One of the hardest things about content marketing is getting people to understand the importance of investing in original content. While most organisations easily accept the concept behind a content strategy using your expertise and knowledge to draw people to your business – getting content creation into the budget is another story.
In a popular post from last year, The Website Conundrum: Design vs. Content, I spoke about the importance of investing equal amounts of budget into design and content. Just because you've built a website, doesn't mean you have an online business. Without content, I would argue you don't have a business at all.
When you compare a traditional bricks-and-mortar business with an online business, it's easier to see why content is so important. People will visit a shop because of the location, its curb appeal, and the way it looks on the inside. All those things help to get bodies through your front door. Once there, it's your stock making them decide whether they'll spend money with you. More importantly, the more stock you have, the more variety and the frequency of your turnover will keep them coming back repeatedly.
What are you stocking?
Online businesses work the same way. It's not hard to get people to your domain. You can do that with online advertising and a healthy SEO campaign. The way your website looks, easy navigation, and good copy on your home page will attract prospective customers. How are you going to get them to stay and how will you get them to come back? With original content.
Driving traffic to your website
You need to give your prospects and customers a reason to come to your website and keep coming back. If you don't stock your business with original content, you're wasting a lot of time and money on having a web presence. Would you go into a hardware store devoid of nails, hammers, or sandpaper? Would you keep going back to a dress shop with a single dress hanging around year after year? No, you wouldn't.
If your budget makes no provision for an ongoing stream of original content, you're missing valuable opportunities to promote your expertise and increase your authority. You're also jeopardising your ability to grow your business. Your website should be loaded with a variety of content including a blog, customer success stories, infographics, videos and anything else that will encourage people to visit your site repeatedly. Without content, you're available for window shoppers and nothing more.
Do you budget for an ongoing stream of original content?
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