10 Benefits of Content Marketing for Every Brand
Content marketing is a hot buzzword, but what benefits does it actually have?
Content marketing isn't just a hot buzzword, it is a valuable strategy to boost your branding and grow sales. Over the past years, it has become more of a necessity in a comprehensive digital marketing strategy.
I'm sure that you are aware of content marketing. There are many great examples, that might seem to be intimidating due to the complexity. However, please, don't get discouraged.
If you haven't explored content marketing yet, I am sure there are some valid reasons for it. Maybe it looks like an overly time consuming and complex activity. Maybe you aren’t sure where to start or what would work. Maybe you aren't sure what benefits it could have on your overall marketing strategy. No matter the reasons, the benefits will outweigh any doubts or fears that you may have.
So, what will content marketing do?
Give convenience to your users
Content marketing isn't only about sales pitches online. In fact, I would highly discourage you from using content marketing for direct sales. To me, content marketing is a great way to educate my audience, the way to connect with them, and give convenience.
By having content on your website (through a blog, for example), you will make sure that visitors spend time on your website. They would be consuming the information that you have and are in fact learning more about your brand and your solutions. Great content will make your users engage with the content and this will result in them staying on your website longer, which is always a desired goal.
Great content will also educate your audience and will help them understand your product and services better.
Position your brand higher in search engines
Generating and refreshing content will have a big impact on your SEO (search engine optimization). The reason for this is that each and every blog post or page that you add to your website will be indexed by the search engines (Google, Bing, Yahoo, etc.). This means that you'll have a better chance to show up in search results and people will actually be able to discover your brand organically (without you paying for search engine ads).
However, don't think that quantity here plays a pivotal role. It doesn't. What matters is the quality. Therefore, having fewer high-quality entries will have a bigger effect on your search engine marketing strategy.
High-quality content also boosts your domain (website’s) authority which means that your website would be shown to more people who are searching for information online.
Drive traffic for other sources
Content marketing has the ability to drive referral traffic to your website. If you create great video content and upload it on YouTube, you have the power to link this video to your website. People, who found your video relevant, will visit your website to learn more about your brand.
The same goes for any visual content that you may share on Instagram or Pinterest — people will be able to discover your website through these social media platforms.
Your content (for example blog posts) may be also featured on external websites, such as Inc, Forbes, Quora, Medium, or others. They would naturally link to your website driving extra traffic and increasing your brand awareness.
Much higher potential for conversion
People tend to engage with the content (blog posts, visuals, videos) much more than with “dry” sales pitches. By having higher engagement with your content, you will have a better chance of people actually converting into customers or sales leads.
Consumers today are savvy and they like conducting research prior to making any purchasing decisions. If you make your content educational and appeal to your audience, they are more likely to purchase from you rather than look for answers on your competitor’s website.
Improved brand authority
Competition is fierce nowadays. Consumers are frequently spoilt for choice and tend to choose those brands that show the highest authority. High authority often equates to the reliability, which is crucial in online sales.
The content that your brand produces help potential consumers determine your credibility and make a great first impression. If the content that you produce has value to your consumers, they will think highly of your brand.
Being an industry leader is a great value-added point because it grows consumer confidence in what you do.
Get more followers on social media
Content marketing can have a huge impact on your social media tribe. A tribe is people who follow you because they find your content relevant. Having great and good-quality content is the best way to grow your tribe.
People often rely on social media to get the latest updates from brands. Therefore, they would choose to follow your brand on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, LinkedIn, or Pinterest to find out the latest news and see your content.
However, content marketing is huge not only for your social media followers. It plays a big role if you’re building your subscribers' list. Nobody would subscribe to hear from your brand if they see no relevant content that they can consume. They wouldn't want to find out more or hear from you in the future.
Also remember, that all this audience on social media or on your subscribers' list is people who are much easier to convert into consumers, compared to those who have just discovered your brand through a paid ad. Therefore, you really want them to follow you so that they can be aware of what you have to offer today and in the future.
Content marketing is universal
In my career, I haven't encountered any industry that wouldn't be able to leverage content marketing. It is vastly universal and all industries can gain a lot from it.
