Content marketing is a strategy best suited for small businesses to give them a way to carve out a profitable space in the market. This should come as no surprise because this form of marketing increases conversion rates up to 600% more than other marketing strategies. The centrepiece of this marketing strategy is content that provides value to the target audience with the intention of generating new traffic and business to business.
Over 70% of companies maintain that content marketing has led to an increase in high-quality leads for their business.
Content marketing helps businesses stay ahead of the curve, which is why we’ve put together this guide to explain why you should incorporate this effective strategy into your marketing efforts.
Builds Trust with Prospects and Customers
By posting relevant and valuable content regularly, you will present your brand as a source of authority in your industry. Producing useful content will not only build goodwill among your prospects and existing customers, but your brand will create trust among your target audience. As a result, your chances of attracting prospects and converting them into customers are greatly increased because people want well-meaning experts to solve their problems.
It’s advisable to share original and educational content across all possible channels. Businesses that are able to collaborate with influencers significantly increase brand legitimacy among their target audience.
Finally, according to the Content Marketing Institute, 61% of online American consumers decide to buy a product or a service after having read an expert blog on the offer.
Increase Brand Awareness
Many businesses, not just small businesses or startups face a difficult road to successfully build brand awareness. The reason why content marketing is so useful is because it is able to create exposure for your brand. By attracting high-quality visitors to your website on a continual basis, content marketing can provide inbound links and generate exposure for your brand.
That means you’ll prove your expertise in your field, thereby creating more leads for your company. If for example, you work in the tourism industry, then you could post short video clips of a couple of minutes promoting hotspots in your local town. Not only will people get familiarized with your city, but they will be more willing to come for a visit. They will then not only see you as an expert on a particular city, but someone whose tourist offers they should buy.
Helps with Ranking
One of the best ways of generating exposure for your brand is by ranking well on Google and other search engines. While you can always pay for ads on Google so that your landing page appears on top of the SERPs when someone types a particular keyword, it’s more effective to rank well organically.
In fact, search engines and social media platforms are trying to find ways to conceal as much as possible that the links or content they are displaying is paid for. That’s because they recognize that people don’t like to engage with content that is promoted because a company invested money into its endorsement.
In other words, we are all tired of businesses trying to “sell to us” because we innately perceive that they are somehow misleading us about their product/service. Therefore, consumers turn to alternative sources of information for their research. They read blogs, listen to podcasts and watch videos on things that interest them. In short, they want to learn instead of being pitched to.
Content marketing will help your brand rank high organically. Because you’re posting content that is valuable and educates people on a particular topic, search engines will recognize your webpage as an authority. Algorithms used by Google will identify your expert copy as providing solutions to problems that people want to solve, and will therefore place your website higher on the results page.
You really can’t ask for better promotion than that – Google recognizes you as a reliable business, which lets people know that they can go to you for their needs.
Create Backlinks for Better Exposure
Closely related to the previous point, high-quality content will portray you as a “thought leader” of your industry. That means that you people in your space consider you an expert, and will want to link to your website as to support some of their own content.
This is an extremely important element to optimizing your ranking on search engines. When other websites link to yours, you stand to increase the number of visitors exponentially! However, it’s not just that more people will hear about your brand, but that search engines will give an incredible boost to the top of their results page when people search for keywords related to your business.
However, for your website to be ranked high, you need to respectable websites linking back to you. And by producing expert content, you will grab the attention of relevant companies who focus on your industry and will want to engage with your posts.
If you want to learn more about why SEO (search engine optimization) is important and how you can optimize your webpage to rank high for your keywords, then click here to download our guide on the topic.
Lead Generation Gets a Boost
The most important reason why businesses engage in marketing is to generate leads, who will then be converted into customers. Content marketing is what will attract people who are unaware of your brand to head over to your page through the relevant and engaging content you post on a regular basis. Typically, this happens in the early stages of their research, before they’ve decided whether to make a purchase.
Content marketing is an inexpensive way of bringing in new leads who will fuel the growth of your business. According to DemandMetric, traditional forms of marketing are over 60% more expensive than content marketing, and yet content marketing brings in several times the amount of leads.
Be prepared to use high-quality content, such as detailed tutorials or eBooks to ensure that your leads are coming to you for useful information. This is how to make yourself stand out from the pack. If your content is first-class, then people will automatically head over to website without giving a second thought to the competition.
