Value is the key ingredient to a successful business. But how do you prove that you can offer real value to a customer? In our age of social media and websites, content marketing is an essential strategy for bringing traffic to your website, building your brand, and showcasing your value proposition.

Increasing Traffic
Just building a website isn’t enough. People have to find you, and content marketing is one of the most effective ways to make that happen. For many businesses, their target customers are on Google. When they have a need related to what your business does, they ask Google a question. Effective content marketing makes it so that when that happens, prospective customers are more likely to find you and your business.

Setting up a blog for your business is an important first step, giving you a venue to share content that is connected with, built on, and contributing to your brand. And what should you be writing about, you may ask? The answer to that question comes from asking yourself another question: what do your prospective customers want to know more about?

If you’re an interior decorator, your prospective customers might want to know the latest trends for furnishings or layouts. If you’re a realtor, your prospective customers might want to know how the schools are in a particular area, or the trend for home values. There are questions like that from customers of every kind of business.

Once you’ve thought of the questions your customers are asking, answer them! Give your thoughts and share your knowledge about these questions in posts to your blog. In your writing, give the answers to the questions you’ve anticipated clearly and directly, using words and phrases that you think a customer on Google might plug into the search box.

With the right Search Engine Optimization, your information will find its way to potential customers who are asking the questions you’ve answered. That drives them to your site, to your brand. You’re halfway home.

Building the Brand
But effective content marketing does more than just increase traffic to your website; it also increases the chances that people who have a need and find you will then do business with you. That’s because content marketing gives you credibility.

We all prefer to do business with someone we trust. If you are going to spend money on something, you want to give that money to someone who has proven their value, who you know can deliver what they promise. The same holds true in your industry.

If someone has a need for what your business does, they will look for a business they trust, who can really help them. You might see a store or an ad, or even visit a website—but that alone won’t tell you whether the business can actually deliver what they promise, whether they’re actually any good at what they do. But content marketing is also a chance for you to prove your worth. You have the opportunity to showcase your expertise and knowledge. The customer knows you can solve the problem, because they just read about what you can do. To further help build your brand with content marketing, make sure to include stories of ways you were able to help specific customers with the problems or questions you talk about. That adds further credibility, and gives you a better chance of turning that questioner into a customer.