Useful content helps build trust
Many businesses treat content marketing like they would a traditional advertising campaign, by broadcasting the benefits of their product or service to anyone who will listen.
However, online consumers have become accustomed to being bombarded with pop-up advertisements and spam, so if your content has any resemblance to an advertisement, chances are it will be ignored.
Effective online marketing should be about producing useful and quality content that builds trust in your brand.
According to a recent study by Adobe, 75 per cent of Australian consumers believe that advertising should tell a story, not just try to sell.
The study, which surveyed 8,750 consumers across Australia and six other countries, found that most Australians are irritated by online advertising and do not believe that web banner ads are effective.
So what are the best ways to get through to your audience? Try producing something that consumers would find helpful or interesting and centre your content strategy around this.
The CEO of Moz Rand Fishkin sums this up perfectly: “[The] best way to sell something: don’t sell anything. Earn the awareness, respect, and trust of those who might buy.”
In a recent interview with Search Engine Land contributor Brad Miller, Mr Fishkin said it is important for brands to build up confidence in their product by becoming a credible source of information. Businesses should cover topics that they specialise in that are also relevant and helpful to their audience.
Mr Fishkin also mentioned that in the future, national companies are going to struggle to compete with smaller businesses when it comes to content marketing. Search is becoming more localised, so brands that have a local online presence are often going to be more relevant to users than national organisations.
Although this is good news for small businesses, Australian SMEs still have a long way to go. Earlier this year the Department of Communications revealed that only 44.4 per cent of small and medium businesses have an online presence, compared to 97 per cent of large companies.
Small businesses that can build up a strong relationship with online consumers in their local area by producing engaging content will definitely reap the rewards in the future.