How to Use Content Marketing to Grow a Business Online
Hey everyone, this is Brad from UnitedPress.Media, and in this article we are going to talk all about how to use content marketing to grow a business online. I’m going to share with you some content creation strategies that I have utilized that have helped me grow some of my online businesses. I’m also going to share how to create effective online content designed to help attract more people to you online, whether that’s visitors, followers, fans, likes, subscribers to your email list, etc. Once you learn how to use content marketing to grow a business online, it’s easier to focus on running and improving other aspects of your business.
I have mentioned this before and I’ll mention it again. Content marketing is one of the best ways to build an online business. It’s one of the best ways to attract people to you online, it’s one of the best ways to build trust and a relationship with people. Any online business that does not have a content marketing strategy in place is losing out on potential growth and allowing competitors to nurture relationships with your target audience. After reading this article you can learn more here: content marketing growth hack strategies.
Traditional Marketing vs Content Marketing
Traditional marketing and advertising are when you use paid promotion methods to help drive brand awareness. This can include Facebook ads, Google ads, billboard ads, newspaper features, etc. Content marketing is when you put out a lot of free content with the goal of it coming back to you in brand awareness, new relationships and ultimately increased revenue. Content marketing can also include public relations outreach to get earned media, paid content placements, and influencer marketing. Content that you put out into the world needs to be done so for a reason. It should be optimized with keywords, backlinks, valuable information to the audience, and a funnel to collect contact information such as an email.
Becoming a Content Creator
If you look at the internet, if you go to Google, Facebook, LinkedIn, Instagram, a company blog, anywhere online… what is it made up of? Content. Content is what makes up the internet. If you are not a content creator in this day and age you are missing an integral part of a proven to work marketing strategy.
Content marketing attracts people, it allows them to find you based on what they are looking for and builds relationships from it. It is human nature to want to do business with people who we know and who we trust. One of the best ways to build trust is by creating valuable content that generally helps people and makes a difference. People are more likely to do business with you as opposed to someone else out there if you are the one who they can turn to for advice and help.
It is most likely that you are already a content creator whether you have acknowledged it or not. You likely already have a website, you already have social media accounts, and you have the odd post being made on Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, Periscope, etc. The question is.. are you using it strategically to attract people to you to build a better relationship. Much like how people manage their social accounts to keep people in their lives up to date, you can do the same with your online business. People are watching you, they are learning from what you post, they are getting to know you a lot more and that’s just the beginning of content creation.
Different Forms and Types of Content Creation
Let’s dive right into it now. There are different types of content and there are different forms of content.
I’ll list the forms here.
- Video – Video is one of the most popular forms of content online right now. If you look at YouTube, Facebook, Instagram, Snap Chat, etc video is very popular. Live streaming is a new method of video marketing that many of these platforms have available. You can create your videos or use influencer marketing to have your brand integrated into other people’s videos who already have a following in the niche you are in.
- Podcast – Podcast/Audio is a form of content that many people prefer to consume. Some people like to watch content others prefer to listen to it. Many people consume content while they are driving in their car, working out at the gym, going for a walk, etc.
- Written Content – Posts, Publications and Press Releases are a form of content that can be very effective. Articles can be placed on your site, on 3rd party websites, as forum discussions, social media posts, comments, and replies. Written content should be created to teach and inform, not to sell.
- Images – Images are a form of content that can be very effective. Images can be used as a stand-alone piece of content for example on Instagram or Facebook, or it can be included as part of an article. Images get indexed in search engines just as articles and videos do. Similar to videos, you can use social media influencers with existing networks to have images shared with existing networks in your niche.
Along with the different forms of content, there are also different types. You can release content as a ‘how-to’ article or video a ‘screen share’ a ‘case study’ a ‘lifestyle experience’ etc. There are endless types of content that can be produced for the niche in the market you are in. If you are in the cooking niche, for example, the best type of content might be ‘cooking tutorials’, if your in the fitness niche then maybe ‘fitness routines’ and ‘eating habits’, if you’re in the blockchain space perhaps it is ‘understanding and use cases’. Whatever your niche may be there are endless ways to create content.
How Do You Create Content
So, there are many different types and forms of content and many different platforms that content exists on, but how do you create it? What is the process and how do you come up with ideas to create content. This is an area where a lot of people get stuck, and they shouldn’t because there are endless ways to come up with content that you can create for an online business. Here are two simple ways to come up with ideas for what to create content about.
