Content marketing is a form of digital marketing that focuses on content to draw leads to a website or mobile application. As the name suggests, quality content is the backbone of the content marketing strategy with a strong emphasis on Search Engine Optimization or SEO.
Why Use Content Marketing?
Any business with an online presence should utilize content marketing strategies. This is especially true of cannabis businesses due to the many marketing restrictions these companies face. However, restrictions aside, content marketing has many valuable benefits.
The biggest investment in a content marketing strategy is — well — content. Whether the investment is monetary (hiring someone to produce the content) or time (such as content produced in-house), it almost never compares to the cost of other marketing strategies. In fact, content-based marketing costs 62 percent less than traditional marketing strategies according to Demand Metric.
Content is up to five times more effective than traditional marketing strategies because it focuses on the people, not the sale. The idea is to attract the ideal lead throughout all stages of the buyer journey without wasting time (or money) on those with no interest in the product or service. The best part? An on-going content marketing strategy gets better with time by improving both search engine rank and brand visibility. Research suggests that annual website traffic increases almost eight times as quickly for content marketers compared to other marketing strategies.
As mentioned, quality content promotes brand visibility which provides an excellent opportunity to build brand reputation. Considering that people are 59 percent more likely to purchase from a familiar brand, establishing a positive brand reputation with a solid digital presence is a great way to boost sales and increase customer loyalty.
People prefer to purchase from trusted brands. By delivering valuable content regularly, brands can actively connect with their leads to build a sense of community and brand involvement.
Marketing with content targets leads throughout all stages of their buyer journies: awareness, consideration, decision, and loyalty. For example, buyers in the “awareness” stage are more receptive to blogs, reports, and educational content. Conversely, those in the “consideration” stage may prefer product reviews, case studies, and testimonials. Essentially, focused, target content gives businesses more visibility during all stages of the buyer journey.
Tips for an Effective Content Marketing Strategy
The first step to developing an effective content marketing strategy is to define the target audience. This generally occurs through the development of buyer personas, or imaginary people that embody different target audiences. Common characteristics of a buyer persona include age, gender, habits, concerns, and solutions. Thus, buyer personas help content creatives produce targeted content that will resonate with each demographic.
Further target content using keywords, or carefully planned words and phrases most likely to match certain search queries. Keywords should appear in the title, the introduction paragraph, a subheader, and (depending on content length) sporadically throughout the body of the content. Use keywords naturally throughout the copy and at least once in your meta description, as well. Keyword research tools like SEM Rush can help make the process easier.
Of course, when publishing content, it must have value. According to Time Magazine, readers only spend 15 seconds on a webpage before deciding whether or not to stay. That means businesses have only 15 seconds to capture the attention of their visitors before they bounce. (High bounce rates are bad because that indicates to search engines that the page isn’t worth indexing.) If people are to stay on a webpage longer than 15 seconds, they must find it either informative, entertaining, or both.
Finally, and perhaps most importantly, publish content regularly and frequently. Use many forms of content including blogs and articles, images, infographics, videos, podcasts, and so on. This makes it easier for people to find the content and easier for website visitors to consume the content. For example, while some prefer to read the news during their morning cup of coffee, others might prefer to listen on their drive to work or scan a visual for important information quickly.
We cannot say enough about content marketing. In fact, there’s a good chance that you found us through our own content marketing strategy! Contact us to learn more about how we can help with your content marketing strategy, as well.