As a marketer, it won't have escaped your notice that content marketing is an absolutely crucial marketing discipline. Hailed by Google as an important factor for a search-friendly site, a namecheck from the world's biggest search engine gives it considerable credibility.
Indeed, you might be forgiven for thinking that, as a result, content marketing is all about SEO. But it's not -- a strong content strategy can provide your business with a whole range of other benefits. Let's run through a few of them and find out how you can start benefiting from them today.
Useful content builds trust with your audience
Your business's blog is your platform for delivering your unique, hard-won knowledge about your industry niche. Whether you're a vegan snack company or a graphic design agency, you have the opportunity to share high-quality and informative content that provides real value to your readership.
Do this regularly, and you will build up a reputation of authority and value to your audience. This helps create a strong, trusting relationship with your audience. They know they can return to your website time and again to find engaging, useful content that they can benefit from, a powerful achievement that is within the grasp of even the smallest of businesses.
Top takeaway: Use keyword research to identify what really matters to your audience, then create content that addresses those issues. Always deliver actionable takeaways in each post to provide your readers with real value.
Content can be repurposed across other marketing channels
Your content strategy isn't a passive marketing channel that sits on your website gathering dust. On the contrary: when done right, it can complement your other channels too. If you've worked hard to create a fascinating, valuable blog post, it's worth taking it further by repurposing it across your other marketing channels.
A strong piece of content can be shared across social media to create wider engagement, as well as filling up your social editorial calendar and saving you time further down the line. And by curating the very best of your year's content, you can create a beautiful end-of-year roundup when the festive season rolls around.
Top takeaway: Don't limit your content to your blog alone. Get creative and reuse it across multiple aspects of your marketing efforts. Your social and email channels are perfect for squeezing as much value as you can from your blog posts. Build an email newsletter to cascade your content across your subscriber list, and use social automation to automatically send your posts to your followers. It'll save you time and effort instantly, freeing you up for other, more pressing tasks.
Strong contents set you apart from your competitors
The world of ecommerce is becoming increasingly more accessible. With the arrival of a range of DIY e-store builders and content management systems that are affordable and easy to use, it's easier than ever for people to get started in the world of ecommerce. Unfortunately, this leads to a saturated market that can make it difficult for new businesses get heard above the noise.
Take the consultancy industry for example. Every consultant promises to increase a firm's profits, cut the waste, and streamline processes. It's what consultants do. How do they stand out in a marketplace where every business promises the same? The answer is through good content marketing.
In a world where branding is everything, your content strategy can set you apart from the crowd. By delivering captivating, interesting content in a unique, readable way, you can make potential customers sit up and take notice.
Top takeaway: Whatever content you're writing, let your personality shine through -- Innocent smoothies are a perfect example of a unique brand tone that resonates with their audience. Don't be afraid to be a little quirky or out there with your tone of voice (within reason).
Generate more leads with soft sell content
If you think that your blog is just a lot of how-to guides and advice columns, think again. Your content marketing strategy can help you generate real, tangible leads too. In fact, statistics show that 74% of businesses report more high-quality leads since they implemented a solid content strategy.
You can achieve this too by writing around your industry and talking about your business. Educate your audience about who you are and what you do, conveying to them the value you, your products, and your service have to offer. Avoid the hard sell: the beauty (and success) of content marketing lies in its indirect sales tactics.
Top takeaway: Discuss problems and issues common in your industry that your audience might face. Offering your products or service as the solution to those issues can help generate leads by placing your business front and centre.
This is a guest post by Kayleigh Alexandra.
Kayleigh Alexandra writes for Micro Startups, a passion project where she spreads the love for aspiring entrepreneurs and hardworking startups from a range of industries. To get involved with the entrepreneur love, connect with Micro Startups on Twitter @getmicrostarted today for the latest business and marketing knowledge bombs from industry experts.