Whether you’re an owner of a startup or a seasoned company, marketing is likely one of your top priorities. In order to grow and sustain that growth, you’ll need a well thought out plan to stay in the game. But the world of marketing can be confusing and sometimes overwhelming. The industry is full of buzzwords and jargon that seem to change as our methods of communication evolve.
Under the umbrella of marketing, there are many strategies to choose from. In our growing digital age, content marketing is growing in popularity. In fact, it’s become so popular that you’d be hard pressed to create an effective marketing plan without some sort of a content marketing in the mix. The truth is, content marketing can transform your business if you’re willing to put in the effort.
What is Content Marketing?
Content marketing is a subsection of marketing where you create content with a specific goal in mind. Typically, the goal is to convert potential customers into paying customers, but you can have other goals as well. Some additional content marketing goals include increasing brand awareness, establishing yourself as an authority, or cultivating the relationship between you and your audience.
Why You Need Content Marketing
People love content. We consume it in mass quantities and for many reasons. If it’s entertaining, educational, emotional, we’ll gladly take it in. Consider your typical day. How much content do you consume? When you want to learn about something new, like say, content marketing. You’ll do a google search and probably read a couple of blog posts, maybe watch a few videos, listen to a podcast etc. Maybe your friend shares a funny video on twitter so you take a break and watch that. Content is all around us.
It’s vital that you participate in this thriving economy. You may be thinking that it’s irrelevant because there are others already covering the topics that you’d like to cover. I bust this myth often on this blog and I’m going to do it again. Yes, there are likely people making amazing valuable content right now on your topics of choice. But that’s no excuse for you to opt out of content marketing.
People overwhelming report that they want to see content from brands they support. That means you! And just like in my example earlier, we have a tendency to consume content from a variety of sources, even if it’s on the same topic. As long as your content is relevant and valuable, it will resonate with people.
How Content Marketing Can Transform Your Business
So how does content marketing stack up against other strategies? Well if you ask Seth Godin, a marketing thought leader and former dot com executive, he’ll tell you that content marketing is “the only marketing left”. It’s really hard to deny the effectiveness of content marketing. Just take a look at some of these statistics Hubspot compiled:
- Content marketing gets three times more leads than paid search advertising. (Content Marketing Institute, 2017)
- 47% of buyers viewed 3-5 pieces of content before engaging with a sales rep. (Demand Gen Report, 2016)
What would happen if you were able to get three times more leads than you currently have now? Content marketing can get you there. But how exactly?
1 | Through Google
I don’t have to tell you the importance of google. It’s the number 1 search engine and honestly the powerhouse of the internet. It is used countless numbers of times by millions of people in any given day. So of course, if you can manage to show up in google results, you are well on your way to success.
Well, google loves content. The nature of their business requires them to scour the internet for the best content so that they can deliver the best results to those that use their service. If you can prove to google that you have valuable content that people want to engage with, google will send 10x more traffic to your website than any other place. That has the power to explode your business.
2 | By Cultivating Relationships With Your Current Audience
It may come as a surprise, but I see a lot of business owners make a very crucial mistake with their marketing activities. They design their marketing plan to target new customers and clients only. The problem with that is, they are forgetting the audience they already have. It takes vastly less effort to get repeat business versus new business. By overlooking this fact, they are leaving money on the table.
Creating valuable content will keep your current audience engaged with you. Like I’ve mentioned before, many people report that they want to see content from brands they support. Create great content, and they will happily follow your journey!
3 | By Increasing Engagement
Increasing engagement should be a top priority when it comes to your marketing efforts. Ideally, you want to be top of mind when your audience thinks of a specific subject. Content marketing achieves this task in the most effective way, because you’ll be creating consistent information around your topic of choice and sharing it. Eventually, this will lead to word of mouth referral business which is a great way to grow!
4 | By Increasing Brand Awareness
Since valuable content is more likely to increase engagement, that means the content is more likely to be shared. This shareability will lead to increased brand awareness. The more people that see your content, the stronger your brand will become. It will increase the SEO or your website and strengthen your online presence.
5 | By Increasing Conversions
Content that is addresses the concerns of your audience in a clear and honest way will increase your conversion rate. Even further, when you give them valuable information for free, they will trust that your paid options will be worth it. There’s no better way to showcase your value than creating free high quality content.
Content Marketing, “The Only Marketing Left”
It’s true that content marketing isn’t a quick fix or get rich quick scheme. You will have to put in the work and remain diligent in order to see results. But if you can stick with it, you will see a return on your investment.
Content marketing has a cumulative effect, and it creates a chain of events that eventually work seamlessly together. Creating valuable content leads to building trust, that trust increases engagement, that engagement leads to brand awareness and ultimately higher sales and conversions.
So whether it’s a blog, podcast, or youtube channel—create valuable content and get it out there. Your audience is waiting!