Is content marketing effective for my business?
Content marketing is a dynamic approach that focuses on creating and sharing blogs, articles, whitepapers, videos, social media posts, podcasts, webinars, images, infographics, and other assets. The goal is not to explicitly promote your brand but rather to build trust, credibility, and authority among your audience while stimulating interest in your products/services. In short: You become the solution.
But is content marketing the solution for you?
Top Benefits of Content Marketing
Before we go further, let’s take a quick look at key benefits your brand can realize through content marketing. It:
- Boosts brand reputation, authority, and credibility
- Enhances SEO results
- Provides a cost-effective avenue for new (high quality) leads
- Strengthens customers relationships
- Differentiates you from the competition
- Bolsters virtually every other digital marketing strategy (as well as offline efforts)
- Supports the marketing funnel at every step
- Results in better lead conversion
- Empowers you to control the narrative (i.e. you are not a passive voice; you are guiding the conversation)
- Enables you to meet customer demand (they want and are searching for great – relevant, compelling, quality – content. You can be the one who delivers)
Now back to the question at hand: Is content marketing effective for your business? It can be.
We’re qualifying this for one important reason: Content marketing has the potential to be an exceptionally effective tool for your brand. Posting some blogs or social media snippets, putting up a video, or publishing a whitepaper is not content marketing. It’s not going to generate the results, the leads, the conversions, and the bottom-line results you need.
Why? The reality is that there is an unfathomable amount of “stuff” out there. Every day, 2.5 quintillion bytes of data are created; 90% of the world’s data has been created in the last two years. You would need exponential lifetimes to wade through it all. The bad news: This can make it more difficult for people to find your content. Needle in a haystack? More like a needle in a continent of needles.
But here’s the good news: A lot (dare we say, most) of the content out there is not relevant, not educational, not informative, not interesting – and not worth the time it takes to load a webpage. So, when you implement an effective content marketing strategy, your content stands out and has a real impact. A golden needle in a stack of tin, if you will. (And with that, we’ll retire the needle/haystack analogy.)
5 Elements of Effective Content Marketing for Your Business
Content is not a silo; it has to be intertwined with the rest of your business functions, particularly sales. Talk to your teams: ask them about the needs, wants, objections, and questions that prospects, leads, and customers regularly pose. Take it back even further: ask them who their customers are. Are they parents? Singles? Millennials? Retirees? Families? Work up detailed buyer personas to guide your strategy.
Use these insights to develop content that reaches customers and helps them achieve their goals. The worst way to proceed is by creating content for the sake of content. If it’s not intentional, any successes are purely accidental. And entirely unsustainable.
Content shouldn’t live solely on your website -- though that’s a great place to start. (Be sure to position social sharing buttons near content to facilitating easy and quick sharing.)
Utilize your content more fully by linking to it via social media platforms. Short, concise, and compelling posts and tweets are ideal for capturing your audience’s attention and bringing them to your site.
Also, consider paid media opportunities. It’s not a case of content marketing vs. PPC, for example. Rather, paid ads through Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, Instagram, Google, etc., can increase your reach and put your content in front of interested eyes. Further, several of these platforms enable you to zero in on your audience by targeting geographic location, age, gender, interests, behaviors, and other factors.
Many brands embark on their content marketing strategy with great zeal -- and then, efforts peter out. Other brands produce excellent pieces one week and then post fluff the next. Consistency is essential, both in terms of frequency and quality. Remember, each piece needs to add value to your audience. It needs to teach, entertain, guide, and support… if it doesn’t, go back to the drawing board. You have a lot of knowledge to share; the key is capturing your ideas and translating them into quality blog posts, articles, whitepapers, videos, etc.
Your agency can help you develop solid content marketing ideas, so you maintain your zeal and deliver exceptional value to your audience -- every time.
This ties back to intentionality. At the onset of your content marketing strategy, you must understand your audience and their needs -- and you need to put metrics in place (e.g. page views, unique visitors, average time on page, form completion, email clicks, email opens, pages per visit, bounce rate, follower count, social shares and likes, etc.) to see if you’re hitting your objectives.
Analytics platforms (e.g. Google Analytics) tell you how specific pieces of content are performing and how your audience is responding, even down to the individual. You can dig in and determine what’s working and what needs to be changed.
The amount of content available to today’s consumers is staggering. Make sure yours rises to the top with a solid, adaptable content marketing strategy.
When done effectively, content marketing allows you to create successive wins. The efficacy of your content builds as you create a strong and diverse “library” of resources for prospects, leaders, and customers. All of your content assets work together to achieve key goals, from raising brand awareness to enhancing SEO performance to earning inbound links..
By creating a good base of evergreen content (that is, content that does not “expire” and that will continue to be relevant – with an update once in a while) and by cross-publishing and promoting on various platforms, one piece of content is worth so much more. And a hundred? Even better!
Turning Potential Into Power
Content marketing has the potential to transform your brand and empower you to reach business-building goals. Are you ready to put that into practice? Get in touch.