Content marketing has been the most important and powerful form of digital marketing for the last several years. According to market research, this trend will continue as businesses invests more than ever into their strategies for content marketing.
So, what is content marketing and why is it such a big deal?
Essentially, content marketing means creating new content for your website or blog. And then using this to grow your audience as well as build trust and authority.
The most obvious form of content marketing is written content. Creating a blog post every week or every day and then sharing it through social media and other platforms.
This has many different benefits. On the one hand, content marketing is a perfect companion for SEO and social media marketing. Any SEO (Search Engine Optimizer) worth their salt, knows that Google runs on content. The very purpose of Google is to pair its visitors with the right entertainment and information. This is what we call content.
Thus, in order for Google to share your site with people, you need to ensure it is filled with content. Not only that, but you need to carefully utilize the right topics and search terms. This let’s Google know what your content is about and will be able to pair it with the right visitors.
Google is all about quality these days. If you can demonstrate that your site is a source for high quality information, then you’ll be much more likely to start gaining visibility in the SERPs (Search Engine Results Pages).
At the same time, content is also going to help you a great deal to promote yourself on social media. People will follow you on social media because they want to be informed and entertained. Thus, if you share interesting content on your site, you’ll be able to promote those posts on Facebook and Twitter. Dong this gives your users a reason to keep following you.
But true strategies for content marketing doesn’t mean using content as a way to boost your SEO and social media. Rather, true strategies for content marketing means thinking of content as an ends in itself rather than a means. After all, the whole reason that content can boost your SEO and social media is that content has inherent value. Content is what people go online for in the first place!
Therefore, if you add content to your site, you are adding value to your site. And when you add value to your site, you give your visitors more reason to keep coming back.
You also demonstrate to your readers that you have the ability to entertain and inform them and that way you build trust. Thinking about your content in this way ensures that you make the very most from it. But in this report, you’re going to discover how to take it ever further…
How Does Content Marketing Work Psychologically?
Content marketing – when done correctly – should work over time to draw visitors to your site. You want them to become long-term fans who are loyal to your brand. You want visitors who are excited to buy pretty much anything that you recommend. But how do they make this journey and what is the precise role that content plays
At first, your content is going to work simply to increase your visibility and to help you get discovered. As mentioned already, content is what people search for and the more of it you have of quality content the more likely you are to get visitors.
So, someone might search for a topic related to a subject that you write about. Then they might see one of your links in the SERPs. Perhaps they click this link and get taken to your page. What do they find here?
Hopefully, they will read your blog post or article and they will enjoy it. But don’t think that you’ve made a fan overnight. In all likelihood, they won’t remember the name of your site or where they were when they read your post. After all, most of us are in a hurry and the thing that your audience wants most of all is to get the information they need and then leave.
But over time, there’s a good chance that they might discover your page again. Especially if they regularly read about the niche that you are writing in. If they are impressed again, then they might be more likely to start recognizing your page next time.
And if this happens a couple of times, they’ll probably make a note of your brand. They’ll remember that this is a site they can trust and that shares information in way that they find entertaining and engaging.
Now, if that user does a Google search and they see a selection of sites offering the information they’re looking for, they might actually gravitate towards your blog. In fact, if this keeps happening and you are able to build enough trust and authority, then your visitors may actually start to type in your site and to search for the content they want.
Eventually, they might bookmark the page. And eventually they might decide to check it regularly to see what new content is there!
Suddenly, you have a fan. You have someone who really enjoys what you have to offer and who trusts you as a creator.
Now, if you promote a product to them or mention something you’re working on, there’s a good chance they’ll be interested. All that free content demonstrated just how much knowledge you have and how much you care about providing value. As a result, when you charge for something, the reader will think that it must be good.
Let’s imagine for a moment that you have a site all about website design. You provide lots of useful information here about visual hierarchy, about using Illustrator and Photoshop, about coding and about security. All these things are written so well and in such an engaging manner that even people with no interest in web design become regular readers.
Now imagine you have a fan who reads that site every day and one day they need a web designed for them. Where are they going to look first? Who would be their ideal choice for a well-designed website?
You guessed it!
Earning the Right to Sell
Providing free content is not just the way you are going to offer value and build trust though: it is also how you earn the right to sell to your audience.
This is the entire notion behind a sales funnel. A sales funnel is a sequence of interactions with a visitor that has been meticulously set up by a creator. The aim is to take that visitor from being a stranger (a cold lead) to being someone who is ready to spend lots of money.
And while you might not like it, Thai Lopez is a perfect example of this!
If you’ve ever been on YouTube in the past year, then there’s a good chance you’ve encountered Thai Lopez. He is an internet marketer who has spent copious amounts on advertising on YouTube and who therefore manages to appear at the start of hundreds of videos.
The most famous of these videos was the ‘Here in my garage video’. For those who haven’t seen it, Thai begins the video by showing off his fancy cars. Then goes on to say how he loves books and then talks about the three tips he learned from his five gurus (two of those gurus presumably weren’t pulling their weight) which will share with you for free from his website.
So, what is happening here? Everything has been meticulously planned and meticulously staged. Did you know for instance that the human brain prefers lists of three and five? How convenient then that Thai had five gurus and learned three tips…
More importantly, Thai starts out by immediately trying to establish some authority. He does this through his cars and by mentioning a TED talk he did. This gives him credibility but we’ve never encountered him before. And it’s still not enough for us to consider buying from him. If his call to action at the end of the video was to buy his ebook, then his ads would have been a bust and he wouldn’t be everywhere today…
Instead, Thai smartly recommends going to his website where you can watch a 50 minute+ diatribe on marketing. This is his chance to demonstrate the value he is capable of building and to create more familiarity, trust and authority. It’s this crucial step that will prepare us to buy from him at the end of the video when he starts promoting paid services and products.
