Why Content Matters and How It Can Work For Your Business

Mastering your online content is a crucial skill for any business looking to maximize their online revenue without expensive investment in online adverts.

BY: JOE MARTIN ON THURSDAY, NOVEMBER 20, 2014
Why Content Matters and How It Can Work For Your Business

With the growing emphasis on blogging, videos and social media, online content is becoming a high priority for many businesses looking to expand their reach and boost conversions, without investing in expensive advertising.

If you’re looking to tap into new audiences, make meaningful connections with potential customers and enhance your brand credibility, then it’s high time you paid more attention to that thing constantly being churned around the net – content.

What Is ‘Content’?

Content on the web can be anything – from videos, images, infographics and designs; to articles, step-by-step guides and podcasts.

With the increasing number of platforms on which to create, tailor and share this content to audiences, there are now few excuses not to place more importance on the material coming out through your brand. It’s also crucial that this content is not just related to your product, but related to your customers too.

Below, we take a look at the main reasons you should be valuing your brand’s content.

1.Build Brand Associations on Search Engines

Since placing larger emphasis on latent semantic indexing (LSI), Google has made it more possible for people to stumble across your site even if they weren’t searching for anything immediately to do with your business.

For example, if your website was selling baking products, words such as “baking”, “utensils”, ”kitchen”, “cookie cutters”, “icing” and “decoration” might be assigned as the ‘unofficial keywords’ for a particular page (or indeed, several pages). With LSI, Google is able to go one step further in recognising that that page is about a particular subject, and will therefore place more importance on that page when people search for terms semantically related to that topic or subject.

Another important development has been Google’s emphasis on co-occurrence, which recognises the semantic link between pairs or groups of words that frequently appear together on web pages. This has later gone on to include brand names, which means with the right content, your brand can be more commonly associated with words and phrases to do with your area of expertise.

In the case of the website selling baking supplies, this brand may go on to be automatically associated with terms and phrases such as “recipes”, “kitchen equipment”, “cakes”, “kids”, “hobbies”, “parties” or “bake sale” and start ranking for those search terms, even though they aren’t necessarily mentioned on the site.

You don’t need to be an SEO expert to take advantage of latent semantic indexing and enjoy the benefits it will bring. As long as you spend the time ensuring your content is good quality, informative, accessible and relevant to your readers, LSI will do the rest of the work for you.

2.Become a More Authoritative Presence in your Field

Creating great content that helps and entertains your audience will help to build your brand’s authority within your field in two ways.

First of all, the better your content and the more useful the information you have to offer, the more trust your users will place in your site. HSBC Bank is an example that by offering reliable, tailored information to entrepreneurs and young businesses, has managed to become a highly regarded resource pool for these audiences (regardless of whether they choose to use its products).
If you continue to provide your readers with the answers they crave and even general practices and tips related to your niche, the more likely your brand will become a ‘first-stop shop’ when your audience needs guidance and advice.

Secondly, providing reliable, well-researched and nice-to-read content will encourage more links and citations from other websites and bloggers, which will again help to increase your online authority in the eyes of Google and boost search rankings for your site.

3.Improve Customer Trust and Relationships

Offering great content not only improves customer trust in your brand but will enhance their relationship with you overall. When you offer rich content, you are no longer just selling a product. You are offering an additional service – one of guiding, advising, informing, entertaining and helping – which lets everyone know all about your brand’s values and ethos.

By posting content such as how-tos, best uses, tutorials, troubleshooting tips and close-ups of new and upcoming products, your customers will get the sense that you really care about their welfare beyond the point of sale. Sharing content that your potential customers will find useful or entertaining will also help to align your brand’s values with theirs. This will lead to positive perceptions of your brand among your target audience and in turn increase your chances of conversions.

4.Get Free Exposure and Promotion

Social media shares are basically like free promotion. People love to read what their friends are reading, and share things they think their friends will like.

If your content is dynamic, engaging, intriguing and visually engaging, the chances are your audience will want to share it, which means more exposure for your brand. It also doesn’t matter whether these new readers don’t automatically become new customers –it ensures a larger market for you to approach next time around.

Putting It Into Practice

Here are just a few small points to get you started on the road to content wealth.

    1.Decide on the ‘space’ you will use for your content. You may decide to have an internal blog on your website, or create an external blog for the purpose. You might even decide to set up a video channel on YouTube or show off your creations via Tumblr.
    Remember that not all platforms will be suited to everyone. Some companies might choose to prioritise videos over text posts, whilst others might place more emphasis on infographics and images.

    2.Find out what your target audience/fans/customers want to know, and then deliver the answers they need. Whether its life tips such as redecorating the living room, getting organised or baking the perfect Christmas cake - or simply guidance and tutorials on how to use your products...keep bringing them what they need and they’ll start to view your brand as a positive presence in their life.

    3.If your content is being produced internally, be sure to involve different members of your team in order to give a variety of voices and keep things fresh and interesting. If you choose to outsource your content, be sure it’s a good quality, dependable source (the results of poorly written content can be quite disastrous).

    4.Share your content around on social media and via email campaigns to ensure it’s seen by as many people as possible. There are several tools you can use to measure the reach of your content on various platforms and the impact it’s having on traffic.

One final tip – don’t expect increased traffic from your content to automatically lead to more sales right away. Most of your posts won’t directly increase your revenue, but they will help you to build a loyal audience who will eventually be curious about experiencing your products.

Image via Shutterstock

About the Author

Joe Martin

Joe Martin is currently the VP of marketing at CloudApp and has 12 years of experience in digital marketing including leading various teams at Adobe.

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