Content marketing is a type of marketing that attracts prospects and customers by creating and sharing free content online. The technique does not involve direct sales. Instead, its goal is to build trust and rapport with a targeted online audience that leads to sustainable brand loyalty.
There are a variety of options for providing useful information online that can drive consumer traffic and also garner attention from search engines. In fact, search engine optimization (SEO) algorithms heavily weigh content that improves a site visitor’s experience.
Why not write a blog? There are endless topics to blog about, such as the answer to a question from a shopper or info from a manufacturer. Blogs can introduce and support a brand through topics that are tangentially related to a company’s products or services. For example, a lifestyle blog can humanize a brand while showcasing uses for various products. Be aware, however, that a blog must be maintained and refreshed regularly.
If that’s too much effort, consider posting an instructional guide. A fact-based resource typically stays relevant for an extended period of time. And instructional guides, if well written and topical, often rank high in organic searches.
Another option is to post a how-to manual offering useful information broken down into steps or phases. Consumers increasingly favor videos over written how-to content.
Many sites offer content in the way of FAQs, frequently asked questions. These tend to address transactional issues such as shipping speed and return policy, but they can incorporate marketing messages as well. Search engines rank FAQs higher when each question links to its own answer page, so each question-and-answer pair is optimized separately.
Search engine crawlers also look for content that responds to searchers’ informational queries, so support content can be another good way to gain attention.
Idea galleries are great, too, as long as the images are accompanied by supporting text. Add some commentary about context and suggestions for executing the ideas illustrated. Then add links to the products or services. Using these methods can help your content grab the attention of search engine spiders.