It’s impossible to have a meaningful online presence without knowing something about content marketing. Let’s face it: it is no longer enough to place a few ads, cross your fingers, and hope for the best. If you want people to trust your brand and buy your products, you must embrace content marketing fully, using it to solidify your online reputation and build customer loyalty. It’s like Bill Gates said all the way back in 1996: Content is King.
What Qualifies as Content?
If you’re new to content marketing, it might help to take a look at what qualifies as content these days. As new websites (and ideas) are introduced, new forms of content emerge as powerful forces in the world of marketing. Your content marketing strategy may include any of the following:
- Blog posts
- Press releases
- White papers
- Facebook posts
In other words, content marketing involves identifying your target audience, and then sharing relevant content with them on a consistent basis.
What Can Quality Content Marketing Do for You?
It’s clear what content marketing does for your customers. It provides them with instant value in the form of relevant, often actionable content. The people who consume your content get something from it regardless of whether they are paying customers. That being the case, it’s important to ask what content marketing actually does for the people who create it.
It won’t matter how beautiful your website is if nobody ever sees it. Arguably the most significant benefit companies can reap from content marketing is that it helps to drive traffic to their websites. A 2015 Google update resulted in increased volatility in search rankings. While Google’s algorithms are proprietary, this analysis indicates that the change was made to give additional weight to fresh, newsworthy content.
A 2015 Moz study took it a step further. It found that content relevance was the third most impactful element when it came to determining a website’s rank on Google. The only things that were rated more important had to do with links, both on the domain and the page level.
What does that mean for you? Simply put, if your website has a blog or some other form of content that is updated regularly, your search placement will be higher than it would be with stagnant content. Blogging is one of the first – and most dominant – forms of content marketing. Your search placement has a direct impact on the volume of organic traffic you get.
Better Lead Quality
If you ask a marketing pro what they hope to see as a result of their content marketing, one of the most common answers is “better leads.” After all, finding quality leads isn’t easy. In the days before the internet, print, radio, and television advertising were the only options. Audience targeting was possible, but not nearly as scientific an endeavor as it is today. In fact, Curata has found that 74.2% of the companies they surveyed said that their content marketing had improved the quality of their leads.
How does content marketing help generate leads? The sheer volume of websites and tools available online means that it is possible to fine-tune your content to ensure that it will reach your target audience. When you take the time to profile your customers and use online tools to ensure that your content reaches them, you stand a much better chance of getting the kind of leads you want – people who are interested in what you have to offer and highly motivated to buy it.
The key to getting great leads with content marketing is to make sure that all of the content you share is relevant to your target audience and provides immediate and undeniable value. If you do that, the leads will follow.
For people who are selling any kind of information-based product – particularly one where being viewed as an authority is an essential selling point – content marketing is a must. If you want to build authority and become a name that people trust, content marketing is the way to do it.
Building authority requires you to do several things at once.
- First, you have to provide new and relevant content on a regular basis. Sporadic content creation may help in some ways, but the people who are viewed as authorities in their fields earn that distinction by their continued presence.
- Second, you must offer your thoughts and opinions about other content. That means curating content from industry publications – and other thought leaders – as a way of demonstrating what you have to offer.
- Third, the content you offer – whether it is original or you are sharing your thoughts on content created by someone else – must be of a consistently high quality. Shoddy or subpar content won’t help you when it comes to building authority. That’s why it’s so important to outsource what you can’t do well yourself.
Finally, content marketing can build a powerful bond of brand loyalty between you and your customers. Research shows that it takes approximately six to eight exposures to a brand to create a sales-ready lead. In other words, people need to know who you are before they’ll buy from you.
The benefit of consistent, high-quality content marketing is that it builds brand recognition – and brand loyalty – as you go. It’s not a quick fix, but if you keep at it and make a concerted effort to provide relevant, valuable content then you will see an increase in the number of leads (and sales) you get.
It should be noted that it’s not enough simply to post new content frequently. The content you share needs to be specifically designed to break down customer objections while also providing value. That’s where we can help. If you’d like to learn more about the kinds of content we can provide – and learn about how it can help your business grow – please click here.