Seven Good Reasons To Give Content Marketing A Go
Here’s my take on content marketing and what it can do for your business.
For many these days, content marketing is a vital marketing tactic. For me, content marketing is the BEST marketing tactic. Not only does it produce reliable and cost-effective website traffic and leads, it is the generous way to market your business.
Parts of the marketing profession have never sat well with me if I’m honest. I like to think of my job as matching up services and products with the people that need them. A soft sell. I could never be one of those pyramid selling types where you exhaust all friends and family before moving further afield. Selling things to people who don't want what your selling is hard work and foolish. For me, marketing should be a gentle process where your customers come to you - and Content Marketing allows this to happen.
So, here’s a quick outline of what it is, and how it will benefit your business.
“Give and you shall receive”
My years in PR were spent searching for an interesting story around a product (or service) that would interest the journalist, essentially looking for an interesting angle, as the product alone wouldn’t make the pages…and content marketing is no different.
What is content marketing?
Just so we’re all sure….
“a type of marketing that involves the creation and sharing of online material (such as videos, blogs, and social media posts) that does not explicitly promote a brand but is intended to stimulate interest in its products or services.”
I like this dictionary definition a lot as it talks about ‘not explicitly promoting the brand’. This is key, and why content marketing is so clever. You’re essentially giving your prospects something they want or need, but it has ties to your product of service. It’s rather like Karma but more concrete. If you go about this world doing good deeds and giving away useful freebies, good things will happen to you (and your business objectives) in return.
What can content marketing do for you?
“Those neglecting content were seeing performance shrink by up to 9 percent a year, while those implementing a content strategy were all thriving.” Blue Grass CoFounder and CEO Kevin Gibbons
1 Grows website traffic
Content is the fuel that drives site visits and other key metrics. The assets sit on your website whilst you use the likes of email, social media and 3rd party citations to guide people in.
2 Generates good leads
Content marketing can help produce reliable and cost-effective website traffic and new leads. Even one blog that performs well and that has a link to another more valuable piece of content, (let’s say a guide) so you can capture their email address, will drip feed you ‘leads’ hypothetically forever!
3 Speeds your sales cycle
If done well and you align your content to your buyer’s needs you’ll find it easier for them to navigate the road from prospect to satisfied customer.
4 Attracts brand fans
Let it make your ‘social’ life more successful. Now, although most social channels need ad budget to reach your audience these days, relevant and compelling content can still appear high on the newsfeed, attract social sharing and encourage brand advocacy.
5 Improves SEO
Content Marketing will also help with the SEO or Search Engine Optimisation of your website. And as SEO is an itch that should be scratched regularly, (with websites that appear on the first page of Google getting 54.8% of all clicks - Optify) any help you can get is a good thing.
On a very basic level:
a It’ll help populating legit keywords across the site
b It will mean you have to regularly update the site as you push content live
c And it can create more authoritative links when other respected sites point to your content
Interestingly they reckon publishing your pricing on your site can really help SEO too.
6 Creates a ‘Thought Leader’
If you consistently share cutting-edge thoughts and research you’ll transform yourself into a ‘Thought Leader’ and position your brand as an ‘Industry Leader’. This kind of content marketing plays a central role in B2B PR and marketing efforts.
7. Makes your marketing budget go further
“Content marketing costs up to 62% less than outbound marketing, generates over 3 times as many leads, and drives higher conversion rates.” The Content Marketing Institute
Content marketing assets can be very resourceful resources and therefor cost-effective. It may take a little time, but time well spent. Once you have a content marketing asset, the old adage Rinse Recycle and Repeat very much applies. For prospects through social media, to customers via email marketing, you can use the same asset to a similar audience month on month. So turn your blog into an infographic or podcast, and broadcast again.
That’s it, in a nutshell. Seven very strong reasons why content marketing should have the seat of honour at your marketing table. So how to go about it? You can absolutely do it yourself, it requires time more than anything. Many of my clients need a little help planning what to produce or just don’t have the time, but if you do, here’s my Ultimate Practical Guide to Content Marketing, where I share 20 years of content marketing wisdom alongside some bang up-to-date theories and tools to keep things fast, simple and effective.