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The Basics of Content Marketing: What It Is and Why It Matters

Treefrog Marketing helps small businesses develop a content marketing strategy.

Treefrog Marketing helps small businesses develop a content marketing strategy.

If you’ve been in the business world, then you’ve probably heard of content marketing before. Business owners, in particular, have most likely come to realize the importance of generating original content in order to promote their company and brand to potential customers. But, you may not fully understand the ins and outs of this prominent marketing tactic, and that’s okay. We’re here to help you break it down and walk through the basics of content marketing: what it is and why it matters for your business.

What is content marketing?Treefrog Marketing helps small businesses develop a content marketing strategy.

In order to generate effective content marketing, it’s important that we first understand what it is at its core. The Content Marketing Institute defines content marketing as “a strategic marketing approach focused on creating and distributing valuable, relevant, and consistent content to attract and retain a clearly-defined audience — and, ultimately, to drive profitable customer action.”

Simply put, content marketing provides your customers with helpful and valuable content that helps customers and prospects solve a problem they are facing. So, instead of just pitching your business’s products or services, you offer insight and expertise into issues related to your industry.

While the concept of content marketing may seem a little counterintuitive (hello, why would we help customers solve their problems for free?), think of it this way: providing your customers with valuable content when they face issues they can resolve on their own will encourage them to trust you when they face issues they cannot resolve on their own.

Content marketing establishes your business’s credibility and expertise within your industry. It helps you build relationships with potential clients; this is vital for turning current prospects into future satisfied customers. People do business with companies they can trust, and consistent content marketing establishes that credence.

What exactly is “content”?

Treefrog Marketing helps small businesses develop a content marketing strategy.

In marketing, content is media that’s strategically created and distributed to establish a brand, attract an audience, and build relationships. All these things are achieved through the consistent and strategic use of social media, business blogging, web copy, newsletters, email campaigns, infographics, videos, and much more. Together, these media outlets give your brand a face and relevance, and they establish your business as a valuable resource that people can rely on.

Why does this matter?

Treefrog Marketing helps small businesses develop a content marketing strategy.

Now that we have a clear understanding of what content marketing it, why does it matter? Let’s look at a few ways that consistent and strategic content marketing can transform your business and profits.

First impressions are important.

Nine out of ten times, your company’s website is the first interaction people have with your business. Within a matter of seconds, they’ll either click off the page or decide to look a little longer. Strategic, quality content will tell people what they need to know quickly, help them solve a problem, and encourage them to keep reading and learning about your business. In the online business age, first impressions are everything, so you want to make a good one! This will help you establish yourself as a trustworthy guide who can successfully help others.

Content builds relationships.

The goal of any business is to grow and to ultimately stand out as a leader in its industry. Content marketing is the ideal way to achieve this goal. If you provide useful, targeted information for your clients, people who read your blogs or social media posts will come to trust your brand. Content marketing can help you establish yourself as an expert in your field and leave people wanting a relationship with your company or brand. Once that relationship is established, prospective customers will turn to you when they face an issue they can’t resolve on their own. They’ll become loyal customers because of the trust you’ve established through content marketing.

Content improves search engine optimization (SEO).

New, consistent, and unique content also helps your business rank higher in SEO algorithms. If you’re not extremely familiar with SEO and how it works, that could be your next area of focus in promoting your company! Essentially, SEO (Search Engine Optimization) is what helps search engines like Google rank your business’s website and content. The higher your rank, the easier it is for potential clients to find your content when searching for things related to your industry. That means more clicks for you from interested, prospective clients.

Content marketing assists with a strong, strategic inbound marketing plan.

Utilizing these content marketing tactics can work together to create a broader inbound marketing strategy. If you’re not familiar with inbound marketing, it goes hand in hand with content marketing. Basically, content marketing is a subset of inbound marketing; the only difference is that inbound also focuses on sharing outside content that is not your own. Together, content and inbound marketing utilize all forms of communication channels to draw potential customers to your business so you can help them solve a problem or take advantage of an opportunity.

How do I start?

Treefrog Marketing helps small businesses develop a content marketing strategy.

Starting an effective content marketing campaign takes time and effort, but it pays off in dividends if properly implemented. For starters, you will need to begin with a strategy.

To do this, first ask yourself a few questions about your audience and current online presence.

  1. Who is your ideal audience?
  2. Do you have an effective online presence? Does your audience know about it?
  3. What areas of your business do you want to grow?
  4. What resources do you have to expand on content marketing?
  5. Who is your current audience?
  6. What issues does your current audience face that they need your help resolving?
  7. How can you help your audience with online (and offline) resources?

Now, think about the future.

  1. Where do you want to be in the future?
  2. What other audiences do you want to reach?
  3. What goals do you have for your online presence?
  4. How can you help potential customers solve the issues they face that are related to your industry?
  5. How can you build relationships with them?

Once you define your ideal audience and create achievable goals for your business, you’ll be ready to start creating your content. It’s important to consistently produce social media, blog posts, and other pieces of content that your audience is interested in consuming. If you make it a priority to implement these things into your company’s weekly routine, it won’t take long before you notice a positive difference in your business’s online traffic, click rates, and ROI.

Treefrog Marketing helps small businesses develop a content marketing strategy.

Treefrog Marketing is a marketing agency focused on small business and located in Lafayette, Indiana. We specialize in strategic marketing and advertising, graphic design, web design, social media, SEO, and more. For more information, please visit our website. You can also connect with us on Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, and Instagram.