No matter what industry you work in, you’ll want to stand out from the crowd. And, one of the ways you can do this is by showing off your expertise and educating your target audience with content marketing.
Every brand should be incorporating content marketing into their digital marketing strategy for 2021. This can involve creating videos, blog posts, guides, and more that will show your ideal customers that you’re an expert in your field, and you can help to address their pain points.
By creating high-quality content, you can bring new traffic to your website, build backlinks that are great for SEO, and ensure you always have something to post on your social media accounts.
Here, I’m going to talk you through why educating your audience with content marketing is such a powerful tactic. Read on to find out more.
It will show your expertise and build trust with your target audience
Put yourself in your customers’ shoes — before they spend money with you, they’ll want to know they can trust your brand. And creating educational content is one of the most effective ways to build brand trust, because it allows you to show the world that you’re knowledgeable and can provide a solution to your prospective clients’ problems.
It can have the added benefit of boosting your search engine rankings, too. Google cares a lot about expertise, authoritativeness, and trustworthiness, so proving you have all of these things will help you to climb the SERPs.
There are a lot of businesses out there that are already earning their audience’s trust with valuable and educational content, so make sure you follow their lead.
BarkBox is another brand that does a great job of building trust with consumers, this time through their blog, BarkPost, which is packed full of expert tips and advice. For instance, when they were promoting their Bright Dental Kit for dogs, they published a blog post all about the importance of dog dental care, where they shared advice from a veterinary dentist.
By bringing an expert on board to talk their customers through an aspect of their pet’s health, BarkBox have shown that they truly have their best interests at heart. And this is sure to build trust that could lead to a lot more sales.
It will help to boost your brand awareness
Educational content can also help to boost your brand awareness due to how shareable it is.
If you’re helping your customers to better understand something about your industry or niche, your audience might want to share it with people who have similar interests. This could be their friends, families, colleagues, or even their social media followers.
If your content grabs the attention of bloggers or journalists, they might also want to share it with their readerships. This could then help you to secure lots of great backlinks organically. Google will take this as a sign that you’re a trustworthy source of information, which can then help you to climb the SERPs, so more people will come across your website.
There are a lot of benefits to building your brand awareness. Even if someone doesn’t make a purchase the first time they come across your educational content, you’ll still leave a lasting impression on them. So, the next time they’re looking for products and services like yours, you’ll be far more likely to come to mind.
The more familiar a customer is with your brand, the more likely they’ll be to spend money with you.
You can catch people at different stages of the customer journey
One of the biggest strengths of content marketing is that it can draw people in, no matter where they are in the customer journey. So, if you’re looking to improve your sales funnel, consider creating educational content that will be relevant at these four stages:
- Awareness: This is when potential customers learn about your brand for the first time
- Interest: This is when website visitors are learning more about your business and what you sell
- Consideration: This is when prospective customers are looking through your products and reading reviews
- Decision: This is when your customers decide whether they’re going to shop with you, and what they’ll buy if they do
Think about what questions people might ask at each stage, and try to answer them with your content.
If you sold pet products like BarkBox, for instance, you could create a whole series of articles around harnesses. You could start with content addressing “Does my dog need a harness?” to catch people right at the top of the sales funnel, and then create a harness buying guide for people who know they need one but aren’t sure which one to pick.
Let’s look at some companies who have successfully created content to catch people at different stages of the sales funnel.
Venngage is a company that helps its clients to present complex information and data in eye-catching and engaging infographics. But they have a guide called “What is an infographic?” to attract people who are only just learning that their products exist.
In the piece, they cover all of the basics, from what the simple definition of an infographic is, to why businesses might use them in their content. People who are interested in this information might be likely to use the company’s services down the line, so it’s a very helpful and effective resource to have.
Best Nursing Programs is another website that publishes a lot of high-quality content, most of which is aimed at people who are in the middle of their customer journey. For example, they have a guide to the best community college nursing programs, which is aimed at people who know they’re interested in working in the healthcare sector one day, but who don’t know exactly which route they’re going to take.
Here, people can learn about all of the different schools and courses they might be interested in. They can also click through to the different sites of each university if they want to progress further down the sales funnel. The guide provides a lot of very helpful information and definitely positions the site as an authority in its field, too.
Finally, In VPN is a website that publishes a lot of guides for people who are right at the bottom of the sales funnel. The majority of its content, such as its guide to NordVPN vs ExpressVPN, focuses on comparing and contrasting some of the most popular VPNs on the market.
People who are very close to committing to a VPN are likely to be interested in this type of content, as it will help them to whittle their two top options down to just one. A comparison piece like this can really help customers to pull the trigger on their next purchase, as it will help them to make an informed decision that they know is going to work well for them.
It will secure leads without a hard sell
People don’t like being sold to, so you have to play it cool. You need to make your customers feel like they’re in control, otherwise you could deter them from making a purchase.
Educational content is a great way to provide a soft sell — you can get in your customers’ heads and show them all the ways they can benefit from your products or services. And, under the guise of teaching them something new, you can do it subtly without making them feel like they’re just reading an advertisement.
Continental Message Solution is a business that does a great job of promoting their products, but in an educational way that isn’t overly promotional. For instance, their guide to setting up a medical answering service is purely informative, which helps them to build trust with their ideal customers. And anyone who reads this guide is probably already considering this as an option for their practice, which means their next step is to find a company that can help them with the process.
The article makes it clear that Continental Message Solution offers this as a service, but it isn’t too promotional, which is sure to put prospective customers at ease. It shows plenty of expertise, though, which makes it likely that readers will circle back and ask the provider for help if they do decide to go down the answering service route.
BetterHelp is another brand that does a fantastic job of showing their expertise and selling their services without being overly promotional. It’s an online counselling service, and their blog is full of articles that cover a variety of mental health topics, such as managing depression, anxiety, and more.
If someone is searching the internet for advice about managing a mental illness, they might come across these blog posts, which are very helpful on their own. But this is also likely to make them aware of BetterHelp’s services, which they might be interested in paying for, even though there’s been no hard sell.
It can help you to secure lots of organic links
As I’ve previously touched on, educational content can also help you to build a natural and niche-focused backlink profile, which can then boost your search engine rankings.
If you’re publishing quality informative content, people will want to share it with their audience. And they should credit you with a link whenever they do. Search engines like Google will then see each backlink as a vote of confidence, which indicates your business is a trustworthy source of information. Their algorithms should begin to boost your rankings as a result.
There are lots of different link building techniques you can use. For example, you could create infographics other sites might be interested in incorporating into their articles. Or, if you’re struggling to secure quality links off the back of your content alone, you could offer to write guest blog posts for other sites in your niche.
Guest posting provides another way to show your expertise and trustworthiness. But, most importantly, the sites you write for should provide you with a link as a thank you for sharing your knowledge with their readers.
There are so many benefits to educating your audience through content marketing. By sharing your knowledge, you’ll build trust with your customers, increase your brand awareness, build organic links, and drive more traffic to your website. If you get it right, this traffic should also convert into sales.
Author bio & headshot:
Adam Steele is the Founder and COO at Loganix, an SEO fulfillment partner for agencies and marketers. We build easy to use SEO services that help businesses scale. If you liked this article, please check out our SEO guides and templates on the blog.