Your website’s content is key to everything you do. It’s what stands between the number of website visitors you attract and the conversions you make.
Good online content fosters brand allegiance and can make sales but, more importantly, is genuinely useful to your customers. Content marketing capitalises on that. It’s a way to market your products and services via your online content – whether that’s through your company blog, or your service and product pages.
But, how does content marketing work exactly? Coming up we'll cover the dos and don’ts of content marketing, and offer some tips about how content can work for your business.
Want to learn more about content marketing? Download our free guide to content marketing today.
Why is content marketing important?
The importance of content can’t be underestimated. Without it, search engines like Google won’t list the pages of your website in their results, and you’ll never keep ahead of your competitors in paid adverts.
More importantly, in the absence of good quality content, your audience will be left confused as to what it is you actually do, even if they do visit your website. The average visitor spends around 62 seconds on a website. So, if they can’t find what they’re looking for in under a minute, you’ll have lost your visitor completely.
Okay, so good content is important. Got it. But how can it help you to make sales?
How to make content marketing work in three easy steps
For your content to be as effective as possible, it needs to do two things: answer your visitors’ questions and encourage them to buy your product. It’s really that simple. You need to address their pain points in your content, answering any questions they might have along the way. Once you’ve managed this, you have to convince them why your product or service is suited to them.
Now, there are LOADS of different ways you can approach content marketing. But, in our honest opinion, there’s none better than through questions and answers’ content. Here’s how you do it:
1) Settle on some pain points and questions that your customers have.
Google's Keyword Planner can give you an idea of which questions to do with your product people are typing into Google. These could be to do with what your product or service is, how it works and whether it’s worth buying.
Top tip: Type one of your questions into Google to find out what other people are also searching for. These may make it to your shortlist of questions to address.
2) Create a landing page on your website for some of these questions or pain points, and provide content for it.
This could be a blog (like what you’re reading now), a free presentation which prospects can download (oh, hai – we’ve made one of those as well) or just about any content format that you think will resonate with your audience.
Top tip: Use the exact words and phrases people are using in your content, especially in the URL (or web address), title and subtitles. This will help your page to appear on search engine results pages for searches containing these.
3) Include links to your website’s product and service pages throughout the content.
Now, this can be done in a variety of ways – for instance, hyperlinks within your text or stand alone call to actions like this bad boy 👇
Top tips for your content marketing strategy
Make relevant and contextual links to your product
Make any links to your products relevant to where they’re placed – don’t just wedge them in wherever. Give them context and tell your reader exactly what to expect if they click on it – after all, no one likes to feel misled.
Get your content out there
Heard the adage “build it and they will come”? Sadly this doesn’t apply to content. Too many companies we know of write great quality content without a thought to how they can get people to find it. They’ll devote all their time and energy to creating, leaving nothing to actually working out how to get eyes on it.
In order for your content to deliver on your key performance indicators (KPIs), it needs to work alongside a workable marketing strategy – think email newsletters, social media posts and SEO. Collaborate with high profile people in your industry to encourage them to shout about your content too. Get in touch with the FINALLY team for help with actioning your content strategy.
Not everything you write has to sell…
It’s true: not every piece of content you produce has to have a return on investment (ROI). Yes, it’s wonderful on those rare occasions when you can attribute X number of sales to a single blog, but this is hardly ever the case. The reality is your lead will have read multiple pages on your website before they decide to buy – especially if what you sell is high value (as it usually is in engineering and manufacturing).
Instead, think of your content as breadcrumbs leading your visitor along their journey. Perhaps the content page they find you on is designed to provide some impartial advice, inspiration, or help with narrowing down their options? Your blog could contain links to another piece of content which may feature some products or services related to your journey.
Bottom line: always think of the ultimate role your content will have in your prospect’s buying journey.
Think about your call to action language
The words you use to encourage your reader to click on a link are key to whether they actually do. As well as being contextual and relevant to what your reader will find on the following page, you need to get clever with how you get them there.
Now, there are no hard and fast rules to crafting the perfect call to action – in spite of millions of websites promising otherwise. Our advice would be to try a variety of approaches to find out what works for your audience.
At a glance: what is content marketing?
- Content marketing lets your visitors engage with your website, helping them to get to know who you are and what you do, to better inform their purchase decisions.
- To be effective, address your audience’s pain points with your content: use Google's Keyword Planner to get an idea of these, and set up landing pages to provide a solution to these questions and problems.
- Include a variety of links to converting pages on your website: these could be via text links or stand alone call-to-action buttons within your content.
- Get your content out there: don’t expect your content to do all the work on its own. Think of creative ways to help your audience to find what you’ve created, whether that’s via social media, SEO, or email marketing.
- Not everything you write has an ROI: it’s easy to get bogged down with your content’s cost-benefit analysis (that is, how much it costs to produce versus how much it makes). Try to keep the bigger picture in mind. Everything you produce will play a part in your customer’s overall experience.