What Is Content Marketing?

You may have heard the phrase content marketing but not understood what it means. This is unstandable. Content marketing didn’t exist 10 years ago. It’s only because of Google’s unflagging commitment to the creation of more and better content on…

You may have heard the phrase content marketing but not understood what it means. This is unstandable. Content marketing didn’t exist 10 years ago. It’s only because of Google’s unflagging commitment to the creation of more and better content on the web that it exists now. If you don’t understand what content marketing is or why your business needs to incorporate it into your marketing strategy, read on.

Traditional Marketing vs. Content Marketing

We are all familiar with the concept of marketing. It’s pretty simple: a company tries to sell its products or services by direct promotion. It’s essentially the same thing as a vendor hawking his wares in a public market, a show and tell approach to direct sales. Companies market themselves via advertising on television, radio, billboards, Google Ads, and, of course, their own websites.

Content marketing is not direct sales. It’s not even selling exactly. It’s producing content that is meant to educate or otherwise benefit the internet’s worldwide audience. This content can be written, audio, video, or a variety of other formats. The goal of companies who commit to content marketing is to create original content that is interesting, entertaining, or useful enough that their customers will come back for the content independent of whatever products or services the companies produce. And while they are on the website they will become interested in the products or services offered and buy them. This process is also known as inbound marketing. The purpose is to build confidence and trust so the prospective customer will come back or contact the company producing the content with the ultimate goal of making a sale.

Google’s complex algorithm crawls the web all the time analyzing and incorporating new content into itself. If a company does its content marketing well and produces new content, the algorithm will reward that website with higher search rankings over time and the site will get more traffic. More traffic equals more opportunity for sales.

Many companies don’t particularly like content marketing. It’s indirect, and it doesn’t focus on what they need: sales. Google may funnel more traffic to a website, but it doesn’t guarantee that those users will spend their time looking at what is for sale or purchase anything. However, when content marketing is done correctly, your company’s website answers the questions people are searching for, which makes your website the most relevant. In turn this will turn into sales as your web presence clout grows. For that reason, content marketing is a strategy every company should embrace if they want to be competitive.

How Does Content Marketing Work?

It’s not complicated to create content, but it does take commitment to do it regularly. Let’s give some examples of how a typical business, in this case a dentist in Grand Rapids, Michigan, might create content.

The dentist would want to think about services that his business specializes in or that he would like to get more business for and identify the keywords that people in his area might search for to find him. These might be straightforward like “dentist Grand Rapids,” or “West Michigan dentist.” Or they might be more complex like “wisdom teeth extraction” or “root canal Grand Rapids.” Based on the target keywords, the dentist could write articles or blogs answering questions that people might have about their teeth or oral health. Or he could make videos or podcasts answering these questions. The dentist does not have to reinvent the wheel. He can answer common questions that other dentists may not be answering on their websites. The important thing is to make content that people will seek out and read or watch voluntarily.

Google has certain requirements for content. It likes blog posts to be a certain length. It wants new and unique content. If it’s copied and pasted from elsewhere on the web, Google’s algorithm will find and penalize you for it. Content should include links both to other authoritative sites and other pages on the company’s own website. The process of designing content to satisfy Google’s algorithm is called SEO or Search Engine Optimization.

Google updates its algorithm all the time, and SEO has changed drastically over the past 5 years which is why there are SEO experts in Grand Rapids and every other area who specialize in creating content and helping businesses achieve better search rankings via content, keywords, and SEO. While most of what Google demands is not rocket science, there are some ins and outs to the process, and it takes both time and commitment to create content over months and years. The good news is that companies that invest in content marketing do see results: more website traffic, greater sales, and better customer recognition and loyalty.

Content Marketing Grand Rapids

If you would like assistance with your content marketing strategy, Corporate Conversions is ready and able to help. We have years of experience both writing for a wide variety of companies/industries and optimizing website content to get more traffic. We know how to create the content you need, and, more importantly, we will commit to creating it regularly and according to what your customers search for. Call us today to talk about your website’s needs, and we can get started with a content marketing strategy specially designed for your business.

Rachel Potter

Rachel Potter has been writing her whole life, moving from academic writing to blogging to fiction and now marketing. She's been dabbling in social media since its inception and is still fascinated by it. She has a background in librarianship and loves to research, gather, and organize information. When she's not at work, she enjoys writing fiction, studying herbalism, gardening, singing in her church choir, and walking her happy, silly dog around the neighborhood.