You have heard that you need killer content as part of your overall digital marketing strategy…but you might not be sure why. Isn’t it sufficient for customers to actually be able to find you online, see your amazing prices/products/services, and click on your cool buttons? People don’t have time to read anyway, so as long as you have lots of appealing graphics and an app that’s easy for mobile users to navigate, you’re good to go…right?
Before we launch into a description of why content marketing can be a crucial part of your marketing strategy, we want to publish a disclaimer: content marketing is not a magic bullet. But it’s a really important piece. At Academic Ads, we place a high importance on content because we know the measureable results it produces when properly integrated with other digital marketing solutions. As a Toronto online marketing firm offering a one-stop shop for all your online advertising and brand-building needs, it’s our business to know stuff like that.
In a nutshell, content marketing is like the custom publications of old: it is the practice of continuously presenting fresh, relevant and compelling content to a targeted buyer, focusing on all stages of the buying process from brand awareness right through to brand loyalty and evangelism. Content marketing is what you do with your prospects once they have found you online. From that perspective, it’s easy to see that inbound marketing, which is the practice of getting customers to find you in the first place, only goes so far.
Content marketing is what hooks them and keeps them – in addition to helping search engines like Google, Bing and Yahoo find you in the first place. Here are Academic Ads’ top tips for successful content marketing:
• Make sure your readers are learning. Content should teach – just not in a boring, preachy way. If you think learning is just for the classroom, think about bestselling authors like John Grisham, who bring the world of criminals and courtrooms to life for readers who would not otherwise have these experiences.
• Change it up: consider presenting your content in a new format. If your articles, blogs and content are comprised mostly of text, why not add graphics, some audio, or video tutorials? Different formats appeal to different audiences; post relevant items of different lengths, such as links or interesting facts.
• Use your (re)sources: if your website gets a ton of customer service or product-related questions each week, why not develop some FAQ-type content from great questions people ask? Hundreds of people may be interested in those answers when they visit your site.
• Engage with your customers in multiple channels: don’t shy away from print, online and mobile custom content
• Be consistent: create and post a set number of items to your website, mailing list and social media accounts regularly.
• Optimize, optimize, optimize! Even the cleverest writing that would have your customers falling over each other to do business with you, isn’t effective if you ignore SEO, because a crawler won’t relate it to a search query without the proper keywords. And no one will read your great writing.
The bottom line is, it’s unwise to put all your eggs in the content marketing basket; a comprehensive inbound marketing strategy should also include email marketing, social media, and PR to get people sharing all that killer content. Then your work still isn’t done, because once someone becomes a customer, you now need customer service content; content that will upsell/cross sell to the customer; content to ensure customer retention and loyalty…the list goes on.
If content marketing has to include strategic planning, distribution, and metrics as well as content creation, how are you going to get there? Academic Ads is a Toronto online marketing company that takes a holistic approach to meeting a business’s overall marketing goals. We can help you with the content side as well as all the other aspects of your strategic plan – or create a strategic plan if you don’t have one.