Easier to Share your Content on Social Media
Remember, in order for your content marketing strategy to be effective, you need to produce valuable content. As a result, you’ll be considered an expert in your industry and people will be willing to share your content on social media, among other places.
People tend to share content which will solve some common issues facing a certain group of users. If you’re able to produce content that will not only be read but also shared on social media, then your brand will gain so much traction that it will propel to the front of your target audience’s view.
Social media is an incredible channel for spreading content because an engaging or exciting piece of content can go “viral” extremely fast, which will generate incredible exposure for your business.
A properly executed content marketing campaign will mostly attract people who are serious about your expertise and value your level of knowledge of the industry. That means that you won’t be wasting resources on low-quality leads who most probably won’t convert. The people who are going to be looking for the type of content you post are your target audience – the people who make it to your page are sincerely engaging with your content and will provide their contact information because they want to keep learning more.
That is why you must have different types of content – from video tutorials and webinars to eBooks and case studies – to ensure that people keep coming back for more. Since you’re attracting the best sorts of leads, your sales team will have an easier time converting them, saving you valuable resources.
Have People Coming Back for More
One of the many benefits of posting valuable and engaging content is that people will get hooked to your business. Therefore, try to publish great content regularly. That means setting up a schedule according to which you’ll publish content and keep readers interested. Your target audience will not only develop respect and an affinity for your brand but can actually form a community. Your content will attract people who will build relationships with your brand and with each other.
How does Content Marketing Fit into Your Marketing Funnel
Content marketing has a role to play in each stage of your customer’s journey. For more information on the funnel click here.
A typical marketing funnel is made up of 3 stages:
The leads at the top-of-funnel (TOF) have only now realized that they are facing a problem and have started to search for solutions. You should have content which will provide them with relevant information about possible solutions to their issues. The content needs to be general enough for them to get an overview of the problem and available solutions.
The most popular content for TOF leads are blog posts, social media posts, and email marketing campaigns that will generate both awareness and traffic to your website.
Visitors who find themselves at the middle-of-funnel (MOF) understand the problem and the various solutions present. Therefore, they need to get insightful and detailed information that will assist them in evaluating the solutions. The content should push them closer to determining what sort of purchase they should make.
Here, consider using newsletters, webinars, best practice tutorials to help your leads conduct in-depth research.
Finally, at the bottom-of-funnel (BOF), people have done thorough research and have made up their minds about the best solution for them. Your content should push them gently to make a purchase. That means, you should have content that outlines in detail all the benefits of your product/service, which will convince them to choose you over the competition.
Since your goal is to convert leads, you should make offer content that will nudge them in that direction. So, use free demos, free trials, invite-only events and tutorials.
For Content Marketing You Need a Strategy
Having great content needs to be complemented by implementing a well-thought-out strategy. This will ensure that your content is producing the best results possible. And this is possible if you know what type of content to make based on the needs of your potential customers. This will help your brand build a relationship with your target audience because you are addressing their problems and finding ways of solving them.
In short, your brand will be more relatable and trustworthy. People will feel comfortable engaging with you and will eventually buy from you.
You need to keep the following 3 things in mind when producing content:
- What is the purpose of the content
- Have a course of action ready
- Have a backup plan in case things don’t work out
Also, having a strategy in place make sure that you’ve created content that is superior to what the competition is posting. You’ll know exactly what content to make for each type of prospect so that you’re not wasting resources on content that isn’t bringing in any returns.
Measure Your Success
There are several ways to gauge the success of your content marketing campaign. Therefore, KPIs (key performance indicators) are necessary to help you analyze how your marketing efforts are going.
Firstly, keep track of the number of people who visit your website. If your content is not bringing in new visitors, then that’s a good indicator that you should tinker with the content and try out new versions.
Secondly, look at the bounce rate. If it’s elevated, then this suggests that the quality of your content is not high because people did not find what they were looking for.
And finally, look at the conversion rate. How many people signed up to your email list? Or downloaded your eBook? This is the most important metric because this is where the revenue comes from.
Never Compromise on Content
Regardless of the type of content you put out there, it needs to be top-notch every single time. Keep in mind that content marketing is all about educating and empowering your leads so that in the end they choose your high-quality product or service.
That means that you can’t cut corners on quality – your leads and customers will recognize that and abandon you. So, whether you’re writing blog posts, emails or producing video, the quality must be consistent.