Content is King; Marketing is Queen. The Benefits of Content Marketing.
You may have heard the expression Content Is King; Marketing is Queen. But what exactly does that mean? Most businesses are savvy about the myriad digital ways of reaching target audiences. Yet the benefits of content marketing are often overlooked in marketing and sales.
Marketing is an essential component of any business. Yet, due to the way people search for information online and how search engines rank websites based on relevance, content rules the day as the single most effective way to generate organic traffic.
Whether shopping for a car, buying a house, purchasing household items, or using a service 63% of all shopping and research begins online. Whether the purchase occurs online or in a traditional brick-and-mortar business the initial research starts online.
People want to feel that they have done their research and performed their due diligence. Therefore, people respond to editorial-style content or what looks like news. Thus, when presented correctly, the most valuable content allows you to introduce your brand, overcome objections, establish yourself as the expert in your field, and earn your ideal customer’s trust.
Whether you hire a content marketing consultant or create your own strategy, high quality content can deliver one of the most significant marketing benefits to your ag business.
What Are the Benefits of Content Marketing?
So, what exactly is content marketing? It is a strategy where you create high-quality pieces of content such as articles, videos, blog posts, web pages, and social media posts based on what your potential customers are looking for and the keywords they use to find what your business offers.
You build this content using keywords, key phrases, and search engine optimization tactics to rank higher in the search engine results pages (SERPs) which leads to exposure and a significant boost in organic traffic.
Some of the Benefits of Content Marketing Are:
- Gaining Higher Search Engine Ranking Results
- Achieving Greater Visibility Online and On Social Media
- Stimulating Robust Lead Generation Streams
- Creating Trust Between Your Brand and Your Target Audience
- Establishing Your Brand as An Authority & Thought Leader in Your Industry
- Boosting Brand Awareness and Brand Loyalty
- Achieving and Exceeding Revenue Goals
Creating a content strategy can feel daunting, but the action steps are simple.
The first step is to define your ideal customer. The next step is to perform keyword research to discover the exact phrases people use in search engines to find the products and services you offer.
Defining Your Ideal Customer & Their Needs
Clearly defining your ideal customer and the target of your content efforts is critical. The quickest way to identify your ideal customer is to look at your customer database and determine who makes up most of your revenue.
Analyze your customer data. Patterns will emerge that may surprise you. For example, you might think your ideal client is male, age 40-50, with an annual six-figure income because that is the type of person you interact with most.
But do you convert that lead profile into a customer as frequently as you think you do?
Once you begin to analyze your data, you might learn that the lion’s share of your revenue comes from females age 30-35, with an advanced degree, and an annual income of $85-150k.
Much different than what you expected, right?
Years ago, I worked in sales and experimented with my sales staff to prove a point about how important it is to analyze your reporting data for clarity. I asked each member of my team to identify our top-selling product.
Our staff sold these products every day, year after year. Yet, everyone’s answer was different, and nobody had the correct answer.
The numbers don’t lie. Reporting and data analysis is critical to successfully identifying your ideal customer. Start with your winners and build your strategy to speak to that audience and their needs.
In many instances, you may find that you have more than one type of customer profile that is currently driving your business. In that case, you would build different content streams to meet the needs and speak the language of each type of customer.
Another great strategy to define your ideal customer is to poll your database. Questionnaires can be very revealing and offer you the insight you need to build highly targeted content.
Once you identify your ideal target customer, you need to research the keywords and key phrases they are using to find the products and services you sell.
For example, if you sell men’s black socks, you will perform keyword research to discover the phrases people are using online related to men’s black socks. There will be thousands of iterations of your root keyword in every category imaginable.
The following list is just a small sample of the thousands of keyword variations I found when I searched for “mens black socks.”
- black knee high socks
- long black socks
- mens black socks
- black dress sock
- sock black
One keyphrase alone, black socks, is searched for 8,100 times per month. That’s just one variation of your root keyword. You can see just how much potential for market share is found in keyword research.
Once you have a handful of the most relevant keywords and keyphrases that pertain to your product or service, you can begin building a strategy to share your content that includes a combination of blogs, e-books, landing pages, white papers, infographics, newsletters, videos, podcasts, text messages, frequently asked question pages, press releases, and social media posts.
Relevance and Search Intent
The way to create great content that generates targeted, organic traffic to your website has many steps. Search Engine Optimization, or the process of creating the ideal conditions to rank higher in the search engine results pages, has many critical components like authority, relevance, internal linking strategies, backlinks, meta tags, user experience, site navigation, alt tags, and H2 tags.
Standard SEO practices aside, two critical metrics you’ll want to master in your content are: Relevance and Search Intent.
Relevance measures how well the content on a given webpage relates to the search query keyword or key phrase. The role of search engines such as Google is to deliver websites whose content is as close to an exact match for what the user is looking for, otherwise known as relevance.
For example, if someone searches using the keyphrase “red hat,” this can mean many different things, right? It could mean women’s hats, hats for children, men’s hats, sports caps, winter hats, dress hats, IBM software, or a red hat social club for women.
This is called a short tail keyword. It is typically very broad in its definition and can include many variations of meaning.
This makes it hard for search engines to deliver exact matches because the concept is too broad. The mistake many businesses make when choosing keywords and keyphrases is that they choose words that are too broad or general.
This is problematic for two reasons:
1) Everyone tends to think this way, so the competition for that keyword will be high. As a result, it will be very difficult to rank high on the search engine results pages.
2) Your brand gets buried in a sea of broad-based matches for “red hat” rather than standing out with clarity.
A more successful approach is to utilize “long-tail keywords” such as “women’s red dress hats,” which automatically excludes all the other variations you would encounter using the keyword “red hat.”
This makes it easier for your customers to find you online and makes it easier for you to build excellent content to attract leads.
In addition to clearly defined, long-tail keywords and phrases, search intent has recently become a critical variable in constructing content.
Intent implies precisely what you’d expect. It is the user’s intention when they enter a key phrase or keyword. Search engines use AI learning over time to determine what users intend with a search query.
For example, if a person searches using the phrase “Best Italian Food,” they might be searching for a recipe, a local restaurant, or research for a school paper. Search engines analyze search data and, over time, determine what the actual intention is behind the keyword or phrase.
Knowing the correct search intent for your keywords and keyphrases will help you to craft highly targeted content to attract your ideal customer.
Although a content marketing strategy can seem like a tall order, the benefits are manifold and well worth the effort. It’s tough to operate a successful business online these days without a solid content strategy.
Not inclined to take on content marketing by yourself? Hire a Content Marketing Specialist like Anthem Ag to help you define and execute your own content strategy.
Contact Gate 39 Media or set up a call to learn more.
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