It’s no secret how heavily we rely on Google to find information for us. Just think about it — how many times a day do you use search? How often do you tell the kids, “I don’t know, Google it?” The search giant reports that it processes more 40,000 search queries every second, which is simply awesome (in the dictionary sense of the word), when you think about it.
Is that new movie worth seeing? What’s the tallest mountain in the world? How old is Morgan Freeman? Google knows.
Google also recommends. Which cloud storage service should I use? Where should I advertise? What’s the best place online to buy office supplies? And we trust Google’s front-page recommendations like we would trust a friend.
Interestingly enough, some still aren’t sold on content marketing. Either they don’t get it, or they’re not convinced that investing in content marketing will yield real results for their bottom line.
This is where my experience with content marketing comes into play. I’m going to help you sell the unbelievers in your company by telling you what content marketing has done for me and my business.
But first, let’s recap
If you can get Google to recommend you to potential clients, you’ll be seen as a leader and an authority in your industry. You’ll get more visitors to your site and naturally get more customers.
Okay, cool — but how can you get recommended?
- First, use Google Keyword to find out what your target market is searching for
- Then, create quality content that relates to these searches — content that’s so good, your target market wants to read it and share it with the world
This process is called content marketing, and it’s easier said than done. But does it lead to success?
Yes. Here, first-hand, are five big ways it has helped my business.
1. We have built trust and authority
I co-founded and run Student-Tutor, a national tutoring and test prep company. Since so much of the content we create shows up on the first page of Google, our blog gets over 60,000 visitors per month, and we are now known as one of the leading authorities in the education industry.
Not only is our content informative, but it’s also emotionally stirring, which helps readers believe in and support our mission. Because I write about my personal experiences and share my struggles and triumphs, I can more fully communicate my passion to my clients. This has helped us develop loyal, lifelong clients.
2. We have a sustainable competitive advantage
Any sustainable competitive advantage must be difficult to copy. If your competitive advantage is that you sell two slices of pizza for $5, the pizza shop across the street can easily start selling for $4.99.
That’s why sustainable competitive advantages are usually built over a long period of time. And quality content marketing fits the bill exactly. High-quality content is not easy to create, and it takes time to replicate.
For example, the article pictured below required more than 20 hours of research. And even after we’d written and posted it, it was over a year before we saw any notable traffic. But now, we get over 8,000 visitors a month to just this blog article, many of whom become clients.
Even if a competitor saw this post today and decided to write a better version of the article, it could take them years to catch up.
3. We naturally succeed in SEO
When Google first came into this world, they — like anyone — were a little bit naïve. It was easy for content marketers to use slimy tricks to get on the first page of Google. But you can’t game the system anymore.
We have never focused exclusively on strategies that bring in as many links as possible. Quality content has always been the primary goal.
And now, after focusing on the quality of the posts, magic happens. People share our content and ask us to guest post. Plus, organizations all across the world link back to us.
Because of this, we consistently rank higher than our competitors. Below, you will see where we rank for some SAT prep keywords against Varsity Tutors and Wyzant — both multi-million dollar organizations with tons of backing.
4. We can reach a worldwide audience
We have had clients in more than 15 states and Canada. In fact, the biggest reason we started offering online tutoring was because people from out of state wanted our services, but we had no way to offer them.
We partnered with Scribblar and now 70 percent of our clients are online. We have had prospects in Asia, Australia, Paris, Nicaragua, and all over the world follow us, join our email list, watch our webinars, and ask for our services — all because of content marketing.
5. Our content opens doors
We don’t need to create press releases and pitch story ideas to the media — our volume of excellent content naturally gets us attention from several different sources. I’ve received ample exposure across a variety of media outlets, been offered several speaking opportunities at high schools and even written for Huffington Post.
In addition to the free publicity, our content connects us with influential people. Once you’ve been published in a couple major publications, it’s easier to break into their circle and establish relationships that could help grow your business.
Get buy-in from the stragglers
Use these examples to demonstrate the value of content marketing and how it can help your company reach its business goals. Content marketing doesn’t always produce immediate results, but it does produce them, and numerous stats support the notion that it is the future of marketing. People are online looking for information — give it to them. The sales will follow.