Every business has a need to promote itself. That is the nature of the beast. Having a good service or product that no one knows about is useless and serves no purpose in helping that business to succeed or help the people it is designed to accommodate.
As the world has changed due to technology, businesses have stayed on the front line of those developments using them to devise many innovative and unique ways to advertise themselves.
When newspapers, radio and television came into being they were all used by businesses and professional people to advertise their goods and services as well as billboards which came about as the result of the invention of the automobile and the building of roads and highways.
When man learned to fly small airplanes with streaming banners behind them were used as a means to promote businesses. Everything that was technologically available was implemented in advertising campaigns and it is no different today.
In the late 20th century as home computers became prevalent bringing about the development of the world wide web business owners and professionals realized the great advertising potential offered by such a vehicle and seized upon the opportunity it offered to grow their business.
Today many businesses use blogs, online newsletters and social media like Facebook and Twitter to place themselves before a captive internet audience in order to reach a portion of billions of daily users. Everything from pop up ads to online billboards are used to attract and engage customers. With all that being said, one of the more popular and effective tools being used to market businesses online is content marketing.
What is content marketing? The Webster’s dictionary definition is: “the use of relevant, informative, valuable content to attract and retain a defined audience.” Many businesses use this form of internet marketing as a “soft sell” method of publicizing themselves in an effort to avoid the traditional advertising approach which is according to many advertising experts, a turn off to many web surfers.
Advertisers understand consumers have learned to tune out many of the traditional means of advertising like magazine ads and television commercials making it necessary to find alternate strategies to get their attention and it is no different on the internet.
Content marketing offers a method by which promotional advertising can be packaged within informative, educational content which is helpful to the reader while at the same time presenting a solution to a need without using what would be perceived more than likely as an aggressive sales pitch.
What makes content marketing different from traditional advertising is the fact that the content not promoting the business or product, is at the core of the message. By consistently providing valuable information a bond is formed between reader and content provider that the provider hopes will eventually lead the reader to patronize their business.
Content marketing allows a business to “get the ear” of a consumer and build a relationship with them that is built upon communication concerning a subject that is of mutual interest to them. Buying or selling is not a part of the equation. At the heart of the relationship is dissemination of valuable information. As trust and appreciation for that information grows within the reader a sense of loyalty develops that should, if all goes right, produce a new customer.
In today’s internet advertising world information is the driving force behind attracting consumer attention. According to Angela Hausman, a marketing professor at Howard University, 67% of marketers polled claimed they received increased leads from content marketing and 64% reported increased traffic.
Consistently producing quality content increases a business’ rating in online search engines (SEO-search engine optimization) thereby placing it in a higher position in search engine results which will drive more traffic to its site. More traffic translates into more potential customers which in turn will increase the ROI of that business.
Today any business marketing strategy should include internet marketing. And any internet marketing strategy should include content marketing (creating content). It is just that simple. In today’s competitive business world both are essential to survive and flourish in any and all industries. The traditional means of advertising are giving way to more sophisticated methods that have 21st century appeal and application.
Anthony Larman is a passionate executive with 20+ years of experience in helping Fortune 500 businesses achieve their marketing and business development goals. With a firm understanding on what it takes to make small to medium size company more profitable by leveraging the core principles of marketing that make a difference. If you want to achieve predictable business growth, eliminate waste and increase your marketing ROI (return on investment). Then Leads-Locally is for you.