The title of this post refers to two critical areas of focus when utilizing online marketing to attract prospects, convert them into customers, and grow your business: 1) publishing content, and 2) ensuring the content you publish is relevant to your audience, regardless of whether it’s directly relevant to your business.

Image courtesy Dynamark.

We’ve entered the age of content marketing, which means if you’re a small-business owner, marketing manager, social marketer or anyone else responsible for generating traffic to your company’s website and keeping prospects there upon arrival, you need to provide your potential customers with timely content you know they’ll find insightful, helpful and compelling.

At the end of the day you’re in business to sell products or services. But chances are you don’t enjoy a monopoly, and instead have numerous competitors looking for the marketing advantages that will either shift potential customers’ focus their direction, or take away from you the existing customers whose loyalty you worked hard to win.

So, assuming you follow search-engine-optimization (SEO) best practices, and that your company appears prominently in online search results, you need to give your visitors information beyond the features, benefits and calls to action that dominate so many sales-oriented websites.

Which means you need to offer your audience genuine insight into the areas of expertise you know they want. For example, if you run a print shop, your website should immediately convey a sense of industry expertise that’s broader than simply telling visitors why your print shop is the best.

Instead, you could turn your home page into a company blog that shares timely information, tips and tricks and other thoughtful content you know your audience is interested in reading simply because they chose to visit the website of a print shop in the first place.

When developing your new or revised online marketing strategy, it’s important to keep in mind that content marketing is not copywriting. But the trick is remembering that the most effective content also has to include the elements of great copywriting: compelling headlines, credible claims, pertinent information, and impactful, useful takeaways.

By setting the stage with engaging, informative content, you’re not only establishing credibility; you’re building trust, which is paramount when your goal is to turn website visitors into bottom-line contributors.