Have you been wondering if you should invest in content marketing? Most business owners have heard they should have a blog or they need to create content. It becomes a task on the to-do list that seems simple, but without the correct strategy can be nearly useless. If you have put content marketing on the back burner, today’s article is for you! Content marketing is one of the most effective ways to grow brand awareness and attract the right audience for your products or services. Whether it is a blog, YouTube channel or podcast, content marketing can be a game changer for your business.
First of all, let’s define content marketing (CM). Content marketing is a marketing technique of creating and distributing valuable, relevant and consistent content to attract and acquire a clearly defined audience – with the objective of driving profitable customer action.¹
There are so many reasons to invest in content marketing as a part of your overall marketing strategy. Today, I want to share with you the top nine reasons why this is a key investment and effective marketing strategy.
Return on Investment (ROI)
The return on investment compared to paid search is significant. According to a Kapost study content marketing gets three times the leads per dollar spent as compared to paid search. The other amazing thing is that over time your content continues to work for you with no additional cost while paid advertising continues to need cash flow. When you are determining if you should invest in content marketing, the ROI over time should be a high consideration.
Sales Funnel Movement
In every step of your sales funnel content can help move potential clients to the next step. From discovery to consideration to purchase, purposeful content takes the reader from the top of your funnel to the bottom. When creating content make sure that there are topics that serve every level of your sales funnel. If you are only creating content that gets people to opt into your newsletter, but you never make an offer to your list, you are leaving your leads in the discovery phase. It is crucial to create a strategy to move people to purchase.
If your competitors are using content marketing they have the upper hand. When potential clients are looking for a service provider they are in research mode. If your competitors are offering all the answers to the potential clients’ questions they are building trust that will be hard to compete with. They are also going to be viewed as the expert in your industry simply because they are sharing information.
If you feel overwhelmed at the thought of creating content you can relax. When you create one piece of content it can be repurposed into different types of content pieces and across different platforms. The more ways you can repurpose your content the more chances for discovery by potential clients. Not everyone will come straight to the website to consume the original piece, repurposing helps with distribution and discovery. You can read more about how to repurpose one piece of content here.
Everyone wants to be on page 1 of search engine results. Even better if you are in the top 1-3 spots and there is no scroll necessary! According to Hubspot, companies that have blogs have 434% more pages indexed by search engines than those who do not. That means that those companies have 400%+ opportunities to rank on the first page of search results. That is a huge competitive advantage.
Every potential client wants to know that you are the expert in your industry. People want to know they are making a good decision with their money and content marketing is the perfect way to showcase your expertise. When you share valuable information that highlights your knowledge and how it will meet their needs, it accelerates the sales process. The potential client learns about your business and builds the know/like/trust factor before they even contact you for more information. Imagine getting on a sales call and the potential client is knowledgeable about what you offer and how it will benefit them and all you have to do is make the offer and book the new client.
Repels The Wrong Audience
On the flip side, great content marketing can help repel the wrong kind of client. We have all had the experience of chatting with someone who is just a bad fit. Whether it is personality, price or just a bad fit for your services, well crafted content allows people to learn about you and determine you are not a good fit before they contact you.
Content Marketing is the Basis of a Good Marketing Strategy
Any effective marketing strategy is based on great content. Unless you are just paying for advertising, content is how you attract potential clients across a variety of channels. No matter what tactics are a part of your strategy, start with your content and you will see much better results in the long term.
- Social Media Marketing: Having quality content for your social media followers to consume creates trust and brand loyalty.
- SEO: Search engines reward businesses that publish consistent, quality content.
- Inbound Marketing: Content is the main reason people land and stay on your website to learn more about what you offer.
- Email Marketing: Effective content attracts an audience that then gets a CTA to join your list. This allows you to create newsletter content that moves them through your sales funnel.
As I mentioned above, content marketing is VERY cost effective. According to DemandMetric, content marketing costs 62% less than traditional marketing tactics but it generates three times more leads. It can take as long as 18 months to see results from consistent content marketing, so be patient and consistent. You save money in the short term for ongoing rewards in the long term. It is worth it if you plan to be in business in 1, 3 and 5+ years.
Consumers are getting more savvy in terms of blocking paid advertising, opting out of targeted social media ads and simply avoiding more traditional marketing tactics. Your potential clients are smart and internet savvy, which means as marketers we need to serve them in a way that meets their needs and not just blast sales copy at them at every turn. Content marketing meets the potential clients when they are in discovery mode and allows them to learn about your offers in a non-salesy and authentic way. If you decide to invest in content marketing it can be the cornerstone of your entire marketing plan.
¹ Josh Steimle, “What is Content Marketing?” Forbes, September 19, 2014 https://www.forbes.com/sites/joshsteimle/2014/09/19/what-is-content-marketing/?sh=62d7c18b10b9