Content marketing has gained visibility as one of the most crucial digital marketing approaches of the 21st century.
It’s no surprise why.
Content meets people where they are and gives them what they want: Informative, useful advice they can put into practice to solve their problems.
Old-fashioned outbound marketing tactics – like cold calling – have fallen by the wayside, and inbound has taken their place. Inbound means pulling leads to you, not pushing strangers to buy.
There’s no doubt about it: Content marketing will make up the lion’s share of digital marketing efforts for most brands in 2020 and beyond.
That’s especially true of small and mid-sized businesses that focus on delivering professional expertise to a relatively local audience of customers.
But nothing is perfect, and that includes content.
If someone is selling you on the perfect marketing move, they’re doing just that – selling you.
When it comes to marketing, business owners usually have to decide what matters most:
PPC enables you to couple your ads with the search queries that are most relevant to your brand. You gain instant access to the people who can use your help at the exact moment they need you.
The problem? PPC is expensive.
It can be a great traffic engine and part of a strong lead strategy, but it demands lots of specialized expertise. Businesses have lost thousands of dollars down the line by plugging in one of Google’s $100 AdWords vouchers and hoping for the best.
And what about content? It’s inexpensive and long-lasting ... but.
Before you get started, know that it’s not a silver bullet.
1. It Takes A While To Work
Content marketing raises search visibility by making results from your site more likely to appear when users search for your products, services, or areas of expertise. Each piece of content gives you an additional opportunity to get that all-important attention.
First, you have to determine what matters to your customers. Then, you have to write great content. And after that you have to wait for Google to notice it ... while you promote it as much as you can.
It takes about three months for a new content strategy to get off the ground.
2. Blogging Is Only The Beginning
In the beginning, almost all your content will be blog content. Blogging is text-heavy, familiar, and has good uptake from search engines. But text won’t appeal to all of your audience or get you all the exposure you could have.
As you grow, more creativity is required.
In 2020 and beyond, the vast majority of your customers will be looking for video to augment text. Video content is so powerful that even having a video on a page makes a buy more likely, even if the person doesn’t watch the video.
On top of that, there’s audio, infographics, and more. All are part of a well-rounded strategy.
3. You Need Real, Repeatable Processes
With that in mind, guess what? You’re in the publishing business.
If you’re a small business founder with less than 30 employees – or, heck, you’re the only employee – your expertise needs to be presented in a way that reels people in and makes them eager to read what you have to say. In other words, you’re a thought leader now.
To make content work, you’ll need to produce, distribute, and promote a lot of it. That all takes know-how applied on a daily basis. But worry not: If that’s the last thing on your priority list, you can still make a big splash. You just need to partner with an outside agency.
4. The Journey Never Ends
When you stop spending on PPC, it stops working for you. End of story.
Later on down the line, when you decide you want more PPC traffic, what happens?
Well, you have to pay for it again. And more likely than not, it’s gotten much more expensive.
See, competition for the same users’ attention will never stop growing. And that’s why the cost of these one-shot marketing routines will never stop going up. When you use them, every cent your competitors spend drives up your future costs. It’s unavoidable.
Content is the opposite: When you invest in it, you’re driving up costs for competitors.
Why? Well, simply, there’s no substitute for the long-term effect of content, which is to get your site in front of more people, in an advantageous position in search, on the keywords that matter.
Since content takes time and effort, rivals can only compete by producing their own content or by spending a ton of money for other types of sponsored placements. The flip side is this: You can never stop. Ever!
The moment you stop publishing, you start losing ground. Bar none.
Yes, you can get into a huge head start that’s nearly assailable. If you begin today.
But you want to be the tortoise in this race, not the hare. Don’t sleep on your lead.
The sooner you start, the better.
5. Last, But Not Least ... It’s The Best Marketing Solution For Most Businesses
If your average revenue per sale is tens of thousands of dollars, by all means, try paid traffic first. But odds are good you’ll be competing against others who are in the same situation.
For everyone else, content marketing is the #1 solution for an enduring, powerful, and (ultimately) reliable source of fresh, warm leads that can prime your brand’s engine long-term.
But the clock’s ticking.
To get started, contact the team at New York Ave.