What is content marketing? And the 5 reasons you should start today

Content marketing is an affordable marketing strategy that many businesses are using to generate more website visitors and grow their business. As a marketing tactic it refers to creating quality content that educates potential customers about your products or services and generates prospects for your company.

Content marketing helps small businesses compete with larger companies by providing them with an opportunity to show off their expertise in their fields.

People are 64% more likely to buy from someone they know, like or trust.

Content is a great way to build this trust with potential clients so that they want to do business with you.

RELATED: What is content marketing?

Benefits of content marketing

For me, there are some massive benefits to regularly publishing and promoting content:

Benefit 1: Gain a competitive edge over larger companies

I have always been a fan of the underdog (it was always Agassi over Sampras for me). Small companies can use content to get exposure on the internet, that is close to impossible in the real world.

Youtube, Facebook and Google doesn’t really care too much how big or small you are. I can publish an article on my website that gets 100s of free visitors from Google every month. I can beat the bigger companies in my industry if my article is well-written, properly thought out, and if I somehow manage to better educate my potential clients.

So can you.

DISCLAIMER: The above platforms do make use of paid ads, and with those paid ads they absolutely care about how big your wallet is. With content marketing, the idea is get organic, or free, traffic to your website by promoting content without spending money on buying clicks or views.

Benefit 2: Spend less money on advertising, generate more leads for your company

Those fancy billboards on the N1 highway? The cool ads on tv? The radio ads with the impressive voice overs?

No small business can afford those. Traditional marketing can be expensive, difficult to measure and for small businesses, sometimes just doesn’t make sense.

But on the internet, the playing field is level for you and I.

We can publish content for next to nothing. Articles like this one. Videos. Checklists. PDF Guides. Podcasts. Infographics. Social media posts.

We can use our networks (both personal & professional networks and social media networks) to promote this content. With online marketing, you don’t necessarily need 1 million views on your video for it to have an impact.

Imagine the local plumber sharing plumbing tips on a Youtube channel. Educating his local community on how to fix everyday plumbing issues. If he gets a 1000 views on a video, he will most definitely feel the impact on his business.

With persistance and dedication, he will become the go-to expert for plumbing in his area.

Imagine the local web developer writing content about to use a website to make a real impact for your business. An impact measured in phone calls and enquiries which leads to sales and revenue. Which means you can take the family on that dream Disney World trip.

If you didn’t notice, I am that local web developer. Writing content. So that I can take my family to Disney World 🙂

NOTE: Just that last sentence reveals a little bit about me. You now know I have a family. And that I want to take them to Disney World. This means we potentially have two more things we can connect on. Imagine I had a billboard next to the N1, and on that billboard I said: “Hey you, do business with me so that I can take my family to Disney World?” Not quite the same impact.

Benefit 3: Publish it right, and potential clients will find you

This one is huge.

If you approach content marketing in the right way, and you use your website as your main platform for publishing content, Google will start noticing.

When Google starts noticing, that’s when you will start receiving organic traffic (this is when potential clients do a Google search, and they click on your website. Without you having to pay a cent for that click.)

This is where the lines between content marketing and SEO gets a little blurry. But that is an entire different topic for another day.

Keep in mind, organic Google traffic is the holy grail of online marketing.

What would it mean for your business if dozens of potential clients came to your website every day without you having to pay for those visits?

Benefit 4: Never worry about social media content again

I get it. Some guy on the internet told us to post content to our company Facebook page (or LinkedIn, TikTok or some-other-social-media-platform).

But the problem is, you don’t post regularly since you aren’t sure what to post.

Guess what happens when you start regularly creating content on your website?

Yup, you guessed it. Social media posts become easy.

EXAMPLE

  • Sue runs a law firm
  • Sue publishes an article titled: “5 Common rental agreement mistakes that can cost you thousands
  • Sue now creates a social media post around each of those problems (5 problems = 5 social media posts
  • BONUS: Sue can revisit this article every few months, and re-use that same content because it is still relevant. And because social media posts are a little bit like a shooting star (they disappear into space pretty quickly), so you have to re-post the same content eventually.

Benefit 5: Attract the right kind of client

If you have read this far, you and I need to chat. Seriously.

Why?

Because by spending your valuable time to read up to this point, you have proven your interest in content marketing as a marketing strategy. You most likely learnt a few things. You might even be excited about this topic. You might have a few questions. Hopefully you have learnt a thing or two.

You clearly value what I have written, which means there is a great chance that you are someone that enjoys learning new concepts.

Do you see how this content has qualified you as a good prospect for me to speak with?

That is the goal with content like this.

