When looking for strategies to build a successful business and attract more customers, content creation is one of those answers that most of us wish didn’t pop up.
Creating high-quality content consistently is hard work. It takes time (and as a business owner, you don’t have a lot of spare hours floating around).
There are heaps of excuses that you could use to dismiss content creation as a smart marketing method for your business:
You’re not a writer. You’re not creative enough. You’ll never find the time to create content. Does anyone even have time to read blog posts anymore?
If statements like these have kept you from giving blogging or content marketing a fair shot, I hope this blog post will change your mind.
Even though I’m still in the early stages of implementing it consistently, creating content has been one of the most valuable things I’ve done to grow my business.
To help make my case, I reached out to these successful business owners slash content experts for their take on how content marketing can transform your business:
Content marketing has been extremely valuable for bringing in a steady stream of clients. I utilized content marketing for Elle & Company by sharing detailed posts about design, blogging and creative entrepreneurship on the blog – all of which appealed to small business owners in need of a brand and website. The larger my blog audience became, the more potential clients were exposed to my work and the more quickly and consistently I booked clients.
Content marketing can take many shapes and forms – blog posts, podcasts, webinars, newsletters – but by providing free, helpful content that benefits your ideal clients, you’ll increase your audience size, increase your credibility, and build trust among potential clients.
-Lauren Hooker, Elle & Company Design
Website | Facebook | Instagram | Twitter
Content, content, content! There’s a reason why this strategy has been hailed as King – it works. But, it also has to be done right. There’s a lot of noise out there these days and to stand out you need to be vulnerable, take risks, and tell a strong story. Honesty and human touch are the key ingredients to attract ideal clientele to your business. You’ll weed out the people who aren’t a great fit for your brand while drawing in perfect clients like a moth to a flame. It takes practice to publish consistently high quality writing, but done right (and strategically) and you will see that steady flow.
Whether your business is built exclusively online or you have a locally-focused business that you want to expand and grow, content marketing is one of the best ways I’ve found to build an audience and book business.
5 Reasons Content Creation will Make Your Business More Successful
Let’s get to some specifics. What, exactly, can content marketing really do for your business? How will it help you grow? How will it help you book more clients and earn more money?
While I believe there are literally dozens of reasons creating content is great for business, here are my top 5.
1 – Content marketing helps you build credibility
Publishing content on your area of expertise gives you the opportunity to prove that you know what you’re doing. It’s a natural, easy way to demonstrate your knowledge while also being incredibly helpful to your audience.
It’s also the perfect platform to demonstrate your unique approach to your industry and create differentiation between your brand and the others in your niche (which, in turn, helps you build a loyal and engaged audience).
2 – Content marketing builds relationships
I strongly believe that good business comes down to good relationships. And building relationships takes time and repetition.
If you meet someone at a networking event and exchange business cards, that’s an introduction. If you run into that same person at multiple events, get to know them, and be of service by introducing them to someone or mentioning a resource – now you’re building a relationship.
In a similar way, when someone lands on your website and clicks around for a minute, they’ve been introduced to you and your business. But if they come back to your website multiple times and read helpful blog posts, they’re starting to form a relationship with your brand.
Content marketing – and blogging in particular – gives people a really good reason to come back and visit your website over and over again. It gives them a chance to interact with and benefit from your business in small ways over time.
3 – Content marketing is good for SEO
Disclaimer: I’m not an expert on SEO. But I do know that the more high-quality content you add to your website, the more likely you are to show up in relevant searches.
Here’s some advice from Zach Bulygo and Sean Work from the KissMetrics blog:
“…Google wants to reward high-quality sites that contain original content. So not only does great content make a better website, it also improves your site’s rankings, which can have a very positive impact on your business.”
There’s a lot of great information out there on how to use keywords, meta tags, and a dozen other technical details to boost your SEO. But if you don’t have the time (or desire) to dig into that right now, simply publishing quality content that your prospects and customers will want to read will give your website extra exposure on search engines.
My own personal (and very simple) SEO strategy for my blog looks like this:
- My first priority when writing anything is how strongly it will appeal to my ideal audience. I don’t stuff blog posts with a specific keyword. I know that by writing content consistently that is in line with my business and my prospects, I’m gradually building up a library of content that includes relevant keywords (like website design, branding, and online business). My top priority is always to write content that is easy and fun to read for actual humans.
- I spend a large chunk of time creating headlines that are effective and intriguing
- I use an SEO plugin called Yoast SEO for my WordPress blog
4 – Content marketing means clients come to you
Content marketing allows you to tap into something called inbound marketing.
The inbound part means that you’ll be creating a path for clients to come to you, instead of you going out and tracking them down yourself.
Having qualified prospects approach you is an amazing thing, but the aspect I love most about inbound/content marketing is the opportunity to sell without being “salesy”.
When you create content, you are promoting your business, your knowledge, and your area of speciality. But instead of a pushy sales message, you’re framing the information in a way that is genuinely helpful for your audience.
People will seek your content out because it has value to them. And in return, those that love what you have to say and are in the market for what you offer will approach you voluntarily, already knowing you are someone they likely want to work with.
5 – Content marketing gives you an efficient way to serve your prospects before asking them to trust you with their money
Trust is a huge part of the equation when it comes to purchasing something (especially something expensive or something service-based).
There are plenty of sales techniques that use pressure and intimidation to close the deal, but I’ve always believed that building relationships with people and being helpful (even if you’re not being paid yet) is the best way to build a profitable business.
Blogging presents an amazing and efficient way to begin building those trust-based relationships with people before they become customers. If you’re focused on creating content that is truly useful and valuable, you’ll be serving your prospects well before asking them to invest in you with their money.
There are plenty of ways to begin building relationships and to be of service to prospective clients, but blogging is by far the most scalable way I’ve found.
While I love to network in person and often meet with people for free consultations, I could never find enough hours in my day to connect with as many people as I can with a single blog post.
Your blog will give you the opportunity to offer that free, trust-building value to an exponential audience. And since you’re consistently building trust through your content, more and more people will begin approaching you ready to do business with you.
Are you convinced that content marketing is a smart move for your business? Here are a few other resources to help you get started: