Competing With Content Marketing Instead of Advertising

Small Businesses Need A Good Content Strategy

2020-09-01 | Sagentic Web Design

Most people are aware that the quote "content is king" has proven to be a solid piece of advice when it comes to your website, social media, and the rest of your online presence. The quote is originally from an essay Microsoft founder Bill Gates wrote in 1996. While much of the internet has changed since then, having the right content on your website has always been key to being positioned and found in Google and other search engines. Thus, the success of a website depends on the quality of the content.

What Is Quality Content?

Quality content can also be thought of as "valuable information" that users are trying to obtain. It can be anything from the birthdate of a celebrity to finding someone with the ability to remodel or build a home. Quality content needs to address the problem or question; build trust and provide a possible solution; invite the user to act on your proposed solution; all while being clear cut and optimized for search engines such as Google and Bing.

Throwing out statistics and general text about your products and services may not answer the question or address the problem and most likely will not establish trust or a relationship with your audience. For example, a home builder's website that has limited text stating that their company builds homes is only stating the obvious. Think about the questions and barriers a home builder's audience may have. Building a home is a big commitment that requires lots of time and money. Without quality website content that builds trust and establishes a relationship, you can expect your audience to move on.

Building Trust With Content Marketing

Building Trust For Your BrandCompanies that create valuable content for their visitors will find a better chance for converted traffic if users can find the answers or solutions to their problems and a path for them to get started. A great way to do this is to position yourself as an expert in your field. Not only will this improve your brand awareness, but it will also provide a foundation for a trusted relationship between you and your new customers. Well written Content Marketing allows you to position your brand as the one that is knowledgeable about your industry and shows you are an innovative thought leader.

Many companies are choosing to redirect advertising dollars to Content Marketing for a variety of reasons. With online advertising, you can target specific demographics and a variety of keywords that will help get you noticed. However, many people avoid clicking on ads and skip straight to the organic results. The fear of “being sold” with high pressure tactics or aggressive marketing along with having advertising cookies bombard you with a product or service you looked at when you visit other websites is enough for some people to avoid ads altogether. 

It’s clear that users no longer pay attention to the daily onslaught of advertising messages on search engines and websites. In online advertising, this is known as banner blindness. Many consumers want to discover the solution instead of being sold a solution.

If you are not being ignored, you could be paying for inadvertent clicks to your ad and from users that aren’t that savvy at using search engines. This could lead to a lot of lost revenue with little-to-no conversion traffic. In addition, Content Marketing costs up to 65% less than traditional marketing tactics and generates three times as many leads. For this reason, companies are turning to Content Marketing to develop long-term content and content strategies for their websites designed to provide better and more frequent placement in the search engines, organically.

Develop A Good Content Strategy

Your website should have good descriptions of your products, services, programs, etc. along with content addressing information about your company / organization, frequently asked questions, contact page, and other pages to help connect you with potential customers. These standard website pages should contain a mix of general SEO content and marketing text designed to help your users identify with your brand. 

In addition to the standard pages, companies and organizations are seeing higher quality traffic landing on specific pages that were meant to educate and inform potential customers through a Content Marketing Strategy. This can be accomplished through an articles section or a blog on your website where you can write (or have professionally written and/or edited for you) content related to your expertise. 

Creating content that provides value to the visitor sets the foundation for trust and makes it easier for a potential customer to engage with you instead of your competitors. People like people who solve problems for them and assist in making life easier. If you are the one that educated the customer and made the customer feel at ease, you’ll be the one to likely get their business.

Your strategy should focus on informing and helping the customer with products and services you offer. For example, a home builder that educates his clients on energy efficiency and indoor air quality leaves them feeling better about what is possible. They now have knowledge they didn’t before thanks to this home builder and his website. 

Whether they found the article on their own (through a search engine) or the home builder sent them a link via email, the result is the same. You now have started to build some trust and completing the transaction will be much easier. In addition, those who are already fans of your brand may share your content with their followers, reaching an even larger audience.

