Entrepreneurs: 7 Reasons Why Content is Required

[NOTE: This post continues a series exploring the topic of entrepreneurship. While my focus has and will continue to be on Facebook ads, I have plenty to share about what I’ve learned while building my business.]

If you are an entrepreneur with a website, content is required. The inclusion of content humanizes your brand, provides proof of expertise and builds trust.

My website and business are prime examples of this. I am passionate about this topic because I’ve seen what a benefit content can be. I would never attempt to start a business without it.

I try to imagine if I had taken the short-cut approach. Many marketers in my field rely on sending people to a landing page to collect an email address and skip the content.

My traffic would be dramatically lower. My email list would be smaller. The remarketing power would be a fraction of what it is today. Most importantly, the level of trust and engagement would be nearly impossible to replicate.

I understand that my perspective comes from the info marketing and education industries. So my approach doesn’t apply to everyone equally. But I do feel strongly that all businesses should apply at least some piece of this approach.

I often hear from marketers who argue that they’ve found success without creating content. First, you’re in the extreme minority. Second, I contend that your level of success could be multiplied by adding in a layer of content.

Let’s take a closer look at the seven primary reasons why content is so important for a business website…

1. Prove Your Expertise

This is precisely one of the primary goals of my website. If I only sent you to a landing page for a product or opt-in, how do I prove to you that I know what the heck I’m talking about?

These free blog posts are my opportunities to do just that. The first time you clicked a link to visit this website, you may not have considered providing me with an email address. But after reading a no-strings-attached blog post helping solve a problem, your mind may have been changed.

A landing page, by itself, is mostly fluff PR. It’s very difficult to prove that you know anything.

But a blog post that doesn’t hold back information is a great vehicle for showing your reader the level of your understanding on a topic.

2. Highlight Complexity

I’ve often been criticized for giving away too much for free. Why would someone buy a training program, sign up for a one-on-one or join an exclusive community when they can just read my blog?

I find this to be a silly argument. Some people will never buy from me. Some people will rely only on my free content. That’s fine. They’re welcome to it.

But by writing close to 1,000 blog posts over the years, my blog highlights the complexity of this topic. There isn’t a simple formula to success. Things are constantly changing. It’s incredibly difficult to keep up!

As a result, those who read my blog appreciate how complex this topic is. They suddenly start to realize how much they don’t know. And they want to do all they can to sharpen their skills.

That, ultimately, leads to my paid products.

3. Attract Future Customers

Some marketers are hell bent on collecting an email address or squeezing as much revenue out of a single person today. It’s a short-term approach.

But I realize that you may not be ready to register for something of mine today. You may not want to buy something from me today. It may be because you don’t yet have the need or resources. Or maybe the level of trust isn’t there yet.

One blog post may be enough for you to realize that one of my paid products could benefit you. Or maybe it will take 10 blog posts. Or 20. Or you’ll never reach that point. Everyone is different.

A goal of this blog is that when you or a friend are suddenly in need of help with Facebook advertising education, my name comes up first. And that only happens due to a long-term commitment to content.

4. Build an Email List

Oh, I know. You don’t create content. You focus only on driving people to a landing page to build your email list. You’ve cut out the unnecessary work.

But no…

If you don’t create content, why would someone go to your landing page? It’s usually because you pay to drive that traffic. And costs to drive that traffic tend to be high.

When you visit my website, there tend to be multiple opportunities to provide an email address. Not in an intrusive, annoying, hard-sell way. But there are opportunities.

These pages get more than 200,000 unique visitors per month. A large percentage of that traffic is organic. And a nice chunk of those visits result in a new email subscriber.

Content helps me build my list efficiently in another way…

5. Build a Remarketing Audience

Who is more likely to provide an email address: 1) Someone who has never heard of you before or 2) Someone who visits your website frequently?

Yeah, it should be obvious. It’s the person who comes to your website frequently.

And keep in mind that the quality of the email address from a frequent website visitor should also be much higher. There is equity built with that relationship.

When I target people who have visited my website before with an opt-in opportunity, my costs and success rate are significantly better than targeting a cold audience. Of course they are, right?

It’s an unfair advantage, really. I get enough traffic now where I can focus not only on any website visitor, but my most engaged website visitor. Results improve even more.

6. Create a Traffic Engine

It took years of refining and figuring out my process, but I now have a well-oiled machine. It’s a traffic engine that keeps on working.

It’s not magic. It’s not a secret formula. It’s all very logical why it works. But it works incredibly well.

It functions like this…

I create and share content.
Remarketing audience grows.
Email list grows.
I promote content and opt-ins to remarketing list.
I promote product to email list and remarketing list.
I create and share content.
Remarketing audience grows.
Email list grows.
I promote opt-ins to remarketing list.
I promote product to email list and remarketing list.
I create and share content…

Every time I create new content, this process repeats. I share it to my Facebook page and Twitter. I promote it with Facebook ads. I share it to my email list. Those who visit may share with their friends.

My email list is constantly growing. The traffic is constantly churning. And I always have a warm audience of people who are willing to buy from me.

7. Build Loyalty

People hold no loyalty for a logo. No loyalty for a landing page.

But every piece of content you create is an opportunity to build on a relationship. Trust increases. Loyalty increases.

When someone purchases a product from me, I don’t want it to be because I did a good job of convincing them to buy from a landing page. I don’t want it to be someone who stumbled on me for the first time, and I talked them into it.

This type of customer — this type of sale — is the highest risk for me. They are much more likely to result in dissatisfaction. It’s not worth the additional effort. I’d rather you don’t buy in the first place.

But if you know me — if you’ve read my blog for some time, have been on my email list and attended a free webinar or two — you know what I’m all about. You know what to expect. You are much more likely to hold a sense of loyalty.

Not only are you more likely to benefit from your purchase, you are more likely to buy again. That’s what I want.

Quality Matters

With all of this talk about content, understand that quality matters. This should be obvious, but it isn’t to everyone. You can’t just create any old content and expect the “traffic engine” to fire on all cylinders.

While volume of content matters, focus on quality first. If you prioritize volume, you risk doing damage to your brand and reputation, impacting level of trust and loyalty.

Content Types

While my focus has been on my blog, know what you do best. You can also create content via videos or podcasts, for example. Just know that a blog may be most efficient.

That statement may be out of ignorance due to results I’ve seen, but the impact from my blog vs. podcasting and video isn’t even close.

Find Your Content Focus

I wrote about this topic already, so we won’t re-write it here. But a quick refresher is in order.

You need to think about…

  1. What is your topic of expertise?
  2. What are the questions your customers and potential customers are asking?
  3. What topic provides volume of content opportunities?
  4. What information may be valuable to your target audience?

This is a start. Experiment to find what works and what doesn’t. But read that blog post on content focus for a deep dive exercise to help lead the way.

Your Turn

Content drives my business. I would have nowhere close to the level of success I’ve enjoyed without it. So I hope that this helps convince you of the importance of content and gives you some early ideas for your own content plans.

Anything you’d add? Let me know in the comments below!