By Anita Sambol

People generally don’t like to be sold to. They tend to resent products being showed in their eyesight, giving them a feeling that they are nothing more than a cash machine. The Internet has been around for some time. We’ve all grown accustomed to it – we’ve learned its tricks and we all successfully navigate the vastness of information we get online.

These two facts paired together are the simplest reason why classical banner ads are no longer as successful as they were when they were first introduced.

“Ad blindness” or “banner blindness” is a fairly common situation where people with almost no effort completely ignore banner advertisements flashing on their screens. Some people are so annoyed with banner ads, they install blocking software just to make sure they won’t have to deal with advertisements.

So what can be done?

How do you get people’s attention on the Internet in this day and age? Two words – content marketing! In order to get something valuable from customers, you should first give something that has substance to them. Instead of drowning your potential customers in banner ads, you should present them with valuable information that will, in the end, entice them to get the product you’re trying to sell.

If your customers feel like they’ve made an informed decision when they bought your product or service, they won’t feel like somebody just squeezed the money out of their pockets. But how do you make the switch from the classic Internet advertisements to this more sophisticated marketing method? The change can seem a bit overwhelming if you’re not sure how to approach it. In a few simple steps, this will be explained.

Make the Investment

This new marketing strategy will cost money. If nothing else, you’ll have to account for the time you’ll spend working on marketing instead of working on some other problem.

Before anything, define your budget. Needless to say, the more you spend, the better the result. Consider hiring a professional who can dedicate his full time and attention to developing the content marketing strategy. Creating valuable, informative content is time-consuming and it’s not likely you’ll be able to handle the additional workload.

Use Your Blog

If your business still doesn’t have a blog, create one now! It’s a simple tool that creates more indexed pages and that easily reaches wider audiences. And remember, we said – valuable content! It’s way easier to produce valuable content in a blog article than on social media, where the format is somewhat limiting.

A blog can be as cheap or as expensive as you want it to. WordPress is a go-to platform for any blogger, offering a vast variety of free and premium themes, and if you have built your business website using this platform, adding a blog won’t be a problem.

Build Your Social Presence

Today everyone uses some form of social media. Even the people who tend to avoid such online communities as Facebook or Twitter, use professional social media such as LinkedIn.

Build a strong social media presence. It’s a great way to establish yourself as the leader in your business and to create a solid following. It’s also a great way to keep track of your progress – the number of likes and shares is a great indication of your online popularity.

Start Guest Blogging

Find out who are the opinion makers in your business field and ask them to guest blog for you. They will bring an already established audience with them and will bring an authoritative, trustworthy voice.

Not only will the guest blogs widen your audience, but will likely bring in some new connections within your business. You never know what these relationships might lead to.

Don’t Forget to Track Your Progress

Once all has been set up, keep up with your numbers. How much new traffic is created, how long do people stay on your website, how many pages do they visit. Not to mention likes and shares on social media.

Knowing all of these will help you improve your strategy during time.

Don’t be discouraged if you don’t see immediate results. Content marketing is a marathon, not a sprint. It takes time to build an audience, but rest assured in the end all this hard work will pay off.