What To Expect (And One Thing Not To Expect) From Content Marketing
Let’s just firstly, very quickly, cover why content marketing is important to your business…
Our purchasing behaviour has changed.
> When you buy things, do you rely on what a salesperson has to say? Probably not.
> Do you ring the company and ask them questions? Maybe a little, but not so often.
You and I, and the majority of people now research things quite extensively online before taking any steps towards making a purchase. You compare prices, delivery times and look at reviews - and you avoid salespeople...because they’re trying to sell to you!
This applies to pretty much any area of industry and when people are researching like this, content marketing helps you get found online, be seen and be understood, as it helps your potential customers find the information they're looking for and also find you at the same time. Then, content marketing helps you start to build trust with these people.
Great - so what can you expect content marketing to actually do for your business?
You can expect your content marketing to do 5 main things...
- Increase awareness of your brand - help you get discovered by the right kind of customers.
- Improve engagement - get people commenting on your blogs, social media and generally capturing their interest enough for them to comment or subscribe to your list.
- Generate warmer leads - naturally with increased awareness and more engagement, more leads will start to come in and those people will be more likely to become customers as they’ve already connected with your business in some way and liked what they’ve seen.
- Encourage loyalty and raving fans - retain customers and turn them into raving fans by enhancing your communications and giving something extra to increase their satisfaction and positive perception of your business.
- Increase your sales and profits - all of this taken together will have the cumulative effect of increased sales and more profit.
Content marketing has a compounding effect, it’s a snowball, as your efforts build, the effect of the marketing builds, you start to see all of the above coming through.
And - one important thing not to expect…
Quick results - you will NOT get a quick result from this.
Content marketing, much like schooling a horse, is all about building trust and so in line with human (and equine) nature, it does take some time to build that trust up. Exactly how long depends on what it is you’re selling and how much of a considered decision it is for your customers. Often, big decisions come down to finances - the larger the investment the longer the purchasing decision.
Aside from human psychological factors, there are technical, internet algorithmy type reasons too! It takes time to rank a post in Google and your ranking improves over time as shares and back-links gradually build.
It takes time to start to see results and then to build upon that. Some rough indicative timescales are…
- To see the first shoots of things starting to happen takes about 3 months - you’ll start to get compliments, positive feedback and more engagement and website traffic.
- More tangible results will come from 6 months onwards - you'll see an increase in warm leads and sales will start to come through.
- Real results will come from 2 years onwards - you’ll see a consistent increase in sales, because you’ve spent 2 years answering peoples questions, helping them find you and demonstrating your expertise.
What do you have to do to experience the benefits of content marketing?
Three basic things really...
- Consider your customers' needs and publish content to meet their needs
- Be consistent
- Get creative
Or, if you’re an equine business owner, you can contact us for a consultation and receive your tailor-made content marketing plan.