Jun 23, 2016
If You're Not Doing Content Marketing, You're Missing Out on These 5 Things
With marketing in your job title, you've likely heard the phrase content marketing. If you are a business owner you may be skeptical of the benefits.
The idea of spending money giving away free advice to a prospect who will take your wisdom and buy elsewhere? You may be reluctant to open your wallet at this point.
Or you are less skeptical.
You understand the long game and realise that content marketing is more than just a buzz phrase.
Rather, it is reflective of a sales technique from an earlier time. Help people and they will think of you when it's their time to buy.
Here are the top five reasons why you should take a closer look at content marketing:
Content Marketing Benefit #1: Content Marketing Will Build Your Audience
Content marketing is about educating or inspiring an audience. Done well, you introduce your brand to prospects sitting higher in the funnel.
Focus on selecting topics that are relevant to your customers' needs and interests. What do they chat with their friends about on social media? What are they complaining about?
The answers to these questions will be the things they will turn to search engines for.
Use online keyword tools to figure out common searches within your niche. This is what your customers are looking for.
Pro Tip: Use those keywords and phrases in your website content. This will increase the chances of people finding your website during an online search. Offering valuable content that provides answers to questions and solutions turns readers into customers.
Content Marketing Benefit #2: Content Marketing Feeds Your Strategy
Content marketing requires strategy to work. The Content Marketing Institute and Marketing Profs conducted a survey of B2B marketers.
66% of the successful marketers surveyed had a documented content strategy. Only 11% of the unsuccessful marketers could say the same.
Most (86%) of the most effective marketers have someone who oversees the company's strategy.
In contrast, only 46% of less effective marketers have someone overseeing the strategy.
To do well at content marketing, you need some sort of strategy.
This is why content marketing gives your business a powerful boost. It forces you to plan your approach to your audience.
Publishing content is not the same as having a content marketing strategy. To create a strategy, you need:
- Customer personas
- Content pillars
- An editorial calendar
- Content scheduled in advance
- Content with calls-to-action
- Measurement and tracking of associated KPIs
- Content promotion plan
Content Marketing Benefit #3: Content Marketing Gives Your Brand Authority
Content marketing, when done well, creates brand authority.
If you are an authority, customers will choose your brand over a cheaper competitor. People want to invest in a specialist, rather than a generalist.
They pay more for higher quality products and brands they can trust and rely on. Establishing authority makes you a trusted brand, which boosts revenue.
Using content marketing to educate your customers makes a better customer. A customer that becomes part of your feedback loop and helps you improve your product or service.
Be the expert in your niche via authoritative:
- How-To guides
- Blog updates on topical content
- Email newsletters
- Aspirational Pinterest images
- Tutorial YouTube videos
If your content is good, people will share it. Even more, people will see you have the answers, and you become an industry authority.
Once you have proven your knowledge and that you are trustworthy, people will come to you.
But be wary of the flipside. Those offering only low-quality content tend become associated with bad advice. A poor brand association follows.
Content Marketing Benefit #4: Content Marketing Drives Lead Generation
The Content Marketing Institute suggests that over 85% of brands wanted more leads. Educating and advising your prospects is a great way to ensure they turn to you when they are ready to buy.
Pro Tip: Track your digital content using Google Analytics. This handy (and free!) measurement tool will help you gauge the quality and traffic you are generating. If you publish high-quality content with consistency, users will share via social media. This, in turn, helps your search engine rankings and further traffic follows.
Additional reading: 5 Examples of Killer Digital Marketing Campaigns to Inspire You (With ROI)
Content Marketing Benefit #5: Content Marketing Creates Relationships
Authentic content builds strong relationships and a sense of community among your audience. Your audience not only trusts you but one another. You may have built a virtual family.
Let your personality shine through in your communications. Be more human. Be real and customers are far more likely to engage with a brand they can relate to. Create relationships with your customers by:
- Consistent updates to you blog
- Answering all customer questions
- Offering solutions to customer problems
- Responding to customer comments
- Being more active on fewer social media (rather than less active on more social media)
- Sharing behind-the-scenes glimpses of your team
- Showing your faces and that of your team
- Creating strong relationships enhances your brand and image.
Putting It All Together
Content marketing is not about gaming the search engines. It is not about keeping yourselves busy on social media. It is not about tricking prospects into buying from you.
Great content demonstrates your value and shows you have something to offer. Engaging and informative content keeps you top of mind when a prospect is ready to buy. Do it with a planned approach and enjoy medium to long term business benefits.