He could only do this after he built that relationship with the viewer.
And that’s precisely what you do with content marketing on your website or blog. You familiarize the viewer with who you are, with what your values are and with how you can help them. You demonstrate value and essentially you show what your brand is all about.
Now your audience will know whether or not they want to buy from you.
Compare this to a site that launched straight into a sales pitch. If you clicked a link on Google and it immediately tried to sell you an ebook, would you buy it? Or would you write it off as spam and just leave to look elsewhere? We don’t like cold sales and we don’t like buying from people and brands we don’t know.
I liken this to the dating game. You can’t just go up to a person in the street and ask them to come home with you: you’ll get slapped!
Instead, you first need to build that familiarity and show that you are fun, sexy and trustworthy. Only once you’ve put in the ground work can you ask for a number.
The same thing applies with your website. You are going to use content to build that relationship and to show what you’re all about. Then you will be able to earn the right to invite the reader to buy from you or to sign up to your course or your mailing list etc.
This is why the strategies for content marketing are so powerful. Whereas SEO and advertising focus on getting people to your site and making them aware of you, strategies for content marketing focus on creating real relationships, brand integrity and more.
A Note on How to Get People Behind Your Brand
An awful lot of work that goes into creating the right kind of content that will get people invested in your brand. It is certainly not enough to just create any kind of content and then hope that people will fall in love with what you have to offer!
One of the most important tips in fact, is to try and create content that qualifies users and that targets a very specific type of person. The biggest mistake you can make is to try and appeal to everyone. This simply makes your content generic and ensures that most people won’t care about it much at all.
To get people on board with what you have to offer, you need to have a message and you need to have a clear ethos. For example, if you have a health site then you might want to decide whether you take a very scientific approach. You only recommend techniques and diets that are backed by research, or whether you take a more naturalistic approach and you recommend things that are natural and don’t include chemicals.
The option you choose will depend on your own personal beliefs but most important is that you pick one. This way, you can help people to gain an understanding of what your site represents. That way they’ll know what to expect if they use a product you recommend.
Your Content as a Product
The best way to get more from your content is to start thinking of it as a product. Instead of thinking of content as something that you churn out over time, instead think of it as an exciting event and as a huge value proposition that you can pitch to your audience.
How does this change things?
First, think about the way in which you might normally approach your content. You probably write several hundred words each time. You churn it out in a few hours with some keyword optimization then publish it and share it.
Instead, I want you to take a little more time and care over the entire process.
First, you are going to start building buzz and anticipation. That means using your other posts, email marketing and social media pages. This is something that a company will often do with a new product but that you rarely see when it comes to content. This is powerful stuff though as it will get your audience ready for the content that is coming. It will make it seem much more important and exciting if it is worthy of buzz!
Apart from anything else, people want what they can’t have.
In product marketing, we tend to think a lot about the packaging and the name. In this case, packaging is similar to the design of your page. The way you lay out your writing and any images that you choose to add. Either way, if you take more time and care in the presentation of your content it will leap off the page and will provide the reader higher value. If you adorn with high definition images and uses an attractive font it will be more enjoyable to read and seem more professional. Your audience will feel they are reading something more exciting and in short, they will be more likely to come back and to trust what you have to say.
Unique Selling Point (USP)
The ‘name’ of your product in this case is going to be the title. The title of your article should be something that conveys the inherent value and this is where we are going to use another product-related term: USP.
USP is ‘Unique Selling Point’: this is the thing that sets a product apart from the crowd and that ensures it has value. This is just important when it comes to a written blog posts because if there’s nothing unique about your content, then you aren’t giving your visitors any reason to read it and you will be greatly diminishing the potential value.
Think about it: gold is valuable because it is rare. If we were to discover huge reserves of gold, then all gold would go down in value.
Likewise, articles on ‘how to get abs’ aren’t all that valuable because the reader can get them anywhere. Articles on a specific and lesser-known technique for weight loss such as cardio-acceleration and rarer and as such, they are more valuable.
You need to convey this unique selling point in your article title and you need to make sure that your audience knows what the article can do for them and why that is a big deal. Really hit on the ‘value proposition’ and on the emotional hook.
Finally, you are going to approach the way you market your content in a similar manner to the way you would market a product. That’s right: you are going to actually promote each blog post you create. That means sharing it on social media, talking about it in forums and posting it to Reddit etc.
Try to sound as excited about this new blog post as you would be about a brand new product. And iterate that this amazing, beautifully presented information is absolutely free.
What’s more, is that you don’t have to promote your content once and then be done with it. Just like a product, you can keep on promoting it for years to come. There’s nothing wrong with occasionally reminding people about an old ‘evergreen’ post.
Likewise, you can also work on your posts to improve them, to bring them up-to-date. You may even slightly change the tone. This then gives you free license to give them a new shout out. Also, it works to find a newer, bigger audience for them.
As you can see then, content really can change the way people view your site. – But first you need to change the way you view content. This isn’t just something you ‘have to do’, this is a ‘loss leader’. it is a free product designed to demonstrate your expertise, your care, your skill and your brand so that people can decide if they want to follow you.
As such, it is crucial that you put your best foot forward. Content should be engagingly written, entertaining and beautifully presented. Each blog post should feel like a project and should get your audience excited to read on.
And each blog post should be promoted as such. If you want to learn more about how to write content in an engaging manner, how to present it, how to promote it and how to make sure that all this hard work pays off the best advice I can give you is to start writing your very best content right now. Then make a commitment to keep doing this and to focusing on providing amazing free value rather than thinking about the short-term bottom line. This is how global brands are born.