Content marketing is one of those terms that can often lead to a lot of confusion. While dealing with businesses at Justwords over the last decade — whether they’re small companies or big brands— we’ve found that there isn’t enough clarity on what is content marketing. Which might be why so few businesses are really able to make content marketing work for them in a big way.
Content marketing has a simple definition — it’s all about telling your brand story in a way that educates and entertains prospective customers, instead of intruding and pushing products on them. This includes a variety of content — from social media posts, infographics and articles to videos, podcasts, webinars.
One of the key reasons for this is that most businesses look at content marketing as just another marketing activity — one which is fairly low on the priority list.
This is a strategy (whether conscious or not) that is likely to result in a long-term disaster. According to Gartner, content marketing will cease to exist as a term in the next 10 years because all marketing will be driven by content.
Here’s Why Content Marketing Needs to Become a Business Priority Today:
1. Only Exceptional Content Yields Results — But Those Results are Exceptional
There are over 2 million blog posts uploaded on the internet every day. Clearly, there’s an abundance of mediocre content out there. When content marketing is low on your list of priorities, chances are that you will end up creating run-of-the-mill content. You might also end up promoting this content in ways that are cliched and overused. There will be little brainstorming on building an effective content marketing strategy, the quality of the content, and reaching your target audience in an effective way.
While it seems like there’s a lot of content out there, the majority of it is mediocre. So, the moment content marketing is high on your list of priorities, you end up creating content that’s much ahead of the competition. This can give you incredible ROI. When content marketing is done right, it not only leads to 12 times the leads versus traditional methods like advertising, but those leads are much more qualified and 5X as likely to turn into paying customers.
If you can’t afford to hire the kind of experts you need to create outstanding content, consider hiring niche content marketing services that have the right expertise and experience.
2. Engaging with Prospects at Every Stage of the Marketing Funnel is Important
One of the best things about content marketing is that it isn’t limited to the lower stages of the sales funnel. It helps you in every stage of the buyer journey — from building awareness about your product to creating loyalty and even advocacy.
Awareness is a specially important function, especially in B2B content marketing where the customer often requires a lot of education before their interest in the product is piqued.
3. SEO is Needed to Build a Sustainable Competitive Advantage
Apart from some technical changes, content marketing is really the only way to build SEO — whether that’s through guest posts, backlinks, or website content. In fact, content like infographics and videos also aid in SEO today. Unless you have a strong content marketing strategy that combines unique content with semantic keywords, chances of ranking higher in search engines are very low.
When it comes to building a long-term, sustainable marketing strategy, you simply can’t do without SEO. This is already true in 2020 but it’s going to be even more relevant in the next 5 years.
“So if you want to grow your business — whether to reach massive scale very quickly or just healthy double-digit growth — content marketing needs to be very high on the priority list.
4. Trust and Credibility
If you focus on building content that provides users with valuable information, the bond of trust becomes very easy to establish. If readers are constantly looking to your blog to solve their problems around creating great content, guess which content marketing service they will hire. Similarly, if yours is the blog that customers come to for understanding how to secure their data, guess which cybersecurity solution they will purchase. When you already have a certain level of credibility, closing the sale becomes far simpler.
5. Loyalty and Advocacy
In an age of unlimited options and instant gratification, solid content is one way to build brand loyalty. In fact, 78% of people say they feel connected to brands that provide them with valuable content.
The journey to loyalty begins with top-of-the-mind recall. 57% of people who are connected to your brand will view at least 1 piece of content every month. If the content keeps the audience hooked then, the chances of repeat purchase are higher. Given that a repeat customer spends 67% more than a new customer on every subsequent visit, the CLTV (Customer Lifetime Value) will increase rapidly, creating a business that is massively profitable.
Content marketing is all about telling stories. The bottom line is that the audience doesn’t care about mediocre stories— it only wants an exceptional, well-crafted, and heart-warming narrative. And the truth of the matter is that creating and promoting exceptional stories takes talent, expertise, and most importantly focus. Unless you make content marketing a priority for your business, you won’t be able to reap the rewards that can really take your business to the next level in a healthy, sustainable way.