The ingredients for relevant and valuable content is quality text. Good website content fulfills a number of criteria:

  • The content must be unique. Copying and pasting content from another website will only get you penalized by the search engines. 

  • Know your audience and write for them. If you are targeting home-buyers, then tailor your language to appeal to families, moms, dads, and children. Talk about common problems they face and how you can help them overcome them. If you start to get too technical, you’ll lose your audience. Think of useful taglines, specific to them, that will catch their attention and draw them into your content more.

  • Be entertaining and informative! This is not a college research paper and shouldn’t read as such. You can be plain spoken and humorous as long as you have a valid point to make and make the audience feel better off having read your article. Build a relationship with your audience so they will look to your brand first. Be sure to answer the standard  “who, what, when, where, why, and how” questions.

  • Your content should be reader-friendly, well-structured, and error-free. Grammar and punctuation matter. It’s hard to educate someone when you yourself are not showing your best education. If you aren’t a strong writer, you can have your articles professionally written and optimized for search engines. If you are a decent wordsmith, you can write your own articles and then have them edited and optimized.

  • Write naturally and avoid keyword stuffing. Google has algorithms that analyze text and languages looking for how that text is used and in what context. Google rates quality content increasingly higher since that is what their search product promises: quality results. While making sure you are using the right keywords and phrases in your text is optimal, overusing them in unnatural speech will negate your efforts. Users want quality information; not the same phrase repeated over and over again.

  • Provide links to specific pages of your website that give more context and clarification by hyperlinking key phrases. Let’s say one of your paragraphs has a phrase about a service you provide and you have a specific page for that service elsewhere on your website. Link the phrase to the specific page to present the user with a clear solution (that you provide) to their problem. 

Content Marketing Strategy

Converting Content Marketing

Now that you have an educated user that sees you as a possible solution to their problem, what steps do they need to take to do business with you? How will they communicate with you? You’ll need to make sure that you have a Call-To-Action (CTA) to wrap up your article. A CTA is a way for them to take the first steps in doing business with you.

You can leave a phone number, an online form, a link to a product or service page, or a “Buy Now” button that allows users to engage with you immediately after reading your informative proposed solution to their problem. You are now creating a pipeline for an educated customer to approach you in a manner convenient to both of you.

Know Anyone That Provides This Service?

Business owners spend a good deal of their time interacting with their customers face-to-face. When they are not doing that, they’re working on inventory, budgets, quotes, job completion, product deliveries, etc. Knowing how to develop a website using the best practices to dominate your competition in the search results takes years of education and experience. The algorithms change hundreds of times per year and new places to expand your online presence are popping up all the time. You can’t be expected to know all of this or how to properly utilize all of the different and emerging platforms and strategies. It can be pretty overwhelming, especially if you’re just getting started. Even if you could catch up and learn all of it, the amount of time keeping up with all of the moving pieces of your entire online presence and Content Marketing Strategy would add to your already-hectic schedule.

Fortunately, Sagentic Web Design has been providing expert solutions for its clients since 2003. Not only are we passionate about our web development by building strong, search engine friendly, responsive websites that position high in the search engines, we strongly believe that great content and graphics are the key to your success. We also know that content development is one of the most difficult parts of the process.

Knowing what to say and how to say it so that your words not only lead to clicks, but lead to sales, is what we do best. The Content Marketing experts at Sagentic Web Design can balance all of the best practices we mention here into a thoughtful and meaningful Content Marketing Strategy for your brand. You’ll be amazed at how much we get to know your brand and research your services and products so we can develop the best Content Marketing Strategy that is both effective and impresses your audience.

Perhaps you want more of a say in the content itself. We can take your words and expand upon them in a way that meets all of the best practices and objectives of your Content Marketing Strategy. We’ll take care of the grammar, spell check, editing, SEO formatting, graphics, styling, hyperlinks, and more!

If you are ready to develop a Content Marketing Strategy for your brand, contact Sagentic Web Design in Cañon City, Colorado today! Hundreds of clients all over the United States have depended on us for their effective Content Marketing Strategies and website development. Our websites are responsive, always position high in the search engines, take advantage of your entire online presence, and more!

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