If you are passionate about growing your business, then this post will add fuel to your entrepreneurial zeal. Content Marketing. Rings a bell? Everyone is talking about content marketing, but you are unsure if it is right for your business. The marketing truth is, today, every business needs a great content strategy. You could be building software for tech geeks or brewing a café in downtown or planning to open skincare retail down the block; content marketing can get your customers, build your brand and help you scale your business.
Old school marketing strategy need big budgets.
But they do not yield significant results because customers often view promotional messages as an intrusion –loud-mouthed ad punched onto my face. In contrary, content marketing does the opposite. Great content offers value, gravitate customers towards brands and give them a reason to buy a product or service. Also, the content marketing approach does not burn your pockets. Unlike advertising, you can handle content marketing with minimal budgets.
Content marketing is a strategic marketing approach focused on creating and distributing valuable, relevant, and consistent content to attract and retain a clearly defined audience — and, ultimately, to drive profitable customer action
– Content Marketing Institute
Let’s talk about you
If the above lines sound theoretical, an example can help you appreciate content marketing. Imagine you’ve decided to spend your two weeks’ vacation in Bali, Indonesia. This is the first time you are traveling to Indonesia and want some pro tips to plan your vacation. You goggle ‘How to plan your first trip to Bali’, the search engine throws up videos, ads, and blog posts. You quickly skim and start reading a post that details everything a first-time traveler needs to know – visa process, weather, tourist safety, car rental, food options and must-visit spots. At the bottom of the post, there is mention that if you are looking for the best accommodation in Bali, you can count on us.
You realize the blog post is written by a boutique homestay in Bali. You look at their website, read social media reviews of previous travelers, and confirm your booking.
The homestay did not talk about their accommodation. Instead, the homestay has created blog posts to help a first-time traveler to Bali. They made sure the content is valuable and relevant by providing as much information as possible. By doing so, the homestay has earned the trust of many first-time travelers – the target audience: results – frequent bookings and loyal customers.
20 reasons why content marketing rocks
The greatness of content marketing is you can get it started, today, without a dime. Circling back to the above example, homestay can create a variety of content – blog posts on rental cars, videos of beautiful locations, photo archives of local cuisines and free downloadable tour map. There are plenty of free tools available on the internet to create great content and distribute it across social media and other channels
As we believe in content and its mighty power to benefit every business, we are listing 20 solid reasons to claim why is content marketing important for every business. The year 2020 has affirmed digital is the future. To thrive in this digital world, brands and companies need to create high-quality content. Trust our words – it does wonders.
Build your brand
You’ll be surprised. Coco Cola spends more dollars on content creation than on television ads (source: contently). One of the world’s iconic brand is betting high on content marketing. Consistent production and distribution of high-quality content can help you build your brand. If you know what your customers want, how you can make their lives better and translate those ideas into consumable content, then you can be sure that you are going to make it to the most admired brand list.
Drive traffic to your website
Today, customers consume different forms of content – blogs, podcasts, videos, infographics and buzz feeds – from various social and marketing channels. You brand presence is needed across all these channels so you can divert the traffic to your website. Content marketing is your magic wand. Great content can generate sales leads. Hubspot says in 2020, almost 70% of marketers are investing in content marketing and web traffic is one the among the top success criteria. Pull the online crowd to your website with a solid content strategy.
Turn visitors into customers
Driving traffic to your website is one thing but how actively you engage with the visitors determines the lead conversion. The spectrum of marketing channels has widened today. Your website needs different types of content blocks to engage with target audience belonging to different stages of the marketing AIDA funnel (awareness, interest, desire and action). Content marketing allows you to build such category-specific content. Investing in content creation can exponentially increase your website conversions. Companies and brands that employ content marketing strategy achieve 6X higher conversion rates – Aberdeen group.
Amplify your brand reach
On an average, people spend 2.5 hours daily on social media and social messaging (source: GlobalWebIndex). That is 10% of a day’s active time. You can tap this time zone by producing content targeting social media channels. The killer advantage of building social media-friendly content is that it spreads like a fire. You can call it viral too. Important content gets shared immediately and travels all around the globe. You can amplify your brand reach with content marketing. Start collecting your likes and shares.
Meet your customers anywhere
Mobile traffic is hitting the roofs. It scores a whopping 125% growth rate vs. a mere 12% rate for desktop traffic, reports Issuu. US adults spend an average of 3 hours and 10 minutes per day on their smartphones. Needless to emphasize, millennials prefer mobile shopping. You can connect with the mobile-savvy audience through content marketing. Brands and companies have to hatch a content plan that engages this target group. The mobile traffic is going to go up in the coming years. Content marketing is your best bet to speak to this audience.
Build relationships with prospects
Not every visitor who lands on your website would buy your product. There may not be an immediate buying need. But you cannot leave this audience high and dry. You need to engage this passive buyer by offering useful and interactive content. Establish an important connection with the content. Understand more about this audience, refine your content, offer more value and build relationships with this audience. You are registering your brand in the minds of these prospects. When the buying need arises, they will come to you as they are familiar with your brand and trust your content.
Improve customer retention
Happy customers do not leave you. They love your brand and stick with you for a very long time. Brand patrons hold an emotional bonding with the brands which is above the utilitarian value. In an online dominated marketing world, content can help you create that emotional layer above your functional products. Employ storytelling in your content. Customers can relate to your brands and products with great stories. Be authentic in telling your story. Engaging and memorable stories can create that intangible stickiness between your brand and customers. You can gain customer loyalty and retain your hard-earned customers.
