You are in business and you need to focus on what it is that brings money in the door. Content marketing might not seem like a straight line to profit (or increased donations) but I’d like to share some reasons why you should consider this investment of effort and time more carefully.
If you haven’t heard of content marketing previously this approach to marketing is a “technique of creating and distributing valuable, relevant, consistent content to attract and acquire a clearly defined audience. The objective is driving a profitable customer action.” (Content Marketing Institute)
As a human, you’ve been given the ability to determine if a person is a giver or a taker, if another is a helper or not. Be a giver to your customers (and potential customers). It’s a refreshing change for the customer to not be bombarded with “Buy Me!” statements at every turn. Give your knowledge, give your expertise, give your time and your audience will be grateful to you. They can see that effort and they know it took real work to produce. They’ll begin to consider you their “go-to” person for problems even slightly related to your topic. It’s because you gave to them without asking for anything in return, it demonstrates that you care about them and want to help. You have fostered your relationship and they trust you as a result.
It’s Great for SEO & Drives Traffic
All that useful information you are providing is full of keywords. In the title, headlines, body text, file names, captions and more are metadata which will be full of keywords. These very important words that describe who you are, what you do, the value you offer, your industry etc. are the building blocks of the internet. When you create content that holds all that information, it’s indexable in search engines. People that don’t know you will be more likely to find you because they’re searching for content with the keywords you’re using. Your content will show up in search engine result pages and the more you create, the more people interact, the more highly it will appear. Much of your traffic will be derived from content creation (think a blog on your website.)
Brand Authority & Thought Leadership
The fact that you’ve been creating content over a period of time, you’re putting the effort in, it demonstrates your abilities and skill set. Just like when you stand up in front of a room of people to teach or speak on a topic, you are immediately seen as more knowledgeable than others when you take the time to put it out there. Your audience is learning from you and, even if they don’t buy from you, it increases your visibility as an authority on your topic. Having your own opinion is important, go out on a limb, use your own words, and drive the conversation.
Increase Brand Awareness
One of the most popular desires of people in any organization, is to have more individuals know who you are and what you do. Awareness of your brand is extremely important and by creating content that tells your story, you can use content marketing to expose them to a brand they never knew existed.
Your customers are very possibly in research mode if they are finding your content. Use additional premium content on your site (like white papers or ebooks) to draw them in even further. They are interested in what they’re consuming for a reason and as they are interacting with blogs, videos, slidedecks, ebooks or the like, you have the opportunity to give them a call-to-action. This is an opportunity to get them closer to the decision point or to convert to a customer or donor.
You can create great content that’s shareable! All that stuff you share, someone else created with the hope that it would be spread out over the internet. Having your customers and viewers share your content is held in higher regard by your customers than if you shared it (or promoted it) yourself. When someone shares your content, you’re getting that person’s seal of approval when they put their name on the line by distributing your efforts.
Reason to Return
If they loved it once, they’re likely to return to the well looking for more good stuff. This is why consistency is important. (If you need a way to get on a schedule and stick to it, try my Editorial Calendar or Theme Document.)
Search engines place high trust in websites that have been pointed to by other sites also known as backlinks. Say you write a blog and share the link to Facebook, now your Facebook post is pointing to your website. Your YouTube channel bio has a link to your website, that’s another backlink. Each time a link on the internet points towards your site or content, search engines can see you a little more in that big crowded universe of websites.