Content marketing is the new “buzz phrase” going around the world of online business. Chances are, you’ve heard it mentioned quite a bit in the past few months.

The reality is content marketing isn’t a “buzz phrase”. It’s not a fad. It’s not a flash-in-the-pan.

Simply put, content marketing is how business is supposed to be done! Finally, after all these years of trial-and-error, we’ve completed the circle – we’ve arrived where we began!

Content marketing is about creating a brand – a real business! Not just a collection of sales pages and products. Content marketing is about value. And, if you follow this strategy, you’ll find your business skyrockets to the next level. 

You’ll sell more products, you’ll get more word-of-mouth marketing, you’ll keep customers around longer, you’ll rank significantly better on Google, the average value-per-customer increases dramatically… it goes on and on!

In today’s article, we’re going to look at how content marketing works, and WHY it’s the best damn marketing strategy available.

The Big Picture

Content marketing is about the big picture. Most online business owners look at internet marketing like the conglomeration of a bunch of strategies and techniques.

  • SEO
  • PPC
  • copywriting
  • email marketing
  • on and on and on!

But if you take this approach, you’ll find yourself with a bunch of moving pieces. You’ll have all your marketing efforts spread out all over the place. As a result, you won’t be able to dedicate your best efforts on what really counts: growing your business as a whole. Of course you are not going to rely on content marketing alone, but you need to learn that it is the foundation for your success.

Instead of looking at online business through the lens of internet marketing, let’s try something else. With content marketing, we take all these aspects and combine them into one main idea: PROVIDE VALUE.

Thanks to new Google updates, providing value through content is by far the best way to rank on Google. The Panda algorithm loves fresh, unique content. And if your content is valuable, people will like it too. As a result, they’ll share it on social networks, boosting its ranking in the search engines temporarily. Then, if the content has lasting value, it will naturally accumulate links.

Through the links, it will rise up the rankings and stay there.

The Google updates have eliminated sites that use keywords as a tool. You remember the days where you could hire someone to write 500 short articles surrounding a keyword to plaster on your site…yeah, well forget about them, they are over….and THANK Goodness for that!

Now, content is forced to be natural and unique. Keywords are still a part of the game, but they have taken a backseat to quality. Think about how you search for something in Google. Smartphones changed how all people search. Gone are the days of typing in dog kennels Boston, now we have entered the “Where can I find the best dog kennel in Boston?” This means your content should answer a question to be positioned in the searches. Google is not interested in the sites that have Dog Kennel Boston plastered on their site 4,000 times…It is only interested in the sites that have valuable content that quickly answers the question from the searcher. 

Your Blog as a Hub

Content marketing relies on your blog. Your blog is where you’ll be producing this unique, valuable content on a consistent basis. 

With your blog, you should be positioning yourself (and your business) as an authority in the niche. Comment on hot topics. Post theoretical explorations. Provide expert advice that people can’t get anywhere else. Write about what you know. Write about what you know better than anyone else. Write something that your audience is going to find useful.

Before publishing a post, ask yourself, “is this the best post of its kind on the internet?”

If not, why publish it? No one wants to read and share the “53rd best post on internet marketing!”

On the other hand, if you have the best post of its kind, you’ll get an overflowing of shares, links, comments, and anything else you’d want!

One important note: your blog is not a sales page!

You should NOT be hawking your products in every article. Instead, come from the position of an expert, and raise the overall authority of your business in your market. Then, when people are interested in buying a product, they’ll buy from you, because you’ve established yourself as the authority!

The key is value. If you can provide consistent value through your blog, you’ll get people interacting with it, which will build your brand’s authority, which will lead to future long-term sales. If you spend too much time trying to incorporate your products into your articles, people will see the content for what it really is…sales material. Keep your products out of your content as much as possible. If they are included, make sure it is done in a way that works naturally.

What Exactly is Content Marketing?

Content marketing is a marketing strategy that focuses on creating and sharing valuable content that is relevant to your business and targeted towards a specific audience. It is used to establish a brand, gain a reputation as an authority on a topic and ultimately, it is used to draw customer attention and increase interaction, whatever call-to-action you are setting as a goal.

Content marketing has become so important simply because people have changed the way they interact with ads. Digital television and DVR’s have begun to eliminate the pull for commercial ads. Think about the last commercial you watched all the way through, chances are, if you have a DVR, you may not be able to remember.

Smartphones have taken over, so the old-style e-mail campaigns are beginning to fade out, while now, social media marketing is moving in. So, how do you market to a social media? You simply create amazing content that is relevant to your business and share it. If the content is something useful, informative or interesting, the people you share it with will share it with others and so on and so on. The amount of people you can reach is limitless.

So, yes, a blog is an important part of your new online business strategy for marketing content, but you also need social media accounts to pull people to your blog.

Keep in mind that others have created content similar to yours, so make yours stand out…make every word count.

Closing Thoughts

Yes, this strategy is different from “go to elance and hire an SEO for $6/hour”. But that strategy doesn’t work anymore! Content marketing is the only reliable way to take your business to the next level.

And really, don’t look at it like more work. In reality, it’s less work, because you’re spending all your time on stuff that works, instead of spending a little bit of time on a bunch of strategies that have a 5% chance of doing anything for your business. You can still hire a freelancer; just don’t expect to pay such low rates. A good freelancer will charge you more, but their work will not go unnoticed. Find someone who had knowledge about your business, preferably, someone who is already an expert in the field. The content they write will flow more naturally if they have a background in your arena, or at the very least, a strong grasp on the topic they are writing about.

Value is the cornerstone of content marketing. In order to position yourself as an authority, BE an authority, and before every published post, ask yourself, “is this the best post on this subject?” If you read an article on a topic that blows your mind, you can try to mimic it, but chances are, you will remain second best in its presence. Be unique, be original, write about something new, or at least create a new perspective on the topic. 

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