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What Content Marketing is and How to Use It to Grow Your Business

Content marketing is all the rage these days and becoming mainstream as advertising is dying. In this article, we’ll discuss what it is and why it’s invaluable for growing a business.

According to Content Marketing Institute, 70 percent of B2B marketers surveyed say that they are creating much more content than they did last year.

This figure was confirmed by a study by Curata, which revealed 75 percent of companies increased their content marketing budget in 2016, and 43 percent increased the staffing levels of their content marketing departments.

These can be translated into 1,440 new WordPress blogs published every minute and 500 hours of content uploaded to YouTube, according to Smart Insights. Moreover, 3.1 million articles per day are published online according to Lifehack.org.

With an ocean of content, competition is fierce in reaching the top of Google search. And with 3.8 million Google searches every minute, not many go to unknown sites, as most of them land on major sites, like news sites and popular blogs.

Thus, it takes continuous and well-strategized content marketing efforts to reach and stay at the top of Google searches, especially for small and new businesses.

So, what is “content marketing”? Why it matters to your business? How can you start a content marketing campaign?

The Definition

Content Marketing Institute, Hubspot, and Copyblogger represent authoritative voices in content marketing. They periodically the publish new findings in this industry and continuously share the latest and the best practices that work for B2B and B2C markets.

Content Marketing Institute:
Content marketing is a strategic marketing approach focused on creating and distributing valuable, relevant, and consistent content to attract and retain a defined audience — and, ultimately, to drive profitable customer action.

Hubspot:
Content marketing is a strategic marketing and business process focused on creating and distributing valuable, relevant, and consistent content to attract and retain a clearly defined audience, and ultimately, to drive profitable customer action.

Copyblogger:
Content Marketing means creating and sharing valuable free content to attract and convert prospects into customers, and customers into repeat buyers. The type of content you share is closely related to what you sell; in other words, you’re educating people so that they know, like, and trust you enough to do business with you.

In a nutshell, my definition is “content marketing is using anything you can create and publish online that would attract the right people to come to your web site to learn about what they’re looking for without being pushed to buy.” Content marketing is a soft “pull” promotion method, instead of “push” selling like the high-cost conventional advertising.

For this, your site must contain SEO keywords or phrases that match what your audience type in the search box. While it may sound simple, it requires polished strategies to work.

Why It Matters

Content marketing matters to your business as it helps you prepare and plan for reliable and cost-effective paths to generate website traffic and new leads. Imagine that you create a blog post that continues to generate thousands of visitors of organic traffic.

If you include links to your site or product, they will also receive free traffic. As long as the blog post generates traffic, which can be for years to come, you can safely assume that those links are also visited.

Thus, building an evergreen knowledgebase library on your site, despite the type of your business, might be the answer to continuously flow of organic traffic.

For instance, your site sells lawn care and landscaping services. The blog section should contain articles, e-books, reports, and/or videos about taking care of your lawn and garden, which people can browse and learn from. Since not everyone has the time to mow their own lawn and tend the backyard, the blog can be a reliable source of new leads.

This obvious advantage explains why, according to Curata, 74 percent companies are enjoying increased lead quality and quantity from content marketing.

Starting Content Marketing Campaign

The concept of content marketing is really simple. People need something, so they search online with certain keywords (or phrases). Google or Bing (or any other search engines) provides the results based on those keywords.

You just need to make sure that your contents are among the results shown on search results page based on those keywords. The content formats can be anything from blog articles, e-books, PDF files, Powerpoint slides, podcast episodes, to videos, and others.

For example, you sell fishing baits. You’d need to make sure that your site and blog include popular keywords and phrases related to fishing and fishing baits. Try this phrase “types of fishing baits,” most likely Google would send you to this page. The page itself doesn’t sell anything, and the article is educational instead of pushing people to buy.

Last but not least, it’s an exciting time to get started in content marketing. The simplest way is with a blog, which is likely already a section of your website. Be creative and be true to your readers by projecting authenticity and sincerity in the content.

Success awaits for those who are creative and innovative in content marketing.

Jennifer Xue is an award-winning author, columnist, and serial entrepreneur. She has published 2,000 articles and 100 e-books/reports with proven record in brand awareness, lead generation, and revenue increase. She can be reached at JenniferXue.com. Follow her Twitter @jenxuewrites

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