You’ve probably heard the catchphrase “Content is king,” if you’ve spent any time on the Internet. Why is content so important to your online marketing efforts? Why has it been crowned “king” by so many savvy Internet marketers? What does content marketing actually mean and how does it affect your online business?

First of all, content marketing is the practice of developing and publishing, free, quality content online to get people to notice your business and then subsequently buy from you. The power of content marketing comes about because you can influence your visitors to go from a prospect to a buyer, and even come back and buy again, thus increasing your conversions. However, in order to get those results you have to write content that matches your niche and then make it interesting and helpful enough that people begin to trust your insights and view you as an expert in your field.

Content Marketing Is Better Than Advertising

Advertising plugs online may be offered as a featured product or service without much in the way of generating a relationship with a prospective buyer. Content marketing, however, builds an audience that is provided with free information, used to help them make a purchasing decision. People tend to want to make an informed buying decision and not be manipulated by flashy banner offers instead.

In addition, if you were to go and share some advertisement you spotted online or sending it in an email to your friends, you’d probably be accused of spamming. However, content marketing is not considered direct advertising, and people actually want to receive quality content that helps them solve an issue in their lives. This makes content marketing highly sharable, through social networks and other online venues.

Google Adwords campaigns can get you in the Search Engine Result Pages (SERPs), but it doesn’t guarantee a top spot. Combine your advertising with content marketing, however, and you can see that this type of Search Engine Optimisation produces the best placement in SERPs. People can find you much more easily online.

Content marketing helps people to trust your brand and gives them confidence to do business with you. In this way, content marketing has direct advertising beat. It does a much better job of providing exposure for your business online, creating a favorable impression to prospective customers, and ultimately is seen as a genuine connection, and not just a fly-by-night advertisement.

Content marketing can also influence consumer behaviour more so than advertising. The whole point of content marketing is to attract and keep new customers by creating content or curating great content from other areas around the web. The content should be valuable and impact consumers to either cause them to change a behaviour or enhance one that is beneficial to your business. This is a long-term process that doesn’t happen overnight, but it is well worth it. You end up being the owner of a valuable library of content that can be re-used and disseminated in various ways, once the original cost of production is over. This means that you become your own media company, instead of renting blurbs and snippets from advertising companies.

In a nutshell, content marketing is the method by which you communicate with your prospective clients in a way that doesn’t seem like outright selling. Large marketing organisations like P&G and Microsoft are experts at the art of content marketing and make billions. However, even small companies can benefit from adopting a content marketing strategy. Why? Because content marketing works well to get the word out about any size business.