If you don’t think your business can benefit from content marketing, think again. Let’s look at exactly why ‘content is king and queen’ and the unquantifiable, and quantifiable benefits it can bring to your business.
What is content marketing?
Content marketing is often thought of as the posting of regular blogs, showing up on social media, and publishing ‘content’ purely to improve SEO rankings. And it is partly that. But it’s actually much more. Oxford Dictionary states that content marketing is:
“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”.
In short, content marketing is anything that we use to communicate a message to an audience. So that means using content strategically for this purpose. Not just to post regularly because that’s what everyone says you should do, and not posting purely to rank higher with the search engines, although it is part of it, it’s not the whole reason. The content must be strategically written, according to what you want your business to achieve.
All anyone ever wants when they type into a search engine, or scroll social media, is content. Everything is content and there would be no internet without it. When you let that concept sink in, the possibilities of strategic content marketing start to hit you.
Unquantifiable benefits of content marketing
It can be hard to dedicate budget to content marketing when some results of its success are difficult to quantify. But that doesn’t mean that content marketing doesn’t deliver slow-burning, long-lasting benefits. For example:
- Building trust in your brand
It won’t happen overnight, but this is an important marketing goal that can absolutely be achieved by content marketing. Positioning yourself as the expert in your industry will build trust and respect in your business and you can do this via content marketing, i.e. by posting trustworthy, helpful information, in a positive, relatable brand voice that helps your customers, and potential customers.
- Increase in brand awareness
Again, never a quick win, but strategic content posting to specifically increase brand awareness does work. Most businesses give up on this one too early in the game. Building brand awareness is a slow burner and is achieved by regular posting of notable, interesting and relevant (to your audience) content to get people talking. Once people start finding your content so interesting they tell other people about you, you are winning at brand awareness.
- Increase in the likelihood of conversions
Content marketing is unlikely to lead to more direct sales. However, it can bring customers a step closer along the sales journey. Content marketing increases the overall possibility of conversion.
Quantifiable benefits of content marketing
There are some measurable benefits of content marketing, you’ll be glad to know:
- Improvement in SEO
The more relevant content you put online, the easier it is for Google and other search engines to rank you. There’s no doubt whatsoever that content marketing increases your SEO ranking and this is something you can measure.
- More people visiting your website
It follows that your improved SEO will result in more people visiting your website for good reasons, including that it’s relevant to them. This increased traffic is measurable.
- Some content marketing will convert to actual sales
By studying your site traffic and analysing when, and where, people leave before they’ve purchased, you can gain insight into why they’ve left. If it’s because the buying journey is confusing, you can rectify this and use content marketing to raise awareness of your improvements. If you fix it and tell the world, they may just come back and convert – all measurable.
You need to be in it for the long haul when it comes to content marketing, and learn from what your audience are feeding back to you via your channels. Set your marketing goals accordingly, and make sure your content is targeted to achieve these goals.
And don’t worry if everyone is doing it, because those doing it badly will inadvertently send more traffic, engagement and eventual customers your way.
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