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Melissa is a mother of 2, lives in Utah, and writes for a multitude of sites. She is currently the EIC of HarcourtHealth.com and writes about health, wellness, and business topics.

Traditional advertisers are having a tough time in 2018. Consumers have always been averse to hard-sells interrupting their media experience, but now more than ever they can choose to switch it off completely.

They can record their favorite television shows and fast-forward past the commercials. They can (and do) choose to pay a monthly subscription to music streaming services so that advertisers can’t reach them there either. Meanwhile, online ad blockers are becoming more powerful and prominent than ever.

Content Marketing Isn't the Best Way, It's the Only Way 1
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This trend has forced marketers across the globe to take a different approach. Instead of interrupting the content, they are now creating it. Content marketing, as this approach is widely known as, used to be thought of as a nice addition to an internet marketing strategy. Now, it’s arguably the only way to make an impact on an online audience.

Let Your Leads Make Up Their Own Minds

Traditional advertising tells prospective customers that a specific company is the best in its industry. Content marketing proves it. A successful content marketing strategy should involve a regular supply of useful articles, videos, or images being produced with the aim of providing value to the audience. This content should solve their target audience’s problems. It should be useful, informative, and entertaining – and perhaps occasionally mention the service provided by the company – but it should mostly be given away for free.

The goal is turn to the audience consuming this content into leads, to keep these leads coming back for more useful information, then eventually turn them into paying customers. You can expect a longer sales funnel compared to the days when you’d slap a banner ad in the middle of a third party’s news story. It’s tougher to track the source of sales than it is with this strategy too, but a number of the biggest names in internet marketing now swear by it.

Gary Vaynerchuk calls this the ‘jab, jab, right hook’ strategy, suggesting that the free content softens your customers up for the moment you hook them in by asking for the sale.

Often though, you don’t even need to throw that knock-out punch. If a consumer has subscribed to your content, perhaps via email, RSS, or social media, there’s typically only going to be one company on their mind once they need one of the products you’re selling. Typically, content marketing leads will navigate directly to your website when they feel ready, rather than responding to a particular call-to action. They make their own mind up about your company, which is what consumers love to feel like they’ve done.    

What If You Don’t Have Any Writers?

Perhaps you’ve never thought it was necessary to employ a copywriter, or anyone with a background in marketing, and you can’t be doing with the expense and hassle of hiring a new employee. That’s a perfectly normal problem for small businesses across hundreds of industries. Many business solve it by outsourcing their content marketing to a professional content production company.

The demand for high-quality online content has become so high that there are literally hundreds of these companies to choose from nowadays. It’s advisable to outsource your content to a business that can demonstrate up-to-date knowledge of online journalism and internet marketing. Ideally, they’ll be able to demonstrate experience of having written quality content within your niche too. If the company has both of these weapons in its armor, there’s every chance it’ll be able to create better content than you, the CEO.

Even if you see yourself as a bit of a wordsmith, outsourcing your content marketing will give you the time to do what you’re really good at: running a business.

The way things are going, those opt against investing in content marketing altogether might soon not have a business left to run.