Content marketing used to be a way to set your brand apart from its competitors, but in today’s digital-orientated marketing landscape, it’s less whether and more when.
If you’re not doing content marketing – either in-house or by outsourcing through a content marketing agency – you’re missing a trick.
So, why is content marketing important?
Engaging, well-written and informative content is the new normal; brands have become publishers, and your customers and prospects expect to see this as part of the mix when they visit your company’s website. Aside from any of its other positive outcomes, it’s now seen as a marker of professionalism.
That being said, just because something has become the ‘done thing’, it doesn’t mean we’d always recommend it. After all, any investment of time or money must offer a satisfactory return. However, we think the case for content marketing is compelling; it’s effective in such a variety of ways (provided you pin down the right content marketing strategy, of course).
Content marketing improves brand reputation
By publishing informative, engaging content that offers genuine value to your target audience, you will help to engender trust in your brand. You need to focus on the topics that your prospects and customers want to know about, rather than writing thinly veiled sales copy; it’s all about positioning your company as a helpful, knowledgeable leader in its field, and a solid content marketing strategy will help you do this.
Content marketing can streamline the sales function
With lots of advice and information on your website, customers and prospects can be better educated prior to making a purchase. With the right kind of content available to help them make product or service choices that suit them, this can reduce the time spent by your sales team on answering basic questions. Instead, depending on the type of business (and the complexity of the purchase), the customer is either empowered to make their own informed choice, or can confidently make contact to get additional personalised information before making a buying decision.
Great content can influence conversions
Would you rather buy from a company that only advertises its products or services on its site, or which provides you with lots of detailed information about how their offering can benefit you (or your business)? A content marketing strategy is a no-brainer. The more useful, quality content that someone engages with, the more they develop a positive relationship with that brand.
Good content marketing ensures buying decisions are smoother and more easy to make, plus it can help foster repeat custom. Definitely a win!
The ROI of content marketing is impressive
Content marketing costs 62% less than traditional marketing methods (DemandMetric), but generates three times as many leads. So, whether you outsource everything to a content marketing agency, or have the necessary skills to manage your content marketing strategy in house, it is likely you will reap the rewards of your investment.
Content marketing has a cumulative effect
It’s the gift (well, investment) that keeps on giving; it’s an asset, rather than a campaign. Once you’ve got a great piece of engaging, informative content on your website it’s going to be useful unless you decide to take it down for some reason (we’d suggest this only if it becomes completely irrelevant – even then, an update is better than removal, in most cases).
Content marketing helps us get to know the customer
By tracking which content is most popular, you can gain an insight into what matters to your customers. This data can help you to create better buyer personas, segment more accurately, and improve personalisation in your marketing activity – it can even inform new product or service development. Of course, it also helps you to steer the course of your content marketing strategy.
Content is key to SEO
Well-written content isn’t just important for generating trust, informing the customer, and demonstrating superior brand expertise. When properly optimised, great content can catapult your web pages up the search engine rankings, securing greater organic traffic – and more traffic means more leads.
“Content builds relationships. Relationships are built on trust. Trust drives revenue.”– Andrew Davis