Your company has a blog. It also sends out emails, updates Facebook, and tweets regularly.
But what benefit should you be getting from all this content?
Actually, let me rephrase that. What benefit should your company and your customers be getting from it?
That’s much better. It really highlights what we mean by true value when it comes to content marketing. It’s not about shouting about a product or service over and over again, but providing something far more useful for your customer, while achieving something more long-lasting for your brand.
So here are four quick tips to ensure you’re getting real value from your content.
1. Building trust in your brand
Take yourself as a consumer. What would you rather see on a company Facebook page – promotional messages or informative content? I’m guessing the latter. Yet we see so many companies do the former. Repeatedly post about how great their product or service is, and before long their customers’ social media platforms are a long list of ad campaigns. Not good.
How to build trust
Leverage your expertise. Let’s use a very simple example. Say you want to build a summerhouse and know you need to lay a solid base first. You Google it and up pops a blog on just that. It’s written by a local hardware store, who tell you what to do and what you need. So what action do you take? You head straight there to buy the things you need to do the job. Provide information that’s useful to your audience and you’ll build trust.
2. Increasing website traffic
The above example also really highlights how informative content can drive people to a website. Without it, all you have are lots of ads flying at people from all directions. Eventually that gets annoying, even for those who agreed to receive your updates.
How to increase traffic
Use well-planned email distributions of your informative content. We know this works. We see it happen every day. One of our clients has an email list of over 100,000 names, and their email is packed full of insights and links to useful content. It generates thousands of website visitors every time.
Once the consumer is on your site, don’t think the job is done. Make sure you actually interact with them in the very moment when their interest is heightened by the article. Put the reader in direct contact with someone, using technology such as LiveChat. Or use a lightbox (a pop-up that dims the rest of the screen) and other ad campaigns to continue capturing emails.
3. Gaining local and international recognition
Hours are spent crafting that insightful article. It’s testament to decades worth of knowledge and experience. It’s well written, and it’s taken a complex issue and made it simple to understand. A few thousand people end up reading it. What happens now?
Too often we’ve seen this amazing content go to waste and not be recognised elsewhere. At worst it becomes a standalone article, at best part of a library of knowledge (which is no bad thing as we’ll see in a moment). But your content should be doing more.
How to gain recognition
This isn’t the first time I’ve talked about it . By which I mean, getting the article published elsewhere. Newspapers and industry magazines are a great place to start because well-informed, well-written content that requires minimal editing effort is right up their street.
LinkedIn is a great starting point. People also become columnists at magazines, then may rework that same article into a different form for another media outlet. So your content is really earning its keep.
4. Providing a library of knowledge
It doesn’t stop at a few strong articles, perhaps one of which makes it into a trade magazine. You’re playing the long game here. If people find useful content, they’ll bookmark and return for more.
One of our clients can now boast an incredible back catalogue of over 300 articles. Each one shares knowledge and firmly places them as a thought leader in their industry. People access their blog for hints and tips, recognising that if they ever require more detailed advice this company’s services are the first place they’ll turn.
How to build your library
I’m not going to lie. It takes time. It takes effort. You need to be committed to producing regular articles, each of a very high quality. Each marketed by email and social media. You need to look to syndicate as many as possible. In other words, to gain true value from your content, you need to action the points mentioned above over and over again. The library needs to be searchable and catalogued for easy access.
But one thing is for sure:
It’s worth it
With 90% of consumers finding this type of content useful, and nearly two-thirds making a purchase off the back of it, it really is sweat well spent. And that’s without even pointing out that you can happily get other people (such as agencies) to do a lot of the work for you.