So how do you get noticed? How do you get heard above the noise? How do you drive more traffic back to your website?
Whilst Google Advertising can produce excellent results it’s also an expensive option particularly if you don’t know how to manage and run an effective campaign.
But what can you do when you are a small business and don’t have the budget for Google advertising?
Consumers are now much more informed – they don’t care for traditional ads, whether they are on their TVs or on their computers, and will simply skip them. (Sky + is one of the greatest inventions – remember TV adverts?!) What they do care for is knowledge – so if that’s what makes your consumers happy, why not give it to them? Not to mention, content marketing is a great way to share your knowledge, expertise and can help you get found on Google (it also helps that your website has plenty of quality, optimized content)
With blogging you can get your audience’s attention and get more traffic to your website, without traditional advertising and without the exorbitant costs of Google Adwords.
What is Content Marketing?
Content marketing means creating relevant content and distributing it to your target audience, with the objective of attracting and engaging with your customers. It is a great way of communicating to and with your audience without actively trying to sell them a product or service. With content marketing you are not trying to pitch your products or services, but instead you are giving your customers valuable information on an ongoing basis, that will ultimately make them more loyal to your brand and possibly buy from you. Content marketing is, basically, blogging, and it can take many different forms. Your blog posts could be text, images, videos, infographics, games and pretty much any type of content you can think of.
How can you benefit from content marketing?
Blogging is a great platform to not only share your content but also to get more engagement on social media and is one of the best ways to generate traffic to your website.
Of course you can’t just write a blog post and expect people to automatically flock to your website. You also have to promote it. There are three main ways to get traffic to your website. The first option is the traditional advertising I mentioned above i.e. using Google Adwords or Facebook Ads. .
My personal favorite method and responsible for 50% of the traffic to Socialable is social media. Whilst social media is a great tool you won’t see results instantly as it takes time to build new relationships and generate a network of targeted followers. That said social media is a fantastic way to generate engagement and traffic back to your website. It’s also free but bear in mind that in reality social media can be very time sensitive and time is money after all!
The third option which here at Socialable we’ve also been using alongside social media has been a service such as Outbrain to “advertise” our posts in a very innovative way and am really impressed with the results so far.
The way it works is quite simple – you have to write unique, creative, interesting and valuable content that will be recommended on other websites. Say someone is reading an article on Mashable.com; when he finishes reading it, he might want to find out more on the subject, and, thankfully, he finds a list of different posts called “We Recommend” or “Related Posts” right after the article. These posts are links that are not only related to the post he was reading, but also personal recommendations, based on the reader’s interests and browsing and reading habits. It doesn’t get more personalized than this – and that is where your article could be. This is a great way to advertise your content, without actually advertising; at least not in the traditional way. And once someone gets on your website/blog we’ve experienced that they are more interested in what I have to say and therefore stick around for longer.
With regular online advertising, people don’t always know what they are getting when they click on an ad – not to mention many click by mistake and close the page almost instantly which increases your bounce rate. But with this type of advertising, users come to your website with a very specific reason in mind: to read your blog posts. And if your post is interesting, they are more likely to browse through other posts on your site, share your content, bookmark and ultimately potentially become a customer or at least a regular visitor.
Like with everything else in life, there is no easy quick fix option. If you want great results from blogging, than you have to work constantly on it. You have to provide interesting and engaging content that your target audience wants to read and you have to do it consistently. But the writing process doesn’t have to be too hard and can be made simpler – try to plan ahead and have a system in place. Make the most of content curation tools and invite other quality bloggers to guest blog on your site too.
Have you used online advertising? Please do leave a comment and share your experiences?
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