Are you concerned about staying relevant? Are you trying to keep up with the big players in the marketing industry? Or perhaps you have grand aspirations of being the competition one day. If you’ve ever asked “What’s the future of marketing?” here’s the answer – CONTENT MARKETING. But it’s not just the future of marketing, it is also the present.
Content has grown to prominence and is one of the most important features of a 21st century business. Content marketing produces three times more leads than outbound marketing and costs over 60% less. Think of any other marketing strategy; content marketing locks in conversion rates almost seven times higher. The most successful B2B companies spend more than half of their budgets on content marketing.
What Is Content Marketing?
Content marketing is a tactical marketing style concentrated on creating, publishing and distributing relevant, valuable, and consistent content. It aims at attracting and retaining a distinct audience and eventually, pulling in profitable customer action from said audience.
Directly pitching your products or services to potential customers is outdated. Instead, with content marketing you provide timely and much needed information to your target audience over time.
Many top organizations like John Deere, Microsoft, Evernote, Rolex, Drift and Casper make use of content marketing to reach their target audience and rake in high profits. It’s also used by one-person shops and small businesses to promote their brands.
Over the years, companies have made a habit of sending information that tries to sell to prospective clients. But majority of those emails or messages are neither valuable nor relevant to the target audience so they never get read. They stay in spam and are ignored by the recipients. Why? Because they don’t satisfy the customer’s needs or solve a problem, all they do is ask for money, regardless of the fact that the reader may not be ready to make a purchase.
In contrast, content marketing prepares the target audience and leads them to make a decision to purchase. Content marketing uses customized information, tailor-made to add value to its recipients, and everyone appreciates value.
Why Is It Important?
Beside purchasing your products, your customers are real people with real questions. Content marketing is important to your business or brand because it’s the ideal way to answer their questions, while also generating leads, improving your conversion rates, connecting with your customers, and creating trust between you and your audience.
This is the content age where customers anticipate rare and quality content from the brands they are loyal to. You’ll discover that the best way to influence customers’ decision to patronize your brand is by engaging them consistently with content.
Irrespective of your marketing strategy, you need to incorporate high-quality content marketing in your campaigns to get better results. Whether it’s social media marketing, SEO, PR strategies, PPC, inbound marketing, or content strategy, you need great content.
Imagine you had a long list of customers who eagerly await your marketing, and in any form you send them (via emails, print, or websites), they spend time reading every single word. Imagine they shared it with their colleagues, family and friends. That’s the power of content marketing. With content marketing you can increase your sales, save cost, and attract loyal customers.
Here are some benefits of content marketing:
- Increase in the number of customers you retain – Through great content marketing you can leave an unforgettable impression of your brand in the hearts of your customers. You can capture their attention and keep them coming back for more.
- Improved social media traction – Having a huge followership online doesn’t matter as much as creating trendy content. Producing quality content for your business will cause your brand to get traction on social media.
- Establish a relationship and build trust with your audience – Creating value for your target audience and giving them free access to it is a quick way to build trust for your brand. They’ll be so pleased with the experience you provided for them that they’ll tell others. Answering their questions and interacting with them through content creation will help you develop a strong relationship built on trust and reliability.
Ways to Use Content Marketing to Your Advantage in Business
- Define your content marketing goals – Do you want to improve conversions, generate more leads, establish relationships with customers and build trust, or build brand awareness? Create your content in a way that it will achieve any of these goals.
- Choose a particular target audience and understand what they’ll find relevant – Succeeding at content marketing has a lot to do with choosing the right audience. You can’t carter to everyone. Create the perfect content for your audience that’ll be relevant to them and rake in huge profits.
- Focus your time and resources on producing the content your target audience desires – Make a budget that covers content marketing expenses and devote time to creating the kind of content that’ll produce positive results.
- Have a plan – Draw a content plan that’ll serve as a road map, guiding you on the kind of content to produce and when to produce it. Create an editorial calendar including details such as media type, promotion targets, and date for publishing.
- Make sure you create focused and consumable content – Create content around a narrow topic. Post short and easy-to-read content often, these will earn you more visibility. But also create content that is in the area of your expertise and contains detailed information your audience will find valuable.
- Understand what content to produce and create them in the best format possible – The content you produce and its media type must match the preference of your target audience. If your audience photos and videos more than lengthy articles, create photos and videos.
- Know the strategic places to post your content and reach your target audience – This as to do with promoting your content. Yes, creating quality content is a big deal. But beyond that you need to know where you can promote your content to attract target audience. For instance, if your audience is on Facebook, post your content on your Facebook page and share it privately. If your audience is made up of business owners, then you’ll want to share it on your LinkedIn personal profile and company page. And, if you’re a local business you could post your content on your Google My Business Page along with your social media pages.
- Always evaluate the impact of your content: This is an important part of using content marketing to your advantage. You need to evaluate the effectiveness of your activities. Such an evaluation would have been difficult but you have tools like Google Analytics. With it, you can track the traffic on your website, identify the posts and pages that attract more attention, find people connecting to your content, and note what platforms refer visitors to your website.
Whether you’re a business owner, social media manager, content developer or digital enthusiast, you need to join the content train. Indeed, with today’s content conscious marketplace, you can’t sell anything if you’re not constantly producing reliable and valuable content. So, anytime you’re thinking of a big marketing strategy to give your product the exposure it deserves and win awesome customers, think content.