You may already know that 93 percent of New Zealanders will research their buying decisions online before making a purchasing decision (that counts for business to business too).

You may also know that some companies are making a bundle of sales off their internet traffic, while others are getting nothing – not a sausage. Zip.

Which one are you, or are you in the middle? And, why are some companies so successful and others so dismal?

It is probably because most New Zealand companies are fixated with search engine optimisation, not conversion. If you’re getting even a smidgen of traffic and hardly any inquiries, there’s something about your website people don’t like.

People come to look at your website because they are firstly looking for information that will help them make an informed decision, and because they want to ‘feel’ something when they do – trust, confidence, excitement…

You will already have heard the meme: ‘Content is King’. Well, it is true.

By creating professional, informative and educational content you achieve a number of objectives:

  1. Better search engine optimisation because Google values sites that are active.
  2. You get more referral traffic. When you have good content, you can spread it around to referral sites, which rank better than you. These sites then act as a springboard to your own website (do this properly and you won’t even need Google).
  3. You build trust. By offering solid, useful advice (with no obligations) you begin to position yourself as an authority on the subject. People will begin to trust ‘that you seem to know what you’re talking about’.
  4. You build ‘liking’. If you offer helpful, conversational advice free of charge, people will automatically begin to think of you as ‘nice’.

Here’s a simple content marketing plan:

  1. Establish a blog on your website, or a stand alone blog
  2. Set up a Twitter account, a business Facebook page and your LinkedIn page
  3. Set up an interest group on LinkedIn and invite others to join
  4. Identify a couple of referral sites i.e.
  5. Identify media sites, journalists, complementary blogs, PR distribution sites
  6. Write your blog and then distribute it via Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn
  7. Post it to your referral sites
  8. Rewrite the blog as a press release and distribute it to media outlets
  9. Format the article as a pdf for download off your website

I recently visited the site of a company that sells trailers. They had tons of articles on all kinds of things, including ‘buying tips’, ‘on road regulations’ and ‘towing tips’.

They had masses of traffic and a lot of people discussing purchases with them. Good content builds trust and engages your customers in a conversation. It’s what your customers are looking for.

Colin Kennedy is a content strategist and thought leader.

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