"Content is King!" The familiar cliche rings out and undeniably, rings true.
But, now, it goes even further than that. Content isn't just King. Content is the Kingdom. It's the foundation that powers your Inbound strategy. Developing original content is the key to finding success in content marketing. Perhaps that sounds obvious, with 'content' right in the name. But, an Inbound campaign covers a multitude of marketing tools: e-mail, social media, calls-to-action, and more. It's all too possible to push the actual content creation to the side. But, skimping on content creation is a fatal error in Inbound marketing.
It's not content that drives the Inbound methodology. It's GREAT content.
Great content is engaging, well-written, optimized, and original. Great content draws people in and encourages them to read more, click around, and ask questions. Great content sets the table for driving leads.
For a business ready to embrace Inbound, custom content development should be at the center. Creating content that helps, informs, and delights should be the prize on which all eyes are affixed.
What can great, original content do for your business?
1. Establish Authority
In reference to social media, people often talk about "joining the conversation." It's increasingly become a focus for businesses of all sizes and types. If you're not a part of the conversation, the thinking goes, then you're out of mind entirely. While engaging with potential customers and other leaders in your industry is important, there's something even better you can do for your standing. Custom content development lets you lead the conversation. Don't just jump in on a topic - start it. Great, original content is the key to establishing your company as a thought leader and authority within your industry. When a potential customer goes searching on Google for an answer to a question related to your industry, it carries significant weight to be there with an answer. It simply makes sense. Who would you see as more credible: a company with all the answers or a company that didn't bother to answer at all? More than that, custom content development makes your company look and feel current, active, and approachable. Creating original content is making the first move and makes it easier for a potential customer to respond in kind.
2. Attract Customers
Content creation is the most effective way to give a 'voice' to your company. That 'voice' - ideally - will be attractive to potential customers. It's more comfortable to buy from someone you're familiar with. Creating original content allow you to show consumers your culture, your areas of expertise, and your style of doing business. Inherently, creating great content that helps, informs, and answers questions shows two important things about your company: 1) you want to help 2) you're able to help. Both should go a long way in endearing your company to those who are in the market for what you do. Making clear that intent and capability will naturally draw potential customers to your company. Content can also be fun! Too often seen as trivial, creating content that's fun for consumers to read is itself a win. Fun content can build an audience, encourage consumers to explore your website, and make the idea of doing business with you even more appealing.
3. Provide Value
Great content is the perfect appetizer for greater content. When done well, consumers will often want more. That's what gives value to your calls-to-action (CTAs). Without the lead in of great, original content, there would be little reason to be interested in something additional. Consistently publishing free content that helps potential customers will, in turn, generate leads as those potential customers look for more information from your company. When they click on a CTA, they're expressing direct interest in an area in which you've clearly established yourself as a credible authority. Then, when they request a content offer download (like an eBook, checklist, white paper, etc.) they're exchanging their e-mail address and starting a meaningful conversation about your business and its product/service that's likely to result in a new customer. Great content provides great value to your business because it provides great value for potential customers. Creating custom content that helps and informs is a subtle way to flex your expertise and demonstrate to consumers that your company should land on their short-list when they're ready to do business.