What Is Content Marketing?
Traditional marketing is becoming less and less effective by the minute; as a forward-thinking marketer, you know there has to be a better way.
Content marketing is a strategic marketing approach focused on creating and distributing valuable, relevant, and consistent content to attract and retain a clearly defined audience — and, ultimately, to drive profitable customer action.
Instead of pitching your products or services, you are providing truly relevant and useful content to your prospects and customers to help them solve their issues.
Content marketing is used by leading brands
Content Marketing Institute annual research shows the vast majority of marketers are using content marketing. In fact, it is used by many prominent organizations in the world, including P&G, Microsoft, Cisco Systems, and John Deere. It’s also developed and executed by small businesses and one-person shops around the globe. Why? Because it works.
Content marketing is good for your bottom line — and your customers
Specifically, there are three key reasons — and benefits — for enterprises that use content marketing:
• Increased sales
• Cost savings
• Better customers who have more loyalty
Content is the present – and future – of marketing
Go back and read the content marketing definition one more time, but this time remove the relevant and valuable. That’s the difference between content marketing and the other informational garbage you get from companies trying to sell you “stuff.” Companies send us information all the time – it’s just that most of the time it’s not very relevant or valuable (can you say spam?). That’s what makes content marketing so intriguing in today’s environment of thousands of marketing messages per person per day.
Marketing is impossible without great content
Regardless of what type of marketing tactics you use, content marketing should be part of your process, not something separate. Quality content is part of all forms of marketing:
• Social media marketing: Content marketing strategy comes before your social media strategy.
• SEO: Search engines reward businesses that publish quality, consistent content.
• PR: Successful PR strategies address issues readers care about, not their business.
• PPC: For PPC to work, you need great content behind it.
• Inbound marketing: Content is key to driving inbound traffic and leads.
• Content strategy: Content strategy is part of most content marketing strategies.
Why is content marketing important?
To help you better understand the importance of content marketing, we’ve put together a list of the top advantages that content marketing can provide your small business:
1.Improve brand reputation by building trust through content marketing.
One of the greatest benefits that really shows the importance of content marketing is the reputation building qualities of great content. In today’s busy digital marketplace, it’s vital that businesses work to build trust with their leads and customers. Building trust can help your business establish a positive brand reputation.
Creating custom content is a great way to get to know your leads and customers while building good will.
Great content can help you build trust with your leads and customers. When consumers read your content, they start to develop an opinion of your brand. If the content that they find is engaging, educational, and valuable, then they will start to think the same things about your business. The more value you can provide with your content, the easier it will be to build trust with your target audience.
In addition, when your leads and customers start to see that you are consistently publishing content across platforms, they may come to see you as a leader in the industry. Publishing content through third-party publications or sharing your content with influencers can also help you further build trust within your target market.
2.Great content helps influence conversions.
If you’re really wondering why is content marketing important, then look no further than the conversion statistics.
Content marketing helps to improve conversions because it allows you to connect with and educate your leads and customers. Not only are you working to build trust and relationships, but you are also encourage conversions by giving consumers the information they need to make an educated purchasing decision.
To optimize your content for conversions, be sure to include a clear call-to-action. Your CTA tells the reader what they need to do next, guiding them to the next step in the conversion process. Whether converting means making a purchase, getting more information, or contacting your sales team, it’s important to make it clear to the reader within the content what you want them to do next.
3.Optimized content helps improve your SEO efforts.
The importance of content marketing becomes more clear when looking at the role that content plays in helping your business build and improve search engine optimization (SEO). SEO plays an important part in improving visibility for your business online. However, if you want to improve SEO, you need to create optimized content.
According to Tech Client, content creation is the most effective SEO technique. In fact, business sites that post consistent blog content have on average of 434% more pages indexed by search engines than those that don’t publish at all. The more content you have on your site, the more pages the search engine has to index and show to users in their search engine results.
Though more pages does not necessarily result in higher traffic, it does give your brand the opportunity to rank for more keywords. For instance, creating blogs on different topics that are relevant to your target audience gives you more chances to rank for the keywords that these target users are searching for on the search engines.
Not to mention, the more content you have on your site, the more reasons you give visitors to stick around. This means a higher on-site time, which can also positively impact your search engine optimization. Google sees time spent on site as one indicator that your site provides valuable content.
4.Creating great content is a cost-effective way to bring in new leads.
For those wondering why is content marketing important, take a look at all of the ways that content can help your business bring in new leads. Lead generation is important for small businesses that rely on consistent traffic to grow their brand and boost sales. Content marketing is not only great for lead generation, but it’s also affordable.
Though content marketing costs about 62% less than traditional marketing tactics, it generates about 3 times as many leads, according to DemandMetric. The affordability of content marketing makes it a necessary tactic for small businesses that want to maximize their budget.
It’s important to note that content marketing is time intensive, and it can also take a while to see the results of your efforts. This is especially true when it comes to SEO. However, when it comes to creating quality content, a little can go a long way. In fact, according to Social Media Examiner, more than 81% of marketers found that they experienced increased traffic by investing as little as 6 hours per week in their social media content.
The importance of content marketing is easy to see when you consider the return on investment. Since creating content is fairly affordable and highly effective, many small businesses will see an impressive ROI on their content marketing over time. In fact, per dollar spent, content marketing efforts produce 3 times as many leads as paid search ads.
The key to maximizing content ROI is creating a content marketing strategy that takes your target market into consideration. You should never just create content for the sake of creating content. If you want to get your money’s worth, your content should be strategic in the topics you choose, types of assets you produce, and your promotional methods.
5. Content enables your brand to showcase your subject matter expertise.
Consumers want to know that they are dealing with experts who know the ins and outs of the industry. This is another answer to why is content marketing important. Content marketing allows your brand to demonstrate its expertise in the field while providing valuable knowledge that can help readers make a more educated purchasing decision.
Every time that you publish a new blog post, white paper, or other piece of content, you’re showing leads and customers how much you know about the industry and the challenges that they face. When it comes time to make a purchase, consumers will remember the brand that provided them with the information they needed to better understand their problems, solutions, and other options.
Let’s say it comes down to purchasing from a business that publishes consistent content that’s educational and informative or one that doesn’t have any content. The consumer is more likely to purchase from the business that has demonstrated their knowledge and expertise. That way, they can have peace of mind in knowing that they are being taken care of by industry experts who can answer their questions and easily troubleshoot any issues.
6.Want to build relationships with customers? Publish great content.
If you’re still wondering, why is content marketing important? Consider how great content marketing can help you build relationships with your customers.
Previously, we discussed how con