Today’s marketing environment is so saturated with competing information that some marketers yearn for the simpler cola war ploys of yesteryear. But old marketing tactics don’t stand up against the sea of tweets, viral videos, fake news—and real news—that captivate people’s attention nowadays. To stay afloat, marketers must adapt to these changes by shifting the way they interact with their audiences.
Content marketing—an approach that involves creating and sharing valuable, relevant and consistent content to prompt a desired action—is the reigning king for cultivating a brand in today’s marketing landscape. Businesses across all industries can see a significant ROI from adopting a content marketing strategy. Here’s why:
1. Your Content Lives On Forever
Many marketing strategies, such as buying billboard space or sending direct mail advertisements, require a new upfront investment each time. An investment in content, on the other hand, will continue to drive business long after it’s been published. This is because online content lives eternally—it isn’t taken down, thrown away or quickly skipped over. Instead, people actively seek it out.
2. It Boosts Your SEO
Adding content to your website increases the number of times that your business’s keywords appear. Search engines tend to favor websites with higher wordcounts and targeted keywords. It indicates that those sites are authoritative sources, which improves your chances of ranking higher in search results.
3. It Supports Other Marketing Efforts
Content marketing has a symbiotic relationship with social media and email marketing. Original content feeds the momentum of your social media presence and email newsletters by providing your followers with valuable information, rather than fluff. At the same time, your growing social media presence will drive visitors to your website to view the content.
4. It Drives Lead Generation
Did you know that B2B businesses with a blog generate 67% more leads per month than those without one? What’s more is that the leads that are generated are high quality in nature, not just names on a purchased list.
5. It Addresses All 3 Stages of the Buyer’s Journey
Unlike other marketing programs, a content strategy caters to all three stages of the buying cycle. Dangling top-level content, like blog posts, to new audiences will expose people to your brand for the first time and invite them to learn more about your business. Providing in-depth resources, such as white papers, expert guides and seminars, supports the education stage of the buying cycle by informing the lead about the differentiating details about your product or service. Finally, offering content affirming it as a good purchase, like testimonials and product demos, helps to push visitors into the validation and purchase stage, where they ultimately convert into customers.
6. It Cultivates Relationships With Your Customers
Popular marketing techniques of the past have a tendency to annoy customers with aggressive advertisements and offers that they don’t want. Creating content that is specifically tailored to your target audience does the opposite—it connects them to useful resources they are inherently interested in and builds long-lasting relationships.
7. It Builds Your Reputation as an Industry Leader
With a content marketing strategy, you have an opportunity to set the tone of your industry and position your business as a thought leader. Providing expert opinions and timely news analyses can even earn you media attention.
8. It Strengthens Your Online Presence
Your website is likely the first thing prospective customers will see. In many ways, it’s the face of your business. With more and more business interactions taking place online, regularly updating your website with engaging content is a sure way to strengthen your brand’s online presence.
9. It Differentiates Your Brand
Even if your competitors also embrace content marketing, you can differentiate your brand by taking your own unique approach that speaks to a specific niche. Surely, there is something that you do better than your competitors. What better way to communicate that than with your own branded content?
10. It Provides Scalability
If you have limited marketing resources, you can start small with a blog and, as it grows, experiment with other varieties of content. Over time, a simple blog can evolve into a reputable multimedia platform for branded content.
11. It Attracts Top Talent to Your Business
Motivated professionals are newshounds for the latest industry happenings, and they want to work for companies that are perceived as industry leaders. Top talent may stumble across your business’s insights and seek a position if they are impressed by it.