If you were to ask any online marketing strategist what the top three elements of developing a successful online presence are, most would tell you, "Content, content, content." In web marketing circles the phrase "Content is king" is used more than any other, and for good reason. Creating and sharing engaging content for your website is one of the best things you can do to market yourself online, and in most cases all it costs you is time. Many businesses seem to dismiss the built-in blog portion of their website, when in reality your blog content should be the lifeblood of your entire online marketing strategy. This is because it serves a very important dual purpose.
Splurge on the Reception Area
Most obviously, content drives traffic to your site. Think of your blog as the reception area in a high-end car dealership. By sharing regular content with your online circles via social media platforms, you get potential customers in the door. The can look around, enjoy some complimentary coffee and tea, and maybe get a free consultation. The more content you have, the less likely they are to leave. Once they are comfortable they might make their way onto the dealership floor and that's when you sell them a car. By contrast it's very difficult to walk up to someone on the street and give them the hard sell on a BMW. The same holds true for your website. Content marketing is a courtship, one that's becoming increasingly expected among customers.
Value Breeds Loyalty
While high content volume is more likely to drive traffic to your site, the quality of said content is the key to turning that traffic into customers. Herein lies the second purpose of your blog: providing value to your customers before they become customers. This strategy is called value marketing and depending on your industry, it can be an integral part of developing loyalty-based customers. The idea is that despite all other marketing flash, people are more likely to choose a business that has already given them something versus those that have not. Not only does this act as a sort of "free sample" of your business, it also tells people that you care about them and want to add value to their lives without them having to even write a cheque. The value you provide can be as simple as a list of tips or a helpful article, but it can make a huge difference.
I like to sum up the power of a value-driven content strategy with two premises:
- People care about businesses that care about them.
- People tell people about the businesses they care about.
In that light, take a moment to think about what value you're providing through your website. Remember that a blog isn't just a blog anymore; it's the doorway to your business. Give your customers a reason to walk through it.