewers an informative, yet memorable, experience each and every time you go live.
Optimize Your Site for Mobile Viewers
We live in a mobile society where close to 70% of media consumption now occurs on mobile. Therefore, all your content should be optimized for mobile viewers on different sized devices. In fact, one of your primary considerations when planning and designing content should be mobile optimization.
For example, all your blog content layouts should use a responsive design that looks good in a vertically scrolling format. You should also ensure that your photos look big and bold on small mobile screens and that they fit seamlessly into the overall page layout. Small chunks of text always work best on mobile devices, with plenty of white space around them.
Also, ensure your mobile-optimized site provides easy and readily seen access to site navigation buttons. Nothing is more frustrating than trying to click off a page with nowhere to go, or trying to expand clickable links in tiny text. Ideally, your mobile optimized pages (and all landing pages) should have one major CTA and clickable button to take action, so users do not get confused about what actions they should take in response to your content.
By using these tips in your online marketing efforts you can engage with visitors and turn them into return users and customers. People who visit your site and find valuable content will continue to return. And with each return, the likelihood of them making a purchase or booking a service increases.
What are some valuable content marketing tips you have used with success in your business? Why not share them in the comments below so our readers can benefit from your hard-won wisdom?