What Is Content Marketing, and Should You Use It?In an effort to reach out to the masses, businesses are beginning to invest in – and see returns from – content marketing. If you haven’t heard the term, or don’t know what it means, you’re not alone, but you might be putting yourself behind the small business marketing curve.

Content Marketing Gives Visitors What They Want

A content marketing strategy for your business involves creating website content that serves a dual purpose. First, it attracts visitors by giving them the information and tools they’re looking for. Second, it promotes your business at the same time.

Traditional advertising is falling out of favor with customers. Today’s consumer is more interested in a give-and-take relationship with merchants and other providers. Content marketing fills that niche. By creating marketing content that is engaging, businesses can attract more visitors and begin to build a long-term relationship.

Consumers are spending more time on the Internet looking for (and finding) a lot of information. This represents an opportunity for smart business owners to engage consumers where their interests lie – and intersect with the strengths of your business.

How can you incorporate content marketing into your business website? Blogging is one way to provide a regular stream of new information – both about your business and about your industry in general.

Additionally, you can incorporate other content-heavy resources into your website – like photos, graphics (including animations or motion graphics), how-to videos, step-by-step instructions, relevant slide shows (with or without narration), databases and other similar materials that helps visitors understand your business and your industry, make decisions about their needs, and understand the choices available to them.

One of the biggest challenges to content marketing, however, is time. According to a recent study by the Content Marketing Institute, 7 out of 10 respondents said that lack of time (to develop, create and post content) prevented them from making better use of their content marketing strategy. 58% of respondents identified a second barrier – producing enough content – in the study. The third barrier to an effective content marketing strategy was the production of content that actually engages the viewer.

One thing is clear. Consumers prefer content marketing over more traditional forms of “informational” or “sales-oriented” marketing material. A softer sell with more information will get the prize every time.

If you would like more information about effective content marketing strategies, or how to incorporate a content marketing strategy into your business, please contact our Creative Director, Dave Ramsell or give Dave a call at (330) 243-0651 to set up a consultation.

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