Image via pixabay (CC0 License)
Content marketing should be a staple in your marketing strategy. If anything, the entire strategy should revolve around content. It’s become such an integral part of modern businesses, so much so that you can’t afford to neglect it.
But why? Why is content marketing so essential for companies these days? It never used to be such a vital thing, so what’s changed?
Much of this is down to the digitalization of the modern world. As we slowly start to consume more digital technologies, we open up new avenues for content. There’s also something to be said about a change in how consumers approach businesses, marketing, and advertising. People don’t want to have adverts thrown at them all the time, they’d rather find out about things more naturally. Content marketing is key when it comes to doing this.
Truthfully, there are many reasons why content marketing is so critical for your business. We can’t run through them all, but we have selected some of the most important points. These points should show you the benefits that this approach to marketing brings and why your business needs to start utilizing it.
It lets you connect to your customers
Content marketing embodies so many different things. You have website content, blog content, social media, video, audio – the list goes on. A vital part of your approach is ensuring that the content you produce aligns with your brand image. You want to show people things that represent your core values and beliefs.
In turn, this has a profound effect on your relationship with customers. Content lets you connect to your target audience. If you produce things that they’re interested in and want to know about, then a bond is formed. They start to recognize your business as one they can trust as a source of great information. More than that, there’s an emotional link or understanding between you and the consumer. Content marketing helps you find common ground, and this is essential when building successful relationships.
You’re far more likely to connect to a customer through excellent content than by pumping out ad over ad over ad. People don’t feel like the content is forced down their throats. They actively look to find it, and this makes all the difference in the world.
Image via Pexels (CC0 License)
It empowers your entire SEO strategy and helps you boost traffic
Search engine optimization is the process by which you improve your website’s search engine performance. We could spend all day talking about this, but we’ll keep the explanation short and sweet. Effectively, good SEO means that you make your website appear higher in the search engine results. The higher up you are, the more visibility you have. Ergo, you have more chance of gaining clicks and boosting your web traffic.
Content comes into play as it influences loads of different ranking factors for your website. So many successful digital marketers, like Rob Timmermann, will develop content strategies with the sole aim of improving SEO. Keywords are a massive aspect of SEO, and you need to create excellent content that includes your main keywords as naturally as possible. Internal linking is also crucial, and this happens through your content. Excellent content also keeps the audience engaged, meaning they’re more likely to stay on the website for longer. This reduces bounce rates, which can also lead to improved search engine performance.
Essentially, you can make your way through a list of search engine ranking factors and find that content marketing is a major figure in almost all of them. If you don’t employ a good content strategy, then your SEO will suffer. If you have an excellent one, then you can fly up the rankings and enjoy all the benefits that increased web traffic and visibility will bring.
Helps you target consumers at all stages of the buying process
Business owners need to look at customers as they take a journey towards buying a product/service. You should all be familiar with the buying process, but here’s a short video that gives an overview of all the different stages:
Content marketing is effective as it lets you target consumers at every stage of the buying process. You create specific content that appeals to people at various points. For example, the first stage is identifying the problem. So, you can create content that targets the specific problem your product/service tackles. In essence, the content alerts the user to the problem and makes them realize that they need to do something about it.
This content would be different from something that’s meant for people in the next stage – Information Search. Here, you want to provide more details on the problems and why they are big problems for the consumer. You will also want to include further information on how your product/service can help.
The whole point is that you tailor the content to different types of consumers who are at different stages in the buying process. This means they always get the information they need, and you basically feed them through the sales funnel. By doing this, you increase the chances of making sales as you establish trust and authority with the consumer. After taking in all your content, they’re in a much better position to make an educated purchase.
Image via pixabay (CC0 License)
The most cost-effective marketing technique
Obviously, you have to think about marketing from a cost-reward point of view. There’s no point spending loads of money on a marketing campaign if it doesn’t yield impressive returns. That’s an error lots of business owners make. The pump loads of money into traditional marketing and advertising methods that no longer provide good returns. Then, they wonder where all their profits are going as the cash keeps leaking out of the business.
This is where content marketing really comes to the fore. It’s definitely one of the most cost-effective forms of marketing, and it can help your business save a lot of money. How? For starters, content is ever-lasting. You can produce a blog post, and it stays relevant for months and years. You may need to tweak a few things, but that won’t cost a lot of money to do. As such, you have something that continues to affect your audience long after it’s been published. You keep reaping the rewards over and over again.
Furthermore, you can produce a lot of content yourself. If you do this, then it becomes extremely cheap. You’re basically getting free marketing services. Even if you pay for content, it’s not that expensive when you take into account the previous point about longevity. Often, you make a one-off payment to a content writer for something that can last years.
Then, because content targets your audience and appeals to them, there’s more chance of generating leads. As a consequence, there’s an increased chance of sales opportunities. This means more money, which will more than make up for the cost of the content. Funnily enough, that leads perfectly onto the next point.
It increases your conversions
We’ve touched upon this or tiptoed around this point a few times already. The simple fact is that content marketing increases your conversions. That’s not a random statement, the stats are there to back it up. The Content Marketing Institute found that 61% of US consumers decided to make a purchase after reading recommendations on a blog.
It all comes back to the idea that consumers react differently when they feel like they’re in charge of their purchasing decision. Content is selective in that audiences choose what content they engage with. If you were to type a query into Google right now, it would be up to you what websites to click on to find the information you’re after. Nothing gets shoved in your face, meaning you can take things at your own pace and find the content that matters most to you.
In a way, it’s basic human psychology. If someone tells you to do something, your natural reaction is to ask why. I’m not doing this, why should I do this? You can’t tell me what to do! But, if someone gives you material and tools to help you do something, then you’re way more likely to do it. It’s the same with content marketing and sales. Use content to empower consumers and give them the tools they need to come to a decision on their own terms.
Conclusion: Content is king
The best way to summarize this blog is that content is king. The influence that content has on modern consumers can’t be under-stressed. Business is all about building relationships and establishing trust and authority with your target market. Content marketing is the best way to do this.
However, that’s not to say that other marketing techniques and methods are obsolete! You should still use a combination of things to widen your reach and find new customers. Some ideas will work better for your company than someone else’s. But, content should be at the heart of everything you do. With great content comes great rewards.