Content is one way to demonstrate your brand’s integrity and help your audience trust you
28% of B2B marketers & 30% of B2C marketers say content marketing contributes to business goals
The old saying that content is king might be one of the most overused phrases ever to grace the world of digital marketing; however, it’s fair to say that it’s hung around so long because it’s actually true.
Content marketing seems like it’s going to be easy. You just write a few blog posts or add more pages to your site, right? But when you sit down to really think about it, it’s a lot more complicated than you originally thought. First, you need a strong keyword research plan. Buyer personas. Bags of creativity. A no-holds barred approach to writer’s block. A top-notch grammar game. And ideas by the bucket load. Then there’s the competition. A recent Beckon study counted a three times leap in the amount of content created by brands in just a 12-month period, with one single brand creating a massive 29,000 pieces of original content in one year.
Despite the difficulties, brands are creating more content than ever before. But, why? Why is content marketing important? What does it add to a digital strategy? And more importantly, what does it bring to the bottom line?
Content is Used Everywhere and For Everything
Jason DeMers, CEO and founder of Audience Bloom says that, “For my money, there’s no better long-term strategy than content marketing.” He gives a number of reasons for this view but what’s most compelling is his point that content is used everywhere and influences every other type of marketing strategy:
- Your email content fuels opens and click-throughs
- Your web content fuels rankings and encourages conversions
- It’s essential for social media campaigns
- Necessary for blog posts
- And useful for creating trust, authority and establishing relationships with other brands and businesses
Content Gives Compounding Rates of Return
Another of DeMers’ theories is that content gives a compounding rate of return. In an article for Forbes he says, “As your investment earns interest, your principal grows and you earn more interest with each subsequent round of compounding. Content works much the same way, since it’s more or less “permanent.” If you publish twice a week, you’ll have 110 pieces the first year, so the first year you’ll produce 110 pieces and get 110 pieces’ worth of results. The second year, you’ll produce 110 pieces and see 220 pieces’ worth of results.” This compounding rate of return means your content is always available to you and can help to drive sales. If you create evergreen content in addition to news posts and trending topic-led pieces, you’ll also have a stockpile of information that you can turn to time and time again, whenever you need interesting, useful pieces for emails, slide shows, social posts and other marketing activities.
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Great Content Inspires Trust
In our annual local consumer review survey last year, we reported that 8 out of 10 consumers trust online reviews as much as a personal recommendation for a business, product or service. In his article for the Content Marketing Institute, Sujan Patel mused that the reason there is a such an appetite for reviews, is that as consumers, we need to be assured that we’re going to get what we pay for. User-generated content, like online reviews, fills this gap.
He said, “Content is one way to demonstrate your brand’s integrity and, in turn, help your audience trust you.” With this power, it’s easy to see how content marketing drives sales. Simply by reassuring consumers, a well-placed piece of content can set your brand apart in a crowded marketplace.
Building this into a content marketing strategy can be done in a number of ways.
- Work with an influencer or blogger to endorse your product
- Create authority branded content
- Invite a respected person in your field or industry to contribute their own content to your blog or website
- Secure a guest post or column of your own on a respected website, blog or magazine site
- Ask happy customers to leave review on your Google My Business listing or other review sites like Yelp or Foursquare
Content Value is Measurable
The importance of any marketing initiative, whether it’s content or advertisements, comes down to how accurately and how easily it can be measured. Director of Editorial Content and Curation at Content Marketing Institute, Jodie Harris cites a CMI Benchmark report which found that 28% of B2B marketers and 30% of B2C marketers now say their content marketing activity has reached a mature stage where its contributions to overall business goals can be measured. On the back of this, 52% of B2B and 51% of B2C marketers expect that blogging will be their most critical tactic for achieving success in the upcoming year.
Content Builds Links
If your marketing or sales activity relies on any form of organic search visibility, you need content to help with rankings for specific keywords and link acquisition. Backlinks are an essential component of any SEO campaign, with a few high quality, relevant links worth their weight in gold. In today’s fierce battle for page one rankings, great links can only be acquired with the help of stellar content. Whether you create a great infographic, a thought-provoking blog post or must-read ebook, it’s the quality of your content that will determine whether or not other sites want to link to you. Top sites and influencers won’t risk sending their hard earned traffic your way via a link unless your content provides something that is a must see or a must read. Short of buying links, strong content is the only way to earn those likes and shares that will see your site moving up the rankings.
What Do You Think?
Have you been wondering why content marketing is important or how it drives sales? Have you experienced the benefits of having a documented content marketing strategy in place? Let us know your thoughts and share your experiences with us in the comments. We’d love to hear from you!