Online ads are more pervasive today than ever before. They’re intrusive, disruptive, and sometimes may seem like an inescapable proviso of being an avid internet user. If you’re sick of ads, then chances are, your customers are too. Unsurprisingly, most people have even have started ignoring ads altogether. “Ad Blindness” is the modern day equivalent of leaving the room for a snack during a TV commercial break.
Not to mention the fact that the percentage of people using ad blockers is growing exponentially, with some browsers providing built-in ad blocking as part of their standard functions and tools. eMarketer expects 3 out of 10 internet users will be using blockers by the end of 2018.
So how do you make potential customers aware of and want/crave/need your awesome products or services without royally pissing them off in the process? Enter Content Marketing. According to Roper Public Affairs, 80-percent of decision-makers in business prefer to receive company information in a series of articles instead of an advertisement. What’s more, 70-percent say content marketing makes them feel “closer to the sponsoring company,” while 60-percent say that company content helps them make better decisions regarding product.
What is Content Marketing?
Content Marketing is part of a Relationship Marketing philosophy and approach to doing things. The main goal is to forge solid, emotion-centric customer connections to a brand. As opposed to transactional marketing’s (AKA ads, cold-calls, and such) focus on one-off sales and in your face aggressive sales tactics, relationship marketing’s fundamental strategy is focused on building long-term customer loyalty and engagement.
In other words, content marketing is the art of communicating with your customers and prospects without direct selling. Its “non-interruption marketing.” Instead of solely pitching your products or services, you deliver information that educates your visitors and gives them the feeling that they’ve benefited from visiting your site.
Elvis is King of Rock and Roll. Randy is King of Macho. Content is King of Marketing.
Regardless of what your company’s online marketing strategy is, content marketing should definitely be an integral part of it. You may or may not have heard the phrase “Content is King” thrown around for a while now- and it’s been debated… but the thought process behind content marketing’s coronation is the fact that other areas of marketing like social media, email newsletters, and SEO are really only around and effective because of content.
As Ian Lurie, CEO at Portent Inc. explained, “Content isn’t ‘stuff we write to rank higher’ or ‘infographics’ or ‘long-form articles.’ Content is anything that communicates a message to the audience. Anything.” So when you really think about it, content is king because content is everywhere.
Another large factor in its popularity is its ridiculously high ROI. Demand Metric discovered that on average, content marketing costs 62% less than traditional marketing and generates about 3 times as many leads. It’s safe to say that content pieces are a valuable asset for almost any business. And from blogs, to infographics, to ebooks, to podcasts, videos, and more… there are just about as many types of content as there are types of content strategies.
But that’s not what this blog’s about. This blog is about why an effective content marketing strategy can literally grow your business. And here are the top 5 reasons:
Top 5 Reasons Why You Should Use Content Marketing
1. Builds Brand Trust and Authority Like a Champ
95% of B2B buyers consider content as trustworthy when evaluating a company and its offerings – DemandGen
When you’re providing your current and potential customers the right content, you’re providing them the best answers to their questions. And when you’re answering questions, you’re building trust. And its human nature to stay loyal to someone who has earned our trust, isn’t it? In addition to trust, you’re building a relationship and establishing yourself as their go-to expert. An effective content marketing strategy not only ensures that your visitors see you as an authority in your niche or industry, but it also shows them that you’ve taken the time to translate that knowledge in a meaningful way just for them. But all this doesn’t just happen overnight. It takes time and very careful planning of your content strategy.
Want to super-charge the trust factor? Check out my recent post: 5 Reasons Why Online Reviews Will Make (Or Break) a Business
2. Provides Organic SEO Out the Wazoo
As mentioned above, if you’re using an effective content marketing strategy, you’re answering your potential customers questions. Speaking for myself, when I have a question, I run to the internet for an instant answer– and data shows that I’m not alone in this. The number of people using internet search engines is increasing year after year at almost unfathomable levels. Check out a fun and simple little site called Internet Live Stats some time if you really want to see what I mean. While writing this blog in the evening, I checked it out real quick and found that there were approximately 68,562 Google searches conducted in just 1 second.
The point is, when your customers have a question, the majority of the time they’re going to search online for an answer. Without going über-geek with technical stuff, straight up SEO is narrower and more technical- while SEO for content marketing tends to be broader and more holistic- with the ability to target a wider range of search terms and questions.
We here at MVMG, and many others, have said that proper marketing is being at the right place, at the right time, in front of the right people, and saying the right things. And coming straight from the Google-horse’s mouth, “Our goal is always to provide you the most useful and relevant information.” If being found by potential customers on Google is the goal, then content marketing is [insert a popular sports player name here] kicking your website into the goal? …or something like that. Sports metaphors aren’t exactly my strong suit, but you get the picture, right?
3. Brings in Backlinks Like Nobody’s Business
According to Andrey Lipattsev, Search Quality Senior Strategist at Google, high-quality content and link building are the two most important signals used by Google to rank your website for search. But you can’t just buy quality backlinks, you gotta EARN them. And Neil Patel, one of the world’s top online marketing strategists said: “Backlinks to a post not only help that specific post rank better in search engines but they also help all other posts on your site.
Get enough quality links, and you’ll be getting tens of thousands of organic search engine visitors a month to your site.” There’s an art and a strategy to garnering links, but when you publish quality content, users (and even competitors) will link back to your content because you’ve proven yourself to be an authority.
4. Attracts Your Ideal Customer Like Bees to a Flower
74% of companies indicate content marketing is increasing their marketing teams’ lead quality and quantity – Curata
Traffic on its own won’t grow your business- you need qualified traffic. It’s an easy concept to understand, but a little more complicated to execute. According to Content Marketing Institute and MarketingProfs’ recent research, 60% of content marketers say that producing engaging content is their biggest challenge.
Bottom line, if your content isn’t tailored to your ideal customer, you’re not going to attract and build trust with your ideal customer. By tailoring your content marketing to address your customers’ pain points and how your company provides the solution they need, your site will begin to attract your ideal customers/clients and foster resilient bonds.
5. Nurtures Leads and Conversions Like Nothing Else Can!
67% of the typical buyer’s journey is now done digitally, and 9 out of 10 buyers say online content has a moderate to major effect on their purchasing decisions. – Lenati
According to the Aberdeen Group’s latest research, conversion rates are six times higher for companies and brands using content marketing than those that aren’t. Once you’ve attracted your ideal customer, how do you quickly and effective move them through your buyer’s journey? Content Marketing once again. Every person goes through what’s called a buyer’s journey before they make a purchasing decision. The journey is a 3-step process:
By curating and tailoring your content and strategy for the 3 stages of your customer’s journey, your site’s going to become a lead generating powerhouse.
How do I Get Started?
The crux of it all is that if you’re interested in marketing your business online effectively, you’re going to need to start generating effective content. It’s everywhere you look and everywhere you listen. Think logically about all the companies attempting to send us information all the time… and most of that time that info isn’t very relevant or valuable, is it? Well, that’s what makes content marketing so intriguing in today’s environment of thousands of marketing messages per person per day: GOOD content marketing forces a person to stop, read, think, and behave differently. Contact us today if you’d like to learn more about our powerful content marketing packages.