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What Is Content Marketing And How Can It Help Your Business?

By August 17, 2015November 21st, 2015Content Marketing, Digital Marketing, Inbound Marketing, Strategy

Content marketing helps businesses get found online.

I belong to a networking group. We’re supposed to refer business to one another. Each time I describe what I do—content marketing lead generation—peoples’ eyes cloud and they nod. The nod says, “I want you to think I know what you’re talking about.” The cloudy eyes say, “But I really have no idea.”

What is content marketing?

It is creating online content that helps businesses get found online. A content marketing program involves creating web pages, blog posts, articles, case studies and other written material that will attract people searching for the product or service that you offer.

How does content marketing work?

Well, it starts with the assumption that if you have a viable product or service, there are people searching for it. Whether you manufacture medical devices or wash cars, there are individuals and companies looking for you.  How do they find you? Most go online looking for help. Good content will help them find you first.

Take, for example, the world of medical device manufacturing.

If a company with a new medical device starts looking for a manufacturing partner, they might search for “medical device manufacturer.” Now, the medical device market is huge and includes everything from Band-Aids to pacemakers. A company making a pacemaker might be more inclined to search for “pacemaker medical device manufacturer,” or “implantable medical device manufacturer.” The point is that the manufacturing company should have web pages with content optimized around the search terms people are most likely to use when looking for a solution.

So, good content will help you get found online. Then the question is, what happens next?

Once they find you, it is important to have content on your site that addresses what people are looking for. Keep in mind that most people don’t search online to be sold. They’re usually looking for information, researching options to solve a problem. So if they land on your medical device manufacturing page and it says, “We are the greatest manufacturing company in the world,” your visitor might leave. But if they land on a page that says, “What to look for when selecting a manufacturing partner for your implantable medical device,” that may be the very question that is on their minds. The point is to not think about how to sell, but how to engage.

In addition to having content that engages, you also want to make it as easy as possible for visitors to contact you or to request more information. Having a “Contact Us” button, or “Request Information” button on every page is a good idea, and those buttons should be linked to forms in which people can enter their contact information and any specific questions they might have. It is also a good idea to have content offers that help qualify visitors as leads. For example, if you offer a case study on “Effective Pacemaker Manufacturing,” someone who registers to download that case study is probably considering manufacturing a pacemaker. These options are called “Calls to Action” in content marketing lingo.

One of the best things about content marketing is that it is always working, around the clock and around the world. When anyone is searching for an answer, your content is there and your site is set up to allow people to self-qualify by requesting information. A good content marketing program can increase web traffic in a matter of a few months, and well-targeted calls to action can start generating leads while you sleep.

Businesses often wonder why their website, after investing thousands of dollars and dozens of hours designing and building a new one, doesn’t have much impact on traffic and leads. The problem is that most of the time, they’re paying more attention to design than to content. We all want our websites to look cool. But content is what people search for. Yes, visual messaging is very important, and it can certainly help engage someone once they get to your site.  But people aren’t typically searching for “cool medical device manufacturing websites.” They are looking for information. That’s content. Content helps businesses get found, and content turns websites into traffic and lead generating machines.

For more, download the Alaniz Guide to Generating Website Traffic, Leads, and Sales.

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Download the Alaniz Guide to Generating Website Traffic, Leads, and Sales