By Robert W. Bly
Content marketing should definitely be one of the arrows in your services marketing quiver. Content marketing has become a major component of the marketing world. According to a study conducted by the Content Marketing Institute, 88 percent of marketers have added content marketing to their plans this year. But, what exactly is content marketing, and how can you use it to market your services online?
Content marketing is a type of marketing that involves the creation and sharing of online material such as videos, blogs, articles and social media posts. It differs from other types of marketing, such as direct response and brand marketing, in that it doesn’t explicitly promote a brand but is intended instead to stimulate interest in a product or service by creating helpful, informative content designed to highlight your expertise and solve a problem.
This content can include blog articles, social media posts, white papers, case studies, videos, infographics and more.
Why is content marketing so effective for selling services online? Because content marketing:
- Tells a story. In content marketing, telling is selling. In this case, you’re telling your brand’s story in an authentic, not overly sales-y way that answers your target audience’s questions and demonstrates to them that you and your service are the answer to their prayers.
- Builds your expert reputation. As people respond positively to your content marketing pieces, trust in you and your brand grows. Over time, people begin to see you as an expert in your field or specialty. You become a valuable resource, and a significant number of your followers will become your clients.
- Creates engagement. Timely, relevant pieces that interest and engage your readers are the main ingredients of content marketing. When someone responds to a question you posed on Twitter, replies to your blog post or answers an emailed question, the prospective customer has made the decision to reach out to you. This gives you the opportunity to deepen your relationship with them and ultimately, hopefully, get the sale.
Let’s look at some ways you can use content marketing on your website to grow your service business.