How to Stand Out Online with Content Marketing
You’ve probably heard that “Content Is King” before – but what exactly does that mean? It essentially means that putting quality, informative, and engaging information out into the world will help your company stand out online from others who might be offering similar products or services like yours.
This concept has been around since SEO first began (and continues today). The idea behind content marketing is simple yet effective:
- Put relevant and exciting information out there so potential customers can find your product or service.
- Learn more about you.
- Eventually, they become loyal fans.
While many companies utilise traditional advertising methods such as print ads or TV commercials, these campaigns tend not to stick very well compared to those focusing on building relationships through organic search engine results and social media.
According to Marketing Land, 68% of US consumers prefer shopping at businesses that offer them good customer service over any other type of advertisement.
In addition, 72% said they would rather deal directly with a brick-and-mortar store than browse its digital catalogues. This shows just how powerful word of mouth really can be!
So why not leverage this power by providing great content while helping build trust between you and your audience?
In terms of cost-effectiveness, according to Google AdWords data, text advertisements account for $2.50 per click versus display ads which average nearly double that amount ($5.18).
However, the benefits of having your message delivered straight to your target market via search engines outweigh the costs associated with most forms of advertising. For example, the same number of clicks could potentially lead to new sales leads or future clients if implemented correctly.
So now we know that content marketing is a smart way to stand out online, but what do you need to consider when developing a winning strategy?
- What makes up effective content marketing strategies?
- How can you implement these ideas into your current workflow?
- And finally, what types of content should you create to promote your specific business goals?
Let’s dive right in.
How does Content Help you Stand out Online?
Simply put, all successful content marketing pieces include a few essential elements:
1.) A clear call to action.
Your goal is to give readers something valuable to take away after reading your piece. Provide links back to your blog or website where visitors can read additional details about whatever topic you wrote about.
Ensure that your CTA includes contact info so anyone who reads your article can reach out to you.
2.) Relevant images and graphics.
Including visuals within your articles adds personality and appeal to your overall writing style and helps break up long copy blocks.
Images also allow readers to process information faster and easier than words alone. Try incorporating infographics, graphs, charts, illustrations, etc., whenever possible.
3.) Engaging headlines.
While headline optimisation may seem unnecessary because you’ll never see it again once your reader reaches the body of your post, studies show that optimising headlines improves response rates.
By making headlines catchy and appealing enough, you can attract viewers’ attention immediately. Consider adding keyword phrases related to your subject matter throughout your article to increase users’ chances of finding similar topics.
4.) Break up longer posts.
Longform content tends to feel impersonal and overly intellectual. Breaking things down into smaller chunks can provide value to your readers without overwhelming them.
Studies show that shorter paragraphs and sentences generally result in higher engagement levels.
Additionally, research suggests that tweets containing fewer characters perform better than full-length updates. Keep your content concise and digestible while maintaining consistency across platforms.
What are some examples of brands using this method to stand out online?
Here are two prominent brands that understand the importance of leveraging content marketing to grow their audiences:
Apple – Apple creates original videos that showcase its newest technology innovations and features and interviews with notable personalities who embody the ideals and values of the company.
From comedic sketches to serious news reports, Apple’s videos cover everything from design trends to tech happenings. Viewers looking for innovative gadgets and cutting edge technologies can easily connect with the brand through video.
Zappos – Zappos leverages short-form user-generated content to engage with followers on various social networks. They encourage interaction among Zappos employees and customers by allowing everyone to share opinions and experiences.
Furthermore, Zappos encourages feedback from their community members by responding to comments and questions posted publicly. Transparency allows Zappos to develop stronger relationships with their customers and improve upon areas needing improvement.
These two brands both understand the role content plays in strengthening bonds and driving traffic towards their respective websites.
Why should marketers use content marketing instead of other methods like advertising?
There are several reasons why marketers rely on content marketing instead of other methods like advertising.
First off, unlike paid advertising, free ones tend to convert much better. According to Hubspot, 84% of millennials report finding their favourite brands through organic search results, whereas only 11% say television ads influenced them.
Secondly, content marketing is highly versatile and adaptable. Unlike typical ads, which are limited to specific times and locations, content marketing allows you to publish fresh ideas 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
Lastly, content marketing takes advantage of the fact that human beings love stories.
People naturally gravitate toward entertaining, emotional narratives that hold true to themselves. With the ability to personalise messages based on individual preferences, content marketing provides more significant impact and longevity than traditional forms of advertising.
You can implement many strategies for your business to stand out online with content marketing, but if you want to grow over time, you’ll need to keep learning.
Where can someone start if they’re interested in trying this approach on their own website/business?
If you recognise the value of content marketing but aren’t quite ready to plan one for yourself, try starting small.
Start by developing a blog focused on a single niche area. Then, expand your offerings by publishing content that appeals to multiple categories. After reaching a critical mass and demonstrating success, you can move on to larger projects.
What kind of content works best with content marketing?
When thinking about what types of content works best with content marketing, remember that it must serve three primary purposes: inform, persuade, and entertain. Each of these objectives will drive targeted traffic towards your site when used correctly.
First, let’s discuss informing. Providing factual information about your field of expertise educates and enlightens readers. Whether you’re sharing industry statistics, educational resources, or tips for solving everyday problems, you can present valuable facts that resonate with your audience.
Next comes persuading. As mentioned earlier, content marketing relies heavily on storytelling. One way to achieve persuasive outcomes involves encouraging conversation and debate amongst your followers.
Use blogs and social media accounts to spark conversations regarding hot topics in your niche. Encourage your audience to leave thoughts and suggestions on your page, and respond personally to inquiries and concerns voiced by them.
Finally, entertaining entails keeping your audience engaged and entertained. Although it seems counterintuitive, sometimes less is more for content marketing. Present your ideas creatively and strategically through funny memes, cute GIFS, witty quips, and clever jokes to stand out online.
Also, avoid relying too much on jargon and technical lingo. Instead, make your messaging relatable and accessible. Speaking clearly and slowly, even non-native English speakers can comprehend your statements.
Is there anything else I should keep in mind when creating my content marketing plan?
Yes! Before embarking on a journey to write compelling content, ensure that you fully grasp your objective. Plan to publish regularly, so your audience knows when to expect updated material.
Additionally, if you decide to hire freelancers or consultants, make sure the person(s) you select possess strong communication skills and professional experience in your line of work. These individuals can outline strategic plans, research keywords, and edit drafts.
Finally, think beyond simply focusing on creating and disseminating written materials. Content marketing requires constant upkeep and maintenance to remain viable and functional. Stay vigilant and proactive by conducting periodic reviews to evaluate how your efforts measure against your established metrics.
Now that you know the basics of crafting successful content marketing pieces, it’s time to get started.
Don’t wait another moment to begin growing your following and boosting conversions. Take charge and start implementing tactics that align with your vision and goals.
Remember that content isn’t dead, far from it. Now that you’re armed with knowledge, it’s time to step up your game and produce outstanding content that truly sets you apart from competitors to stand out online.