How Small Businesses Can Harness Content Marketing

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Content marketing has created a revolution in business advertising. Thanks to changes in the way search engines rank pages when customers search for a business, it is less important to have advertisements and more important to offer informative, original content to customers. While this presents a new challenge to businesses, it also presents an incredible opportunity: content marketing can drive up customer engagement and loyalty in a world driven by web-based advertising. Here are three principles to guide businesses as they adjust to content marketing strategies.

Create value for customers

Search engines used to drive traffic to websites with lots of keywords. A customer searching for “pizza new jersey” would be directed to the website with the most mentions of that keyword, even if the webpage wasn’t very useful — or even about pizza! In 2011, Google changed its search algorithm to check whether websites actually contained useful information instead of just keyword-specific mentions. Websites that overuse keywords are being pushed to the back of search results where few customers will ever see them.

This means businesses have had to adjust their websites to show up in search results. Someone searching for “pizza new jersey” is now more likely to see a website with an informative article on the best places to eat pizza in New Jersey. Businesses are trying to drive traffic to their websites by creating more of this informative, original content that gives customers useful information.

Informing is more effective than pitching

Customers have become deeply skeptical of advertisements. They can quickly spot an advertising pitch and skip over it. Fewer people are reading and clicking banner advertisements, and more people are muting advertisements on television and radio. When customers want information about a product, they want to go to an objective, informative source. Businesses that create that type of information will see more customers than those that rely on traditional advertising techniques.

One quick strategy is to find out what customers are searching for and create content to meet their needs. A carpet cleaner may notice that searches for “mess” and “St. Patrick’s Day” spike in March, so they try to capture customers’ business by creating an article titled “5 Tips for Cleaning Up After St. Patrick’s Day.” Having that article on the cleaner’s website will drive search traffic to their page, where those customers are likely to click through to see what cleaning services the company offers.

Get help optimizing content marketing strategies

Quickly responding to search trends can be challenging, but businesses should not feel overwhelmed by the technological challenge of content marketing. There are many specialists than can help. For example, there are several options in New Jersey web development to help businesses optimize their content marketing strategies. Many businesses lack the expertise or resources to run their own DMP advertising campaigns. Hiring an outside firm with content marketing experience can help firms determine what searches are increasing in popularity and create targeted content that appeals to their customers.

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