A couple of years ago, I was seduced into the arms of Specsavers, a big brand optician. Previously, I'd used an optician in a nearby small town, but for whatever reason, I decided to try one of the big boys.
They were fine, and I was mostly pleased with my new glasses.
Not My Problem Mate
A year or so later, one of the arms on my specs became loose. I couldn't be bothered driving the 30 miles to Specsavers, so I went to the local optician. I explained I hadn't bought these glasses from them but had previously been a customer.
The person who had previously been very helpful to me when I bought glasses from them was abrupt and rude and suggested I went back to where I'd bought them. OK.
I walked out of the shop, somewhat surprised, and headed further down the high street to another optician. I explained I hadn't bought my glasses from them, or indeed any glasses ever, but still, they were happy to help. Ten minutes later, my specs were fixed, and despite my offer, the optician refused any payment.
Helping Me Was A Shrewd Move
Fast forward 12 months and I've just ordered some new glasses, from the optician who helped me. Also, my partner ordered her new glasses from them, and I've told many other people about how helpful they were.
What's this got to do with digital marketing? Well, quite a lot.
Content Marketing Is About Helping People
One aspect of online marketing, a significant part, is content marketing. In a nutshell, content marketing is about developing an understanding of the problems your ideal customers are experiencing and the words and phrases they type into Google when looking for answers.
You then provide answers to these questions in the shape of blog posts, white papers and videos in the hope your content will find its way into the visible search results. By that, I mean in the top 20 results.
Having done this, the people your content helps may never become customers. Wait; what? Even worse, your content will almost certainly push people into the arms of other solution providers.
Your Content Will Help You Grow Your Business
But the thing is, your helpful content will also drive enquiries into your own business. Ultimately, creating great content is a powerful way of generating leads and done right; it's the gift that keeps on giving.
Putting yourself out and helping people by providing answers to the questions they are asking will help you to grow your business. You'll see the traffic to your website increase; you'll see the number of enquiries you receive from your website increase and your content will be cited and shared by others. This also helps improve your overall search engine performance.
An Investment In Your Future Prosperity
The other great thing about content marketing is that quite often the content you create today will continue to help people and generate interest in your business for many years to come.
For example, back in 2016, some research and experience suggested to me that business people were confused about blogging. They were being told to do it, but they didn't know why or how. They didn't understand the purpose of having a business blog. So I blogged about that subject and provided some guidance.
The blog was published in May 2016.
In the last 30 days from the publish date of this blog, the blog I wrote about blogging has been viewed 171 times, and 159 of these views came from people who found the post in a Google search.
For clarity, some content I created is being viewed by over 150 potential customers a month, four years after I created it. That's undoubtedly raising the profile of our business and generating opportunities for us.
Be Nice, And You'll Benefit
In my business career, I've seen other people quickly dismiss someone instead of helping them because they didn't present an immediate opportunity to generate revenue. In some instances, this is a mistake.
When it comes to helping strangers by generating website content, in my experience, it's a powerful way to grow your credibility and your bottom line.