What is content marketing?
Content creation services provided by marketing agencies can assist businesses with their content strategy and dial up their marketing performance to help grow their business. But first, let’s review what content marketing is.
Content marketing involves the creation of content, designed for a variety of platforms, specifically created to attract the attention of your target audience.
This can include social media, websites, blogs, public relations, printed marketing material, infographics, emails and testimonials to name a few.
Why does content marketing matter to SMEs?
This blog explores 6 reasons why content marketing is essential for your SME, and how content creation services can help grow your business.
1. Improves online presence
Building a strong online presence and having a high-performing website will involve a content strategy that comprises blog posts, case studies, and downloadable assets.
Most prospects and customers start their search for a supplier, provider or purchase online. So it is critical you are putting your best foot forward, with a strong online presence. Your content strategy will boost this, giving your website substance.
That’s assuming the core message, tone of voice and brand identity are consistent across all pieces of content and platforms, and that your content is aligned with the needs of your target audience!
If it is consistent and well-planned, you present a powerful front to the world of professionalism, expertise and care. However, if there are inconsistencies in your brand and tone of voice, and the content is not aligned with your audience’s needs, you risk coming across muddled, confused and unprofessional. None of that is the first impression you want to make on a potential prospect!
A content marketing specialist can build brand guidelines to be closely followed.
2. Increase your social media presence
Social media marketing is another way to create an online presence. This can be used as a method to demonstrate expertise, thought leadership and awareness, leading prospects to your website to find out more information. It is also an opportunity to show the ‘personality’ of your business so prospects can get a little bit of insight into you and your team – people buy from people after all!
If you have a positively engaged online community on social media that you are actively responding to, this demonstrates you’re a reliable and trusted company, influencing prospects’ decision-making.
The social networks you choose will depend on the industry you are in and where your target audiences are. It would be recommended to do some research first, such as reviewing which ones your competitors are on, and see how actively engaged they are.
Here, Hootesuite has created a helpful guide on how frequently to post on each social network.
3. Drives traffic to your website
A content marketing strategy should include creating content that allows you to be easily found on search engines, driving traffic to your website. This can be achieved by creating thought leadership, search engine optimised (SEO) blogs, optimised landing pages, and overall great content that solves the needs of the prospect.
By understanding your audience – their needs, concerns, opportunities to delight them and their questions, you can build a content strategy to not only fulfil their needs but also align with their Google searches.
Paid advertisements can also form part of content marketing services, to drive traffic to your website. This is achieved by creating content to appear on search engines or social networks. This content usually directs to the website and requires bidding for particular slots on search engines and social networks to get it seen.
For the best results, targeting your audience so it is only seen by those relevant, is key.
4. Makes you a trusted authority
Creating content and assets for your target audience is a great way to demonstrate your expertise in your industry. This builds trust, impacts decision making and encourages prospects to choose your business over competitors.
This doesn’t always have to be written content either, it can be videos, snippets, graphics, animations, and social posts to name just a few. Drawing on the technical and skilled expertise within the team in your business is a great way of persuading a prospect to enquire with you.
If you can demonstrate you know your subject better than someone else, this is a surefire way of beating the competition.
Reviews completed by customers can be another powerful content marketing tool. Building a library of positive reviews, such as google reviews, and the likes of Checkatrade is another way of building trust in your service.
Strategies can be put in place to encourage reviews to be completed by customers, ensuring that a regular stream of reviews is achieved. A digital content marketing agency will be able to assist you with this.
5. Creates warmer leads
After your content has fulfilled all of the above, it can also create warmer leads for your business. So when you get those enquiries, they’ve already been nurtured somewhat to help with conversion!
Therefore, you need different types of content for different stages of the sales funnel:
First stage – Attract
This can include a brief summary or snapshot for when a user first comes across you. This could be in the form of a poster, social post or giving basic information on a subject. The idea here is to create something clear and simple to spark their interest.
Second stage – Engage
A slightly more detailed description, such as access to an online brochure, infographic or website content, to furnish them with more information, and more insight into you and your business (and why they should consider your business over others). This will provide a more detailed overview and hopefully answer any questions they may have.
Last stage – Delight
For the last stage in the buying cycle, the delight stage, access to testimonials and case studies to demonstrate how you have helped others would be recommended.
6. Builds brand awareness
As mentioned above, consistency in tone of voice, core message and brand identity is crucial. If you get this right and put the infrastructure mentioned above in place, you will build a strong brand identity, and be recognised in your industry.
Create content yourself or get an agency to do it?
Using these pointers you can embark on a content strategy and content production yourself.
However, we would say, is this the best use of your resources?
Do you have the skills, knowledge and inclination to deliver the content strategy well enough to move the dial in marketing performance in your business?
We know very few business owners who would answer yes to that!
This is why a team of experts can deliver all of this for you, more quickly and with a better return on investment than if you tried to do it alone.
So, if you are looking for a digital marketing agency that provides content creation services to manage content creation and marketing for your SME, look no further.
If you would like to find out more information, please call us on 01444 810530, visit our website, or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.