You want new leads and customers, right? That’s a no brainer.
Thankfully, they’re passing by your store every day – your physical store AND your digital store. And much like the sign and presentation of your storefront encourages people passing by to pay you a visit, your content marketing encourages people to check your online business out.
In fact, 80% of people appreciate learning about a business through content marketing. And it costs 62% less than traditional marketing while generating about 3 times as many leads. Go ahead, re-read those stats – they’re pretty impressive!
So, how do you write creatively enough to encourage users to pay attention to you, and better yet, buy your products and services? Well, that’s the million dollar question, isn’t it? And content marketing is the answer.
Unfortunately, there’s no perfect formula or catch phrase that seals the deal, but we’ve put together five ways that content marketing helps your business. Before we jump into those, let’s make sure we define content marketing.
So, what IS content marketing?
Content marketing is the creation and strategic online placement of valuable, free information that attracts people and turns them into customers. It’s about providing consistent, relevant, valuable information for your target audience. It’s also the foundation of your campaigns – the words across your articles, email marketing, social media posts, advertising, and giveaways – it’s the all-encompassing strategy that unites your brand.
Now that we’ve defined content marketing, let’s dive into five ways it strengthens your brand and why you need it!
HubSpot is credited with coining “inbound marketing” — a methodology that focuses on relationship building with your prospective customers. Instead of pushing your products or services and “interrupting” your audience, inbound marketing creates valuable content that’s personalized to your customers and their needs at each stage of their buying journey. (Not to mention, inbound leads cost an average of 60% less than outbound leads.)
HubSpot defines inbound marketing with three different steps — all of which are accomplished through content marketing.
Attract: Draw people in with content and conversations that invoke trust and make them want to engage with you.
Engage: Provide solutions that solve their pain points and line up with their goals so that you encourage them to continue a relationship with you and eventually become a customer.
Delight: Offer help and support, creating such a personalized experience that your customers have an excellent purchasing experience.
Blogs, product guides, webinars, and other relevant content that help your audience are all forms of content marketing that utilize an inbound methodology to guide your customers through their sales journey.
We couldn’t write a blog about content marketing without mentioning the importance of search engine optimization (SEO). We could write hundreds and hundreds of words about SEO, but we’ll keep it brief.
Search engines like Google “crawl” website content to determine whether or not it helps out a user’s search query. Think about when you’re Googling "homemade blueberry muffins." Content that seems like it will best match the search term appears first, so Google will spit back a whole list of recipes for blueberry muffins. SEO is the process of writing your content and formatting your website to attract the search engine’s attention.
The best part about SEO? You’re bringing in customers who are actively searching for the solutions that you offer. And one of the best ways to attract this organic website traffic is by writing excellent answers to their questions — through content marketing. More on that below.
Blogging is an excellent way to unite SEO and inbound marketing. In fact, creating original content is arguably the best way to increase traffic to your website. Businesses actively posting blog content have an average of 454% more pages indexed by search engines than those who don’t. That means they’re 454% more likely to be seen by new customers.
When you blog, you can tap into keyword research, a way to find out what your audience is searching and the best way to come up with new articles. This audience research allows you to answer the questions that your potential customers are asking — which goes back to inbound marketing. And if a blog seems like a waste of time, consider this: 82% of marketers who blog see positive ROI from inbound marketing.
And if blogging is effective, premium content is the cherry on top of your content marketing. This is thorough, downloadable content that your user can utilize to refer back to: An eBook, checklist, or a white paper. This in depth content is valuable to help you capture more information about your customer. For example, if they download a checklist, you can “gate” the content, meaning that you request an email address to send the content to.
As you create premium content, you want to think about the buyer’s journey. Customers aren’t ready to make a purchase right away. First, they want to gather information. You might want to produce an FAQ piece regarding one of your audience’s pain points. Maybe the next piece of premium content is a webinar about your product or service — with a free trial offer at the end. By this point, they might be ready for a purchase.
The more value your business provides to potential customers, the more they begin to trust your company and like your brand. Eventually, you develop a positive repertoire with them. Excellent content is one of the best ways to build your reputation and become a thought leader in your industry — which increases your authority with Google!
Content marketing unites your overall promotional strategy
Content marketing helps you showcase your expertise across a variety of platforms. The more you share this content, the more people you reach. And what’s the best way to share? Social media. In fact, the most common platform for sharing content marketing. As SEO evolves, search engines are utilizing social media analytics and metrics to help determine the best content to match with consumers.
Your content has the ability to outlast newer pieces and bring in traffic long after its original publication date. Not to mention, you can repurpose that content across your email marketing and social media marketing channels. LinkedIn is a powerful, professional platform to start conversations and display thoughtful, insightful pieces with your followers.
Downloadable Content Calendar
Content marketing is an incredibly powerful tool that unites each individual facet of your overall strategy — you’d be wise to tap into its benefits.
Ready to get started? Here's our gift to you: A downloadable content calendar!
And we have good news. If you’re stuck, don’t hesitate to reach out. We’re happy to help.