Episode #16: What Is Content Marketing & Why Is It Important?

marketing run the business Jun 17, 2020

An Interview with Byron White of WriterAccess

Today Oie interviews Byron White, the founder of WriterAccess, a content marketing platform that helps us write a lot of content for our website. Byron is a serial entrepreneur who expanded his content marketing agency into the platform we use to work directly with writers and strategists today. We’ll give you some of his insights and tips below, but be sure to listen to the full interview for even more great information!

What Is Content Marketing?

It’s hard to define content marketing in a way that does justice to all it can accomplish for a business, but here’s how Byron describes it (there are two parts): First, content marketing is the art of listening to what your customers want and need throughout their journey with you. This covers the informational content they’ll need to solve their problems or reach their goals. 

Second, it’s the science of delivering that content through a process that inspires your customers to follow you, share your mindset, and ultimately take action. These actions can be tracked and measured to determine the success of your business and the ROI for your investment.

Content marketing is more than just a blog. It might include other parts of your website, social media, or other marketing channels too. Content could also be videos, podcasts, or larger articles and resources—there are a lot of options!

Why Is Content Marketing Important?

Content marketing accomplishes a lot for your business. Overall, the goal is to turn your browsers—interested potential customers— into believers in your product, and then turn believers into buyers. Here’s how content marketing works toward that goal.

Increases Visibility

Content marketing is a critical component of any business strategy today. Since most potential customers begin their buyer’s journey with general online research, your business needs to have a presence in both organic and paid search results to be a competitor in your niche. Content, no matter what kind works best for your business, is a crucial way to attract customers.

In the episode, Byron dives further into the SEO and optimization side of content marketing that is a huge part of visibility!

Builds Trust

As we’ve discussed before on this podcast, knowing your customer is the most important thing you need to be a successful online entrepreneur. This extends to content marketing too, as you can put your knowledge of your customers to use creating helpful guides, videos, and other informational content. These aren’t sales pitches—they are a genuine way to offer something that improves your customer’s life and helps them build their trust in you.

Remember, your potential customers are trying to make a decision about where to best spend their money to help solve their problem or reach their goals. Your goal is to be part of that conversation and help them make decisions that move them further along your sales funnel and inspires them to take action.

Establishes Relationships

Content marketing doesn’t end when you make the sale. You can continue to support your customers with additional guides and resources that support their use of your product, and even go beyond that specific need to provide support in related areas. Ultimately, content marketing is about building a relationship with your customers.

How to Get Started with Content Marketing

Now that you understand the importance of content marketing, how can you get started? What is the best way to begin figuring out what will help your customer and build relationships with them? Here are three tips from Byron.

Study Competitors’ Content Assets

Take a look at other businesses in your niche and see what type of content they are creating that you love. What formats do they use? What topics do they cover? Are they short and easy to scan, or long and in-depth resources on a subject? Build an archive of examples of great content that you can refer to for inspiration and modeling your strategy.

Align Your Content Plan with Business Goals

Think about your overall business goals and how content can fit with your marketing needs. What type of content do you need to create to meet those goals? This is where content planning and strategy comes in.

With a content plan, you understand and outline these factors:

  • How much content do you need?
  • What quality of content do you need to publish?
  • How frequently should you publish content?
  • What channels should you publish content in?
  • How much will creating this content cost?
  • What ROI will you get from this content plan?

This all sounds like a lot of unknowns, but you can determine all of these answers with a little research. It can take a long time to develop this holistic plan—often at least 40 hours—but it’s a really important part of a successful content marketing plan.

Some of this planning can be done on your own or with the help of content marketing resources like CMC 365, an annual conference put on by Byron and WriterAccess to help businesses develop content marketing plans. You can also work with professional content strategists to help conduct this research and create this plan.

Start Small

When comparing your brand-new business to more established competitors, it may feel like you need to be aggressive and create a lot of content quickly to catch up. But it’s okay to start small! The most important thing is that your content is authentic and comes from a genuine understanding of your customers and a desire to help them.

When Should You Hire Professionals?

Hiring professional writers and content strategists to help with your content marketing goals can be a great asset to your business, but exactly when you should take that step depends on your own skills and how comfortable you are with content marketing. You can learn a lot through resources like CMC365, but if you’re not seeing the results you want from your own efforts, you can always hire out.

Here are some options for hiring professional content marketers:

  • Hire a content marketing agency to plan, manage, and create all of your content for a monthly retainer fee.
  • Serve as your own content manager and work with select freelancers who offer the skills you need.
  • Use a platform like WriterAccess to work with both content strategists and writers, while still having a lot of insight and control over your content.

How Do You Know Your Content Is Working?

Once you get some content created and posted to your blog, website, or other channels, how can you know if it’s accomplishing what you need to? There are plenty of ways to track the performance of your content—you can figure out the best way to track it for your specific business needs.

One easy way is to compare your publishing frequency to the organic traffic you drive to your website. Do you get more traffic right after you publish new content? Here are a few other things to look at to determine if your content is working:

  • Traffic: Are more people visiting your site through the content you publish?
  • Time on page: Are people spending more time reading informational content?
  • Conversions: Does your content inspire more people to take action?

You can track these metrics and many others through Google Analytics, a free tool that provides a lot of insight to your website once properly set up.

For ideas on how to go even deeper in tracking if your content is working, be sure to listen to the episode! Byron talks about the lifetime value of a customer and predicting their actions and tailoring our content marketing to that. 

If you would like more information on how you can use WriterAccess for your content needs, check THIS OUT!

Listen to Episode #16 Now!

Content marketing is a crucial and powerful tool for any business with an online presence today. It increases your visibility to customers and builds trust and relationships through providing helpful information that inspires visitors to take action on your website.

To get started, take time to really research your competitors’ content assets and understand what makes good content in your niche. Make a content plan that focuses on creating authentic, quality content—and start small.

If you liked this week’s episode of the podcast and want to hear more, subscribe and sign up for notifications for new episodes. You can also listen to all of our previous podcasts for more tips and insights!

If you know someone who is interested in starting their own online business, send them this episode. 

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