One of the most common misconceptions when launching a new website is that “if you build it, they will come.” If you believe this to be true, you’re not alone.
We need to remember that people don’t go to search engines looking for your website, business, or organization. Most people use search engines to find solutions to problems.
(Image Credit: Jean-FranÃ§ois Gornet)
Solve Problems with Content
Quite often, people using google won’t do a search for Acme Widgets. Especially if they have never heard of Acme Widgets before. That said, they might do a search for something like, “how to connect a thing-a-ma-jig to a whatch-a-ma-call-it.” By doing that type of search, they may find out that Acme Widgets provides such a solution.
The searcher lands on the Acme Widgets’ website and browses through all of the high-fangled widgets that Acme has to offer. They find one that suits their needs and buys it. The searcher is happy, Acme is happy and the next time the searcher is looking for a similar solution, they’ll know where to go. The searcher will probably also recommend Acme Widgets to their friends on Facebook or Twitter. This is content marketing plus social marketing at its finest!
First Steps in Content Marketing
Now let’s backup a bit so that we can see how this whole cycle took place in the first place. The forward thinkers at Acme Widgets decided to start writing articles about how each of their widgets can be used. They even profiled case studies and added customer testimonials to these articles. They made a mandate of creating articles that described how to solve the problems that they knew they could solve. They weren’t even thinking about content marketing.
Over a period of time, Acme Widgets built up a large archive of articles. These articles were all picked up by search engines. Now when someone types a question into the search box, they find a solution. A solution that Acme Widgets has the answer to.
Acme Widgets has also decided to take advantage of one of the common features of a CMS, like WordPress. They have comments at the end of each of their articles. Whenever someone has a question or comment, Acme Widgets has provided them with a way to ask those questions. Acme Widgets also has an easy way to respond to their questions. The questions and answers are now also at the end of the articles for future visitors to see. This means that Acme Widgets doesn’t have to keep answering the same questions. They can focus on creating more great content and more great widgets. After all, Acme Widgets loves creating widgets.
Why Create Content
Whenever you create content for your website, it stays there forever (or until you delete it). This content may get bumped off of your homepage and into your archives. You might even forget that you created it but search engines are like elephants, they never forget. You might create a piece of content and it can be new to someone different every day. This means that every day, someone new is discovering your site for the first time through a search.
The advantages to creating content instead of creating an advertising campaign is that your content lives on forever. An advertising campaign will only last as long as you are putting money in to it. Advertising is still a good way to get traffic to your site, so it shouldn’t be dismissed. The point is, content marketing lives on for a lot longer.
This may come as a shock to you but the Acme Widgets example is made-up. Even though the example is fictional, this is something that you should be doing. Content marketing can be adapted to suit any type of business, organization or individual. Think about the solutions that you are trying to provide for people. Then start writing about how you can provide those solutions.
What are your thoughts on content marketing?