Imagine your customers looking forward to receiving material and information from you, then actually spending time absorbing it. You will become their reference point. Michael Nelthorpe explains why content marketing is the new way to make social media work.
Web business strategy is simple: embrace ‘Content Marketing’. Content Marketing enables you to claim your patch. A simple example would be a Native Plant Nursery engaging in the following strategy:
Every week – on a separate but related page to your website, say your blog page – the nursery provides a story on its featured plants for the month. Divide this into four stories. Each story (blog) must be 250-300 words. Add pictures, videos or artists impressions to support the copy and add colour. If the varieties are available on your website then tag them with a hyperlink. (Set up a WordPress site on a subdomain to do this.)
Link each week’s blog to the previous week’s blog, but under no circumstances use the same exact sentences or phrases from your website. Duplicate copy will gain you a penalty. As well post snippets from your blog onto Facebook, Twitter and then on other social media sites like Pinterest and Instagram with more pictures and images. Do extra posts on social media, refer to your website and tag references.
Content is the key to driving inbound enquiry and sales.
- PPC: ‘Pay Per Click’ simply doesn’t work without good content.
- PR: Talking to your customers about their interests – not your business.
- SEO: The reward from Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) is a higher search engine ranking where good content is provided.
Recently I saw Content Marketing given a well defined description: “Content Marketing is a strategic marketing approach focussed on creating and distributing valuable, relevant and consistent content to attract and retain a clearly defined audience – and ultimately to drive profitable customer action.” (Source: http://www.contentmarketing.com)
Using content marketing well enables you, the business owner to change or enhance customer behaviour. It’s about regularly and consistently creating and managing relevant and valuable content, with the express purpose of actually ‘owning’ the media you’re using, not just paying for or ‘renting’ a space. Ensure an ongoing content strategy before commencing a social media strategy.
Content Marketing is an art form. It is the ability to communicate directly with your customers without the ‘hard sell’. It’s delivering information that lifts your customer’s awareness as opposed to simply putting an image and a few words in front of them as is done in traditional advertising. Good content creates an ‘informed’ marketplace where traditional advertising then triggers the knowledge already gained through exposure to Content Marketing. The reward for this is consumer ‘trust’ and ultimately loyalty – and purchases!
This year Google again updated its algorithms to achieve a higher accuracy for searchers genuinely searching for information. The Google search engine is now more sensitive to detecting trickery, including false links, duplicate copy and online manipulation.
Google penalises websites with dubious links to unrelated sites or so called web-farms. Two to five years ago these were often used by less scrupulous ‘SEO’ companies to gain instant prominence. Many website owners didn’t even know that they were back-linked , with other websites linking to their site. If your website hasn’t been overhauled or checked in the past year you may have these unwanted links that Google now has the ability to detect. If so you will loose ranking until the dubious links are removed.
Effective content marketing means you can ‘own’ your patch of cyberspace. your Google ranking will improve and ultimately your business is seen as a valuable source of information with products to back that up. This means a much healthier bottom line. Get an expert to do it for you or do it yourself, but start blogging, tweeting, Facebooking or Pinning now. Own your space, it’s really worth it.