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JOHN BONNEY: Content marketing is vitally important

By Herald Express  |  Posted: March 07, 2014

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THE digital era is ever expanding, and more and more forms of traditional marketing just aren't making the cut any more. In this online age it has never been more important to stay ahead of the curve.

Google have made more changes to their search criteria in the last 14 months than they have in the last 14 years. Currently, regularly updated content ranks higher in search results. The aptly named "Google freshness update" evaluates commonly updated content on your website as a sign of credibility and relevance. Take this for example, Google trends breakdown of content marketing (link to http://www.google.com/trends/explore#q=content%20marketing) shows the dramatic increase in the past year alone.

By producing well written, informative and engaging content, you are establishing yourself as an expert in your field. Anyone can say they're an expert, but by writing about it, and sharing your knowledge, you're showing your abilities as an influential person in your industry. This helps you develop something tangible with your fans; trust. Trust cannot be bought, hyped or sold, it's earned, through slowly establishing yourself as the "go to" person in your field.

Engaging content is simple, it isn't sales based or product pushing, nor is it generic and dull. It's informative, entertaining and sharp. It's written with passion and enthusiasm about your industry. Humanise your brand for readers and give your company a bit of personality, as stats show that 70 per cent of consumers prefer getting to know a company through articles rather than adverts. The saying goes 'write what you know' and your business is something you know throughout.

The biggest challenge can often be understanding where to start, and how to maintain a consistent tone throughout your writing. Ask yourself often "who is my target audience?" Is it parents? Teenagers? Business owners? Thinking like this should help you stay on track when it comes to shareable content creation.

Research the industry leaders in your sector and study what they are doing with their content. Read similar blogs and consider what you'd like to achieve. Find your tone and stand out from the crowd, as studies show that by having a blog on your site, you can increase your traffic by 55 per cent. There has never been a better time to put virtual pen to paper and showcase your knowledge and creativity. Quality content is the heart of an integrated, targeted approach to marketing, and it doesn't look like that's changing any time soon.

Now you've got the secret ingredient to grow a solid customer base, go out and start creating!

REGISTER HERE to attend the Herald Express Free Online Marketing Seminar at the Palace Hotel in Paignton on Wednesday March 26.

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