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What is content marketing?
We believe that content marketing is the creation of content across various platforms and media that help your customers at every stage of the purchase process – rather than just at the point of purchase.
Why is it important?
Well, firstly Google wants it! They want you to provide good and helpful content to your potential and existing customers. There's more reasons below – but remember… what Google wants, Google should get.
We understand that content marketing is much more than simply creating blogs and PDFs. Good content marketing should be based on a strategy built around your purchase cycle, and then shared through strategies and tactics that are in line with your business.
What is Content Marketing?
In simple terms: a few years ago, Google made updates to its search algorithm that dictated changes to the way website content is created. Google essentially found there were a lot of websites whose only goal was to affect their search engine results – often at the expense of their customers' user experience. They therefore made changes designed to improve the results for the customer. The message from Google was clear: create good content for your customers.
This resulted in 'content marketing' being born and the adoption of the mantra 'Content is King... Content is King... Content is King.'
Why is content marketing important?
First, we need to understand the key difference between Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) and content marketing.
SEO is still important, but it many cases, it was focused on getting people to your website at the point of purchase. It was often about pushing a product or service with the goal to be found when someone searches a specific and relevant phrase. As mentioned, this resulted in some bad practices from content creators.
Google's success is based on giving people the most helpful results – and poor quality websites with 'black-hat' SEO techniques meant Google delivered poor quality websites to its users.
What does content marketing mean to Google?
The changes from Google dictate that you need to create content that is customer-centric and focused specifically on your customers' benefit and knowledge. You can create content like videos, PDFs and white papers and then use a range of platforms such as your website, Facebook and LinkedIn to publish and share this content.
If you do this, and do it well, you'll have a much better chance of being found online. Google loves high-quality, original, rich, well-written, succinct, and varied content.
But that's not all. It's important to understand that by doing what Google wants, you are also helping build better relationships with your potential and existing clients.
Content marketing for your customers
Just like you don't like the 'hard sell' when someone cold-calls you, your customers don't like content that has the same approach.
Good content marketing has many benefits for you and your customer:
- It improves your brand perception
- It improves trust
- It improves engagement
- It improves communication
- It improves awareness
- It improves retention
Don't take our word for it though – check out these stats:
- 61% of consumers say they feel better about a company that delivers custom content
- 7 out of 10 consumers prefer to learn about a company through articles, not ads
- 90% of consumers find custom content useful
- 78% of consumers believe that organisations providing custom content want to build good relationships.
- 68% of consumers spend time reading content from a brand they are interested in
- Social media and blogs account for 23% of all time spent online
So – in short, your customers want it, Google wants you to do it, and you need to do it!
Content marketing strategy from Melbourne's iformat
We have what we believe to be a unique approach to content marketing – a strategy that's focused around your customer's purchase cycle.
All businesses have some kind of purchase cycle. Yours may look something like this:
Our content marketing strategy focuses on every stage of this cycle.
The outcome is that we are not just creating content at the point of purchase: your customers want content to better understand your products and services at all points of the purchase cycle, from initial brand or product awareness, all the way through to purchase and retention. The more content you give, the more helpful you are perceived to be.
If you go into a shop and ask some questions about a product, how much do you appreciate helpful information, without the hard sell?
It leaves a good impression right?
- What if you create content specifically designed to inform – rather than sell?
- What if you create content that allows a person to compare your product to others?
- What if you create content that maintains the relationship rather than gets them to buy again?
This is the content marketing strategy. Sure we use blogs, videos, white papers and infographics, but these are tactics used to publish and share your content.
The important element is the strategy as a whole; one that it is right for your business and your customers.