Minimize your ad spend
Digital ads and paid search are great ways to generate leads. But the downside is they are expensive. You need to set aside a sizeable chunk of your marketing budget for paid ads. The paid ads strategy gets trickier if you are operating in a niche business or bidding for a highly competitive segment. You’ll end up spending a bomb – cost per lead can daunt you. Organic content strategy is the best alternative. Creating and distributing useful and relevant content can generate more leads in the long run. Content marketing is 3x more cost-effective at lead generation than paid search, says Content Marketing Institute.
Make everyone a marketer
Marketing is important. Thankfully, anyone who could write well can become a content marketer. Familiarizing marketing basics and nuances of digital marketing are needed. But it is not rocket science. You can research on any topics and improve your skills to become an ace marketer. Content research software like Social Animal comes handy when you want to explore a new topic and gain knowledge. Small business owners who do not have budgets for marketing can rely on content marketing to grow their business.
Like the importance of content, we cannot imagine a world without search engines. The world revolves around online search queries. The internet search engines’ crawlers index content on every topic under the sun and throws only the best on the top of the search page. Crawlers identify high-quality content using multiple parameters but two tops the list – relevance and usefulness. In a survey conducted by Databox, 70% of respondents affirm that SEO is better than paid ads for generating sales. To grow your business, build content assets that add value to your target audience. The more the value, the better the search engines rank your content. Your business leads are bound to grow organically.
Refine your offerings
The content consumption pattern is an excellent yardstick to gauge the evolving customer’s needs and wants. Under your brand umbrella, you could be offering a different set of services or products. With content marketing in place, you would be creating dedicated content assets for each offering. How customers and prospects interact and engage with a varied set of content would reveal important customer sentiments. You can pick cues from these data, correlate with other business parameters and refine your offerings.
Cross-sell your offerings
It is no secret cross-selling boosts sales figures. Marketing content has proved to be effective at cross-selling compared to traditional marketing. In earlier days, brands created ads to sell specific products and services. The expected result was increased sales of that product or service. The window for cross-selling was narrow. When you apply content marketing techniques, you attract a particular audience with value and trust. Once visitors land on your website, they might show interest in one or more of your offerings. The content in marketing broadens the scope for cross-selling.
Become an expert
Consistent multi-channel distribution of high-quality content can help position your brand as a thought leader in your business domain. It is not an easy feat to achieve but certainly possible with sustained content efforts. Brand authenticity is imperative to flourish in today’s context. A brand with authority can improve customer loyalty and drive sales figures upwards. Research conducted by Social Media Week confirms the above. It says 91% of consumers are prepared to reward brands for their authenticity.
Build a community
Community building is gaining momentum in the marketing mix, especially with the rise of social media. Once a brand builds a community – people who share similar interests, then the community takes forward the brand message. The community becomes the brand ambassador. The quickest and cost-effective way to build online communities is to produce niche content that excites and brings the community member together. The important part is that content marketing strategy can be applied to build cult brand communities.
Get referred organically
‘Like and share’ is the new word of mouth. Every marketer would agree to the fact that word of mouth is a credible way to build a brand. In this social media-driven marketing era, your brand can activate the word of mouth technique by churning out high-value content. Once you build trust through your content, your brand is blessed to climb up on the ‘like and share’ mountain. You’ll get referred instantly by customers.
Tell your values
Content marketing helps you tell your brand story, share your values and your purpose. The vision and mission statements alone are not sufficient to explain who you are and what you stand for. It is important for businesses need to communicate their purpose and values to its stakeholders, from time to time. Deloitte Insights suggests that purpose-driven company grows three times faster than its competitors. Purpose-driven companies also score high on CSAT and ESAT.
Attract great talent
Most startups and growing companies use content marketing for employer branding. Attracting and retaining great talent remains critical for any growing business. As millennials continue to fill the employee base, employer branding becomes key. Creating enriched social media content around company values, culture and employee benefits would attract young and impressive talents. Also, the way an employer brands content also enhances the reputation of your company. The benefit is double fold.
Repeat your marketing success
Marketing calls for continuous experimentation. There is no single way out to hit the success buzzer. A lot of times we would try out something new but the results won’t be great. We trace backwards, choose a tested approach and repeat it. Content marketing is important since it supports this repeat marketing approach – repurposing to highlight the importance of content. The content that once created would sit with you forever and you can reuse it by making appropriate changes. For example, you can create an infographic using the data points from an old case study. LookBook HQ indicates that almost 60% of marketers reuse and repurpose marketing content between two and five times.
Handshake with online media
If you are consistently producing interesting content on a particular subject and pushing it out across all marketing channels, your content can get the attention of online media. The digital explosion led to the growth of niche online media channels that focus on specific topics. They frequently collaborate with experts to produce business news. Great content could get your brand featured in online media without any media budget.
Influence with influencers
The astounding growth of social media has created many micro online celebrities – Influencers. Off late, marketers are using these influencers to reach a broader set of audience. If you are an expert on your business and your content demonstrates that authority, influencers would be happy to work with you. For instance, if your restaurant is known for a local delicacy, a food video blogger could get inspired by your video content and would love to feature your recipe on the video blog. So, if you have the right content for marketing, your job is half done!
We’ve covered only the important reasons that can help you get started the right way with content marketing. There are numerous other benefits that content marketing promises to every business in 2020 and beyond. If we ought to narrow down our verbatim, then this is what we would say – Content marketing is important to help you build a stellar brand, nurture loyal customers, run a profitable business and create a legacy.