The simple answer is to harness as many resources as you can, as often as you can.
SEO, Google advertising, social media, email marketing, networking, offline marketing. To varying degrees, these are all important pieces of your digital marketing strategy. We say “varying degrees” because Google AdWords isn’t right for everyone, nor is Facebook a good fit for all businesses. Learning the right combination for your business is a conversation for another blog post so we’ll move on to what’s you’ve come here to find out…
So what’s the secret ingredient?
One resource we didn’t mention above isContent Marketing; an idea that is yet to permeate the collective consciousness of New Zealand’s SMEs.
Content Marketingboils down to one simple principle: providing helpful, insightful information or tools to the public. For free.
“The ultimate strategy is listening.”
– Marcus Sheridan.
This means putting yourself squarely in your customer’s shoes and, well… As Michael Corleone said, “Try to think as those around you think.”
Think of the questions you are asked regularly, then answer them on your website. Give the masses what they want to know! Understand their problems and provide solutions. When it comes to search engines, people type in questions or ‘long tail’ phrases; it’s not just about keywords. I heard a stat recently –long tail keywords account for 70% of all searches. So with that in mind lets get busy targeting these people and provide answers to their questions!
If you’re not paying attention to the 70% then you are missing out.
Think of Content Marketing as the new SEO
In fact, Content Marketing and SEO are becoming one in the same: the sand and the shells which make up the beach.
Without content there is nothing to optimise for search engines. And without applying SEO fundamentals to your content, your content is not going to be found by anyone. (If a tree falls in the woods and nobody is around…)
Why does Content Marketing work?
Buying intoContent Marketingas a strategy can mean a shift in traditional thinking where information is a closely guarded secret. For many, the thought of giving away information is counterintuitive: naturally enough business owners often feel like this idea means giving away trade secrets, providing valuable insight to their competitors.
But it works! Think of the big hitters. Think of the free software and information you use everyday from Google. Or theHow Tovideos those big hardware stores produce, showing you how to build your own retaining wall.
They spend vast amounts producing videos for us all to view, at no cost, and with no obligation to buy the timber and nails from them. So why do they do it? Because they know that it inspires trust and loyalty in their brand and ultimately* will show a return on investment.
The average customers is 60% of the way through the sales process by the time they contact you. This stat tells you something about how the contemporary customer likes to educate themselves before they buy.
You’d be wise to be the one to provide that education.
Content Marketing at an SME scale
We’re not saying you need to spend Liberia’s deficit on making videos. We’re advocating you start paying closer attention to what your customers are saying. Take notes from conversations and try to look at your industry through their eyes.
A good understanding your customers’ point of view will allow you to build up a vault ofcontentwhich addresses their questions, concerns or problems. And if you haven’t got it yet … it’s this content which is the secret to drawing in greater visitor numbers to your website.
What’s the catch?
Did you see what we did there? We said “ultimately show a return on investment.” Contrary to common expectation, the fact is all digital marketing is a long game. Don’t expect to start now and be flooded with enquiries in 30 days.
So if you want to join the increasing numbers of forward-thinking marketers, you’d better start today.