Content marketing is becoming increasingly more effective than traditional marketing. This is due to the rapid technological advancements that are happening faster. As a forward-thinking marketer or business owner, you should take advantage of content marketing to remain relevant in today's increasingly competitive market. This article will define what content marketing is and why it's more effective than other types of marketing.
What is content marketing?
In the broadest sense, content marketing is a marketing strategy focusing on distributing content to attract and sustain your target markets. Customers that find your content interesting, valuable, and relevant will share your content with their friends, and ultimately, purchase from your business.
The most important word here is "valuable". This is the word that takes average content marketing to effective content marketing. You can define your content as valuable if people seek to find it instead of avoiding it.
Content marketing doesn't promote your brand or business itself, but the content itself drives the customer to want to purchase from you. It's basically story-telling – if you tell an interesting story, customers will be interested in what you're selling. Content marketing can be presented in the following ways:
- Blog posts
- Social media posts
Awareness, research, consideration, purchase
These are the four steps of the "buying cycle". Prior to awareness of your product, your customers may have a problem that needs solving but they are unaware of existing solutions. Once your customer is aware that there are solutions, he or she will begin conducting research to inform themselves.
They will research the different types of solutions, prices, and companies offering these solutions.
Once your customer has an idea of the different options on offer, they will begin to compare prices from different sellers in consideration of finding a high-quality solution at a low cost.
Finally, the customer will make his or her decision and purchase the product/service from the brand or business they decide on.
So, where does content marketing come in? Content marketing taps into the first two steps of the buying cycle. How? By increasing brand awareness and informing customers of a product they may not have known about or considered previously.
Higher conversion rates
When comparing companies that use content marketing and companies that don't use content marketing, the companies that do use it have conversion rates that are almost six times higher. Content marketing does require you to invest time, money, and skills, it's worth it to see the increased conversion rates. With traditional marketing strategies, you may not need to spend as much time or money, but you definitely won't see the same high results compared to content marketing strategies.
Content marketing actually costs 62% less than outbound marketing and it generates three times as many leads. It's not as expensive as some may think, and it can even be cheaper than some traditional marketing strategies.
Interesting and informative
Instead of focusing on a small group of customers, content marketing is able to reach a wide variety of customers. This is because the content is truly interesting and informative, so much that people that aren't usually interested in the product or industry will want to purchase from you.
Brand awareness and credibility
You want your brand to have maximum exposure and advantage over your competitors. Additionally, you can't afford to lose any credibility either. Incorporating content marketing into your brand's marketing strategy can help your brand to gain awareness and credibility with your customers. The more familiar customers are with your brand, the more likely they are to trust you and whatever you're selling.
The Content Marketing Institute surveyed different B2B and B2C marketers in 2010 and found that the vast majority of marketers use content marketing. Market leaders such as Microsoft, Cisco, and John Deere are also using content marketing. Why? Because it's effective.
Search engine rank increase
Search engine algorithms are becoming increasingly advanced and effective at establishing, classifying, and ranking websites based on their content. With this in mind, businesses that utilize creative content marketing tend to increase their chances of raising their search engine rank. This will make it easier for customers to find their business website when searching for related products. Quicksprout conducted a survey which finds that 61% of customers prefer companies that have blogs while 50% of customers consider content marketing to have a huge impact on their buying decision.
Effectively planned content marketing is a useful way to generate sales leads. For example, if someone goes to your website to download/view your free content – for example, an eBook – something on your website may catch their eye. This can turn into a potential sales lead. You can follow the lead by getting in contact with them personally or via automated email. The way you communicate to them should speak to their buyer's persona and provide them with a solution to the problem that brought them to your website in the first place.