There has never been a greater requirement for content in marketing than right now. With the internet being in millions of cases the only ‘shop window’ that a business has, it is imperative to make the website as visible and as engaging as possible.
One of the means to achieving that is content marketing which really started to become popular in the early 2000s. The rise of the internet as a commercial platform and the rise of the pioneer social networks meant that there was the need to create interesting web pages and interesting content to share on these social media networks.
However, the way that people use the web has changed a lot in the last 10-15 years. People are asking more questions from search engines, particularly with the introduction of voice-activated search: we are using search engines to solve our problems.
As such, search engines need to find the good quality content – not an easy job when most of the content out there is pretty rubbish! And from that moment, content marketing and Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) were linked. Users searching for solutions to their problems offer a good opportunity for businesses to create content which solves that problem.
So how do you know what to write about?
Well, if your content is all about your products and how utterly amazing they are, you haven’t quite got it right yet. Content marketing is about more than just saying how great your product is. It needs to be broader than that because product demonstrations are great when someone is searching for that, but how do they know that your product is the best solution to the problem that they have?
Your content should be based on the keyword research that you have already carried out for your SEO strategy and then shaped around your audience:
- What are their interests beyond your product? We know they are into your product, but what else are they into?
- What are their hopes and aspirations? What else do they want from life?
- What are their problems? Practical issues which are product related, but also wider concerns and fears?
And the payback? The theory is if someone finds your content to solve a problem of theirs, assuming that it is in some way related to your product or marketplace, then when they are in the market for your product, you will be at the top of their mind. And the theory works. Why else would Coke’s VP of Global Advertising Strategy, Jonathan Mildenhall, say “all advertisers need a lot more content so that they can keep the engagement with consumers fresh and relevant”?
Today’s consumers are more and more sophisticated, and are rejecting traditional forms of marketing and even traditional forms of digital marketing (e.g. super-irritating pop-up ads), so marketing needs to become more sophisticated. And content marketing is a great way of getting your content and business in front of potential customers and ahead of competitors.