1. What are people searching for & requesting more information on
A simple way to analyze your niche in the market is to have a look and find out what people are searching for online. Google and YouTube are examples of two resources that are very powerful to help tell you what people are looking for online. Google and YouTube are both search engines, and when people use the search bar they are inputting a ‘search query’ of ‘keywords’ or a ‘keyword string’ in the exact words or phrases that they’re looking to find results for.
There are many tools that you can use such as Google Keyword Planner or SEMRush that help to show you which keywords are popular, which ones have low competition, and who else is ranking for them. A useful function that these keyword planning platforms offer is ‘variations and suggestions’ of other keywords related to the term you originally provided. So if you search for a keyword phrase such as ‘how to swing a golf club’ it will come up with variations of this search that might be easier to rank for, such as ‘best way to swing a golf club’ or ‘proper golf swing’. You can then use these keywords and keyword strings to create content around. This can be a very valuable way to plan and know what your next pieces of content could be about.
As you build a following, as you get traffic, you will begin to get more questions and engagement. People will start to ask you things about your niche, about your products and services. This will set you up with many new ideas for content to create for your community based on their requests and suggestions. The community that grows around your brand is a result of the content you create, and the content you create becomes much easier to produce over time as people continue to reach out to you and give you ideas of the things they want you to share or go deeper into. Listening to your community is one of the best ways of how to use content marketing to grow your business online.
2. What content are people consuming in the niche you are in
You should be following the other people in the niche and market you are in. You should be following the leaders in the industry, you should be subscribed to their email list, following them on social media, their blog feeds, etc. You should pay attention and see what content they’re creating. You can see what their most popular content is, which content from their past has had the highest engagement, the most views, the most comments etc. The great thing about the internet is that much of this type of information is transparent, so much is easily available for anyone to analyze. Learning from your competitors is a powerful research method in how to use content marketing effectively in your niche.
You can easily see what is getting traction, what is trending, what people seem to be interested in. You can take these ideas and create original content of your own, you should never copy and plagiarize other people’s work. You should modify it, improve upon it, make it your own and share your own experiences and personalize your content in your way.
There isn’t just one way to create content, it depends on the niche in the market that you are in. Content in a way is like art and you should always be creative and come up with new ways of sharing ideas and expressing yourself and your business. Content in itself is a powerful marketing tool but when it is combined with the relationship you have with your audience and the experiences you are sharing it becomes even more powerful.
The journey of content creation and content marketing strategy is a process of trial and error, of experimentation, trying different things to see what works. You should learn from others, observe both successes and failures to see what resonates and how it connects with audiences. Something to remember is that your content does not need to be perfect, a lot of people get held up because they think they may not be the best writer, or their camera isn’t the best quality or their mic is a bit out of date, they think they lack communication skills, etc. This is ok, it’s not something that should hold you back it is important to just get started and improve along the way.
Content creation is one of the most important skills that you can focus your time on to help grow an online business. Becoming a content creator yourself is an investment and you gain very powerful skills that allow you to be more in control of and grow your own business. If you are strapped for time then it is still important to be somewhat involved in the content creation component. It is the part of your business that attracts people to you and grows your brand community.
Utilizing Search Engine Optimization (SEO)
When you find ideas to create content on it is important to utilize search engine optimization. You put in the time and effort to find content ideas and keywords that people are searching for. You need to make sure that you are using your keywords and building content that search engines can easily find and organize. There are lots of plugins that you can use such as YoastSEO that help to make sure your content hits all the right checkpoints. Creating SEO friendly content has never been easier, there is no excuse to release content that is not keyword and SEO optimized.
It is very important to start using SEO early on in your online business. It helps to put you on the right path and allows search engines such as Google to understand your business and content so that it can show you in results for those who are looking to find you. Keywords and SEO are some of the best ways that people are going to primarily find you. Once you have built up an audience and have ways of reaching out to them directly then you don’t have to be as diligent about optimizing all your content for keywords, but it will always play an important role in growing an online business.
Creating content is such a valuable part of growing an online business. For me it’s the most enjoyable part of my business, it’s what I spend the majority of my time doing for a number of my projects. I will outsource many aspects of my business, but content creation is something that steers the direction of your business and helps to create a strong brand community.
Hopefully, this article has helped you to understand the importance of content marketing, how to come up with ideas to create content, and the different types and forms of content. Content marketing can be the most effective tool to help grow your business and beyond that, I think more than anything else is the fulfillment that you get of actually helping people and making a difference in their lives. There’s nothing more rewarding than being able to make a difference, and if you can accomplish this while at the same time creating great content to grow your brand then you are on the right track.