Even traditionally boring and un-sexy industries, such as payment, manufacturing, or oil and gas can provide valuable insights on the industry they're at and make it much more approachable and relatable to end-consumers.
There is literally no industry that wouldn't be able to play content marketing game to their advantage. The best way to start is to answer the most common questions that consumers have to you. In this way, you will start building a relationship with them and gaining their trust, while providing convenience.
Content marketing is relatively cheap
It doesn't cost as much money to produce content (blog posts, visuals on social media, etc.) than for instance employ traditional advertising methods, such as radio, TV, or billboards.
The biggest advantage that content marketing would have compared to the traditional means is that the effects and results are very easy to measure. It is impossible to know how impactful a TV ad or a poster on a billboard is. On the other hand, it is very easy to measure how successful your blog post was.
Another great thing about content marketing is that it has a lifetime value. It means that the blog posts that you publish today, will drive traffic to your website until you delete them. It is a gradual process, which requires time (often the only real investment needed), as the results accumulate over time.
In your first several months you may not see tremendous results, however, as time goes, the content will start delivering more and more. Growth is accumulated, while traditional marketing is always very temporal.
Content marketing is a less ‘in-your-face’ kind of advertising
We are exposed to a tremendous amount of ads on a daily basis. Did you know that on average, we see between 4,000 to 10,000 ads a day? This is a huge number of ads, don't you agree?
No wonder, most of us have ad-blockers installed (personally, I don't, because I am a marketer and I understand how important the ads are). However, some statistics suggest that as many as 50% of all internet users have ad-blockers in place.
How can you deliver an ad if so many of your potential customers won't be able to see it?
That's where content marketing comes in handy. It's less annoying and more natural because people discover it when they search for information. It means that if I am looking for inspiration for my next holiday destination in Southeast Asia, I will ask Google for advice. That's when travel agencies will show up with engaging content that will deliver the answers.
Most likely, if the same travel agencies were pushing vacation in Bali or Vietnam through their Facebook or Google Display ads, most likely, I wouldn't even notice them. However, with my intent to look for my next destination, I am expressing my interest to find relevant content that would help me decide. I am much more likely to discover the content that will help me make my purchasing decision.
Content marketing can reduce the workload for your customer service team
Most questions that customers or potential customers ask are standard and are easy to answer in concise blog posts. People tend to Google to find the answers first, if they cannot find them, they may engage with your support team or approach your brand through social media.
Most questions can be very easy to answer — How do I reset my password? Where do I find the serial number? How do I connect this to my smartphone? How long is the warranty? You get the drift. These are standard template questions that you can answer in blog posts. In this way, you will reduce the inquiries and workload for your support team.
So, where do I start?
I get it. Frequently, the starting part is difficult. However, don't postpone it and start today.
My strategy always is this:
- Write separate blog posts on your company, your products, and solutions. Don’t use industry jargon. Be simple and educating.
- Once the corporate part is done, start educating your audience by answering the general, but industry-related questions. For example, if you run an advertising agency, answer questions like “Why do I need a business Facebook account?”. If you are a car mechanic — “What you shouldn't do if you want your car brakes to last longer”. If you’re a bakery — “Reasons why you should always choose almond flour”. Having answers to these questions will help you build authority and position your brand as an industry thought-leader. They would also serve as a great basis for your potential consumers to find answers to questions that are important to them.
- Never hard-sell through your content. Remember that the purpose is to build a relationship with your audience, rather than be pushy and sell your solutions or products. Pushy content never works. Don't treat it as advertising, treat it as consulting.
- Make your content down-to-earth, meaning it should help the general audience. Expect that people who’ll read will have very little prior-knowledge, that’s why they are looking for your content to learn.
- Share your content on social media, forums, and other publications, such as Medium, Quora, etc. You can always recycle the same content and share it multiple times within a certain period of time. For example, it is completely OK to re-share the same blog post on Facebook every two months.
Here you have it. 10 real reasons why you should start content marketing now. I hope this gives you some good ideas to start off.