Content is often an afterthought – after investing in development, design and SEO, it may seem like your business’ online needs are already met. However, content marketing has become more and more prominent over the past few years, and many businesses are starting to realise it’s an essential part of the modern marketing landscape.

So, what actually is content? The Content Marketing Institute define it as “the art of communicating with your customers and prospects without selling…you are delivering information that makes your buyer more intelligent”. This can come in the form of blogs, articles, videos, newsletters, social media…the list is endless.

If you’re not convinced, we’ve put together a quick guide to explain just why your business needs a good content strategy.

1. You’ll expand your customer base

Google favours sites that are regularly updated with relevant content; research has shown that companies with blogs get 55% more visitors and 434% more indexed pages than those who don’t, and those who increase their monthly blog post count from 5 to 8+ double their lead generation. Sites with fresh, rather than static, content are given much higher priority in Google rankings, so consistently producing interesting content is likely to give you brand new customers.

Great, frequently updated content is likely to attract repeat visits, too – so your current customers will be encouraged to spend more money.

2. You can connect with your customers

Business is about more than just providing people with a product; it’s about connecting to your customers and providing them with a great service. This is even more true in the current climate – customers are looking for more than just someone to sell them something. People are now interested in having a relationship with the businesses they use – and content is a great way to develop this relationship.

Good content is so much more than just a way to promote your product; it creates a two-way dialogue between you and the users of your site. Engaging, interesting content provokes conversation, so people won’t just visit your site when they have to, they’ll actively seek it out.

3. You can examine and develop your brand’s personality

Whether it be through regular blogging or by refreshing your website’s copy, content allows you to precisely tailor a voice for your brand. Whatever you want to convey, a fitting style can be developed to communicate it to your customers. This personality is what your customers will come to recognise and trust, and from this you can develop a loyal customer base.

Deciding on what this personality should be may be of personal benefit, too; thinking in these terms may actually give you a clearer insight into the aims and goals you have for your business.

4. You can boost your reputation

By regularly writing about industry development and news that affects your business, you can establish yourself as an authoritative and knowledgeable leader in your field. You can write responses to articles in local, trade or national press, or opinion posts on industry developments – there’s huge potential here.

Again, this type of content will garner respect and trust from your customers, and you can effectively deliver your brand’s message.

5. It’s linked to search and social 

Content is closely linked to both SEO and social media – optimised copy is hugely beneficial, and social media is a great platform to share and discuss content. This means that, even if you already have ongoing SEO and social campaigns, content can be added to them really easily.

Next week we’ll be looking at the different types of content and how they fit into your business model, so if you have any questions you want addressing before then, just tweet us, message us on Facebook or leave a comment.