If any of you have kids, or have been present at a children’s party, then you will know that no matter how pretty the wrapping is, whether the gift was hand delivered by Elsa from Frozen herself or whether the removal of a window and a crane were required to get the gift in the house, if the contents don’t cut “it” you needn’t have bothered.

Because it’s the anticipation of something longed for and desired, and the belief that this priceless item lies beneath the multi-coloured, bow clad exterior that keeps children from the realms of the cynical – but unfortunately, children do not hold the house purse strings. So therefore my job as a marketer and copywriter is to make sure that this way of thinking is encouraged and instilled in grown ups during their buying process through content.

Content marketing is still a relatively new concept despite having been around for the best part of a decade.  Also known as Inbound Marketing, the concept is a simple one – get people to come to you by providing relative, engaging and consumable content.

Classically, marketing was done by the “interrupting” method, by being proactively outbound.  Anything that could be classed as an interruption to a consumer falls into this category which includes such common marketing methods as billboard advertising, flyering and some direct mail, and cold calling, the last not being recommended.  Whilst there is an element of success to these methods they are often deemed as intrusive with the offerings being unsuitable for the customers’ requirements so are quickly being replaced with unique digital content.  This is where SEO and Adwords come into their own and begin the journey for website content marketing.

Having talked about SEO and Google Adwords in previous posts I will not dwell on this part, (but will be happy to expand on the connection if anyone wishes..?) but rather emphasise the types of unique content that will help your standing in the search results.  The aim of the game here is to choose words or phrases that you want to be ranked for and then build content around those.

For example; if you wanted to learn ‘how to cook a steak’ you might enter exactly that into your search engine.  Once the results are shown you will then determine where you want to go based on the rank of the result and the snippet of content provided.

As the purpose of a search engine is to direct the user to the most relevant content based on their search query, good content marketing should provide consumable content in a format that suits your requirements and preferred method of digestion.  This could be anything from a YouTube video to an infographic/interactive graphic, or an instruction guide or helpline link to a direct chat forum.   If the company has any sense they will then make suggestions of other offerings that you may be interested in based on the route you took to arrive on their site and which pages you visited or products you viewed.

By providing a visitor with the exact information that they require in a simple and user-friendly format you are increasing your chances of them visiting you again, becoming a customer, recommending you to others and sharing your content easily – but only if you allow them to.  What do I mean?  Well, people aren’t going to come into your shop if they can’t find the door and as Google ultimately determines your organic ranking based on unique and relevant content it is advised that you get a little bit creative with your blurbs…

Next week I am going to look at the many ways that you can use a really useful and engaging piece of content in order  to maximise your reach.

Inbound Marketing – all about the Content

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