In today’s digital world, none of us can escape the constant inundation of advertisements that bombard us throughout every aspect of our lives. Most of us, though tired of them, have grown accustomed to the countless intrusive pop-ups and colourful banners that follow us from site to site as we try and sift through pages to find the content we actually desire. More often than not, such techniques barely get a second glance and fade into the background. With our ever-growing junk folders full of SPAM and our recycling bins overflowing with ignored flyers, it’s time for businesses to step up if they want to be noticed amongst the marketing mayhem of today.

Richer content means richer contact

8316453191_c77daff747_bRather than investing huge quantities of money in order to gain the power to intrude on a consumer’s desired information in the form of a small, tedious box in the corner of their screen, businesses should strive to be the ones which are providing the information that consumers are actually seeking. Providing content which is useful to those who have an interest in the areas of your services or products will attract those individuals to your business. This means that individuals who actually are potential customers will actively choose to visit your site or subscribe to your services or campaigns. Rather than it being forced upon them like most marketing, these consumers will have made the decision to take an interest and engage with your material, making them much more likely to take notice and make a purchase.

This practice is known as ‘content marketing’ and is based on creating useful, relevant information which is readily available to consumers who may find it interesting. The purpose of content marketing is to distribute information which is consistently valuable in order to attract and acquire a clearly defined audience, with the ultimate aim to drive profitable customer actions. The key difference that sets this form of marketing apart from any other form of advertising is the word ‘valuable’. A piece of content that is part of a content marketing campaign is one which people actively seek out rather than avoid.

Content marketing is beneficial to small businesses and large-scale companies alike, however smaller businesses in particular should invest in content marketing as it is extremely effective in generating business awareness, engagement and leads. Furthermore, properly executed content marketing can build trust between a consumer and a business, as the individuals will already feel the business has in a sense provided them with a service in the form of this useful information. If consumers trust you, then they have a much higher probability of purchasing your products or subscribing to your services. Similarly, this increased level of trust is also extremely likely to benefit your business’ reputation as these individuals are likely to tell their friends and family about their positive experiences. Furthermore, if customers are particularly impressed by the content you provided, there is a much higher probability that they will be willing to leave their contact details for your business, be this out of an interest in the product you are describing or simply their desire to access future content. In this way content marketing can be extremely successful at generating new leads for businesses and gaining the attention of potential customers.

Spreading the good word

16686966191_c9827752b9In addition, if the content that is being created is of a high calibre and addresses current topics or perhaps those which are viewed as controversial, it has an increased chance of being disseminated via social networks such as Facebook and Twitter. Businesses which take advantage of such platforms can increase their reach and prominence, making their name recognised on an international level. In a similar manner, businesses which release high quality content on a regular basis can easily become established as a reliable source of information, also strengthening their brand. If such information is useful for consumers, a bond can be established between them and the business providing the content. It connects them long term, with businesses who consistently offer valuable content generate high levels of interest in their websites and campaigns, thus enticing users to return in the near future.

The key factor that most businesses consider before making a decision to bring in a new technique to their marketing is whether the benefits it can provide are worth the effort that is initially required. In the instance of content marketing the answer is almost undoubtedly yes. As long as the content being provided is consistently of a high quality in your industry or sector, which interests prospective customers and is accurately based on facts, the benefits content marketing can bring to a business are endless. Content marketing enables businesses to have a much greater impact on potential customers, thus forming a much stronger and positive relationship with them. Through this form of marketing, businesses can succeed   in gaining consumers’ trust, respect and loyalty in return for providing them with high calibre, relevant reading material, whilst simultaneously improving brand awareness.