You can attract the right kind of clients to your business. Clients that take the time to do their homework before they choose a provider. Clients that want to learn and understand how a concept works (even if only at a high level).

Exercise

Imagine I get two phone calls:

  • Caller A says: “I just read the content marketing article on your website, and I was blown away. I have a few questions…”
  • Caller B says: “I got your name from a friend. I’m in a rush, but can you tell me how much does a website cost?”

Caller A read my content before calling. Because she read this content, she already knows, likes and trusts me (to a certain extent anyway). She is excited about the concept of content marketing. She understands some part of how it works (even if it is only at a high level).

Caller B never took the time to read my content, and is only calling up to get a ballpark cost. From experience, if I mention price in this conversation, the caller will almost always think it is expensive.

Why?

Because Caller B didn’t read content, like this article, which clearly shows why they should know, like and trust me enough. And also to understand that when I build a website, I think of things like SEO, content marketing, email marketing automation, conversion rate optimization, and a dozen other things that the average boy-next-door-web-designer has barely heard of.

Enough industry jargon though.

Fact is, those prospects that read your content will, more often than not, make for better clients.

And the flip side is also true. You can use certain content to “repel” clients (click here for more information on what repelling content is).

SIDENOTE:
For Caller B I can also use content marketing to answer his question.But how?

The truth is that a website has dozens of factors that can influence the price. But I can share an article with him titled: “What does a website cost in South Africa?“. You see how I write an article? Then I use it in my marketing AND in my sales process. By forwarding the link to Caller B I have now saved myself time, plus I have educated Caller B.

Examples of small businesses who have used content marketing effectively and how they did it

I work closely with Tonic Branding. Sanmari is a world-class brand strategist.

But to be honest, I struggled to educate my clients about what a proper logo should look like, how a logo must be versatile, and the different formats and why those are important.

Sure, I could spot a logo that look like it came straight from the 80s. But I had no idea of how to make it better. I couldn’t even convince my client (let’s call him Shaun) to talk to Sanmari, because he doesn’t know, like or trust her. Not yet.

I can personally vouch for Sanmari. Which counts for something.

But still, it takes a leap of faith for Shaun to call up a brand strategist/designer that he doesn’t know from a bar of soap.

So, I asked/begged/pestered Sanmari to write an article for her website, so that I can share that article with Shaun.

After all, I couldn’t explain to Shaun exactly what a good logo looks like.

So, instead of me trying to explain these things, I can now just share an article with Shaun.

Why is this great for Sanmari?

  1. Sanmari doesn’t need to explain the exact same thing to clients on the phone, saving her tons of time.
  2. Sanmari doesn’t have to spend 80% of the call trying to convince Shaun that she knows what she is talking about. Shaun read the article, so he already knows more about the problem that Sanmari can solve for him.

Why is this great for Shaun (the imaginary client)?

  1. Shaun doesn’t need to jump on a phone call with a stranger. Let’s be honest, for some people, this will be too big a leap to make (if there was no article, Shaun might have saved Sanmari’s number, and just never called her up).
  2. Shaun takes 10 minutes to read the article, and can then make up his own mind about what the next step will be.

Why is this great for Eben (that’s me, btw)?

  1. It is much easier for me to connect my clients with Sanmari, which means I can sleep well knowing they have a brand and logo that will make a real impact for their business.
  2. I don’t sound like an idiot trying to explain branding and design to my clients. I can now confidently refer Sanmari to my clients, and I can share content she has created that portrays her as an expert.
  3. Sanmari makes me look good to my clients. How? By writing valuable content that I can share to them, which helps my clients.

Sanmari wins. Shaun wins. Eben wins.

Here is the link to the mentioned article: How to Design a Logo That’ll Get Your Business Recognised (Top 6 Tips)

NOTE: See how the article that Sanmari wrote is now shared on other places on the internet? Which means she gets even more exposure and eyeballs on her content?

So, what content will you create next?

Not entirely convinced about the power of content marketing?

Let’s recap.

By writing an article on my blog, I was making use of content marketing (both as a topic for this article AND as a marketing strategy to get more eyeballs on my business).

Now that you have read this article, where I shared my learnings, opinions and advice with you, what thoughts are going through your mind?

Did you find this content helpful? Was it educational?

Don’t you think your potential clients would know, like and trust you more if you had similar content on your website?

I think so. Drop me a message if you want to chat about content marketing. Zero obligation (because I don’t even offer this as a service. Hopefully soon.) Let’s chat, and see what interesting content ideas we can come up with for your business.

Eben

Father of 3. Enthusiastic reader of books. Moderately proficient braaier of meat.

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