Admittedly, sales are what drives your business. But sales pitches are not what drive your customers. Today’s media-savvy folks have learned to “skip” ads online, spam away unsolicited email, block cold calls and fast-forward their way through TV commercials via DVR. In short, they don’t respond to ads the way consumers did just a generation ago.
Instead, valuable information, in the form of web content, is the foundation of today’s marketing.
So if your strategy is stalled in the 1990s – still based in display ads, fliers, coupon books, radio spots or Yellow Pages – you are not only delivering sales pitches, you’re delivering them to a rapidly evaporating audience. According to a recent survey, fully half of today’s consumers spend 75 percent of their shopping time online.
And they’re not booting up their laptops, tablets or smartphones to look at ads. They’re searching for answers. You can provide those answers in the form of content. And in doing so, you begin to stand out from competitors, get noticed in Google searches, build your credibility and foster a community of web-based followers whom you can then convert to qualified leads.
That sounds like a tall order. But in fact, content marketing a rather simple concept that countless businesses, large and small, use to their advantage to generate web traffic.
Content is your key
To that end, content marketing isn’t just the best website traffic generator – in the view of some business experts, it’s the only website traffic generator worth pursuing.
Content isn’t about pitching your product or service. It’s not about your company’s goals, or about your new location. In fact, it’s not about you at all.
The content that serves as a website traffic generator is wholly focused on the interests and concerns of the target audience. If you sell tennis equipment, for example, a blog about your latest sale is bad content. A blog about the top seeds of this year’s Davis Cup is good content.
Content marketing is the practice of using your valuable content to engage people and encourage their loyalty to your website or social media pages. Doing it well demands a strategy focused on long-term goals and a tactical commitment that will have you delivering your content consistently and frequently – the better to build momentum among your audience.
Your vehicles to generate web traffic go beyond your company’s website. Content marketing is rooted in social media. Having a Facebook page or Twitter feed well stocked with good content will not only keep people coming back, it will encourage them to share your content with their friends and followers.
Close the loop
Of course, even thousands of followers doesn’t translate to automatic sales. So content marketing closes the loop through a landing page that offers an exchange of premium content for your followers’ contact information. Those who commit their email address become your best leads. Having established yourself as credible and trustworthy, you may now use customized, automated email to encourage your leads toward a purchase decision.
At this point, you can send emails highlighting special rates or deals – offers that may have been dismissed as mere sales pitches had you sent them in an unsolicited way. But because you built and strengthened a relationship through content marketing, your offers have much more impact.
From website traffic generator …to lead generator …to purchase decision, content marketing is your key to building your business in a digital world.