Content marketing is often something that we can leave by the wayside when it comes to building and maintaining an online presence for your business. There are plenty who consider the method akin to metallic paint on a new car - shiny, but not good for much - merely an optional extra. On the contrary, I'd argue that content is the glue that helps stick all of your marketing efforts together, and it's not to be dismissed so readily. And in fact, if you're here, I'd posit that you're considering content marketing, perhaps for the first time, and you're working out how it's supposed to help make things better for your business' website traffic.
If you're suffering from any of the following, I'd suggest you implement a content marketing strategy.
1 - You've got low traffic
Why should readers, leads, and customers visit your website?
That's a genuine question. Think about it for a minute. If your answer is 'so they can find out about me and contact me', then it's a good answer, but it's not enough. If that's your only goal, you'll attract customers who already understand their problem and are just looking for someone to fix it. If you widen your field and write content that attracts readers with a niggling sense that they might have an issue, then you'll achieve much, much more. You'll still attract customers who are after that yellow-pages style listing, but you'll also attract more customers who've had help from you in understanding what their problems are and how your business can solve them. That's an untapped field of potential customers, waiting for some help. Waiting for your expertise, in the form of comprehensive and powerful content.
If you have expertise in your field, don't just say so. Prove your ability to solve the issues of your potential customers with useful, engaging content. Write material that helps people with their problems and gets searchers to your website so they can see what you do and how you can help.
2 - You're seeing a high bounce rate
This is tied closely with low traffic. The bounce rate of your website is expressed as the percentage of single-page sessions your website picks up. It's how often you have visitors click on to your website and then immediately move away. Why do you think they'd bounce so quickly?
Usually, it's because the page or website didn't answer the question they had.
You need more reasons for a questing user to stick around, and compelling content is the best way to increase your website's 'stickiness'. For greatest results, make sure that your pages invite readers to check out more content on the same topic. Inviting interaction is a great way to help your readers stay and become leads who are interested in what your business offers. Plus, by using your content to build a trust relationship with your readers and leads, you'll see a higher success rate of readers who interact with your website and become customers, thanks to the hard yards you put in early on.
3 - There's a disconnect between your social media accounts and your website
Your social media channel might be off to a cracking start. You might have dozens - hundreds - thousands of followers, likes, or shares. The only issue is, social media only becomes a useful marketing platform if you're drawing that social buzz back to your website. If you're after leads to send marketing emails to, you're going to need to be able to contact them, and they need to visit your website to actually convert to leads.
Good social media marketing naturally makes use of content marketing - content is the bridge between social and your website. Don't just aim to start a discussion or a debate on your facebook page; if you want to maintain a good amount of interest in your social media accounts, make sure that there's regular updates from your website (so, content) for your followers to discuss and follow back to your page for.
4 - A large percentage of your leads are poor-fit
Content marketing does something that's actually quite clever. It helps weed out poor-fit leads from your business, before they have the opportunity to get up in your grill and waste your time and resources. How does that work?
Well, when you start out writing content, you write it for a very specific audience. Because you've got one kind of customer in mind - the one that benefits your business the most - you appeal to that kind of person the most. The more time you spend paying attention to the type of customer you want, the less you'll attract leads who are a poor fit for your solutions. A focused content marketing campaign can do wonders for raising the ratio of good to poor-fit leads.
5 - Your leads seem confused about what it is you offer
How are your leads and customers going to understand what you as a business are capable of if there's no information that shows them? This can't be conveyed with a simple 'about us' page. That kind of page tells readers the overall vision of your business, but it very rarely translates that 'why' into a 'what' or 'how'. For example, your website for an office plant rental business might have an 'about' page that explains how much your business loves plants, but it'll rarely host an explanation of what plants work best in what environment, and how to rearrange your workplace so that there's a fresh and growing vibe going on. That's the kind of information you expand on in your content.
When you write content and market it to your ideal customers, you'll use it to educate them on different problems that you solve for them, and will often cover a lot of the questions that go unanswered along the way. Giving your visitors and leads content that helps them make decisions will clarify to them what it is you offer, as well as what it is they might need.
I said in the beginning that content is the glue that helps hold your marketing plans together, and I stand by that. Well-written, targeted content helps draw the right kind of attention to your website. It helps your potential customers understand what you're able to do for them, clarifies questions, and educates them in ways that their problem can be solved by you. To ignore such a great tool for drawing in customers is to disregard a swiss army knife of possibility and solution. However, making use of your content marketing and doing that well can be of benefit now and years down the track as your content library and your lead base grows, helping to foster and feed itself.